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Italy: Sicily, the Noto Valley & Syracuse

A banquet of sensory delights awaits you in Sicily. Your trip includes the sounds of pounding surf, dramatic vistas as far as the eye can see, delightful jasmine-scented breezes, and the delicious bounty of land and sea. you’ll sample it all on an artfully crafted itinerary that features exhilarating riding through olive groves, past Roman mosaics, and into ancient villages that capture the spirit of the past. Work up an appetite for cheese and honey, and savor the harvest of hotel gardens—even learning secrets of Sicilian cuisine from a local chef. Road cycling in Sicily has never been this good!

Tour Highlights

  • Explore baroque Scicli with a local guide, and venture outside the city to the lovely Noto Valley.
  • Tour an organic winery and olive maker in the canyons of the Iblean upland
  • Join your hotel chef for a hands-on demonstration of Sicilian cooking.
  • Discover the fishing village of Marzamemi, recently restored to its 17th-century glory.
  • Complement your cycling with basking in the sun or swimming at the beach.

What to Expect

This tour is rated Easy/Moderate. The rides are on paved country roads, mostly rolling, with little car traffic. On two days, a short shuttle takes guests up a hill, allowing them to ride along a crest and then downhill. The roads are good but in some rural areas, the terrain is uneven with a few potholes.

  • Daily Mileage: 9 - 35 miles|
  • Biking: 1 - 5 hours|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Mar65º/42º

Apr70º/46º

May78º/52º

Jun86º/59º

Sep87º/62º

Oct78º/56º

Nov69º/48º

Average
Precipitation:

Mar1.6 in

Apr1.5 in

May0.9 in

Jun0.4 in

Sep1.4 in

Oct3.9 in

Nov2.2 in

Air Package

Tour Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Airport car service for arrival and departure Check
One night in Taormina and one night in Syracuse in conveniently located hotels with daily breakfast Check
6 nights in 4-star hotels and country estates Check Check
13 meals: 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners Check Check

Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Road Bicycle (Aluminum alloy frame)

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Support Vehicle

Luggage Transportation

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Tue, Apr 4 to Thu, Apr 13 - 2023

Show Itinerary:

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip. 

A VBT representative will greet you at the Catania airport to start your adventure off right. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Taormina. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

After an included breakfast, meet your VBT representative and the rest of the group in the lobby of our Taormina hotel at 8:00 a.m. The VBT representative will be easily recognizable and holding a sign.

From Taormina, you’ll travel to Scicli by private motor coach (transportation time is approximately three hours with a short stop on the way). The city is listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage sites for its baroque palaces and churches. You will be greeted by our local guide and embark on a 40-minute walking tour. You will have time for lunch with plenty of options in this wonderful little city.

Early this afternoon, settle into your luxurious hotel Borgo Hedone. The hotel is a carefully restored 17th-century villa with outbuildings, configured in a picturesque borgo, all connected by stone staircases and little patios. Terraces and two swimming pools (outdoor and indoor heated) offer the best view of the town and the Duomo. After a safety talk and bike-fitting, 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 on the elegant grounds of our hotel followed by a true Sicilian dinner at a local restaurant.

Today’s Ride Choices

Afternoon: Warm-up — 14 km (9 miles)

What to Expect:

The warm-up ride explores Altopiano Ibleo, a peaceful, rural region outside Scicli. After an initial short stretch in the city, you will soon be cycling out of town, passing farms and groves of olive and carob trees set along old stone walls. In the distance, you will see the coastline and the sea. On the way back, you will have a wonderful panoramic view of this baroque town.

Cumulative Distance Range: 14 km (9 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, cycle the rolling countryside in the Province of Ragusa toward the sea, surrounded by miles of stone walls, cattle grazing in the shade of stately carob and olive trees, and vegetable greenhouses that supply markets both local and all over Europe.

You will reach Sampieri via a bike path along the sea. Sampieri is a summer resort town and its beaches are ideal for swimming. Your morning ride ends at a peaceful pine forest for a picnic prepared by your VBT trip leaders. Take some time to stroll around or swim at the beach. Reward yourself with a delicious gelato. From here, you can continue riding or shuttle to your hotel where you can relax at the swimming pool or explore the sites of Scicli. The city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for the extraordinary beauty and the importance of its late-baroque architecture, built after a devastating earthquake in 1693.

This evening, stroll Scicli and enjoy the magnificent architecture lit up at night, the perfect backdrop for dinner on your own. Al Galu’ is one of the restaurants most recommended by our trip leaders. There guests can enjoy dinner—a feast for both palate and eyes—under the high vaults of an ancient masseria.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Scicli to Sampieri — 23 km (14 miles)

Afternoon: Sampieri to Scicli — 17 km (10 miles)

What to Expect:

The morning ride heads through the quiet countryside and a patchwork landscape accentuated by lovely stone walls. The roads are paved with little car traffic and you will pedal gradually downhill. Along the way, you will see large greenhouses, one of the city’s main sources of income, as Sicily provides 10% of Europe’s fruits and vegetables. The ride follows a scenic, flat bike path through a park by the sea with a sandy beach for swimming. Trip leaders will prepare a picnic lunch in the shade of the pine trees. In the afternoon, it’s easy coastal riding through the seaside village of Sampieri, followed by a long, yet manageable, uphill ride back to your hotel in Scicli, leaving the afternoon free for you to discover this baroque city. You can opt for the support vehicle to skip the hill.

Cumulative Distance Range: 17 – 40 km (10 – 24 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today head out on a moderate ride, progressively gaining almost 1,000 feet of elevation, as you head into baroque Modica. From there, you will pedal east in the peaceful countryside of the Noto Valley, with a stop on the way for lunch at an organic winery. You are welcomed by the winery owners, Giovanni, a Piedmontese businessman in love with Sicily, and his wife Isabella, a Venetian with familial ties to Siracusa. Hear how they fell in love with the rural Ibleo landscape and decided to buy the ancient farm and restore it to make it their residence. The estate extends for about 130 hectares at an altitude of 180-250 meters above sea level, stretching in the territories of Siracusa and Ragusa. Inside the estate, in the canyon of Cava Paradiso, the Prainito River stream feeds many ancient olive and carob trees, and also almond and citrus fruits trees, which characterize the agricultural production of this part of Sicily. Taste the wines and organic olive oil on fresh made bread. Complement your lunch with olives, local cheese, dried tomatoes, frittata, and garden to table vegetables.

Your afternoon ride follows a mostly downhill route toward the sea and your hotel. Relax at Villa Favorita, built in 1753 following the Renaissance design on what once was the feud of the marquis of Avola. Enjoy the swimming pool and terrace with views of the blue sea on one side, and the orange roofs of Baroque Noto at sunset, on the other.

Tonight meet the owner Corrada, a descendant of the marquis of Castelluccio and tour the beautiful common rooms and orange garden with giant cactus, before enjoying dinner at the villa restaurant.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Scicli to Giasira farm — 34 km (21 miles)

Afternoon: Giasira farm to Villa Favorita — 24 km (14 miles)

What to Expect:

Some guests will shuttle from the hotel to Modica but others may opt for an moderate bike ride starting at the bottom of a canyon and heading up to Modica, progressively gaining almost 1,000 feet of elevation. The standard morning ride starts from Modica and is one of the most scenic routes offered on this tour. It unfolds in the rolling countryside of Modica and Val di Noto, past rural areas and through little hamlets to Giasira winery, the lunch stop. The afternoon ride from the lunch stop to Villa Favorita is a mostly downhill route.

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 — 58 km (14 — 35 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, pedal along quiet, mostly easy country roads, toward the sea. On the way, you’ll want to stop to admire the fourth-century Roman villa mosaics.

Your destination is the recently restored, ancient fishing village of Marzamemi, nestled on a small promontory south of Syracuse. In good weather, you can take a break at the San Lorenzo beach for a refreshing swim. Marzamemi was developed in the 17th century around a tuna fishery, which is now the second-largest in Sicily and a national monument. The family known as the Princes of Villadorata still visit their 17th-century palace, a beautiful summer residence. Marzamemi is a good place to find a relaxing café or local fish restaurant for lunch on your own.

Retrace your steps back to the hotel in the afternoon. Spend the rest of the day relaxing before shuttling to Noto for a stroll to admire the local architecture in this famous baroque city. We take you to visit the most beautiful baroque palace of Noto, an authentically restored and still inhabited 18th-century Sicilian palace and its collection of furniture, art objects, and paintings.

Dinner is on your own.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Villa Favorita to Marzamemi — 30 km (19 miles)

Afternoon: Marzamemi to Villa Favorita — 27.5 km (16 miles)

What to Expect:

Today’s loop is on remote country roads, away from traffic, to Marzamemi and the coast. Marzamemi is completely free from car traffic and pleasant to stroll on foot. The afternoon route has a few hills and runs on paved country roads. The VBT support vehicle is available for guests wishing to shuttle back to the hotel for free time at the pool and gardens.

Cumulative Distance Range: 27 — 57 km (16 — 35 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast

A short shuttle takes you to your starting point near Testa dell’Acqua. From here, you will pedal a panoramic route ending for lunch at a local farm, where Salvo and his brothers tend their donkeys. One of the brothers is a chef, and he’ll prepare delicious local specialties, including empanadas, for lunch.

In the afternoon, another scenic route leads to your final destination: an ancient fortified masseria, or farm estate, surrounded by acres of carob and olive trees. This fine country inn, Borgo del Carato, is your home for the next two nights. You will be seduced by the quietude, the sweeping views, the elegant spa, and the panoramic pool set in a manicured garden of fragrant flowers. Horseback riding is also available. Tonight, you will meet the owner and discover why the carat, or carob seed, is the unit of weight for diamonds and the name of the Borgo. Tonight’s dinner will be prepared with fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Testa dell’Acqua to Agri Milo — 31 km (19 miles)

Afternoon: Agri Milo to Borgo del Carato — 23 km (14 miles)

What to Expect:

Take a 25-minute bus shuttle to the starting point near Testa dell’Acqua. From there, the ride will follow paved country roads with little car traffic on the way to your lunch stop, the Agri Milo farm. Afterwards, the ride retraces part of that route before following the crest of a scenic plateau on a road with almost no car traffic. Some stretches of the ride have broken pavement, but all the roads are paved, with the exception of the farm driveway.

Cumulative Distance Range: 23 — 54 km (14 — 33 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Your ride crosses a scenic region that was inhabited in prehistoric times, and where archeologists have found cave tombs carved in the steep limestone cliffs. As you bike the quiet roads and a long canyon, you will admire the countryside dotted with farms and typical masserias with the sea—as far as Syracuse—in the distance. Today’s highlight is walking the Sant’Alfano bridge, and just before Canicattini Bagni, take the opportunity to become familiar with its mysterious statues.

A local specialty of this area is honey. You will stop to meet Rosa and visit her organic farm, where she will introduce you to her bees and a myriad of honey products. Intrigued by her husband’s vocation for beekeeping, Rosa decided to turn his hobby into a business. In 2001 she opened this entirely family-run business specializing in raw, high quality honey, and bee products. Rosa is also committed to promoting the preservation of a rare and endangered Sicilian thyme that she uses in her award-winning honey. Her passion is contagious.

After your visit with Rosa stop in the baroque town of Floridia. Park your bike by the imposing Chiesa Madre church and find a typical café or restaurant for lunch on your own. Try the specialties of the local eatery: stuffed calzoni, pizza and arancini di riso, pasta di mandorle, cannoli, and gelato!

Back at the hotel, learn about Sicilian cuisine by preparing dinner with a local chef. Share the fruits of your labor with fellow travelers at a farewell dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Borgo del Carato to Floridia — 36 km (22 miles)

Afternoon: Floridia to Carato — 12 km (7 miles)

What to Expect:

This morning, the ride starts with a long gradual climb that can be skipped by a short van shuttle. It travels along and up and down a quiet region cut by a long scenic canyon on a paved road. It crosses the village of Canicattini Bagni, then continues down the canyon on a long and gradual route into the small city of Floridia, which is your lunch stop. The afternoon ride follows a slightly rolling and very panoramic route, leading to the large estate of our hotel. It is a very quiet, fully paved route, with the sea at your back.

Cumulative Distance Range: 12 — 48 km (7 — 29 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After an included breakfast, complimentary transportation by private minibus (about 30 minutes) is provided to your centrally located hotel in Ortigia, Syracuse for your final overnight. You arrive at approximately 10:15 a.m. Follow a VBT local guide on a two-hour private walk of Ortigia, then spend the rest of the day exploring this wonderful town. You can consider a visit to the archeological park – a must-see for visitors. Or continue wandering the old city of Ortigia, its ancient medieval and Baroque delights are around every corner. Browse craft and souvenir shops, fashion designer stores and cafes with pastry and local specialties that whet your appetite. The entire city of Syracuse is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so spectacular is its beauty and importance. Your room may not be available until 3:00 p.m., but you may store your luggage at the reception desk.

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

Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Catania airport will be provided (an approximately 50 to 60 minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Italy: Sicily, the Noto Valley & Syracuse 10

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Thu, Apr 6 to Wed, Apr 12 - 2023

Show Itinerary:

Meet your VBT representative and the rest of the group at 8:00 a.m. in the lobby of our Taormina hotel.

From Taormina, you’ll travel to Scicli by private motor coach (transportation time is approximately three hours with a short stop on the way). The city is listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage sites for its baroque palaces and churches. You will be greeted by our local guide and embark on a 40-minute walking tour. You will have time for lunch with plenty of options in this wonderful little city.

Early this afternoon, settle into your luxurious hotel Borgo Hedone. The hotel is a carefully restored 17th-century villa with outbuildings, configured in a picturesque borgo, all connected by stone staircases and little patios. Terraces and two swimming pools (outdoor and indoor heated) offer the best view of the town and the Duomo. After a safety talk and bike-fitting, 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 on the elegant grounds of our hotel followed by a true Sicilian dinner at a local restaurant.

Today’s Ride Choices

Afternoon: Warm-up — 14 km (9 miles)

What to Expect:

The warm-up ride explores Altopiano Ibleo, a peaceful, rural region outside Scicli. After an initial short stretch in the city, you will soon be cycling out of town, passing farms and groves of olive and carob trees set along old stone walls. In the distance, you will see the coastline and the sea. On the way back, you will have a wonderful panoramic view of this baroque town.

Cumulative Distance Range: 14 km (9 miles)

Included Meals: Dinner

After breakfast, cycle the rolling countryside in the Province of Ragusa toward the sea, surrounded by miles of stone walls, cattle grazing in the shade of stately carob and olive trees, and vegetable greenhouses that supply markets both local and all over Europe.

You will reach Sampieri via a bike path along the sea. Sampieri is a summer resort town and its beaches are ideal for swimming. Your morning ride ends at a peaceful pine forest for a picnic prepared by your VBT trip leaders. Take some time to stroll around or swim at the beach. Reward yourself with a delicious gelato. From here, you can continue riding or shuttle to your hotel where you can relax at the swimming pool or explore the sites of Scicli. The city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for the extraordinary beauty and the importance of its late-baroque architecture, built after a devastating earthquake in 1693.

This evening, stroll Scicli and enjoy the magnificent architecture lit up at night, the perfect backdrop for dinner on your own. Al Galu’ is one of the restaurants most recommended by our trip leaders. There guests can enjoy dinner—a feast for both palate and eyes—under the high vaults of an ancient masseria.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Scicli to Sampieri — 23 km (14 miles)

Afternoon: Sampieri to Scicli — 17 km (10 miles)

What to Expect:

The morning ride heads through the quiet countryside and a patchwork landscape accentuated by lovely stone walls. The roads are paved with little car traffic and you will pedal gradually downhill. Along the way, you will see large greenhouses, one of the city’s main sources of income, as Sicily provides 10% of Europe’s fruits and vegetables. The ride follows a scenic, flat bike path through a park by the sea with a sandy beach for swimming. Trip leaders will prepare a picnic lunch in the shade of the pine trees. In the afternoon, it’s easy coastal riding through the seaside village of Sampieri, followed by a long, yet manageable, uphill ride back to your hotel in Scicli, leaving the afternoon free for you to discover this baroque city. You can opt for the support vehicle to skip the hill.

Cumulative Distance Range: 17 – 40 km (10 – 24 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today head out on a moderate ride, progressively gaining almost 1,000 feet of elevation, as you head into baroque Modica. From there, you will pedal east in the peaceful countryside of the Noto Valley, with a stop on the way for lunch at an organic winery. You are welcomed by the winery owners, Giovanni, a Piedmontese businessman in love with Sicily, and his wife Isabella, a Venetian with familial ties to Siracusa. Hear how they fell in love with the rural Ibleo landscape and decided to buy the ancient farm and restore it to make it their residence. The estate extends for about 130 hectares at an altitude of 180-250 meters above sea level, stretching in the territories of Siracusa and Ragusa. Inside the estate, in the canyon of Cava Paradiso, the Prainito River stream feeds many ancient olive and carob trees, and also almond and citrus fruits trees, which characterize the agricultural production of this part of Sicily. Taste the wines and organic olive oil on fresh made bread. Complement your lunch with olives, local cheese, dried tomatoes, frittata, and garden to table vegetables.

Your afternoon ride follows a mostly downhill route toward the sea and your hotel. Relax at Villa Favorita, built in 1753 following the Renaissance design on what once was the feud of the marquis of Avola. Enjoy the swimming pool and terrace with views of the blue sea on one side, and the orange roofs of Baroque Noto at sunset, on the other.

Tonight meet the owner Corrada, a descendant of the marquis of Castelluccio and tour the beautiful common rooms and orange garden with giant cactus, before enjoying dinner at the villa restaurant.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Scicli to Giasira farm — 34 km (21 miles)

Afternoon: Giasira farm to Villa Favorita — 24 km (14 miles)

What to Expect:

Some guests will shuttle from the hotel to Modica but others may opt for an moderate bike ride starting at the bottom of a canyon and heading up to Modica, progressively gaining almost 1,000 feet of elevation. The standard morning ride starts from Modica and is one of the most scenic routes offered on this tour. It unfolds in the rolling countryside of Modica and Val di Noto, past rural areas and through little hamlets to Giasira winery, the lunch stop. The afternoon ride from the lunch stop to Villa Favorita is a mostly downhill route.

Cumulative Distance Range: 24 — 58 km (14 — 35 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, pedal along quiet, mostly easy country roads, toward the sea. On the way, you’ll want to stop to admire the fourth-century Roman villa mosaics.

Your destination is the recently restored, ancient fishing village of Marzamemi, nestled on a small promontory south of Syracuse. In good weather, you can take a break at the San Lorenzo beach for a refreshing swim. Marzamemi was developed in the 17th century around a tuna fishery, which is now the second-largest in Sicily and a national monument. The family known as the Princes of Villadorata still visit their 17th-century palace, a beautiful summer residence. Marzamemi is a good place to find a relaxing café or local fish restaurant for lunch on your own.

Retrace your steps back to the hotel in the afternoon. Spend the rest of the day relaxing before shuttling to Noto for a stroll to admire the local architecture in this famous baroque city. We take you to visit the most beautiful baroque palace of Noto, an authentically restored and still inhabited 18th-century Sicilian palace and its collection of furniture, art objects, and paintings.

Dinner is on your own.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Villa Favorita to Marzamemi — 30 km (19 miles)

Afternoon: Marzamemi to Villa Favorita — 27.5 km (16 miles)

What to Expect:

Today’s loop is on remote country roads, away from traffic, to Marzamemi and the coast. Marzamemi is completely free from car traffic and pleasant to stroll on foot. The afternoon route has a few hills and runs on paved country roads. The VBT support vehicle is available for guests wishing to shuttle back to the hotel for free time at the pool and gardens.

Cumulative Distance Range: 27 — 57 km (16 — 35 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast

A short shuttle takes you to your starting point near Testa dell’Acqua. From here, you will pedal a panoramic route ending for lunch at a local farm, where Salvo and his brothers tend their donkeys. One of the brothers is a chef, and he’ll prepare delicious local specialties, including empanadas, for lunch.

In the afternoon, another scenic route leads to your final destination: an ancient fortified masseria, or farm estate, surrounded by acres of carob and olive trees. This fine country inn, Borgo del Carato, is your home for the next two nights. You will be seduced by the quietude, the sweeping views, the elegant spa, and the panoramic pool set in a manicured garden of fragrant flowers. Horseback riding is also available. Tonight, you will meet the owner and discover why the carat, or carob seed, is the unit of weight for diamonds and the name of the Borgo. Tonight’s dinner will be prepared with fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Testa dell’Acqua to Agri Milo — 31 km (19 miles)

Afternoon: Agri Milo to Borgo del Carato — 23 km (14 miles)

What to Expect:

Take a 25-minute bus shuttle to the starting point near Testa dell’Acqua. From there, the ride will follow paved country roads with little car traffic on the way to your lunch stop, the Agri Milo farm. Afterwards, the ride retraces part of that route before following the crest of a scenic plateau on a road with almost no car traffic. Some stretches of the ride have broken pavement, but all the roads are paved, with the exception of the farm driveway.

Cumulative Distance Range: 23 — 54 km (14 — 33 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Your ride crosses a scenic region that was inhabited in prehistoric times, and where archeologists have found cave tombs carved in the steep limestone cliffs. As you bike the quiet roads and a long canyon, you will admire the countryside dotted with farms and typical masserias with the sea—as far as Syracuse—in the distance. Today’s highlight is walking the Sant’Alfano bridge, and just before Canicattini Bagni, take the opportunity to become familiar with its mysterious statues.

A local specialty of this area is honey. You will stop to meet Rosa and visit her organic farm, where she will introduce you to her bees and a myriad of honey products. Intrigued by her husband’s vocation for beekeeping, Rosa decided to turn his hobby into a business. In 2001 she opened this entirely family-run business specializing in raw, high quality honey, and bee products. Rosa is also committed to promoting the preservation of a rare and endangered Sicilian thyme that she uses in her award-winning honey. Her passion is contagious.

After your visit with Rosa stop in the baroque town of Floridia. Park your bike by the imposing Chiesa Madre church and find a typical café or restaurant for lunch on your own. Try the specialties of the local eatery: stuffed calzoni, pizza and arancini di riso, pasta di mandorle, cannoli, and gelato!

Back at the hotel, learn about Sicilian cuisine by preparing dinner with a local chef. Share the fruits of your labor with fellow travelers at a farewell dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Borgo del Carato to Floridia — 36 km (22 miles)

Afternoon: Floridia to Carato — 12 km (7 miles)

What to Expect:

This morning, the ride starts with a long gradual climb that can be skipped by a short van shuttle. It travels along and up and down a quiet region cut by a long scenic canyon on a paved road. It crosses the village of Canicattini Bagni, then continues down the canyon on a long and gradual route into the small city of Floridia, which is your lunch stop. The afternoon ride follows a slightly rolling and very panoramic route, leading to the large estate of our hotel. It is a very quiet, fully paved route, with the sea at your back.

Cumulative Distance Range: 12 — 48 km (7 — 29 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After an included breakfast, complimentary transportation is provided to our Syracuse hotel located in Ortigia. You will arrive at approximately 10:15 a.m. Follow a VBT local guide on a private two-hour walk of Ortigia, if you like. The rest of the day you are free to explore on your own. If you depart earlier, you must make transportation arrangements from the last hotel at your own expense. Taxi cost to Syracuse is about 35€/$45 USD (travel time is about 30 minutes).

Included Meals: Breakfast

Italy: Sicily, the Noto Valley & Syracuse 10

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Accommodations (Please Note: Days are based on the Air Package Itinerary. Accommodations may vary depending on departure date. )

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2023 2022

2023 Pre-Trip Extension - Taormina

2 Nights From $495 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $295

  • 2 nights at Hotel Monte Tauro
  • Airport car service for arrival
  • Full day excursion with local guide on Mount Etna
  • Private tour of Taormina with local guide
  • Hospitality desk
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

A VBT representative will greet you at the Catania airport to start your adventure off right. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Taormina. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

At 9:30 a.m., our VBT representative will be in the hotel lobby to answer any questions and help you organize your time here. Then, enjoy a walking orientation tour through the historic center of Taormina. You’ll explore the main street which is full of historic landmarks, and browse the shops and cafés on Corso Umberto, the city’s pedestrian-only thoroughfare with its many baroque and gothic churches and palaces. Other attractions include the Piazza Duomo, beloved by such artists as Oscar Wilde, Alexander Dumas, and Richard Wagner and Piazza IX Aprile, a terrace-like square overlooking Mount Etna and the bay. This easy city walk takes about two hours.

If you’re hungry for more, visit the Greek Theatre and then walk up to the Castello Saraceno. Take the funicular down to Mazzaro beach for a swim in the Mediterranean or simply relax at our hotel’s magnificent swimming pool with its stunning views.

Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning, put on your hiking boots, dress in layers, and be ready for a truly unique hike on Mount Etna. Your small group will meet your guide, an expert in volcanology and art history, at the hotel at 8:30 a.m. and shuttle to the base of the volcano. Based on the weather, your guide will determine the best starting point for your walk, but you can expect to hike at approximately 6,000 ft. (1,829 m) on unpaved terrain covered with ash and rocks. You’ll explore lava fields, hike around craters, and walk inside a lava tunnel. There will be plenty of rest breaks and time for lunch on your own. Your hike will conclude with a visit to the basalt column formations of the famous Alcantara gorges and you’ll return to Taormina around 5:30 or 6:00 p.m.

You do not need to be an expert hiker for this excursion but it is important to have appropriate clothing and footwear. In the event of bad weather conditions (most likely in March and April, when snow may prevent hiking at that altitude), you will remain at a lower altitude and visit the Alcantara gorges or be reimbursed by VBT.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2023 2022

2022 Pre-Trip Extension - TAORMINA

2 Nights From $545 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $245

  • 2 nights at Hotel Monte Tauro
  • Airport car service for arrival
  • Full day excursion with local guide on Mount Etna
  • Private tour of Taormina with local guide
  • Hospitality desk
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

A VBT representative will greet you at the Catania airport to start your adventure off right. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Taormina. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

At 9:30 a.m., our VBT representative will be in the hotel lobby to answer any questions and help you organize your time here. Then, enjoy a walking orientation tour through the historic center of Taormina. You’ll explore the main street which is full of historic landmarks, and browse the shops and cafés on Corso Umberto, the city’s pedestrian-only thoroughfare with its many baroque and gothic churches and palaces. Other attractions include the Piazza Duomo, beloved by such artists as Oscar Wilde, Alexander Dumas, and Richard Wagner and Piazza IX Aprile, a terrace-like square overlooking Mount Etna and the bay. This easy city walk takes about two hours.

If you’re hungry for more, visit the Greek Theatre and then walk up to the Castello Saraceno. Take the funicular down to Mazzaro beach for a swim in the Mediterranean or simply relax at our hotel’s magnificent swimming pool with its stunning views.

Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning, put on your hiking boots, dress in layers, and be ready for a truly unique hike on Mount Etna. Your small group will meet your guide, an expert in volcanology and art history, at the hotel at 8:30 a.m. and shuttle to the base of the volcano. Based on the weather, your guide will determine the best starting point for your walk, but you can expect to hike at approximately 6,000 ft (1,829 m) on unpaved terrain covered with ash and rocks. You’ll explore lava fields, hike around craters, and walk inside a lava tunnel. There will be plenty of rest breaks and time for lunch on your own. Your hike will conclude with a visit to the basalt column formations of the famous Alcantara gorges and you’ll return to Taormina around 5:30 or 6:00 p.m.

You do not need to be an expert hiker for this excursion but it is important to have appropriate clothing and footwear. In the event of bad weather conditions (most likely in March and April, when snow may prevent hiking at that altitude), you will remain at a lower altitude and visit the Alcantara gorges or be reimbursed by VBT.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2023 2022

2023 Post-Trip Extension - Syracuse

2 Nights From $295 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $145

  • 2 nights at Grand Hotel Ortigia
  • Airport car service for departure
  • Hospitality desk
  • City walking tour
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Catania airport will be provided (an approximately 50 to 60 minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2023 2022

2022 Post-Trip Extension - Syracuse

2 Nights From $345 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $145

  • 2 nights at Grand Hotel Ortigia
  • Airport car service for departure
  • Hospitality desk
  • City walking tour
  • Daily breakfast
  • City information

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries. You might stroll the old Jewish quarter, known as the Giudecca, which was a thriving center of Jewish life for many centuries until 1492, when the Jews were expelled by the King of Spain. One ancient place of their devotion is the ritual bath, or Miqwe, now located beneath the Alla Giudecca Hotel. There are three immersion baths—still flowing with fresh water.

If mathematics and physics are of interest visit the amazing Museum of Archimedes and Leonardo da Vinci, the great combination of two brilliant minds, which displays stunning machines, inventions and sketches by the two geniuses.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries. The mainland portion of Syracuse features archaeological sites of enormous importance, including the Teatro Greco (Greek Theater), an extraordinary outdoor theater that originally had 67 rows seating about 16,000 people in a curved space 450 feet in diameter. Tragedies of Aeschylus that debuted here, with the great dramatist present, include Prometheus Bound and The Persians.

The theater is part of the larger Parco Archeologico della Neapolis. The limestone that built the city was quarried near the theater at the Latomia del Paradiso, a deep quarry with a steep cliff and lush, green groves of magnolia and citrus trees below. There’s a deep grotto in the hillside called Orecchio di Dionisio (the Ear of Dionysius) where the despotic leader imprisoned his enemies, as well as a 1st-century Anfitertro Romano (Roman Amphitheater) that was used for gladiator fights and circus games.

Today you could otherwise rent a car and discover the amazing mosaics and remains of the  Roman villa in Piazza Armerina,

Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Catania airport will be provided (an approximately 50 to 60 minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Reviews
152 out of 167 (91%)
4.7 out of 5 stars.
Read More Reviews

Being able to experience the beauty of Sicily on a bike was brilliant! I loved that I could go at my own pace and stop to soak up a view or take a picture whenever I wanted. At the same time I knew I was being looked after and that just down the road there would be lunch or a fun cultural experience waiting for me.

Jane A, Vermont

Sicily: Biking the Southern Coastal Villages

The VBT tour to Sicily, the Noto Valley and Syracuse was an exceptional experience for me. It was a wonderful way to see the countryside and interact with the locals at a much more casual level. Our trip guides Mauro and Lea were outstanding. They were very thorough in taking care of the bicycles and making sure our every needs were met. I love VBT adventures and will continue to book with them!

Larry A, Sacramento, Calif

Sicily: Biking the Southern Coastal Villages

Dates & Prices

Departing Airport :

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Air Package

10 days, includes round-trip international airfare , airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $495

Tue, Apr 4 - Thu, Apr 13, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,395

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, Apr 11 - Thu, Apr 20, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,595

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, Apr 18 - Thu, Apr 27, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,895

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, Apr 25 - Thu, May 4, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,895

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, May 9 - Thu, May 18, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, May 16 - Thu, May 25, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, May 30 - Thu, Jun 8, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, Jun 6 - Thu, Jun 15, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, Jun 13 - Thu, Jun 22, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, Sep 5 - Thu, Sep 14, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,345

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, Sep 12 - Thu, Sep 21, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,345

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, Sep 19 - Thu, Sep 28, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,345

Per person, double occupancy

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Currently Full

Tue, Sep 26 - Thu, Oct 5, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,345

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist

Tue, Oct 3 - Thu, Oct 12, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$5,345

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, Oct 10 - Thu, Oct 19, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,995

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, Oct 17 - Thu, Oct 26, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,595

Per person, double occupancy

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Tue, Oct 24 - Thu, Nov 2, 2023

Air included Air Included

From
$4,395

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Tue, Sep 27 - Thu, Oct 6, 2022

Air included Air Included

From
$4,945

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Tue, Oct 4 - Thu, Oct 13, 2022

Air included Air Included

From
$4,945

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Tue, Oct 18 - Thu, Oct 27, 2022

Air included Air Included

From
$4,295

Per person, double occupancy

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Select Year :

Tour Only

7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $295

Thu, Apr 6 - Wed, Apr 12, 2023

From
$3,595

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Apr 13 - Wed, Apr 19, 2023

From
$3,795

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Apr 20 - Wed, Apr 26, 2023

From
$4,095

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Apr 27 - Wed, May 3, 2023

From
$4,095

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, May 11 - Wed, May 17, 2023

From
$4,195

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, May 18 - Wed, May 24, 2023

From
$4,195

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Jun 1 - Wed, Jun 7, 2023

From
$4,195

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Jun 8 - Wed, Jun 14, 2023

From
$4,195

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Jun 15 - Wed, Jun 21, 2023

From
$4,195

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Sep 7 - Wed, Sep 13, 2023

From
$4,545

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Sep 14 - Wed, Sep 20, 2023

From
$4,545

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Sep 21 - Wed, Sep 27, 2023

From
$4,545

Per person, double occupancy

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Currently Full

Thu, Sep 28 - Wed, Oct 4, 2023

From
$4,545

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist

Thu, Oct 5 - Wed, Oct 11, 2023

From
$4,545

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Oct 12 - Wed, Oct 18, 2023

From
$4,195

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Oct 19 - Wed, Oct 25, 2023

From
$3,795

Per person, double occupancy

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Thu, Oct 26 - Wed, Nov 1, 2023

From
$3,595

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Thu, Sep 29 - Wed, Oct 5, 2022

From
$3,945

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Thu, Oct 6 - Wed, Oct 12, 2022

From
$3,945

Per person, double occupancy

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Limited Spaces Left

Thu, Oct 20 - Wed, Oct 26, 2022

From
$3,445

Per person, double occupancy

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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