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Italy Self Guided Biking / Sicily
Tour Dates: Mar-Jun & Sept-Nov

The views change daily in this uncrowded, enchanted landscape of Greek temples, hilltop castles and white sand beaches bordered by seaside cliffs. As you make your way inland to the interior of the island, you find rolling hills with broad valleys of wheat, groves of olive trees and endless vineyards buzzing with activity during the harvest. The pace of life is slower and there is a real sense of tradition. Sicily’s multi-cultural past is reflected in its well preserved Greek temples, Phoenician ruins, Norman fortresses and Baroque churches. On the culinary side you will find fresh sea food, local produce and delightful pastries. It is also said that Sicilians make the best gelato in all of Italy, but you be the judge! This is the Italy few have seen, and we like to think of this tour as a true “diamond in the rough” for the cyclist who prefers the road less traveled with a great meal at the end of it!

2016 Price: €1500 per person Euros /double occupancy

Single Supplement: €275 Euros

Price Includes:
  • 9 days/8 nights
  • 8 nights hotel
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 3 dinners
  • luggage transfers
  • airport transfer at start of tour
  • trip information package that includes maps, route descriptions, and suggested sights to visit, emergency phone numbers for our Italian staff support (shorter itineraries available).
Price does not include:

International flights, airport transfer at end of tour, bike rentals (you may choose to bring your own bike or rent one for €150), lunches, 4 dinners.

“I can’t thank you enough for the great care you took of our group in Italy. To build seemingly unattainable expectations in 14 people and then to have them not only met but exceeded is a feat that only the two of you could do. The accommodations, food, biking, guides, special events, and even the weather (how did you do the weather?) surpassed anything that I could imagine.” ~ Steve S.

Tour Difficulty

Daily rides are between 60 to 70 km (36– 42 miles).

  • Difficulty: Moderately Hilly
  • Road Conditions: Smooth & Paved
  • Recommended Bike: Hybrid or Road

Tour Highlights

  • Enchanted Landscapes
  • Archeological treasures
  • Outstanding Cuisine
  • Scenic Coastal Riding

Tour Overview

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, and we will ride a counterclockwise loop on the western side of the island. The views change daily in this uncrowded, enchanted landscape of Greek temples, hilltop castles and white sand beaches bordered by seaside cliffs. As we make our way inland to the interior of the island, we find rolling hills with broad valleys of wheat, groves of olive trees and endless vineyards buzzing with activity during the harvest.

Tour Map

Tour Video

Days 1 & 2 - Segesta

Arrival in Palermo or Trapani. We will arrange a transfer from the airport to your first hotel near Segesta where you will spend 2 nights. At this time our Italian representative will go over all of the trip logistics and fit you with a rental bike. You will have 2 days to get over jet lag and visit Segesta and the lovely hamlet of Scopello. In Segesta, there is no way of describing the beauty of the place: the golden stone of the temple shining in the sun and the peacefulness of the lanscape of soft hills rolling toward a sea as blue as saffire. After visiting the archeological site you can ride to Scopello, (30km) a tiny village on the seaside in the Castellamare gulf at the entrance of the Zingaro park. This is an out an back ride.

Day 3 - Segesta /Erice – (50 km)

Your cycling destination today is Erice, a small medieval town on top of Mount San Giuliano that overlooks the Mediterranean. Erice is the only Sicilian town that has been inhabited since prehistoric times. You ’ll have plenty of time to enjoy its winding cobblestone streets, castle walls and picturesque squares in the historical part of town. Make sure to try some of the pastry shops! Hotel in Erice.

Day 4 - Erice/Marsala – (60km )

You begin your downhill trip toward the sea. You’ll make your way to the Salt Road on the west coast of Sicily. Here you will find numerous salt mills and endless views of seaside life in Sicily. Your destination is Marsala, a city rich in Carthaginian, Roman, Norman and Arab history. Spend the night in the old center of Marsala enjoying a meal of the freshest fish.

Day 5 - Marsala/ Menfi – (70km)

You are off and riding to the temples of Selinunte. Founded by the Greeks in the 7th century BC, Selinunte is one of the most intriguing archaeological sites in the Mediterranean area. From the massive acropolis you’ll have a panoramic view of distant hillsides dotted with temples that stretch to the sea. Hotel near Selinunte.

Day 6 - Menfi loop ride– (50km)

If you didn't have time to visit Selinute yesterday, today is the perfect day to ride to the ruins and spend an adequate amount of time enjoying this spectacular site. We will also provide you with a ride along the coast for further exploration.

Day 7 - Menfi/Contessa Entellina – (65 km)

Today you’ll pedal to the Ruins of Poggioreale. The route that leads to Poggioreale, one of the towns of the Belice Valley struck by the earthquake in 1968. Tonight’s accomodation is in a B & B and though a bit simple, this is always a favorite with our guests.

Day 8 - Contessa Entellina/Palermo – ( 40 km)

Today you’ll pedal through a vast agricultural region of vineyards and olive groves. This is also the area where Pecorino, a flavorful typical Italian cheese, is produced. We will pick you up at the end of the ride and transfer you into Palermo for your final night of the tour

Day 9 - Palermo

Your tour ends after breakfast. If you would like to spend additional nights in Palermo, we can arrange additional hotel reservations for you.

Who comes on a Nichols Expeditions Bike Tour?

Folks who enjoy our tours are a spirited mix of singles and couples of ALL ages from all corners of the US, Canada and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. Most folks are recreational riders and all seem to share the common bond of an active lifestyle, an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for fun. We will gladly supply references if you wish to speak with someone who has recently been on this trip.

Travel Information

The airlines listed below are reliable European airlines and one way flights on all of the flights should cost less than $100. Please give us a call if you need assistance booking flights.

Getting to Palermo or Trapani Airport

Air One which is now owned by Alitalia (http://www.alitalia.com/US_EN/home/i) Ryan Air (http://www.ryanair.com/en), Easy Jet (http://www.easyjet.com)

The Food

Sicilian food is incredible and You will be staying in hotels and inns that serve gourmet meals with enough variety to please everyone.Vegetarian and other dietary restrictions can usually be accommodated with advanced notice.

Weather

Weather can be changeable, so be prepared for riding in both sun and showers. Daytime temperatures are 60º to 85º F. and nights are 50º to 70º F. There is always the chance of rain, so to ensure your personal comfort please make sure you have a good quality rain jacket with a hood and rain pants, too. For the sunny days, we recommend using SPF 30 sunscreen and lip screen. If you are really sun sensitive, we suggest sun-blocking clothing.

Rental Bikes

We rent good quality hybrid or road bikes with a bike bag, a water bottle cage and flat pedals with or without toe clips and straps. You are welcomed to bring your own pedals and seat. We will supply full mechanical support during the tour. Road bike rentals are also available upon request. NOTE: You will need to provide your own water bottle and helmet.

Camera Gear

Whether you shoot a digital or film camera, bring more media storage cards or film than you think you need! A portable hard drive may be the answer for digital storage. Other useful items are plenty of extra batteries, lens cleaner, lens tissue, lens brush, a mini tabletop tripod and a clean toothbrush to remove grit from your camera.

Language

You do not need to be able to speak Italian, but it can be lots of fun, and our bilingual guide can always help you with the finer points of the language. A small dictionary and some creative sign language are helpful, and many people at airports and hotels speak English.

Money

The currency of Italy is the Euro. You will need Euros for beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips for hotel staff. We suggest exchanging a minimum of €200 EUR (more if you like to shop and sample the local wine and ice cream).

Tipping

We suggest 10% for exceptional service in restaurants (most restaurants include a service charge) and a small amount for baggage and taxi service.

Cash & Credit Cards

US CASH: bring only NEW bills with NO tears. You can exchange money at the airport and in major towns. CREDIT CARDS: bring 2 or more Visa or Master Cards in case you have trouble with one. There are ATMs in most of the towns on the tour. To use your Credit Card to get Euros at an ATM, each Credit Card will need a PIN#. Be sure to activate the PIN# and check that it works BEFORE you begin your travels. We also suggest contacting your credit card company prior to your trip to inform them of the countries where you will be traveling and the dates. We do not recommend bringing Travelers Checks because some places do not accept them, exchange rates vary widely and they require a bank to exchange them.

Passport

U.S. citizens must have a current Passport to enter Italy. Make sure your PASSPORT DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF THE COMPLETION OF YOUR TOUR. These requirements do vary from country to country, but just to be safe, we recommend going by the 6 month standard, because it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to international travel!

Make copies of your passport! We recommend making 2 photocopies of your passport’s photo page and any other valuable documents you might carry with you on the tour. Travel with one copy stored separately from your passport. Leave the other copy at home with a relative or friend (ideally the same person you gave as your emergency contact). In the event that any of your documents are lost or stolen, this will greatly assist the process of replacement.

Additional hotel lodging

Let us know if you would like us to make additional hotel reservations for you in Italy either before or after the tour.

Travel Delays

Nichols Expeditions is not responsible for any costs you may incur due to delays with transportation (airline or other), weather, road conditions, government intervention, sickness or other contingencies we are unable to control. For international flights, arrive at least 2-3 hours prior to departure (check with your air carrier for their requirements) and allow ample time between connecting flights. If you miss your flight and you need a special shuttle to meet up with the group, you will be responsible for the cost.

Travel Insurance

To protect yourself against life’s uncertainties, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy!

Learn more about the Travel Insurance.

About Sicily

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea; along with surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous Region of Italy officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.

Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean. It extends from the tip of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated only by the narrow Strait of Messina, towards the North African coast. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, which, at 3,350 m (10,990 ft), is the tallest active volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate. ~ Wikipedia

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