Baroque Sicily by Bike

The World Heritage towns of south-east Sicily
 
By linking five Baroque towns, this is more than just a self-guided cycling holiday: it’s an insight into Sicily’s history and its opulent architecture. Your luggage is transported from one World Heritage town to the next, where you stay in accommodation of real character.
Baroque Sicily by Bike. 6 nights
Baroque Sicily by Bike. 6 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A cycling holiday in south-east Sicily

South-east Sicily is a mosaic in many senses – the rich diversity of cultures contributing to its lifestyle and buildings over the centuries, the patchwork of its interior and coastline, the palette of warm colours characterising its hill-top villages, and the exquisite golden mosaics of its cathedrals and palaces.
Starting in the hills in Ragusa and finishing near the sea in Siracusa, this holiday reveals the varied landscapes of this corner of the island and, above all, the cluster of Baroque towns that were built by master craftsmen following the massive earthquake of 1693. Enhanced by the bright Mediterranean light, the extravagant detail of the architecture is a veritable feast for the eyes, as anyone who has watched Inspector Montalbano will already know.
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    Given its location in the Mediterranean, Sicily is known for its hot, sunny climate, though breezes can make it cooler in the mountains.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 15 16 17 19 23 27 31 31 28 24 20 16
    mm 73 51 44 30 17 5 4 10 35 104 61 76
  • Arrival in Ragusa
    Night 1: at Giardino sul Duomo or Hotel Il Barocco (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of cycling.
  • Circular route from Ragusa: 42km
    Your bikes will be delivered to the hotel promptly in the morning, after which you can head out to explore the area to the south of Ragusa, taking in the town of Modica. Besides its splendid Baroque architecture and abundance of churches (there are said to be one hundred), Modica is famous for its chocolate, made using traditional Aztec methods. There’s time to sample some before completing the loop back to Ragusa (or you could take the train, which runs daily except on Sundays).

    Alternatively, you may prefer to spend your first day simply exploring Ragusa on foot. Classed as a World Heritage Site in recognition of its glorious architecture and picturesque hillside setting, it serves as an excellent introduction to the Sicilian Baroque style. It has two distinct areas, the old town of Ragusa Ibla, and the newer Ragusa Superiore, built higher on the hill. The two are separated by a deep ravine, crossed by several bridges, but there are important Baroque cathedrals, churches, and palaces in both parts of the town, the jewel in the crown being the Duomo di San Giorgio.
    We highly recommend adding an extra night here.
     
    Circular route from Ragusa: 42km
    Visit a traditional chocolate shop in Modica
  • Ragusa to Scicli: 35km
    Leaving Ragusa, you cycle south across open countryside with fine views before descending to Scicli (pronounced ‘sheek-ly’). If you watch the detective series Inspector Montalbano, you’ll recognise the handsome Baroque town hall, which serves as the police station in the series. Here, you spend two nights at the Scicli Albergo Diffuso.
    Ragusa to Scicli: 35km
    Quiet country lanes
  • Out-and-back route from Scicli: 36km
    The target of today’s bike ride is Marina di Ragusa, a coastal town with a large marina, sandy beach and broad, palm-lined seafront promenade. If you are interested in seeing the building which serves as Inspector Montalbano’s house in the TV series, you can continue along the coast to the small village of Punta Secca, before retracing your route back to Scicli (add 11.5km for this extension).
     
    Out-and-back route from Scicli: 36km
    Cycle along the coast
  • Scicli to Noto: 52km
    Today’s route is the longest of the holiday, but rewards you with some beautiful views, including of the Baroque town of Ispica (the route can be shortened to 29km by taking the train to Ispica; please note there is no service on Sundays). In Noto, you stay at the Giardino del Barocco for one night. Take time before dinner to wander through the town – known as the ‘capital’ of Sicilian Baroque, it epitomises this architectural style, with many fine early 18th-century buildings.
     
    Scicli to Noto: 52km
    Arrive in Noto
  • Noto to Siracusa: 41km
    It doesn’t take long to reach the coast, and you then follow it north-eastwards to Siracusa. There’s plenty to explore here, particularly on the beautiful ‘island’ of Ortigia, the Baroque heart of the town. Be sure not to miss the Roman amphitheatre, Greek theatre, the Tomb of Archimedes (the famous mathematician lived here), the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the Orecchio di Dionisio, one of several stone quarries used as prisons in ancient times. You finish your holiday with a night at Hotel Domus Mariae Benessere or Domus Mariae Albergo. It is well worth extending your stay here to give you more time to explore the many historical treasures.
    Noto to Siracusa: 41km
    Opportunities to stop at the beach
 

Accommodation

Your accommodation is varied but always stylish, comfortable and welcoming.

In some places, we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. All are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation.

Wherever you stay in Ragusa and Siracusa, we recommend adding an extra night to give you more time to explore.
 

Options to extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 6 nights: 01 April 2024 - 30 June 2024 & 01 September 2024 - 15 November 2024

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Apr 2024 £1665 £195
    1 May - 24 Jun 2024 £1795 £195
    1 - 30 Sep 2024 £1805 £195
    1 - 20 Oct 2024 £1630 £195
    21 Oct - 9 Nov 2024 £1595 £195
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals, bike hire, luggage transfers and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus cycling notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Electric bikes available: add £220pp

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Except in Siracusa, prices include an extra day’s hire of a standard bike. If you are upgrading to an e-bike, add a further £51pp.
    Giardino sul Duomo, Ragusa (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £103 £176
    01 Sep - 15 Nov 2024 £103 £176
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Catania
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly via an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Catania (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Catania jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Catania easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Catania easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Catania jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Catania British Airways,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Catania British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Catania easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Catania Air Malta 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Catania Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Catania easyJet,  jet2 
    Manchester - Catania (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly via an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Catania

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    bus Catania airport to Ragusa bus station (1h45, pay locally), taxi bus station to hotel (0h15) £9 17:30
    direct taxi Catania airport to hotel (1h45) £87 17:30
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    walk (0h30) or taxi hotel to Siracusa station (0h10, pay locally), rail Siracusa to Catania Centrale (1h20) £13 1100
    walk (0h30) or taxi hotel to Siracusa bus station (0h10), bus Siracusa to Catania airport (1h15) pay locally flexible
    direct taxi hotel to Catania airport (1h15) £53 flexible
What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 6 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • high-quality bicycle
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • Our chosen bike rental shop will provide you with a hybrid bike with 27 gears; a waterproof map case on handlebars; panniers/saddlebags; pump; puncture repair kit; and a lock. Electric bikes are available as an upgrade (see price panel), subject to availability, and must be requested at the time of booking.
  • While we would always recommend that you take your own well-fitting helmet, they can be hired locally for a small fee. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to hire a helmet.
  • Yes, we will provide GPX tracks for this holiday prior to departure so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. (We also provide maps and our tried-and-tested route notes, which remain the principal means of navigation).
  • You are responsible for damage to or loss of the rental bike while it is hired to you. Always be careful to lock it up, ideally to an immovable object, and remove all easy-to-steal accessories whenever you leave it unattended.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. On mornings when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation so that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our cycling holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact us to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Italy, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The principal official language is Italian, though some regions have a second official language, such as South Tyrol, where German is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro. Italian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
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