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.
Caltagirone to Ragusa
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.
Ragusa Loop to Donnafugata and Scicli
We start today’s ride with a pleasant downhill descent toward the coast. We stop at the beautiful Villa Donnafugata, the rural summer vacation house of the Arezzo family, featured in many movies by the most important italian directors. Then we continue among carob trees and greenhouses to reach the seaside village of Marina di Ragusa, perfect spot for a swim and lunch. 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. Are you ready for moscato wine gelato at the infamous gelateria Gelato di Vini?
Ragusa to Siracusa
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. Siracusa’s famous 3rd-century BC Greek theater—the largest in Italy—offers a breathtaking view. In the evening, we dine at an authentic Sicilian restaurant where we get our first taste of some local specialties. Enroute, we’ll stop to indulge in a heavenly tasting at Gelateria Corsino where we treat our taste buds to a special “cassata” gelato made from fresh ricotta, crushed pistachio and candied fruit.
Siracusa to San Giovanni la Punta
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. The area of our ride was involved in WW II; military memorials, cemeteries and bunkers dot our tiny road en route to the former Italian navy base of Brucoli. We’ll be shuttled to our hotel at the base of Mt. Etna with a private bus.
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!
Hike Mount Etna
Today we take an early van ascent up Mount Etna to hike and absorb the magnificent views of the volcanic area. On a clear day, you can see all of Sicily. In the afternoon, we go to Taormina and remain free all afternoon to enjoy the town or shop. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the city of Taormina including a stop in at Stecco Natura for the most amazing popsicle you’ve ever tasted. Free afternoon to enjoy the town or shop–or eat more gelato!
The Aeolian Island Lipari
Geologically, the island of Lipari is quite rugged with deep caverns, steep cliffs, and splendid views. One of the highlights today will be a visit to a local Slow Food presidia famous for the production of capers, olive oil and Malvasia wine. Of course, a dessert highlight includes an amazing gelato tasting at Gelateria Subba, famous for a special flavor “malaga” made with raisins.
The Aeolian Island Salina
Today we take a private boat to Salina. Interspersed with a stop to take a dip or two, we have a relaxing boat ride with our native seamen through calm, turquoise-blue Mediterranean waters. On our bikes, we explore Salina’s beauty as well as its fascinating ancient history. After our small bike ride, we are off to the cove of “Il Postino.” In Salina, we have an Aeolian lunch and the best granita! In Salina, we have an Aeolian lunch and the best granita on earth!
Around 8:30 am. after breakfast, we leave from the island of Lipari and offer a group hydrofoil (1 hour) to Milazzo, followed by a group shuttle (2 hours) to Catania Airport for international connections or to continue your travels to Italy and beyond.