Sicily bicycling and culture

  Group of 2 friends visited Italy in September 2017

“Looking for a short, fun trip to Sicily in September. Two active woman cyclists, in our sixties . Would benefit from a moderate to easy cycling schedule ( supported?).
Would like hotel bookings and guided tours set up, as well as some local activities such as cooking classes.”


Giorgia Carraffa, a local specialist from Italy, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.

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Trip planning highlights

51 messages exchanged
4 trip plan versions shared
Travelers completed their trip! Read traveler review

A fun Sicilian Bike Tour through stunning landscape and Unesco Heritage

Day 1: The Riviera dei Ciclopi
Day 2: Etna bike tour
Day 3: Taormina cooking class
Day 4: Baroque treasures bike tour
Day 5: Noto's Wine and Bike routes
Day 6: Syracuse
Day 7: Departure

Summary of the trip planning conversation

Below are some useful excerpts from the trip planning conversation

Dear Teresa, 
thanks for contacting kimkim! I'm Giorgia, your Italy travel specialist. 
Great to read that you want to spend a week in my Island and I can definitely help you with this reques...both the area of Mt Etna and the South of Sicily ( Syracuse, Noto) are great for biking! 
I would like to ask you few information to create the best program for you: 
- Are you interested only in cycling or you would like to have a mix between sport activities and cultural visits? 
- Any preference for your accommodation? 3* /4* hotel could be good?

Thanks for your answers! I will look forward to hearing from you and work for your tour! 
Giorgia

Teresa:
Hi - Giorgia. A mix of easy cycling and cultral tours would be good. Nice 3 or 4 star accommodations would be preferable. Are there any options for bike tour supported rides? What kind of price ranges see available? 
Thanks, Teresa

Teresa:

Giorgia- thanks - good info. Will look at and get back to u in next couple of days. Now looking like it may just be two persons p, but stronger riders, dates may be later in Sept. Does price include bikes or do u rent them separate ? Also, do u assist in putting together self supported trips and luggage transfers if we decide to go that direction? 
Thanks, Teresa

Giorgia:

Hi Teresa, 
let me know when you are ready! If the two people are stronger riders we can just adapt the bike excursion for them..no problem at all! 
Yes the price includes bike and we do support you with all the services, private transfer and luggage transfer. 
I will look forward to hearing from you! 
Have a great day, 
Giorgia

Teresa:

Hi Giorgia- my trip to Sicily is still in the planning stages, it now looks like there will be only two if us and we may like to do more biking miles than your initial itinerary suggested . Also, are these "private" tours, meaning just then two of us, or are there others ? We don't mind being a group.

Giorgia:

Hi Teresa, 
good morning! yes the tour is a private one because we don't run bike group tour. Let me quote the itineray based on 2 so you can have an idea of the final price! 
best regards 
Giorgia

Giorgia:

Dear Teresa! 
In my proposal, I've considered very good 3* hotel in Syracuse and Taormina and a beautiful 4* hotel in Modica. All of them have great locations but no swimming pool. So if you really need this , I can look for something different. Meanwhile please have a look on the accommodations and as soon as you can, let me know the dates so I can really ask for the availibility.

Taormina Hotel del Corso 
Modica Palazzo Failla 
Syracuse Hotel Posta

Regards the dinners , I've included only the dinner on day 4 because you will sleep in 3 lovely towns full of restaurants and bars so you can easily decide where to eat. If you want all the meals included, I can do it so just let me know what do you prefer!

I will look forward to hearing from you 
Giorgia

Teresa

Hi Giorgia -thank you for the hotel info. The first two look very nice, but the Syracuse Hotel Posta did not look as nice for the last days in Syracuse, so I am wondering if you might be able to find us a nicer (perhaps 4 star) hotel . We have our flight booked for departure from Sicily on October 2, from Catania to Amsterdam (then onward the next day back to USA). -it is a late evening flight from Catania (8pm?) so we would need a late day transfer from you to the airport in Catania. ( We would hang out in Syracuse from a nicer hotel that last day.). Our tour, as you have put together our itinerary, would start with arrival Day 1 on September 26 and depart in October 2. My girlfriend and I are stronger bike riders, so would like to extend, as much as possible, the mileage on some of the rides. We would also appreciate twin beds! We are very interested and appreciate the work you have done in setting up this fun tour of Sicily for us. We just need to book our flights from Naples to Catania (we will be on the Amalfi Coast the previous week.). Please let us know how the hotel reservations go for you and if your are able to find a nicer hotel for Ortiga/Syracuse, final price , date confirmation , etc and we will work on booking our flights from Naples on our end. Thanks, Teresa

Giorgia:

Dear Teresa,

thanks for your reply! I do have a better hotel in Syracuse...its called Alla Giudecca . The price could increase a bit but nothing too bad! :) 
So if you liked all the other hotesl accommodations in Taormina and Modica I will ask the availibility considering the new dates. 
Regards the rides , you will have a private guide so you will be flexible to extend the ride as long as you want. Do you need a supported van as well? 
He will be at your disposal for a full day. 
I just need to know if you are happy to confirm the area of Mt Etna and then the 2 bike excursions around Modica-Scicli and Noto.

thanks 
Giorgia

Teresa:

Yes, the Alla Giudecca hotel looks much nicer for us- hopefully, nut too much more expensive. The bike routes all sound good, we don't know much about Sicily so we leave it to your expertise. Will any if the biking be along the sea? I know the area Of Modica is suppose to be beautiful so we are excited that you have us in that region for at least one night. Please check for availability, and a final price for us. Thanks, Teresa 
PS: My friend Mary will join the conversation now

Mary:

The hotels look good. I think the area seems fine also. Thanks for the info.

 

 

Giorgia

Hi Teresa...thanks a lot for your booking! 
 
After the balance payment, I will send you all the vouchers and suppliers details/contacts. 
Please as soon as you will have the flight details let me know so I will reserve your pick up!

Regards 
Giorgia

 

Teresa

Hi Giorgia- I wanted to check in about a couple of things: 
1. Do you have the signed cancelation/waivers from both of us? If not, please send them to us again. 
2. There is a chance we may use flat pedals and running shoes, rather than cycle shoes - we are still trying to figure out our luggage issues and trying to pack light, so could you please have the bike guides have flat pedals available for us also, just in case we don't bring our own. 
3. Mary had inquired about the possibility of visiting "The Valley of the Temples". I don't know if it's close to where we will be, but perhaps you could check if it's possible to arraign, and if so, maybe you'd have suggestions of a guide or something. 
4. Mary and I also enjoy guided city walking tours. If you know of or think of any ones that might be good for us at any of the towns we will be staying in (if time permits) let us know. 
4. Will we be getting some more confirming details from you prior to the trip? We leave for Europe Sept 11. 
Look forward to hearing from you, 
Teresa

Giorgia

Dear Teresa, 
good morning! Here my answers : 
1) yes I'm sending your our travel contract where you can read all the cancellation policy. Please when you can, sign it and send it back to me via email. 
2) yes no problem at all. Actually for the tour on Mt Etna you will have a mountain bike so running shoes are ok. Also for the other tours are fine! so just let me know before you leave if you will bring your cycle shoes or not. 
3) I'm afraid that the Valley of the Temples is reallt too far so very difficult to fit it in the itinerary. However, you already have included in the tour a private guided visit of Syracuse on Oct 1st and trust me, you will visit very beautiful archeological sites as well!

At the end of August/ first days of September i will send you all the vouchers, numbers and useful contacts for your trip!

I remain at your disposal for any further information 
Giorgia

 

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Traveler Review

Every part of your itinerary went off without a hitch - perfect! Thank you, thank you. We never waited a minute for any of our transfers or activities. Would definitely recommend and use you and KimKim again.

Transfers: The drivers who did our transfers all were in time, polite and had nice, clean luxury cars.

Lodging: Our accommodations were well selected. The locations were great and staff very helpful. Our only comment on hotels was the the Hotel de Corsa in Taromina : the location, staff and breakfast were good but the rooms were small and "tired" looking - no "wow" factor, seemed more two star, we wished we had upgraded. Just two doors down was a similar boutique hotel called "Hotel Taodomus", prices for lodging looked similar...you might
want to look into that one for future bookings.

Activities: Taromina - Our day of Mountain Biking on Mt. Etna with Luca from "Sicilybiketouristservices", was fun and challenging. Luca was waiting with all the equipment for us (nice comfortable mt. Bikes) plus a picnic lunch. He made it safe and accommodated our skill level- which was "beginner."

Would strongly recommend him again- a lovely kind person who refused to take a tip, only asked that we give him an hi set review. A great day to away from of the crowd streets of Taromina - still back with plenty of time for dinner and shopping.

The next day's cooking class at Porta Messina with owner Stephano was top-notch . Learned much about Sicilian food with a trip to the market first, then back to his restaurant for the cooking and learning experience -so much fun and so much food to eat !!! Five star experience!

Modica: A nice drive to a different part of Sicily- arrived with our road bike tour guide" Raffaelle from "Sicilybikeroutes.com" was waiting for us with wonderful road bikes. We took a nice ride through the countryside on stone fenced roads and almost no car traffic- a dream for us cyclists.

We visited a cheese farm where we watched them make fresh mozzarella cheese and then we sat down to wonderfully prepared lunch awaiting us. A different scenic route back with a stop in Scicli to view beautiful church, then a fun climb navy to our luxury hotel in Modica. We later heard that the restaurant at the hotel was so good it should be Michelin star rated, but we had already been offered the chance from the hotel to go to an evening cooking class in an old villa in town, which we did (and enjoyed immensely.

The following day's bike ride took us to the Noto region for another fun ride with a private tour and lunch at a winery with the owner, Baron Sergio. Raffaelle and his company "Sicilybikeroutes.com" were top notch- excellent bikes, clean transport van, great food selection activities plus some added flexibility when we asked to visit a local bike store one morning. We felt like we were treated like royalty and would definitely highly recommend using Raffaelle again.

Ortigia: Our bike operator transferred us to Ortigia where we had very nice accommodations at Hotel Alla Giudecca. The next morning our city guide Eva was waiting for us with a taxi to take us on our private tour of the history sites of Syracuse. She was an excellent choice of a guide for us - very knowledgable, spoke great English and a lot of fun- again a great choice.

Our early transfer to the Catania airport worked out good. The airport was very crowded and by the time checked in at the airline, we had something to eat we had little time to spare, so you were right to get us there 2.5 hrs early.

All and all we had a lovely, stress-free time in Sicily - all due to your good planning.