Cycle Sicily's South
- 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 specialty of arancini, stuffed rice balls
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Catania and transfer to Palazzolo Acreide
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.
This historic building has been converted into a characterful hotel with a restaurant, bar and swimming pool. Charming, individually decorated bedrooms and suites, some of which are on 2 levels, have free Wi-Fi, antique wood furnishings, terracotta or tile floors, and modest en suite bathrooms. Most have air-conditioning as well as balconies with panoramic views. The hotel is in the countryside a short distance from Palazzolo Acreide.
Begin cycling through a rolling patchwork landscape of crops and fruit groves before the last few km’s of your ride 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.
The cycling route today includes a stop in the centre of Palazzolo Acreide. If you already explored here yesterday and don''t wish to revit it then there is a slightly shorter route available in the Macs app. Cycle is: 54 kms/ 34 mi, Ascent/Descent: 528m/828m.
This stylish and contemporary hotel overlooks the hills of Monserrato.
A boutique hotel located in the historical centre of Modica,
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.
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.
This welcoming hotel is located near Pietrenere Beach in Pozzallo which is an excellent setting. All rooms include air conditioning, a private bathroom, a flat-screen TV, a safety deposit box and a balcony with city view.
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, with its charming picture postcard piazza. This evening, you stay in an agriturismo just outside of the village and is a perfect afternoon for relaxation by the pool.
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.
Your Agriturismo this evening is a restored farmhouse, belonging to the Spicuglia family, which dates from 1899. The accommodation has a spacious lounge and a restaurant, which serves the famous Sicilian cuisine. You can enjoy the large garden and outdoor swimming pool during your stay.
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.
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.
Art, culture and the sea – the Grand Hotel Sofia is located along a striking path, that will guide you through the art of Modica, Ragusa, Syracuse and Palazzolo Acreide, as well as the pristine nature of Vendicari, Portopalo, Marzamemi, Pantalica and Cava Grande del Cassibile.
Only a few minutes walk from the historical sights of Noto, Netum Hotel 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.
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, arancini stuffed rice balls and a sweet cannoli for dessert.
Cycle: 55kms Ascent/Descent: 431m/511m
Shorter cycle route: 39kms Ascent/Descent: 9m/105m
Offering traditionally furnished accommodation, the Great Britain Boutique Hotel Ortigia is located in Ortigia in the historic center of Syracuse and 100 meters from the Grand Harbor, featuring a tree-lined promenade.
Set 35 m from the sea on a promenade, this hotel in a pair of 19th-century buildings is a 4-minute walk from the Temple of Apollo and 13 minutes from the famous fountain, Arethuse.
The airy rooms feature unique furnishings, mostly of wood, and have free Wi-Fi, flat-screens and minibars. Upgraded rooms add balconies and sea views. Room service is available.
Recently renovated and refurbished luxury 4 star hotel near Ortygia in the centre of Syracuse. Located only 300 meters from the small island of Ortygia/Ortigia the hotel is great for allowing you to explore the fascinating historical city.
Depending on your onward travel arrangements you may have more time to explore Syracuse, including the theatrical fish market. If time allows then we would recommend adding an extra night in Syracuse to explore the city, including the charming Ortigia Island and Parco Archeologico della Neapolis historical site. Alternatively, you might like to extend your bike hire by a day and take a ride into the nearby Valle dell'Anapo, a nature reserve that includes Pantalica, the largest necropolis in Europe, and a UNESCO-listed site. GPX tracks are available in the Macs App for this additional optional ride.
Other InformationIs it for me?
The tour is graded easy to moderate. Daily rides are between 35-60km, through the rolling countryside and coastal roads of south-east Sicily. Each day explore Baroque towns and charming fishing villages, fuelling rides on fresh pasta and seafood dishes. Spend the nights in historic, comfortable, centrally located hotels, where you can dine in the buzz of lively piazzas or unwind at the beach with a local glass of Moscato wine.
Slower Adventures | Where walking and cycling meet easy-going exploring, our Slower Adventures are the perfect combination. Most days are filled with picturesque journeys with some free time to dive into the destination and experience the people, local food and culture as you go.
Leisure Cycling | Leisure Cycling
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 5 Years
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.
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.
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.
This cycling route follows a combination of quiet country roads, stretches of rolling terrain and busier routes when approaching and departing towns and cities. Please always be mindful of other road users at all times, especially when cycling on routes shared with traffic. The tried and tested detailed routes notes and maps, along with GPX tracks, make the route easy to follow on our Macs Adventure Smartphone Navigation App.
Should you require assistance, local 24/7 telephone support will also be available throughout your trip.
- 1 night 4* hotel, 4 night 3* hotels, 1 night Agriturismo
- 6 Breakfasts
- Transfer from Catania to Palazzolo Acreide on day 1
- Baggage transfer
- Detailed information pack, route notes and access to our navigation App
- 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
- Travel to Catania / from Syracuse
- Bike hire (optional upgrade to e-bike hire)
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
- Personal equipment
- Travel insurance (required)
- Additional nights along the route
- Bike hire
- E-bike hire
- Departure transfers
This trip is available to start on any day from March to November. We recommend contacting us as soon as possible if you are considering a departure during the peak season of May-June and September. Always make sure to carry plenty of water to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen and a sunhat on hot days. The springs months of April, May and June offer warm sunshine, fewer crowds, and pleasant cycling conditions. May is when most wildflowers are coming into bloom. The autumn months of September, October and November are also a favourable time of year, boasting cooler weather and a striking landscape made up of autumnal colours. It's worth noting that the later in the year you choose to travel the higher the likelihood of rain. Also come late October through November some local shops, and restaurants may have reduced opening times or have closed for the winter. July and August are good months to go but can be very hot for cycling and therefore aren’t best suited for everyone. You will have to start early to miss the heat of the day and carry a lot of water (additional weight) with you. Although the towns and villages are buzzing at this time of year which is great to see.
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 night's 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.
For general travel planning, we recommend the helpful site www.rome2rio.com
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
Baggage transfers are included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 20 kg). If you require excess baggage allowance do contact us prior to travel.
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.
21 speed touring bikes are available for hire. Rental bikes come equipped with a basic repair kit, pump and a 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.
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.