Topbike Tours - European Cycling Holiday Specialists

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 2019
EAT-DRINK-RIDE

| May 9–19 2019

The Topbike 2019 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 Catania.

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.

2019 Topbike Tour of Sicily - May 9-19 2019
2019 Topbike Tour Cycling Holiday itinerary Now Available

With a Catania start and finish, we’ll be doing an anti-clockwise loop around Sicilia. We’ll be stopping over at the towns of Forza d’Agro, Milazzo, Lipari, Cefalu, Cammerata, Agrigento and Caltagirone. 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 9–19 2019 *
  • Destination

  • Tour Start / Finish

    Catania - Catania
  • Pick Up

    May 9 2019 - Pickup 11.00am: Fontanarossa Airport Catania
  • Drop Off

    May 19 2019 - Drop off 1.00pm, Fontanarossa Airport Catania
  • Cycling Fitness/Experience

    Any + E-Bikes Available
1

Thursday May 9 2019: Day 1 | Catania

11am: pick up at Fontanarossa airport Catania (Sicily) - meet at 'arrivals', near the gate.
Transfer by car to the hilltop town of Forza d’Agro (400m asl), just north of Catania. Once ‘check-in’ is complete, we will picnic in the grounds while we complete bike set up, etc. After lunch we’ll head out for a short ride, to spin the legs out, and ease the travel stiffness while checking all equipment.
En route we will visit Bar Vitelli, in Savoca, famously used as the rural bar in the original Godfather movie (where Michael met Apollonia). Tonight we shall dine inhouse, in our on site ristorante.
Savoca (Sicilian: Sàvuca) is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Messina in the Italian region Sicily, located about 170 kilometres (110 mi) east of Palermo and about 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of Messina. The town, together with Forza d'Agrò, was the location for the scenes set in Corleone, of Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather. Bar Vitelli in Savoca, which is still a functioning establishment, was featured in the motion picture as the place where Michael Corleone asked Apollonia's father to meet his daughter.

Accommodation

4 star Hotel

Dining

Restaurant, inhouse.

Ride: 45km loop, <1000m vertical

Terrain: Two small climbs, extra k’s available if required.

2

Friday May 10: Day 2 | Forza d’Agro to Milazzo

A mostly coastal 85k ride awaits us today, with all day to do it.
Noting that most of it made up the latter half, of a sprinters stage, back in the 2008 Giro d’Italia. Starting with a descent out of Forza d’Agro, we’ll turn left at the Messina strait and head north along the coastal road, keeping the sea to our right. Nearing the city of Messina, we’ll turn inland and take a shortcut up across the range. Going up, you can be sure it will be steep, but nothing lasts forever. And looking back behind you, you’ll be able to see Reggio Calabria, the tip of Italy’s toe, across the Strait. We’ll descend the northern side and roll on into the port town of Milazzo, passing a few roadside fruit and veg stalls along the way. Coffee stop and picnic lunch, en route, for sure.

Accommodation

3 star Hotel, on the port

Dining

Local Restaurant

Ride: 80km, <1500m vertical

Terrain: One big climb, up to 500m.

3

Saturday May 11: Day 3 | 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!
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

4

Sunday May 12: Day 4 | 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.

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

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 13: Day 5 | Lipari to Cefalu

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.

6

Tuesday May 14: Day 6 | Cefalu to Cefalu

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

7

Wednesday May 15: Day 7 | Cefalu to central Sicily

It’s a long way to the south of the island, from where we are, and the halfway point of Cammerata is our goal today. We’ll be riding out of Cefalu west, along the coast for 15k, before turning inland to follow the Giro route from 2008. There’s two climbs of note today, the first one peaks at just under 600m, while the second one reaches 900m above sea level. It is worth noting that they both have two false peaks, before the final peak. Tonight we’ll be in a rurally located agriturismo, dining inhouse.

Accommodation

Rurally located Agriturismo

Dining

In-house Restaurant

Ride: 105km, <2000m vertical

Terrain: Two big climbs, plus undulations, forever.

8

Thursday May 16: Day 8 | central Sicily to Agrigento

After Cammerata 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. A very similar route to ours, although we stopped halfway. The first 15k of todays ride is a solid climb, up to 1000m. We’ll have a coffee stop in Santo Stefano Quisquina (25k), after a long descent into the town centre. Lunch stop in Cianciano (52k). For the ride finish we’ll transport into Agrigento, from Raffadali.

Accommodation

B & B in central Agrigento

Dining

local restaurant, walking distance

Ride: >80km today, 1700m ascent

Terrain:Solid climb to start...

9

Friday May 17: Day 9 | Agrigento to 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 out to the west. 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, 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.

10

Saturday May 18: Day 10 | Agrigento to 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.

11

Sunday May 19: Day 11 | Caltagirone to Catania "Arriverderci!"

After breakfast it's time to pack up the bikes and farewell all your mates. From Caltagirone we can drop you off at Fontanarossa Airport Catania or the ferry terminal. Or anywhere that is in the direction we are heading. Arrivederci!.
This tour includes the following: 11 days, 10 nights, all breakfast, dinners and accommodation. 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 Bars and drink supplements Topbike Cycling kit Topbike’s experienced guides and mechanical support. Topbike poetry and great dinner conversation
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

Catania to Catania, Sicily

2019 Topbike Tour of Sicily | May 9–19

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

Catania to Catania, Sicily

With a Catania start and finish, we’ll be doing an anti-clockwise loop around Sicilia. We’ll be stopping over at the towns of Forza d’Agro, Milazzo, Lipari, Cefalu, Cammerata, Agrigento & Caltagirone. Plenty of great coffee, gelato and many other Sicilian treats to be enjoyed en route too.