- Syracuse and its archaeological masterpieces
- Mt Etna, Europe's highest active volcano
- The Baroque jewels of Ragusa and Modica
- Incredible food and wine experiences
This itinerary is perfect for the foodie and a wine enthusiast looking to take advantage of Sicilian cuisine. Be advised, however, that this trip plan features 3 longer bike rides and will be more enjoyable if you are relatively fit. If it sounds fun to you, be sure to hop on a bike a few times before you travel to get in shape before your trip.
Throughout the duration of the trip, your guide will arrange for a local bike company to meet you at the beginning and end of each ride and provide you with all the gear you need.
|Day 1||Riviera dei Ciclopi to Taormina||Taormina|
|Day 2||Cycling in the Mt. Etna Region||Taormina|
|Day 3||Cooking class in Taormina||Modica|
|Day 4||Bike around Modica and Scicli||Modica|
|Day 5||Cycling and Wine Tasting: Noto||Syracuse|
|Day 6||Explore Syracuse||Syracuse|
Day 1: Travel along the Riviera dei Ciclopi to Taormina
Upon arrival in Catania, rent a car and drive north to the beautiful town of Taormina. On the way, stop along the stunning Ciclopi Riviera, an attractive stretch of coastline north of Catania.
The coastline owes its name to a Homeric legend that explains the origin of the towering black rocks that rise out of the sea. They are actually great hunks of solidified lava but were believed to have been thrown by the blinded Cyclops, Polyphemus, in a desperate attempt to stop Odysseus from escaping his lair.
Continue past this legendary stretch of coastline to the lovely fishermen village of Acitrezza, a laid-back town that sees few visitors compared to other parts of Sicily. Acitrezza features a rocky coast, perfect for sunbathing and delightful seafood.
Proceed to Taormina, an elegant resort town with a perfect combination of historic sites and sandy beaches. It's settled on a natural terrace 200 meters above sea level and features a wonderful view of Mount Etna. Stay overnight in lovely hotel located in the heart of Taormina.
Day 2: Tour Mt. Etna by bike
In the morning, head to the Mt. Etna region and hop on a bike for an up close and personal glimpse at the largest active volcano in Europe. You will ride along the Etna Altomontana, a gentle, unpaved route of crushed lava. Don't be intimidated by the ride: it's relatively easy and features a small amount of elevation gain that is spread out over several kilometers. The views along the way are well worth the effort.
Enjoy a trailside picnic lunch before riding back down. When you return to your car, head back to Taormina for the evening.
Total Km: 12 Elevation gain: 150 mt Difficulty: Easy Duration : 3 hours
It's possible to extend the excursion if you are seeking a longer ride. You would add 2 more hours and 5 kilometers.
Day 3: Learn about Sicilian cuisine in a Taormina cooking class
When you wake up, get ready for a day of learning about the local gastronomy and cooking tasty dishes.
You'll meet up with the chef, who will guide you through the town's historic open market as you buy all the ingredients necessary for the cooking class. When it comes time to eat, you will enjoy the meal you cooked with well-paired Sicilian wine and desserts.
Explore the city in the afternoon. Be sure to visit the famous Greek Theater and lovely Isola Bella beach. Enjoy dinner out on the town before returning to your accommodation for the evening.
Day 4: Bike through the Baroque countryside
Early in the morning, drive to the city of Modica, a baroque jewel famous for its stunning churches and picturesque streets. Check into your boutique hotel located in the center of town before heading off on an idyllic bike ride.
Cycle through the countryside between Modica and the neighboring town of Scicli, where you will be treated to views of vineyards and carob trees. These distinctive trees are of Middle-Eastern origin and were brought to Sicily during the period of Arab control. The rural views testify to a rich agricultural tradition that has sustained this part of the island for centuries. You will also catch glimpses of the Mediterranean Sea and forested canyons as you peddle.
Stop for breaks at locally-owned and family-run farms where you can taste mozzarella and other local cheese. Enjoy dinner in a trattoria tonight when you return to Modica.
Total Km: 21 Elevation gain: 215 meters Difficulty: Moderate Duration: Half a day
Day 5: Wine tasting and cycling in Noto
In the morning, prepare for another bike ride through the Noto region. Today's route will follow a spectacular path that meanders through vineyards, lush lemon trees, and almond orchards.
The ride will take you towards Pachino, an area that takes its name from the ancient Greek word for “plenty of wine”. You'll find yourself surrounded by wine cellars boasting fine vintages as well as the ruins of old palmentos, traditional wine-making houses. When you are done cycling, relax over a glass of Nero d’Avola wine at a luxurious estate. Take a tour of the winery and enjoy a comprehensive tasting. From here, you'll check into your hotel room in the heart of Syracuse and eat out in Ortigia.
Total Km: 22 Elevation gain: 220 meters Difficulty: Moderate Duration: Half a day
Day 6: Sightsee in historic Syracuse
When you wake up, take a private tour of Syracuse and its famous archaeological park. The Greek theater here is especially noteworthy and you'll appreciate learning about the city's history from a local. This relatively small city was once the largest metropolis in ancient times, and its architecture and archaeological sites attest to its days of glory.
In the evening, walk the narrow streets of the lovely Ortigia Island, the heart of the city that is famous for its beautiful squares and promenade. You'll stay one more night here in Syracuse.
Day 7: Departure
If fits with your flight schedule, enjoy breakfast before returning to the Catania airport.