Tour of Sicily - Eat, Drink & Ride

Sicily - Eat, Drink & Ride 2018


Topbike's Tour of Sicily 11 days (10 nights) fully supported, off the tourist route where possible, riding up to 135 k a day (but not every day), starting and finishing in Catania. We will take a 40/60 coastal/inland route, including a 2 night visit to the island of Lipari. Group size will be limited to 13, with 3 staff.

We’re not planning a ten day sufferfest training camp, more a (gastronomic) insightful cycling tour, with coaching benefits. We have an excellent combination of traditional restaurants and unique accommodation, used in all locations.

Topbike Tours Sicily - Eat, Drink and Ride

Topbike Tours Tour of Sicily
- This was our 2016 Itinerary

Tour of Sicily - 4/06/2016 – 14/06/2016

Pickup: Fontanarossa airport Catania, 11.00am, June 4 2016
Drop off: Fontanarossa airport Catania, 11.00am, June 14 2016

Saturday, June 4, 2016

11am, pick up at Fontanarossa airport, Catania (Sicily) meet at 'arrivals', near the gate. Transfer by car to town of Acireale (600m asl), just north of Catania. Once ‘check-in’ is complete we shall visit a local Pizzeria for lunch. We shall then commence orientation to our new surroundings and assembling of bikes etc. The riders will go for a short ride, to spin the legs out, and ease the travel stiffness while checking all equipment. Tonight we shall dine in a local seaside Ristorante, literally over the water.

Accommodation - Good B & B.
Ride: easy 1hour.

Sunday, June 5 2016 | Acireale to Milazzo

Today we head out by bike, kicking off our Tour of Sicily. We’ll take the road north out of Acireale, hugging the coast, passing through Riposto, Giardini Naxxos and Taormina. North of Taormina we’ll turn inland and climb up to the small town of Savoca. Here’ll we’ll have lunch, coffee, gelati and enjoy the bar made famous in the making of the original Godfather movie. Post lunch we’ll transport into Milazzo, and prepare for our sea passage the next day.

Accommodation: 4 star hotel overlooking the port of Milazzo
Dinner tonight: Ristorante by the port.
Ride: <60ks, undulating, with a big climb.

Dining in Sicily

Monday, June 6 2016 | Milazzo to Lipari

We’ll be up early for breakfast, before taking the 7am ferry to Lipari. Arriving at 9, we’ll drive to our accommodation in central Lipari, check in, and start to check out Lipari town. There is a good road on Lipari, and it makes a fine 25k loop. Now while this may not sound like much, in Topbike’s well travelled opinion, it is the best 25k loop in the world. So it'll be up to you to do as many laps as you wish, before dinner. NB There really is only one road on the Island, so if you do get lost, it will only be a short matter of time before you find yourself again. 500m of ascent per lap here, too. Probably not too bad an idea to knock off by lunch time, to squeeze in a meal in town, a little exploratory walk, some time at the beach, or even a siesta!

Accommodation: Hotel in Lipari town
Dinner tonight: Restaurant in the old port.
Ride: 25k with 500m ascent (x number of laps).

Lipari (Sicilian: Lìpari, Latin: Lipara, Ancient Greek: Meligunis) is the largest of the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the north coast of Sicily, and the name of the island's main town. It has a permanent population of 11,231; during the May–September tourist season, its population may reach up to 20,000.

Tuesday, June 7 2016 | Lipari to Lipari

Many, many options today. More laps of Lipari, a rest day, take a ferry to the active volcano island of Stromboli, day on the beach or by the hotel pool? Lunch overlooking the beach of Canneto, just a few kilometres from Lipari? The agony of choice. The only appointment today will be dinner time… downtown Lipari, seaside.

Dinner tonight: Seaside dining
Ride: 25k (x times number of laps).

Wednesday, June 8 2016 | Lipari to Cefalù

Our ferry back to the mainland of Sicily departs at 6.30am, so after an early start and quick breakfast, we’ll be down to the porto and onto our ferry, for a two hour cruise back to Milazzo. Once on the mainland we’ll continue driving along the coast, maybe launching the bikes from Torrenova, and ride 65k to our next town. As long as we keep the water to our right, we’ll run into Cefalu. Views of the Mediterranean all day long.

Dinner tonight: Local Ristorante in the old part of town (walking distance)
Accommodation: Beachside hotel in Cefalu
Ride: 65k, medium.

Cefalù is a city and comune in the province of Palermo, located on the northern coast of Sicily, Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea about 70 km east from the provincial capital and 185 km west of Messina. The town, with its population of just under 15,000, is one of the major tourist attractions in the region. Despite its size, every year it attracts millions of tourists from all parts of Sicily and also, from all over Italy and Europe. In summer the population can triple, making the main streets and major roads in the country crowded. There is then a youthful atmosphere and a lively nightlife.

Thursday, June 9 2016 | Cefalù to Cefalù

We’re not moving today, as there is quite a special 45k loop to be enjoyed around the hinterland of Cefalu. Just on 1,000m of climbing involved, with views from the top to the Aeolian Islands (Lipari etc). You can even do it twice, it’s that good. Once before breakfast, and once after.

Ride: 45/90k
Dinner tonight: Local Ristorante in the old part of town (walking distance)
Accommodation: Beachside hotel in Cefalu

Cycling through Sicily on Holiday with Topbike Tours

Friday, June 10 2016 | Cefalù to Santa Cristina Gela

After breakfast we’ll load the car and drive out of Cefalu, choosing to start our ride beyond Termini Imerese. From here we’ll turn inland and climb up towards Marineo. Through farmland, olive groves, cacti and the occasional sunflower, we’ll work our way into the heart of Sicily. Lunch or at least coffee at Marineo, before completing our 70k haul to Santa Cristina Gela.

Accommodation: Rural Agriturismo
Dinner tonight: Inhouse
Ride: <85k, hills and undulations, and some steep sections, up to 15%.

Santa Cristina Gela is a traditional agricultural and culinary producing village, its production of wood cooked bread is much appreciated, it is also exported in the adjacent municipalities. Other local products which are successful, are the production cheeses (ricotta / pecorino), sweets (cannoli, fried cream puffs with ricotta) and meat from local farms (particularly appreciated is the sausage with fennel seeds).

Saturday, June 11 2016 | Santa Cristina Gela to Agrigento

It’s a long way to the south of the island, from where we are, and Agrigento is our goal. First up, we’re off to Corleone for a coffee stop at least, maybe a grappa, or gelati or even lunch. Topbike is probably the only tour group to visit this town, as it is tied in with the origins of the Mafia. With nary a tourist in sight, it is only recently the town has started to catch on to the fact that its sordid past could be marketable, and we noticed some Il Padrino (The Godfather) Amareto for sale. Expect there to be lots of stares, as the old men wonder what a group of ‘lycra clads’ are doing in their town. Other activities include trying to spot the hideout of the infamous ‘Benny the Tractor’ – rumoured to be in the vicinity of a cheese factory in the nearby hills.

Course notes, the road out of SCG has a few unmade sections, and is quite rough. Ride in the car for the first 20k if this is not for you.

Corleone (Sicilian: Cunigghiuni) is a small town and comune of approximately 12,000 inhabitants in the Province of Palermo in Sicily, Italy. It is known primarily as the birthplace of several Mafia bosses, some fictional, such as The Godfather's Vito (Andolini) Corleone, and some real, such as Jack Dragna, Giuseppe Morello, Michele Navarra, Luciano Leggio, Leoluca Bagarella, Salvatore Riina and Bernardo Provenzano. The local mafia clan, the Corleonesi, led the Mafia in the 1980s and 1990s, and were the most violent and ruthless Mafia clan ever to take control of the organization.

After Corleone we have a solid inland route to Agrigento on the coast, where the road cycling world championships were held in 1994. More recently, in 2008, the Giro d’Italia finished a stage here, after starting in Cefalù.

Accommodation: B & B central Agrigento
Dinner tonight: Local restaurant
Ride: <135k of hills and undulations

Sunday June 12 2016 |Agrigento to Agrigento

In a historic town it is a good opportunity to once again stay put, allowing more time to soak up Agrigento, with a scenic loop for the riders taking in roads of the 2008 Giro d’Italia and previous world championships. Alternately you may choose to take a cooking class, in a rural ristorante, not too far away, where we will head for lunch. Later in the afternoon we may find time to wander the little cobbled streets of Agrigento, or maybe head off to visit the ‘Valley of Temples’, where seven monumental Greek temples in the Doric style were constructed during the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Now excavated and partially restored, they constitute some of the largest and best-preserved ancient Greek buildings outside of Greece itself. (They are listed as a World Heritage Site).

Dinner tonight: after a big lunch we’ll stroll the streets to an Enoteca to enjoy a light meal.
Ride: 60 k around a hilly loop, quite hard climbing

Monday June 13 2016 | Agrigento to Caltagirone

On our final day of riding we’ve got 95k in front of us, once we transport out of Agrigento to Canicatti. We’ll take the scenic inland route, through Sommatino, coffee at Riesi, lunch in Mazzarino before the afternoon’s final 40k into Caltagirone.

Accommodation: B & B in old part of town
Later we might venture out for a passegiata through the streets of Caltagirone, whilst eating gelati (served in a bun, to be a true Sicilian)
Ride: 95k of hills and undulations.

Tuesday June 14 2016 | "Arriverderci!"

After breakfast it's time to pack up the bikes and farewell all your mates. From Caltagirone we can drop you off at Catania’s Fontarossa airport or Ferry terminal. (Drop-Off: Fontanarossa airport Catania, 11.00am, June 14) Or anywhere that is in the direction we are heading. Arriverderci!

Topbike Tours Sicily - Eat, Drink and Ride

This tour includes:

  • 11 days, 10 nights, all breakfasts and dinners, accommodation and welcome lunch
  • Ground transport in the Topbike air-conditioned van - back up vehicle on every ride (except the ‘Lipari loop’)
  • Airport pick up and drop off in the Topbike A/C van
  • See the full list of inclusions on all Topbike Tours
  • Does Not include 'Ferry/Hydrofoil' tickets.

Please note:

  • Please pack your bike in a collapsible bag or disposable cardboard box.
    [See our FAQ's and recommendations section on packing your bike]
  • Please also see our recommended list of things to bring, it is most important to bring front and rear flashing lights.
  • NB: The itinerary above is to be used as a guide only, as Topbike Tours are well known for making use of all (and creating some extra) opportunities, expect that variations from the above can happen at any time.

Topbike Tours - Tour of Sicily Tour Map

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An Australian company, Topbike has a fully equipped European base and its own fleet of high quality hire bikes. We specialise in quality cycling tours with small groups and are famous for looking after our clients.

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