Bike across Sicily Self-Guided main pictures
Bike across Sicily Self-Guided main pictures

Bike across Sicily Self-Guided

On our adventure across the whole Sicily we'll learn about the epic history of this colorful region. Starting from Palermo we'll cross the Arabic west, then we'll head south immersing ourselves in the Magna Graecia, ending with the triumph of Baroque in the East.

| Cycling | Active | 11days/10nights | Self-Guided | From € 2370 € 1970* |


Palermo and its markets

Palermo and its markets

Cathedral of Monreale

Cathedral of Monreale

Marsala wine

Marsala wine

Valley of the Temples in Agrigento

Valley of the Temples in Agrigento

Day to Day

B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner;
1Arrival in PalermoD
2Palermo to TrapaniCycling 110Km/1800mB
3Trapani to SelinunteCycling 100Km/600mB
4Selinunte to AgrigentoCycling 95Km/1200mB
5Agrigento to Piazza ArmerinaCycling 100Km/1800mB D
6Piazza Armerina to RagusaCycling 90Km/1500mB D
7Ragusa to Noto via ModicaCycling 100Km/1500mB
8From Noto to SiracusaCycling 65Km/750mB
9Siracusa to EtnaCycling 36Km/1200mB
10Zafferana to TaorminaCycling 80Km/1600mB D

Tour Map

Day 1: Arrival in Palermo

The Kaleidoscopic Capital of the Med

Earliest recorded human activity on the Island dates to 12,000 BC. Since then, Sicily has been ruled by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Turks, Arabs, Normans, Spanish, Austrians and finally Italians. Each civilization left its mark, as we can still see today in the architectural facades and in the people features, and we’ll see it in the streets of Palermo, considered the real capital of the whole Mediterranean. After the shuttle from airport, we’ll have time to check out our bikes and try them on a warm up ride, then we’ll have an aperitif with an extensive briefing about the upcoming adventure, followed by our first sumptuous Sicilian dinner.

Array Overnight: Palermo
Included: Dinner

Day 2: Palermo to Trapani

Magnificent Sea Views and Scents of Northern Africa

We leave the traffic of Palermo climbing until the majestic Cathedral of Monreale, probably the best example of Arabic and Norman architecture. A long downhill among limestone canyons we’ll take us by the coast, then gently up again until lunch, a feast of local food with the best views over Castellammare del Golfo village.
An optional extra effort will take us to the beautifully located Erice, a medieval village perched on the top of a hill dominating the whole gulf thanks to its fortified and very well preserved castle. Here we can visit the lovely Signora Maria Grammatico, owner of one of the best pastry shop of whole Sicily, having a deserved dessert and listening to the story of her business that has been written in the poplar "Mandorle Amare" novel. Our ride will take us across the Val d’Erice fields, ending with the northern African perfumes of Trapani.

Array Overnight: Trapani
Included: Breakfast

Day 3: Trapani to Selinunte

The Paradise of Marsala Vineyards

Our days starts with the peaceful ride among the ancient salt works shaping this coastline, with scenic windmills emerging from the lagoons. Soon we'll leave the salt immersing in the grapes of luscious vineyards, the landmark of Marsala with its famous wine and historical cellars. We’ll visit a local winery, and of course we’ll taste its most important product, the precious (and delightful) Marsala wine. At exotic fisherman village of Mazara del Vallo we’ll make time to visit its Kasbah district, a piece of Arabic world nestled in a Sicilian village, and possibly its small museum hosting the statue of the "Dancing Satire", a delightful art masterpiece coming directly from Magna Grecia. Our day ends at the coast in Selinunte, where we'll visit the majestic Selinunte Temples site.

Array Overnight: Selinunte
Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Selinunte to Agrigento

The stunning heritage of Magna Grecia

Again along the coast, leaving Sciacca and its scenic sea views, conquering the whole glory of this part of Magna Grecia in the Temples Valley of Agrigento. Today we'll have also a taste of a very rural Sicily, while riding on the hills covered by the wonderful orange groves of Ribera, producing the famous tasty oranges. Back on the coast we'll ride by one of the most known landmarks of Sicily, the popular “Scala dei Turchi” (Staircase of the Turks), a rock formation resembling an enormous staircase. Agrigento offers some very good accommodations, some at the town centre perched over the valley, and the most exclusives ones immersed in one of the most spectacular settings in the world, the magnificent "Valle dei Templi".

Array Overnight: Agrigento
Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Agrigento to Piazza Armerina

The most elegant Roman Villa at the heart of rural Sicily

That's the hardest stage of the tour, climbing through the dry hills of inner Sicily up to the old village of Piazza Armerina, hosting the amazing Villa Romana del Casale.
We'll experience a very rural Sicily, made out of solitary roads and sun-dried landscapes. Prepare yourself for long yet steady climbs, spaced out by sporadic silent villages, pale yellow clay round hills covered with resilient olive oil groves and emerald green vineyards. Mazzarino stands out with its Cannon shaped Castle dominating the valley, a neat Baroque center and some top class pastry shops, a perfect spot for lunch. The last part of the stage goes across the old sulfur mines well described by Verga, the writer that started the "Verismo" literary movement, vividly describing the hard life of its people. This austere landscape almost strikes with the absolute beauty of the enchanting mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale, one of the best-preserved buildings built by the Romans about 2000 years ago. Piazza Armerina is very scenic too, with its baroque buildings and its cupole emerging from the old houses.

Array Overnight: Piazza Armerina
Included: Breakfast Dinner

Day 6: Piazza Armerina to Ragusa

The elegant Baroque of Ragusa Ibla

As we leave the lush gardens and orchards of Piazza Armerina, we'll be again into the typical landscapes of the inner Sicily, made out of bare hills drawn by fields and dry stone walls. The town of Caltagirone is world known for its refined pottery craftsmanship, sublimated in the wonderful staircase of Santa Maria del Monte. Here you could visit one of its many workshop, creating colorful crafts according to the ancient tradition. Then we'll cross olive groves and vineyards as far as the eye can see, along a rolling route taking us at the footsteps of the Ibleo limestone plateau. We'll ascend through the characteristic white limestone walls, with breathtaking landscapes on the surrounding valley. The stage ends at one of the most magical places in Sicily: Ragusa Ibla, a marvelous city known throughout the world. This place will surprise you with the quality of its cuisine, awarded with three Michelin starred restaurants.

Array Overnight: Ragusa
Included: Breakfast Dinner

Day 7: Ragusa to Noto via Modica

Modica Chocolate and Flamboyant Baroque

This stage starts with a new ascent of the Iblei mountains immersed in one of the most beautiful Sicilian countrysides, it looks like riding along a terrace overlooking the valley.
In Modica we’ll discover the ancient chocolate making tradition. We’ll visit the Bonajuto laboratory, one of the oldest chocolate makers of Italy, still using the ancient Aztec technique for their high quality products. This place makes you feeling like inside a tale, with so many chocolates of all shapes and colours. Scicli is an authentic Baroque gem still preserved and alive, described as one of the most fertile places of the Med by the famous Arabic explorer Muhammad al Idrisi back on the 12th century a.c. Then our ride takes us close to the Cava d’Ispica, a complex of grottos used as cemetery since prehistory. Then a long and gradual descent takes us to the perfumed citrus orchards of Noto Valley, preparing us to the last ascent of the day to the flamboyant baroque of Noto. Its Cathedral is one of the best symbols of baroque architecture in the world.

Array Overnight: Noto
Included: Breakfast

Day 8: From Noto to Siracusa

Magnificent Ortigia and its Cathedral

Today we'll conquer the sea bastions on the island of Ortigia, the ancient Greek settlement originating the most powerful Greek colony in the Mediterranean. Ortigia, in just a square kilometre, boasts a number of impressive buildings and monuments, here stands out the wonderful Cathedral of Syracuse (Cathedral of the Nativity of Mary Most Holy). It was a Greek temple dedicated to Athena, then converted in a church by the Normans. Its Doric columns along the walls closing the side aisles are still very evident both inside and outside. An aperitif on the ancient walls, in front of the sunset over the sea, and a dinner in one of the several good restaurants in town, will close the day through south-western Sicily.

Array Overnight: Siracusa
Included: Breakfast

Day 9: Siracusa to Etna

At the sight of His Majesty the Etna

A 1 hr shuttle will take us to the slopes of mount Etna, the highest active Volcano of Europe. Starting from the village of Nicolosi, we’ll climb in this lava brown rock landscape until the first caldera at Rifugio Sapienza. Our way down gives us stunning views over the strait of Messina and the Calabria on Italy mainland.
Our goal is the village of Zafferana Etnea, one of the best preserved villages of the area, miraculously survived to so many eruptions during the centuries.

Array Overnight: Zafferana Etnea
Included: Breakfast

Day 10: Zafferana to Taormina

Gran Finale with view at the classy Taormina

Our final ride starts crossing the luscious vineyards of Milo and Linguaglossa local grapes, growing in the fertile volcanic landscape. Those wines are now considered some of the best expressions of southern italian wines. We’ll ride across Castiglione di Sicilia, one of the best villages of Italy, truly medieval and not “Touristy”, beautifully perched on a hilltop surrounded by thousand of hectares of vineyards. The last breathtaking downhill is along the Alcantara Canyons, then we’ll touch the Med at the Greek origin village of Giardini Naxos, finally conquering the stunning Taormina. Again, we’ve carefully selected all the properties used in this tour, more romantic than that it’s simply impossible!

Array Overnight: Taormina
Included: Breakfast Dinner

Day 11: Arrivederci!

Sadly today we leave, but we are sure that we will meet again on the roads of the Mediterranean!

Included: Breakfast

Brendan NevinBrendan Nevin
15:07 07 Jun 23
Mediterras supported 8 of us on the cycling Gran Tour down the west coast. I would strongly recommend them - brilliant support, great local knowledge led routes and excellent bikes, We would use them again without hesitation.
Lesley KovarLesley Kovar
11:20 08 May 23
We just finished a custom tour with Mediterras, from Palermo to Marsala. What a fantastic experience! Our guide Gian Mario was so knowledgeable and attentive, his planning was meticulous. The choice of boutique hotels, as well as the restaurants he selected, were all wonderful. The rides were well planned, taking us through beautiful countryside and along spectacular coasts. Our van driver Giovanni was also awesome, he could be a professional naturalist. We are already planning our next trip with them (to Sardinia). What a treat to use a small local company that gave us such a memorable trip!
Bernie CreavenBernie Creaven
11:09 08 May 23
We loved traveling with Mediterrras!Mario and Giovanni were amazing, professional, detailed and thoughtful. They made planning this trip easy, they were super flexible when we had to change plans. They supplied us with excellent equipment (I loved my road bike), detailed maps, fun rides, history lessons, in fact we laughed our way around Sicily!We enjoyed our meals together and they booked us into beautiful hotels. Unfortunately, one member of our group had a medical emergency, they looked after him like they would a family member.I can’t wait to bike again with our new best friends!Go ahead book these local guys, you’re guaranteed a fabulous experience!Bernadette (Irish woman living and biking in Seattle).
Rich GundlachRich Gundlach
13:15 24 Sep 22
Great planning, exceptional guides. We enjoyed everything about our trip. We learned a great deal about the history and culture of Sardinia. Marcello at Mediterras made sure that everything was properly arranged and made adjustments when necessary. A great part of our enjoyment came from our interaction with our guides (Giovanni, Stefano and Danilo). They were all very knowledgeable and friendly. When it came time to part we felt like we were leaving old friends.
Doris ChapatteDoris Chapatte
11:53 12 Sep 22
We did the "big-loop" from the 20.08.2022.The big loop ist 12 days road bike around the island. We have booked the trip 1.5 weeks before (last minute) and everything has been organised perfectly. We had an extra break day every 4 days biking. And was great.Mediterras has answer to all our questions. On the day of departure, our bikes we ready, we got time to get full explanation of the tour. We got a navigation system with all the routes. Everything was very clear and very well organised. Our lugage was every evening delivered at the next hotels.The hotel has been wonderfully selected, and always at some nice location and not too far away from the center or the beach. Thank again to Mediterras team for the wonderful holidays.I would give more than a 5 Stars for this trip and the wonderful team.Doris & Jean-Luc - from Swizerland
Tadhg CookeTadhg Cooke
12:46 09 Jun 22
A fantastic introduction to cycling in Sardinia. I just rented the bike in Cagliari for a few days at the end of my holiday, with no particular routes in mind. Gian Mario kindly suggested two nice challenging routes, and sent the GPX files. I only had time for one of them - but it was an absolute gem. Starting in the city, cycling along Poetto, before turning towards the hills. After one tiny village, I didn't pass another café or shop for 40 or 50 km. Just me and the pain in my legs. Superb. The bike was a gem - a former Lotto Jumbo team bike which was ridden in the Paris Roubaix by Tom Leezer. I was a *bit* slower, but I probably enjoyed it more! Wonderful experience - lovely people - always available on whatsapp if I needed anything, which was very reassuring when I don't speak Italian or Sardu! I will definitely use them again if/when I return to Sardegna.Thanks again!
We did the Sicily Baroque tour with Mediterras. Self guided on bikes (el and manual). Gian and his team did adapt the tour for our needs and did all to make the tour enjoyable. Few problems surfaced but all were solved. The trail was interesting and added a lot to our understanding of Sicily, its landscape and life in the rural areas. Accommodations were all good, and the quality of the food in the restaurants Gian had arranged varied from good to excellent. At the end of our tour we did a walk in the hillsides of Etna arranged by Mediterras.The Etna tour was wonderful. We were lucky with weather given the circumstances. It was a bit foggy and a bit cold, but it did not rain. The guides did a good job of explaining the geology of Etna for us and the two geology-educated persons in the group! The hike was challenging, which suited the group well. The food and wine at Barbaras place was totally excellent! Six stars out of five.We were not as lucky in Taormina! It did rain cats and dogs. The drivers did adapt quite well. Did stop at several foto-ops and at the entry gate to the pedestrian street. We did wander through the Greek theatre and the pedestrian walk, did have a stop at a fancy coffe-shop/bar and then decided to skip the dinner and return early back to Syracusa.
W. B.W. B.
16:03 20 Oct 21
I found this company using google and right away Gian was very responsive. I told them what we were looking for, gave specific parameters for distance and elevation, and they put together an itinerary very quickly that completely matched what I asked for. The entire trip was seamless from the 1am pickup at airport to drop off after 10 days of cycling. The routes were on quiet wonderful roads and the hotels they chose were all great. A really good local company which does what they claim to do very well. Highly recommend.
Ilja WinkertIlja Winkert
11:14 17 Sep 21
I rented quite spontaneously a city bike for my whole stay here near Cagliari. The workshop is very well located. Grocery shopping, going to the beach and the city worked very well. Bike were in a good condition. I was properly advised. Fully recommend this place.
14:46 23 Aug 21
We are so happy that we found this rental. Very nice, helpfull and professional customer service. We recommend to everyone!
juliet clarkejuliet clarke
17:20 15 Jun 21
Mediterras arranged a self guided cycling trip through South Eastern sicily stopping in beautiful baroque towns. They arranged everything with less than a weeks notice, keeping us up to date on accommodation, bikes equipment etc.My husband and I had a wonderful time. The ride was perfect, having both been off a bike for several months, the ride was the perfect combination of hills and flats for us to really enjoy it. The accommodation was far better than what we were expecting for the price and recommendations for dinner and stops spot on. We ate incredibly well and all the hosts in the villas and hotels very welcoming and helpful.I would certainly recommend them especially arranging it all with such little notice.