Bicycling and Walking Vacations Call a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868

Sicily: Biking the Southern Coastal Villages

Ebikes Available on this TourPedal back in time on the Mediterranean island of Sicily courted by Greeks, refined by Romans and influenced by Moors to develop its own distinct, Italian flavor. Join us and discover Sicily at a slower pace, from the footstep of Mt Etna to the shores of the Ionian Sea.

  • 10 Days
  • Activity Level: Easy / Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 35 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 5 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking Activity
  • Ideal for energetic beginners to more experienced riders.
  • Airfare Packages Available

Download Our Free Italy Travel Guide

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available

Limited quantities —
first come, first serve.

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Sicily: Biking the Southern Coastal Villages

Unspoiled, endlessly fascinating, and bathed in Mediterranean sun, southern Sicily is pure pleasure to explore on two wheels. Long a crossroads of culture and trade, countless civilizations left their mark here, from ancient Greece to the Roman Empire. During this eye-opening reel, you’ll traverse tranquil farms and coastal splendor past lush canvases of carob and olive trees and fragrant pine. Explore elegant Baroque cities and charming fishing villages, sharing the fruits of the culture with generous hosts at a chocolate factory, a winery, rustic farms, and the kitchens of your gracious hotels.

Cultural Highlights

  • Enjoy a walking tour of Scicli, your home for two nights, then cycle around the lovely Noto Valley
  • Visit a family-owned chocolate factory and taste their delicious creations
  • Working with your hotel chef, learn how to prepare eggplant parmiginana and cannoli
  • Pedal along quiet rustic roads toward the sea, pausing to admire church mosaics
  • Discover the ancient fishing village of Marzamemi, perhaps relaxing at a café
  • Join your hotel hosts for a fascinating tour of their country estate
  • Explore the beautiful Baroque town of Noto, where the architecture—and food—are rewarding
  • Cycle from the Testa dell’Acqua area on a panoramic route to a local farm
  • Gather with your fellow travelers and your farmer host for a lunch of local specialties
  • Pedal to an ancient masseria, where you will stay for two nights amid citrus groves
  • Bike along flat country roads to a beach at Ognina, taking a dip, if you like.
  • Enjoy a fresh garden lunch and a wine tasting at the Gulino family estate

What To Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain and moderate hills and is ideal for beginning and experienced cyclists. Our VBT support van is always available for those who need assistance with the hills.

Average Daily Mileage: 15 – 35 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 – 5 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Syracuse
Mar 65º/42º  Apr  70º/46º  May  78º/52º  Jun  86º/59º  Sep 87º/62º  Oct 78º/56º  Nov 69º/48º

Average Precipitation (in.) – Syracuse
Mar 1.5  Apr 1.5   May 1  Jun .5  Sep  1.5  Oct 4  Nov 2

What’s Included:

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available on this tour.

Limited quantities — first come, first serve. Learn more.

Bicycle Vacation Only – without Air

  • 6 nights in 4-star hotels
  • 13 meals – 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners

Bicycle Vacation Plus International Airfare

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 6 nights in 4-star hotels

PLUS: 1 extra night in Taormina and 1 extra night in Syracuse in 4-star hotels

  • 15 meals—8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Transfers
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions:
    Pre-trip: Taormina – 2 nights from only $495-$545*
    Post-trip: Syracuse – 2 nights from only $295*

Both Vacations Include

Reading List

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Tour Ends: Tuesday, November 6

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From $3,895
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Tour Ends: Tuesday, November 13

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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $345 | Land Only Single Supplement: $245

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.
2007399E-LOGO AFKLM QStar Alliance

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Catania

Depart from home and travel to Italy. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

DAY 2: Arrive in Catania / Transfer to your hotel

Arrive at the Catania airport, where a VBT representative will meet you outside of customs. The VBT Representative will have a VBT sign. From the airport, you transfer to your centrally located hotel in Taormina (approximately 50 minutes).

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please let our airport staff know by calling or sending a text message to +39 347 9246190. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer. However, they might be able to reschedule your transfer if they are aware of the delay. You may also contact our One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service.

If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. You may store your luggage at the reception desk.

Your VBT City Information will help you explore the city. For dinner, pick a restaurant in the delightful maze of alleyways of Taormina, and enjoy your first night in Sicily!

Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you fly in earlier than the scheduled program dates, transportation from the airport will be at your own expense.

Hotel: Hotel Villa Belvedere

DAY 3: Bicycle Vacation begins / Ragusa Ibla / Welcome reception

VBT Bicycle Vacation only guests: Meet your VBT representative and the rest of the group at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby of our Taormina hotel. If your arrival at the hotel is scheduled later than 8:30 a.m. or if you are delayed, you must travel at your own expense to your Scicli hotel  (approximately 2.5 hours by private taxi, with rates to be negotiated onsite), and you will miss part of the program. In the unfortunate event that you miss our transfer, please contact the Scicli hotel to advise of any travel delays or changes, and the staff will pass your message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Trip Extension guests: Meet your VBT representative and the rest of the group in the lobby of our Taormina hotel at 8:30 a.m. The VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will be easy to recognize.

From Taormina, you’ll transfer to Scicli by private motor coach. You will stop on the way in Ragusa Ibla (the transfer lasts about 2 hours and 15 minutes). The city is listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites for its Baroque palaces and churches. There you will be greeted by our local guide and embark on a 40-minute walking tour in the most picturesque part of the city. You will have time to have lunch on your own before continuing the transfer to Scicli.

Early this afternoon, settle in at your luxurious hotel centrally located in Scicli, Borgo Hedone’, one of the 100 top hotels in the world, according to the Sunday Times. The hotel comprises a carefully restored 17th-century villa and smaller buildings, spread out in a picturesque little borgo, all connected by staircases and little patios built in local stone. Two swimming pools (one outside and a heated one inside) and wonderful terraces offer the best view of the Baroque town and the Duomo, which is literally a few steps from the main door. After a safety and bike-fitting session, follow your Trip Leaders on a warm-up ride outside the town in the beautiful Noto Valley. Later, gather with the group for a welcome cocktail reception on the elegant grounds of our hotel and dine at a local Sicilian restaurant.

Hotel: Borgo Hedone’
Meals: B (included for Air Package guests only), D
Daily Options: 10.5 miles (17 km)

DAY 4: Picnic / Cycle to Marina di Modica / Explore Scicli at night

After breakfast, cycle the rolling southern outskirts of the Province of Ragusa toward the sea. As you ride, you are be surrounded by quiet countryside, with miles of stonewalls tracing your progress. Here and there, you see cattle lazily grazing in the shade of large carob and olive trees, and greenhouses where fragrant vegetables are grown to stock both the local markets and those in the northern regions of Italy and Europe.

Before lunch, you reach Marina di Modica and pedal on a bike path along the sea. Marina is a summer resort town, and in the warm season its beaches are perfect for swimming. Your morning ride ends in the peaceful pine forest of Sampieri, the perfect place for a picnic prepared by your VBT Trip Leaders. Enjoy time to stroll around and reward yourself with a delicious gelato. From here, you can opt to cycle or shuttle to your hotel, relax at the hotel swimming pool, or discover Scicli. The city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the extraordinary beauty and importance of its late-Baroque architecture, which was constructed after a terrible earthquake devastated Sicily in 1693.

This evening, stroll Scicli and enjoy the views of the magnificent architecture at night. Find the perfect place for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Borgo Hedone’
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 24.5 miles (39.5 km)

DAY 5: Chocolate tasting in Modica / Cycle the Noto Valley / Cooking class

Today you shuttle to Modica to enjoy one of the most interesting visits of the week: the chocolate factory of the Bonajuto family. The oldest factory of its kind in town, Antica Dolceria Bonajuto has been processing cocoa since 1880, using Aztec techniques imported by the Spanish more than 400 years ago. A mouth-watering tasting is a must after the tour. From Baroque Modica, you start riding north in the peaceful countryside of the Noto Valley, with a stop on the way for lunch on your own. Perhaps you’ll taste the delicious  Caciocavallo and Ragusano made by a small local cheese maker.

Your afternoon ride from Balata di Modica follows a mostly downhill route to your hotel, along scenic quiet country roads flanked by elegant olive and carob trees. Relax at this elegant hotel, which features a large outdoor swimming pool and its own spa. Later, move to the kitchen, where you help prepare a Sicilian recipe under the guidance of the hotel chef: delicious eggplant parmigiana and eggplant rolls. You are also invited to try your hand at cannoli. The chef will demonstrate how to stuff a cannoli with ricotta and sugar filling, and you can then add your own customized touch, such as chocolate chips, pistachios, and more. Enjoy the results at dinner, accompanied by delicious red wine.

Hotel: Hotel Kallikoros
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 16.3 or 33 miles (26 or 53.5 km)

DAY 6: Admire the Mosaics of Villa del Tellaro / Explore the ancient fishing village and tuna fishery of Marzamemi/Explore Noto

After a hearty breakfast, pedal along quiet, mostly easy country roads, heading to the sea. On the way, be sure to pause to visit the mosaics of an ancient Roman villa, dating to the 4th century BC.  The mosaics rival the beauty of the more famous and larger mosaics at the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina.

Your destination is the recently restored, ancient fishing village of Marzamemi, nestled on a small promontory south of Syracuse. Marzamemi was developed in the 17th century around a tuna fishery, which is now the second largest in Sicily and a national monument. The descendants of the owners, the Princes of Villadorata, still come to their palace every so often, a beautiful summer residence dating to the 1600s. Marzamemi is a good place to find a relaxing café or local fish restaurant for lunch on your own.

Retrace your way to your hotel in the afternoon. Later, relax or opt to follow your hotel hosts on a short and interesting walk around their large estate to learn about the crops used in traditional Sicilian cuisine. Then shuttle to Noto for a stroll in this famous Baroque city to admire the local architecture. Dinner is on your own.

Hotel: Hotel Kallikoros
Meals: B
Daily Options: 18.5 or 35.5 miles (30.8 or 59 km)

DAY 7: Bike along a canyon/Taste a delicious Sicilian meal/Pilates classes

A short shuttle takes you to your starting point near Testa dell’Acqua today. From here, you pedal a panoramic route to your lunch destination at a local farm, where Salvo and his brothers take care of their donkeys. Salvo’s brother is a chef and prepares delicious local specialties, including empanada for lunch.

After lunch, mostly flat or downhill scenic roads lead you to your final destination: the elegant Hotel Borgo Pantano, an ancient masseria set amid a sea of orange and lemon groves. The hotel has been awarded a Certifcate of Excellence by the very popular Tripadvisor website for having earned consistently great reviews from travelers. Reopened in 2010 after a long restoration, the hotel features an amazing swimming pool set in a manicured garden of fragrant flowers and olive trees. Join the private Pilates classes organized tonight for VBT travelers, and stretch your legs after a long day. Enjoy dinner at the hotel restaurant tonight.

Hotel: Hotel Borgo Pantano
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 15 or 34.5 miles (24 or 55.5 km)

DAY 8: Discover Ognina beach / Wine tasting / Picnic lunch / Historic lecture

This morning’s ride heads again toward the sea and beaches, so make sure to bring your towel. Coast to the sea on quiet, flat country roads, arriving at one of the most popular beaches south of Syracuse, Ognina, where many Syracuse residents have a second home. Loop back on a scenic coastal route to the Gulf of Syracuse, where you arrive at today’s lunch spot, a winery founded in 1793. The Gulino family founded the estate in 1995 and will introduce you to the local wines at a tasting and serve lunch made largely from ingredients obtained straight from their garden.

After this wonderful morning ride and picnic lunch at the winery, ride a scenic loop back and relax in the hotel garden or indulge in the hotel’s other amenities. Tonight, attend a fascinating lecture about Syracuse and the Greeks, followed by an orientation talk about Syracuse for anyone spending additional time in this historic city. Share reminiscences of the week’s events during a farewell dinner at your hotel tonight.

Hotel: Hotel Borgo Pantano
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 25.8 or 41 miles (41.3 or 65.8 km)

DAY 9: Transfer to Syracuse / Free time / VBT Bicycle Vacation ends

VBT Bicycle Vacation only guests: After breakfast, transfer to your Syracuse hotel, where you are then free to continue on your own. If you depart earlier, you must make transfer arrangements from the last hotel at your own expense. Taxi cost to Syracuse is about 20 euros/$30 USD (travel time is about 20 minutes).

VBT Air Package and Post-Trip Extension guests: After breakfast, transfer by private minibus (about 30 minutes) to your centrally located hotel in Syracuse for your final overnight stay. You arrive at about 9:00 a.m. and have the entire day to explore and visit this wonderful town. Your room may not be available until 3:00 pm but you may store your luggage at the reception desk.

If you have chosen the independent Post-Trip Extension to Syracuse, you remain at this hotel for the next three nights. Syracuse is a good base for daily trips to Piazza Armerina and Agrigento. Your lecturer can facilitate your visits there.

Hotel: Grand Hotel Livingston Relais Spa
Meals: B

DAY 10: Depart for home

After breakfast* this morning, you transfer to the Catania airport (about 50 or 60 minutes, depending on traffic) for your departing flight**. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**Please note: VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your Transfer Reminder. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

Sicily: Biking the Southern Coastal Villages Map

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Accommodations

Hotel Villa Belvedere

Originally a private villa built in 1902, this charming hotel is conveniently located just 5 minutes from the city center and the Greek Theatre. An ample garden of high palm trees, lemon and orange trees, rambling bougainvillea, and jasmine, hibiscus shrubs, and other colorful flowers envelop the building and the swimming pool.
Free WiFi Included

Grand Hotel Livingston Relais Spa

The Grand Hotel Livingston Relais Spa is ideally located in Ortigia, Syracuse, right on the Ionian Sea. Offering the only access to the sea from the city center of Syracuse (via Forte Vigliena), the hotel provides the opportunity to swim in these clear blue waters during the summer. This small, refined hotel is also within walking distance of the city’s Central Square and main monuments. Have breakfast in the rooftop restaurant, enjoying views of the sea as you sip your coffee. A small but well-equipped in-house spa is also available for guests. Your private bathroom features a Jacuzzi shower or bathtub.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Borgo Pantano

Located about four miles from central Syracuse, this tranquil, 4-star boutique hotel is set between the sea and the Ciane River, surrounded by the Saline Nature Reserve. Restored in 2010 from an old country estate, the hotel décor blends ancient and modern styles with many artistic touches. One of its loveliest features is the large pool, which is set along fragrant lemon and orange groves, and is lit at night by candles and lanterns. You’ll also enjoy the hotel’s sauna, whirlpool, and massage, as well as outstanding Sicilian fare at the fine bar and restaurant.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Kallikoros

Wonderfully located on a hill blanketed with carob and olive trees, vineyards, and orange groves, the Kallikoros offers sweeping views from its panoramic sun terrace. A large swimming pool fed by an ancient water reservoir, a luxurious spa, an elegant restaurant featuring local specialties, and comfortable rooms with large showers make for a most enjoyable stay. Local stone was used for the 2006 renovation and reconstruction of the property, and walking paths line the estate. While here, join your hosts and their chef on an excursion to pick wild fennel, borage, oranges, and lemons to use for your cooking class.
Free WiFi Included

Borgo Hedone’

A luxurious hotel centrally located in Scicli, Borgo Hedone’ is one of the 100 top hotels in the world, according to the Sunday Times. The hotel comprises a carefully restored 17th-century villa and smaller buildings, spread out in a picturesque little borgo, all connected by staircases and little patios built in local stone. Two swimming pools (one outside and a heated one inside) and wonderful terraces offer the best view of the Baroque town and the Duomo, which is literally steps from the main door.
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Taormina is Sicily BIke Pre Tour

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