Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Noto
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Highlights

  • Cycle the UNESCO protected ’Val di Noto’ of south eastern Sicily
  • Explore the Baroque cities of Noto, Syracuse and Modica
  • Relax waterside in the ancient Arabic fishing port of Marzamemi
  • Ride along the coast from the Mediterranean to the Ionian sea
  • Dine on the Sicilian speciality of freshly grilled swordfish

Discover the UNESCO listed Baroque towns and charming fishing villages of south east Sicily on this cycling tour of the ‘Val di Noto’.

From the energetic capital of Catania, you will be transferred to the hill top town of Palazzolo Acreide. Rolling southwards cycle through rural Sicily to the honey-coloured stacked houses and chocolate shops of Modica. Ride to the delightful piazza of Scicli and onto the Mediterranean waters of Pozzallo where you can dine on Sicily’s signature dish of grilled swordfish.

Pedal to the ancient Arabic fishing village of Marzamemi and spend the afternoon relaxing on sandy beaches. On reaching Noto, stroll along the elegant ‘Corso Vittorio Emanuele’ with a cone of gelato in hand. Finish by cycling to the ancient Greek city and birthplace of Archimedes, Syracuse where waterside restaurants invite you to sample the catch of the day.


Day 1 Arrive Catania

Catania’s international airport has excellent airline connections to mainland Europe and beyond.


From Catania, a private transfer will take you to the south eastern UNESCO listed city of Palazzolo Acreide (approx 1-1.5hrs journey time).  A charming town with a laid back atmosphere and wealth of Baroque architecture. Ease into Sicilian life, with a plate of freshly cooked pasta and a glass of local Moscato.


Overnight: Palazzolo Acreide


Day 2 Cycle to Modica

Begin with an easy morning of cycling through a patchwork landscape of crops and fruit groves before the last few km’s of your ride gradually ascends to the neatly stacked streets of Modica. Peppered with hidden architectural gems, explore Modica Alta on foot and discover the imposing 17th century Duomo di San Giorgio. In the evening choose from one of the many family trattorias and sample delicious Sicilian pistachio pesto dishes.


Cycle: 50 or 60  km


Overnight: Modica


Day 3 Cycle to Pozzallo

An easy downhill heads out of Modica, but before leaving don’t forget to take some of the local chocolate with you (inspired by an ancient Aztec recipe, using rough cacao paste). Cycling through the Iblei Canyon arrive at the Scicli, perfect timing for coffee and gelato. Rolling onto the coast finish with a dip in the sea at the town of Pozzallo and dine on the catch of day.


Cycle: 34 or 48km


Overnight: Pozzallo


Day 4 Cycle to Marzamemi

A day of coastal riding will take you through the wetlands of Patano Longarini and Patano Cuba, rich in migratory birdlife. Continue east to Sicily’s most southerly point , Isola delle Correnti where the Ionian and Mediterranean Seas meet. Finish the day at the ancient fishing village of Marzamemi, where it’s charming piazza is a picture perfect al fresco dining venue.


Cycle: 57km


Overnight: Marzamemi


Day 5 Cycle to Noto

Before hopping in the saddle today, enjoy a morning at the beach and watch the returning fisherman from their early morning trips. Cycle north along the Ionian Coast, via Oasi Vendicari, a sanctuary for kingfishers. Leaving the coast, turn inland to the town of Noto. Along with 7 other towns, Noto was destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1693. After an exceptional collaboration of artists and architects of the time, the towns were rebuilt in the lavish Sicilian Baroque style and Noto’s elegant resurrection has made it one of the most beautiful towns of Italy. The stylish walkway ‘Corso Vittorio Emanuele’ is  perfect for an evening amble.


Cycle: 35 km


Overnight: Noto


Day 6 Cycle to Syracuse

You have the choice of two rides today. Take a shorter, easier route along the coast to Syracuse or head inland, up to the vista point of Cavagrande de Cassible, this is definitely for those that enjoy a challenge! On arrival in Syracuse, you’ll be met with over 3000 years of history as ancient civilisations of Europe have all left their mark on this fascinating city. Later, dine on traditional dishes of Pasta a la Norma or freshly caught grilled swordfish.


Cycle: 38 or 55 km


Overnight: Syracuse


Day 7 Onward Travel

Depending on your onward travel arrangements you may have more time to explore Syracuse, including the theatrical fish market.


 


Accommodation


During this trip you will spend 5 nights in 3* and 4* hotels and 1 night in an agriturismo. We regularly use the following properties but will accommodate you in a hotel of equal standard should any of the following hotels be unavailable. Each stay at the listed accommodation is based on a standard room.


Meals

Included are 6 breakfasts. Breakfast usually consists of fresh pastries, breads, fruits, yogurts, cheeses, meats and granola. Italian breakfasts also include a selection of fresh cakes too. If you have special dietary requirements do let us know at the time of
booking.


Lunches and dinners are not included. Your route notes will suggest a number of local places to dine
and of course, being in Italy means you're never too far from a bowl of freshly folded pasta.


Single Rooms

If you're travelling with friends or family but prefer your own room, single rooms are subject to availability and a supplementary payment. This trip is also available to solo cyclists.



 

 

 



Hotel Colle Acre

A 4* hotel in the heart of the Anapo Valley. Located just outside Palazzolo centre, the peaceful location of Hotel Colle Acre provides a comfortable stay with friendly hosts and a superb terrace to enjoy a traditional dish of 'Pasta a la Norma'.



 

 

 



Hotel Ferro

This stylish and contemporary hotel, overlooking the hills of Monserrato. On arrival, park up the bikes and explore the honey coloured streets of Modica on foot before heading back to your peaceful hotel.



 

 

 



Hotel Sikania

Located in the heart of Pozzallo, this hotel is only a few minutes stroll from the nearby beach. Encapsulating a traditional Sicilian Villa, rooms are spacious, bright and very comfortable



 

 

 



Vendicari



Vendicari

Belonging to the Arangio family since 1890, this converted farmhouse sits amongst olive and almond trees. In the courtyard, take a dip in the private pool or enjoy a afternoon nap in its secluded gardens!



 

 

 



Hotel Flora

Only a few minutes walk from the historical sights of Noto, Hotel Flora enjoys a central location in the centre of the old town which means you’re never too far from a delicious number of gelato shops and seafood restaurants



 

 

 



Hotel Gargallo

A restored 19th century townhouse, Hotel Gargallo boasts the perfect setting in the Syracuse on the island of Ortiga. Elegant rooms, reflect the surrounding streets, brimming with beautifully preserved Baroque architecture

Availability

This trip is available to start on any Saturday from March to October and we suggest that you contact us as soon as
possible if you are considering a departure during the peak season of May-June and September.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps



This cycling route follows a combination of cycle paths, quiet country roads, stretches of rolling terrain and busier routes when approaching and departing towns and cities. Please  always be mindful of other roads users at all times, especially when cycling on routes shared with traffic. The tried and tested detailed routes notes and maps are easy to follow during your self-guided adventure.


Should you require assistance, local 24/7 telephone support will also be available throughout your trip.



Rental Bikes

21 speed touring bikes are available for hire. Rental bikes come equipped with a basic repair kit, pump and helmet (though we recommend using your own). Male and female frames are available. If you’d like to hire a bike, please let us know your height and frame size you currently ride.


EBikes are also available for hire if you would like a power assisted ride. For more information on EBikes please click here.


If you would prefer to bring your own bicycle please ensure it is thoroughly serviced and is an appropriate bike for this trip such as a Scott Sub, Trek 7200 or similar.


If you do intend to bring your own bike, please do let us know at the time book as extra transfer arrangements may be required for any large bike cases/boxes.



If you’d like to hire a bike, please let us know your height and
frame size you currently ride, along with any other specific requests
you may have. We’re always happy to answer any questions regarding hire
bikes.


If you would to bring your own road bike please ensure it is
thoroughly serviced and is an appropriate bike for this trip.


General Information

All bike tours are unescorted. The distances listed are approximations of the recommended routes.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, cycle clothing and personal medications etc.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour
with Macs Bike that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you
for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


Getting to Catania / From Syracuse

Getting to Catania


For general travel planning, we recommend the helpful site www.rome2rio.com


By Air


Catania Airport has excellent connections across Europe. On arrival at Catania Airport, a private transfer is included in your tour and will take you to your first nights accommodation in Palazzolo Acreide. If you would prefer to have an extra night in Catania and/or be transferred from Catania city centre to Palazzolo Acreide, please let us know at the time of booking.


Getting from Syracuse


Syracuse does not have an airport. There is a regular train service from Syracuse Central to Catania Central with a journey time of just over an hour. If you would prefer a private transfer from Syracuse to Catania, this can be easily arranged and can be added to your booking at any time.


For train times and information, please check Tren Italia


Included

  • 1 night 4* hotel, 4 night 3* hotels, 1 night Agriturismo
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • Transfer from Catania to Palazzolo Acreide on day 1
  • Detailed route notes with maps
  • Baggage Transfer
  • 24/7 local partner and UK telephone support

Excluded

  • Bike Hire
  • Travel to Catania / from Syracuse
  • All lunches & dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Entrance fees
  • Personal equipment and expenditure
  • Travel insurance

Extras

  • Bike Hire
  • EBike Hire
  • Extra Nights
  • Departure Transfers
  • Single Room Supplement

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded moderate with daily distances of 35 km— 60km. You will encounter some stretches of shallow hills, but these usually don't last for too long. It's a good idea to get out on your bike for a couple of consecutive days in the lead up to your holiday so you get used to riding back to back days. However, it’s not all cycling. Each day there are plenty opportunities to stop and sample local foods and explore the rich history of this region.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this region is extremely popular especially May to June and September.

Can I take my own bike?

Of course! We understand the relationship between rider and bike and know many cyclists would never consider riding another steed. If you are unsure, we are happy to discuss bike hire options with you.

When is the best time of year?

March and April offer fresh days, cooler evenings and are generally much quieter in the cities. Into May and September the days are warm, with the Po Plains in full bloom (May only) and piazzas buzz with life. During June, July and August you may encounter one of the regions many music festivals  in the bustling piazzas. During these months days are gloriously long and hot so you may decide to cycle earlier in the day and take an extra long lunch to savour the local foods and avoid the midday heat!

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