Italy: Western Sicily Bike Tour
Six nights; six days of coastal cycling on paved and predominantly flat roads in Western Sicily, with one day of hill cycling in Central Sicily.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- Easy coastal cycling on a mountainous island, with sections along an old pilgrim route
- Salt pans of Trapani
- Exquisite local cuisine
- Oldest Carthaginian settlement at Marsala
- Ancient Greek colony of Selinunte and its acropolis
- The beach town of Secca Grande and the hill towns of Aragona and Sutera
- UNESCO World heritage site The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
- DAY 1: Introductions
- DAY 2: ~36km
- DAY 3: ~63km
- DAY 4: ~75km
- DAY 5: ~40km
- DAY 6: ~47km
- DAY 7: Farewells & transfer
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Palermo, 18:00, day one.
Finish: Palermo, 11:30, day seven.
Arrival in Palermo
Transfer 1 ½ hour Palermo to Trapani then cycle ~36km to Marsala
Start with a morning transfer from Palermo to Trapani where you will begin your bike ride towards Marsala. After a quick espresso and cannoli, you’ll cycle past the ancient salt pans at Saline di Trapani, in use since 700BC. After a picnic lunch, continue along toward the Island of Mozia, which held a significant Carthaginian fortress and bustling commercial colony. Once back on the Sicilian mainland, continue through Stagnone Nature reserve and finish the day in Marsala, home to the famous Marsala Wine and the starting point for Guiseppe Garibaldi’s famous Expedition of the Thousand march that led to Italian reunification. BLD
Marsala to Marinella di Selinunte ~63km
From Marsala you will head along the coastline, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. Bring your swimmers and have a dip! Stop for a late lunch at the hamlet of Torreta Granitola, before continuing on to the archaeological park of Selinunte where five Ancient Greek temples await your arrival. Finish the day in the quaint fishing village of Marinella di Selinunte, and dine at a local family-owned fish restaurant. BLD
Marinella di Selinunte to Seccagrande ~75km
Today you will cycle along the Sicilian Riviera, winding through small fishing villages and vineyards and stopping for lunch at the Reserve Naturale di Capo San Marco, famous for its magnificent panorama and sandy beaches. Continue through the riviera town of Sciaccia, home to the most ancient Carnevale celebration in Sicily, reaching the beach town of Seccagrande. Finish at the nearby village of Montallegro. Enjoy a well-earned local wine, this is your longest day of cycling. BLD
Seccagrande to Aragona ~40k of cycling, two transfers of 30 minutes
This day combines two of the trip highlights with a morning hill “teaser” for your final day. Leave Seccagrande and head inland towards the hill town of Monteallegro, home to ancient village ruins. Continue back towards the coast towards the Scale dei Turchi (the Turk’s staircase), white chalk cliffs, with a natural staircase which offered easy access to the surrounding villages to Turkish pirates. This site was made famous by the much-feted Inspector Montalbano television series. After a delicious picnic, transfer by van to the UNESCO world heritage site the Valley of the Temples, the most outstanding example of intact ancient Greek architecture outside of Greece, and a demonstration of the riches and power the Sicilian Greek colonies held. After your visit, transfer by van to the hill town of Aragona for your hotel. BLD
Aragona to Sutera ~47km
Cycle inland on part of the Magna Via Francigena, a famous pilgrim route which has recently been reopened following route refurbishment. The pilgrimage crosses the island from Palermo to Agrigento and was a crusader route to the Holy Lands. Experience authentic inland Sicilian life in the towns of Racalmuto and Milena, going along verdant valleys where the last generation of Sicilian shepherds still herd their flocks by foot. Finish in the town of Sutera, which is the only town in Sicily to be awarded the Bandiera Arancione by the Italian Touring Club. Looming over the town is the Mount San Paolino which on clear days grants views of Mount Etna. Transfer back to Aragona at days end. BLD
Transfer to Palermo
Following breakfast, you will be transferred about 2 ¼ hours back to Palermo arriving before noon.
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
- Apr 7-13
- Oct 6-12
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Guided: C 4775 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners, guide and van support, maps and route instructions, luggage handling, hybrid bicycle rental, taxes.
Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Self-Guided: C 4265 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, welcome briefing, maps and route instructions, inn to inn luggage transfers, essential transfers, hybrid bicycle rental, taxes.
Semi-supported, independent tours including welcome briefing, lodging, luggage transfers and necessary vehicle transfers. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Single Occupancy: 945
Upgrade to E-bike: 250
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
The best time to enjoy this tour is March-May and September-October.
Sicily experiences hot, dry summers and mild variable winters and springs.
Spring, March, April and May, averages high temperatures range from 13 to 19 °C (55 to 66 °F).
Summer, June to August, can be quite hot, typically peaking around 25 °C (78 °F) but sometimes reaching over 30 °C (86 °F). Beaches and towns can be quite crowded during tourist season.
Autumn, is the wettest time, and still quite mild, with temperatures similar to spring.
BEFORE & AFTER THE TOUR
If you have one day:
An extra day in Palermo before or after your tour. Situated at the northwestern tip of Sicily facing north into the Tyrrhenian Sea, Palermo is the cultural, gastronomic, and political hub of Sicily. The city has played a major role in trade of goods and ideas in the Mediterranean since settlement by Phoenicians in the 8th century BC. Under Phoenician rule, the city enjoyed a long period of prosperity by trade with nearby Carthaginians of north Africa before being conquered by Rome in 254 BC. The city changed hands a number of times during the middle-ages with an extended period of Arab rule in the first century, before a long string of power transfers between various European noble families, only becoming part of the kingdom of Italy in 1860 following Giuseppe Garibaldi’s Expedition of the Thousand. This culturally diverse history is reflected in the architecture and cuisine of the city, revered within Italy for the seamless use of ingredients and cooking techniques from throughout the Mediterranean.
We recommend the following accommodations in Palermo for before or after your tour; please let us know if we can assist with reservations:
If you have several days:
Spend a week before or after you tour exploring other parts of Italy and Western Europe with a Freewheeling Adventure.
Fly into Palermo International Airport (PMO). From there, trains and buses depart regularly to the city center.
If you are arriving from elsewhere in Italy, consider overnight train service direct from Naples or Rome via Europe’s only train ferry across the Messina strait. Passenger ferry service to Palermo is offered from Genoa, Civitàvecchia, and Naples.
On the morning of day seven you will be transferred back to Palermo where connections to the rest of Europe can be made via rail, air, or ferry.