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SICILY – THE BAROQUE & AEOLIAN ISLANDS

OVERVIEW

Come and visit the late baroque cities of the Val di Noto, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a rich historical tapestry that extends for thousands of years, as well as an overwhelming wealth of Baroque architecture. This exuberant style is on display as we visit the cities of Noto, Ragusa, Avola, Marzamemi, Scicli, Modica, Taormina.
Along the small roads that separate these gems created by man, you will discover an equally unforgettable landscape. Made up of millennia of seismic activity, the plateau is interrupted by deep valleys that wind towards the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. The result is a pleasure for the eyes with wide open views that offer breathtaking views of the citrus groves, the pastures and olive groves of the Sicilian countryside.

A trip to Aeolian Islands won’t be your standard summer holiday. It may not have the beaches of the rest of the Island of Sicily, but this stunning, mountainous cluster of islands has amazing landscapes and a charming, off-beat way of life.
The islands became UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2000, and offer incredible natural beauty that you won’t see anywhere else.

Cycling, Hiking boots or swimming suit?

If you have the energy – and more importantly, the footwear – climbing the 390m Fossa di Vulcano crater is a must do. It gets a little tough going, but looking into the main crater of a sleeping volcano is a great thing to say you’ve done. The best bit is the 360 degree, panoramic views of the islands from the top. Aside from hiking, popular pastimes include scuba diving, swimming and boat tours. If the physical exertion isn’t your thing, stay at ground level and visit the Lipari observatory, which monitors the volcanic activity in the Mediterranean. It has gorgeous views of the water and Vulcano – from a safe distance!

Sicilian food is famous for its exotic mix of flavours and influences. Seafood is number one on the Aeolian Islands, with favourites being sweet prawns and capers. The region’s wine also has a great reputation, so be sure to sample a glass of Sweet Malvasia – the best Aeolian wine – and take a bottle or two home with you. Lipari is the place to go for a drink and a lively night, and tends to be the island where you’ll find younger travellers and backpackers. People will congregate around the Marina Corta, where you’ll find a selection of bars and venues.

Sicily has long been known for its warm hospitality and we will be welcomed like family by the beautiful hotels and our local friends. Local experiences and surprises along the way.

DETAILS ITINERARY

DAY 1: WELCOME IN SICILY

7th June

Your guide will meet you at the airport of Fontanarossa in Catania at 1 p.m. and for a one hours transfer to Noto. Our ride begins on the island in the wonderful Val Di Noto with an amazing down hills where the view is stunning. We will explore the sea-village of Lido di Avola and to come back up to our great hotel where we will have our first dinner together.

 

Ride: about km 37 with 600 mt elevation gain about
Meals: Welcome  Dinner
Accomodition: 4 stars hotel in Val di Noto

DAY 2: THE COASTLINE & MARZAMEMI

8th June

Today we’ll ride up to the postcard – fishing village of Marzamemi where we’ll stop for lunch at the local trattoria.
Before to arrive there along the road we’ll have the chance to visit Villa del Tellaro.
Villa del Tellaro is a rich extra-urban residence of the late Roman imperial age, located near Noto, in the province of Syracuse. Here is possible also to see the famous african mosaics.
Time in the afteroon for swimming pool and evening you will discover Noto and its Baroque. Dinner with local sicilian friends.

 

Ride: about km 45  (long options Km 88 with 1000 mt elevation gain about) 
Meals: B,L,D
Accomodition: 4 stars hotel Val di Noto

No – cyclist : Visit our friend Emanuele’s bakery and pastry shop and learn the secret and preparation technique of famous Sicilian sweets like cannoli and cassata.

Day 3: THE CHARM OF BAROQUE RAGUSA

9th June

This morning we return to the terraced hills of the Val di Noto, of course we’ll have also a thrilling descent into the Irminio Valley and the fairytale cityscape of Ragusa. The view upon arrival is incomparable – Baroque places and churches flow down the steep hillside as if fixed in an urban waterfall. We’ll spend two nights in a converted palace in the heart of the new town. The evening is yours to explore Ragusa’s many charms and take advantage of the robust local dining scene.

Ride: about km 53 with 1000 mt elevation gain about
Meals: B,L,
Accomodations: 4 or 5 stars hotel in  Ragusa

No – cyclist : a local guide will give us a historical walking tour of Ragusa Ibla, the oldest and most beautiful of Ragusa’s Unesco world heritage sites baroque districts.

Day 4: IN THE NOBLE HEART OF THE BAROQUE

10th June

Heading south out of Ragusa, today's loop ride will explore the magnicent valley around Scicli and Modica. Modica's more than 300 hundred palaces and churches attest to its 17th century prosperity and the power of the local Chiaromonte family. Modica also has a secret: its chocolate is the best in all of Sicily and is characterized by a peculiar grainy texture and aromatic avor. The specialty, inspired by the Aztec original recipe for Xocoatl, was introduced in the County of Modica by the Spaniards, during their domination in southern Italy. Tonight, back in Ragusa Ibla, we will experience the lively culinary scene at our favorite restaurant.

Ride: about km 62  with 1000 mt elevation gain about
Meals: B,L,
Accomodations: 4 or 5 stars hotel in  Ragusa

No cyclist : Arrive in Modica, to explore the village, including its San Giorgio cathedral and chocolate museum. Visit one of the best Modican chocolate artisan laboratories to see and taste the precious product.

Day 5: TAORMINA & AEOLIAN ISLANDS

11 June

Today we'll say hello to the stunning Ragusa and by our van we'll transfer to Taormina.
The city is one of the most important tourist destinations of the Sicilian region, known for its natural landscape, and has been one of the main tourist destinations since Nineteenth century in Europe. After the city and a great lunch we'll transfer to the Aeolian Islands.

The Aeolian Islands form an archipelago, consisting of seven real islands. The seven islands are arranged in a Y-shape, lying down, with the rod pointing to the west. It are declared Unesco world heritage from 2000.
The Aeolian Islands are located off the northern coast of Sicily and are: Lipari, Vulcano, Panarea, Salina, Alicudi, Filicudi, Stromboli.

Special first dinner at the islands tonight.

Meals: B, L, D
Accomodations: good hotel in Lipari (4 or 5 stars)

Activities for all: Explore and walking tour of Taormina.

Day 6: LIPARI & VOLCANO

12th June

Our first bike tour in Lipari.

After breakfast our ride will begin from the beautiful Marina Corta for the circumnavigation of the island, we will head towards the village of Pianoconte to admire one of the most beautiful views of the archipelago: the "Belvedere di Quattrocchi", we will stop and you will enjoy the stunning seascape.

You will start pedaling northwards to reach the enchanting old church of "Quattropani". We will cross the fractions of "Acquacalda", "Canneto" pausing at the points of greatest interest. Arrived in the center. We will cross the ancient lanes of the historical center, rediscovering the perfumes and the Aeolian traditions. Visit inside the "fortified citadel" with its archaeological park, the cathedral of S. Bartolomeo and the regional Aeolian museum.

Lunch with typical Aeolian dishes to savor in the lovely Piazza di Marina Corta, at the end departure for the nearby island of Vulcano.

Afternoon (no bike)

A short navigation with boat will lead us to the island of Vulcano. By boat we can admire the famous "Faraglioni" of Lipari and a fascinating indented coastline with cliffs overlooking the sea.

Come to the island, we will visit the thermal mud puddle, a real natural lake with sulphurous water with precious therapeutic properties. Natural baths, fumaroles, jets of steam, will be the background;

In the trekking version will begin the ascent to the crater of the island of Vulcano, aerial view, between sulfur vapors and rocks, we will reach the mouth of the crater height 386 s.l.m. We will wait for a breathtaking view for exclusive photos.

Return by boat to Lipari with the possibility of stops at the points of interest / bathroom.

Route: 8 Km of walking including climbing to the crater.

Ride: about 30 km  with 1000 mt elevation gain about
Meals: B,L,D
Accomodations: 4 stars hotel in Lipari Island

No cyclist: On the island of Lipari with the help of a tour guide specialized will be. You can visit carefully with historical notes, cathedral Archeological park museum historical center.

Day 7: LIPARI & SALINA

13th June

From the island of Lipari, admiring from the boat the beach of "Canneto", the quarries of Pomice and the "white beach" known for the crystalline sea, we will reach the island of Salina. After passing through the hamlets and the municipalities of Santa Marina and Malfa we will visit the sanctuary of Valdichiesa; next stop in the "Baia di Pollara", location of the movie "Il postino" of the great Troisi and Cucinotta. Several ups and downs to the village of "Lingua" where you can taste a typical Sicilian granita sitting on the seafront or enjoy typical Aeolian dishes.

Return by boat to Lipari with possible stops at the points of interest / bathroom.

In Lipari aperitif / dinner at sunset in local winery with visit.

Ride: about 30  km  with 1000 mt elevation gain about
Meals: B,L,D
Accomodations: 4 stars hotel in Lipari Island

No-cyclist : Walking from Monte Fossa up to the Felci 968 mt s.l.m. (16 Km) or Island tour in Taxi with stops in points of greater interest visits of small towns and hamlets of Salina, Sanctuary Valdichiesa (lasting a couple of hours).

Day 8: Ciao ciao Sicily

14th June

Have one more cannolo with your cappuccino, before saying goodbye to Sicily. We will shuttle you to the Catania airport later in the morning for connections to the mainland to continue your travel.

OTHER INFORMATION

TRIP DETAILS
INCLUDED
NOT INCLUDED

Dates:  7th – 14th  June  2020
Duration: 8  days – 7 nights
Start&Finish: Catania Fontanarossa Airport
Accommodations: 4 stars hotels

Group Size:  6 guests - 2 staff
Suitable for:  Cyclists and not cyclists
Suitable cyclist ability: Experienced, Intermediate, Social

Prices: 4690 Euro

Optional single supplement: 800 Euro

  • Pick up and drop off  in Catania Airport
  • 7 nights accommodations in 4 stars hotels
  • Two expert guides to provide local knowledge, support and camaraderie
  • Daily route support with both guides and our support van
  • Daily breakfast, lunches and all dinners (one dinner free)
  • Snacks and drinks for everyday travel
  • All tips for driver, local experts and hospitally staff
  • All baggage and transport transfer during the trip
  • Cycling Kit Astrocycling
  • International and domestic flights
  • Personal expenses during the trip (minibar, laundry ,etc)
  • Accident Insurance (you MUST have your own insurance)
INFO ABOUT RESERVATION


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