Villa S. Mauro
The 4-star Villa S. Mauro is a quiet, modern hotel on the outskirts of town. Its large lovely rooms offer all the amenities. The hotel features a classic foyer, great bar and private pool.
Ancient Sicily and the dreamy Aeolian Islands.
This intriguing bike tour of Sicily takes us on a cultural journey through history as we explore the different civilizations that have ruled this Mediterranean island. Witness the varied influences of the Arab, Greek, Roman, Saracen, French, and Spanish cultures as you traverse the island on a bicycle. Begin in the town of Caltagirone, famous for its azulejos (Spanish glazed tiles that adorn the homes), and climb on undulating terrain up into the hillsides before a glorious downhill into the town of Ragusa. On this cycling vacation, you’ll have the chance to visit Villa Donnafugata, the rural vacation home of the Arezzo family, and explore the Necropolis of Pantalica, the famous archaeological site featuring 5000 tombs carved into its steep rock walls. Discover the influence of Greek settlers in Siracusa, enjoy a walking tour of the Baroque town of Ragusa Ibla, and revel in a scenic hike up Mt. Etna to experience panoramic views of the island from this famous volcano. And you’ll never forget the warm welcome you’ll receive from the local islanders as they embrace yours with open arms.
Make this tour Private or for more information, call:800.866.7314
Today, take our group shuttle at 11:30 a.m. at Catania Airport and meet us at the hotel around 1 p.m. for a light lunch and introductions, followed by a warm-up ride.
After an easy start, the traffic-less road begins to undulate and has three major climbs; the last part is almost completely downhill before entering Ragusa, a city in which urban expansion, fortunately, has not ruined the character of its 18th-century neighborhoods. In the afternoon, we reach the fascinating Ragusa Ibla (the lower and older part of town), a vestige of the Baroque period.
We start today’s ride with a pleasant downhill descent toward the coast. We stop for a visit at the beautiful Villa Donnafugata, the rural summer vacation house of the Arezzo family. Then we continue among carob trees and greenhouses to reach Scicli, another great example of baroque reconstruction. After lunch we climb back through the valley with great views of the Irminio river canyon. In the evening we enjoy a walking tour of ancient Ragusa Ibla.
Today’s ride takes us up into the Altopiano Ibleo, a remote and beautiful area where shepherds are the only inhabitants. We continue on to Siracusa, which was founded by Greek settlers in the 8th-century BC. In the evening, we dine at an authentic Sicilian restaurant where we get our first taste of some local specialties.
Bike in one of Sicily’s most fascinating archaeological reserves and nature sites. Today’s highlight is a pleasant ride on quiet roads with the impressive Mount Etna right in front of us. We also see many WWII bunkers which dot our tiny road en route to S. Giovanni La Punta.
Tonight, a musical surprise will showcase the genuine Sicilian spirit and way of life that make the inhabitants of this island so warm and welcoming!
The 6-day tour concludes in the afternoon after a hike up Mount Etna to absorb the magnificent views of the volcanic area. On a clear day, you can see all of Sicily. At around 3:30 pm, we provide a 1.5-hour group shuttle to Catania Airport, where you may make connections to other destinations in Italy and abroad. If you plan to do the hike, please schedule your flight from Catania no earlier than 6:30 pm.
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