David Olle and Emma Colson

An Australian company, Topbike has a fully equipped European base and its own fleet of high quality hire bikes and E-bikes.

We specialise in quality cycling tours with small groups and are famous for looking after our clients.

+61 (0) 3 9419 2040
+61 415 866 061 (mobile)
PO Box 1717 Collingwood VIC 3066 AUSTRALIA
holiday@topbike.com.au
- SINCE 1997 -

Feast of Sicily 2018
EAT-DRINK-RIDE

| May 17–27 2018

The Topbike 2018 Tour of Sicily will be 11 days (10 nights) fully supported, off the tourist route where possible, riding up to 100k a day (but not every day), starting and finishing in Palermo.

2018 Topbike Tour of Sicily - Eat-Drink-Ride - May 17-27 2018, Cycling Italy

We will take a 40/60 coastal/inland route, including a 2 night visit to the island of Lipari. We use an excellent combination of traditional restaurants and unique accommodation, in all locations. Group size will be limited to 13, with 3 staff.

In and out of Palermo, we’ll be doing an anti-clockwise loop around Sicilia.  We’ll be stopping over at the towns of Santa Cristina Gela, Agrigento, Caltagirone, Milazzo, Lipari and Cefalu.  Plenty of great coffee, gelato and many other Sicilian treats to be enjoyed en route too…

Tour Price: $5550 (AUD) (per person)

[Places are limited to 13 clients in total]

Rides will average 70-90k, along with >1000m vertical, per day.

11 Days/10 Nights
May 17–27 2018 *
  • Destination

  • Tour Start / Finish

    Palermo - Palermo
  • Pick Up

    May 17 - Pickup 11.00am: Borsellino Airport Palermo
  • Drop Off

    May 27 - Drop off 11.00am, Borsellino Airport Palermo
  • Cycling Fitness/Experience

    Any + E-Bikes Available
1

Thursday May 17: Day 1 | Palermo → Santa Cristina Gela

11am: pick up at Palermo Borsellino airport (Sicily) - meet at 'arrivals', near the gate.
Transfer by car to town of Santa Cristina Gela (500m asl), just south of Palermo.  Once ‘check-in’ is complete we will picnic in the grounds while we complete bike set up 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 inhouse, in our on site ristorante, amongst the grape vines.
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).

Accommodation

Rural agriturismo with vineyard

Dining

Restaurant, inhouse.

Ride: 50km, <500m vertical

Terrain: A few small climbs.

2

Friday May 18: Day 2 | San Guiseppe Jato → San Guiseppe Jato

A beautiful 75k loop awaits us today, with all day to do it.
We’ll traverse the hills south of Palermo, stopping for coffee in San Guiseppe Jato, maybe lunch in Partinico or Altofonte. Like the rest of Sicily, our ride won’t be flat, traversing between 200-900 metres. But it will be scenic. And like every town in the vicinity of Palermo, it is all steeped in mafia history. We’ll return to our Agriturismo outside Santa Cristina Gela in the afternoon. Maybe with enough time to do a cellar visit or maybe just relax by the pool.

Accommodation

Rural agriturismo with vineyard

Dining

Restaurant, inhouse.

Ride: 75km, <1500m vertical

Terrain: A few small climbs.

3

Saturday May 19: Day 3 | Santa Cristina Gela → 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. 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 that 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.
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 Cefalu. We’ll have a lunch stop in Santo Stefano Quisquina (70k), after a long descent into the town centre. For the ride finish we’ll transport into Agrigento from Raffadali.

Accommodation

B & B in central Agrigento

Dining

Local Restaurant, walking distance

Ride: 125km, <2100m vertical

Terrain: Lots of small climbs that become more significant as the day progresses.

4

Sunday May 20: Day 4 | Agrigento → Agrigento

In a historic town it is a good opportunity to 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. 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’.
The 'Valley of Temples' is 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, we’ll stroll the streets to an Enoteca for a pre-dinner drink, dinner at a local ristorante.

Accommodation

B & B in central Agrigento

Dining

Local Restaurant, walking distance

Ride: < 70km loop < 1500m vertical

Terrain: Seven small (almost) insignificant climbs.

5

Monday May 21: Day 5 | Agrigento → Caltagirone

Today we’ve got 125k in front of us, riding from Agrigento to Caltagirone. We’ll take the scenic inland route, through Sommatino, coffee at Riesi, lunch in Mazzarino before the afternoon’s final 40k into Caltagirone. You can always skip the first, or final, 40k, leaving yourself an easy 85k for the day.
Dinner cooked inhouse, by our hosts tonight. 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)

Accommodation

B & B in old part of town,

Dining

In-house

Ride: < 125km < 2400m vertical

Terrain: Undulating parcours, all-day-long.

6

Tuesday May 22: Day 6 | Caltagirone → Milazzo

Today we’ll transport out of Caltagirone, and drive to Acireale, just north of Catania. From Acireale we’ll ride one of the best coastal roads on Sicily, for just on 50k. Past Taormina we’ll take a turn up to Savoca, where the bar and wedding scenes from the original Godfather movie were filmed. We’ll have a picnic in the piazza across the via from Bar Vitelli, followed by coffee and gelati. Post lunch, we’ll continue on in the car to Milazzo, where we’ll take a ferry tomorrow morning to Lipari.

Accommodation

4 star Hotel in the centre of town

Dining

Local restaurant.

Ride: < 60km < 1000m vertical

Terrain: Majestic views of the Messina Strait, including a passage through Taormina, with a final ‘kicker’ up to Savoca at the end. More kilometres available today, on the bike, if required.

7

Wednesday May 23: Day 7 | Milazzo → 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!
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.

Accommodation

Hotel in Lipari town

Dining

Restaurant in the old port

Ride: 25km with 500m vertical ascent (x number of laps!)

Terrain: Marvellous - 500m of ascent per lap here

8

Thursday May 24: Day 8 | Lipari → 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.

Accommodation

Hotel in Lipari town

Dining

Restaurant in the old port

Ride: 25km with 500m vertical ascent (x number of laps!)

Terrain: Marvellous - 500m of ascent per lap here

9

Friday May 25: Day 9 | Lipari → 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 Cefalù . Views of the Mediterranean all day long.
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.

Accommodation

Beachside hotel in Cefalu

Dining

Local Ristorante in the old part of town (walking distance)

Ride: 70km

Terrain: Beautiful coastal ride of 70k, including a few minor hills.

10

Saturday May 26: Day 10 | Cefalù → Cefalù

We’re not moving today, as there is quite a special 45k loop to be enjoyed around the hinterland of Cefalù . 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. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the old town or even spend on the beach.

Accommodation

Beachside hotel in Cefalù

Dining

Local Ristorante in the old part of town (walking distance)

Ride: 45km or 90km scenic loop around the immediate hinterland of the northern coast.

Terrain: One big climb each lap

11

Sunday May 27: Day 11 | Cefalù → Palermo

After breakfast it's time to pack up the bikes and farewell all your mates. From Cefalù we can drop you off at Borsellino Airport Palermo or the Palermo ferry terminal. Or anywhere that is in the direction we are heading.‘Arrivederci’..
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.

Tour Location

Palermo to Palermo, Sicily

2018 Topbike Tour of Sicily | May 17–27

A Feast of Sicily or 'EAT-DRINK-RIDE'

Palermo to Palermo, Sicily

In and out of Palermo, we’ll be doing an anti-clockwise loop around Sicilia. We’ll be stopping over at the towns of San Guiseppe Jato, Agrigento, Caltagirone, Milazzo, Lipari and Cefalu. Plenty of great coffee and gelato to be enjoyed en route too.