Cycling on quiet coastal and country roads in this unhurried region of Sicily
Visit the shimmering Marsala salt pans followed by Marsala wine tasting
Discover one of the world’s best-preserved Greek temples at Segesta
Enjoy the dazzling views from the medieval hilltop village of Erice
Explore Favignana Island – a hidden gem in the Mediterranean
Self-guided cycling holiday in Sicily
Western Sicily is an unhurried and undiscovered destination that is ideal for exploration by bicycle. The way of life is slow in this region, which is nevertheless rich in attractions. The main towns of Marsala and Trapani are lively and full of history, while the surrounding countryside is peaceful and idyllic. This region offers a full palette of colours: from the luminescent white of the salt pans to deep blue skies, emerald waters, and fields full of lush greens and vibrant yellows. The landscape offers a stunning juxtaposition of sea and mountain scenery, while the offshore island of Favignana is a real Mediterranean gem.
Cycling at a relaxed pace through Western Sicily, you will really be able to appreciate its vivid contrasts and extraordinary history. Sicily’s west coast is actually closer to Tunisia than to mainland Italy, so it is not surprising that many of the towns and villages have an almost North African feel. The unique local cuisine will not disappoint, with a wide variety of mouth-watering specialties as well as the famous Marsala wine.
Some cycling days are deliberately short so that you have plenty of time to relax and explore at your own pace.
“Western Sicily is very much an off-the-beaten-track destination, perfect for those who savour slow travel”. Lonely Planet
|7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS||From €725 per person sharing*
*Discounts available for groups of 3 in triple room. Please enquire for prices.
|BIKE RENTAL||If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us. You will find it waiting for you in the Hotel’s storage room, fitted to your requirements. Our adult hybrid-bikes are provided with comfortable seats, reliable components, 21 gears and Shimano Alivio components. All bikes are cleaned and overhauled before delivery.
The rental includes: map holder, rear bags, odometer, repair kit and padlock
Prices include bike delivery, collection and theft insurance.
|ACCOMMODATION||All accomodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Dinner is included on both nights at agriturismo Arcudaci, in Buseto Palazzolo. For the other nights in Marsala and Trapani there are lots of restaurants nearby.
You can see below the standard hotels of this trip. If any of the hotels are unavailable, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April and July, and between September and November (the trip is unavailable in August because of very high temperatures).|
|DIFFICULTY||The difficulty level of this trip is rated as easy to moderate overall. There are some days with uphill stretches with very little shade, so it can feel pretty hot. It gets especially hot in summer (late July to late August). You cycle mostly along well-asphalted country lanes and secondary roads with little traffic, however sometimes it is unavoidable to use busier roads when approaching and entering the larger towns.|
Day 1: Arrive in Marsala
The town of Marsala is world-famous for its sweet dessert wines. You can take an afternoon stroll around the marble-paved streets and piazzas of this pleasant town and admire its stately baroque buildings.
Day 2: Coastal cycle to the Marsala salt pans
Distance: 23 km | Ascent: 30 m | Descent: 30 m
Your first cycling day is an easy route Northwards along the coast to the spectacular Inversa salt flats, a patchwork of shallow coastal lakes lined with ancient windmills. The lagoons are home to many migratory birds, as well as a small salt museum located in a restored windmill. Return to Marsala by the same route and enjoy some relaxing time to try the delicious local wine.
Day 3: Cycle from Marsala to Buseto Palizzolo
Short option – Distance: 41 km | Ascent: 480 m | Descent: 300 m
Long option – Distance: 52 km | Ascent: 620 m | Descent: 300 m
Today you head into Sicily’s rural hinterland, leaving the bustling seaside towns behind. You ascend gradually through a landscape of rolling pastures dotted with crumbling old farmhouses. This sparsely populated region is incredibly scenic, with a pallet of vivid colours that changes with the seasons. Spring is ripe with lush greens while summer is a time for fields of golden wheat swaying gently the breeze.
Your base for the next two nights is a small family-run farm (agriturismo), serving wonderful home grown and locally sourced Sicilian specialties prepared by “mamma”.
Overnight: Buseto Palizzolo
Day 4: Cycle to the Greek temple of Segesta
Short option – Distance: 16 km | Ascent: 120 m | Descent: 120 m
Long option – Distance: 34 km | Ascent: 330 m | Descent: 300 m
An easy cycling route through the gentling rolling hills takes you to the ancient archaeological site of Segesta, where a magnificent 5th century Greek temple stands atop a hill overlooking a deep canyon. As well as the best preserved Greek temple in the world, you will find a spectacular amphitheatre carved into a natural rock hollow overlooking the Gulf of Castellammare.
You can choose to extend the day’s ride to the local hot springs for a dip or return to the farm to relax by the outdoor pool.
Overnight: Buseto Palizzolo
Day 5: Cycle from Buseto Palizzolo to Trapani
Distance: 34.5 km | Ascent: 260 m | Descent: 450 m
Heading back towards the coast, you first wind your way through the hills before freewheeling down to the lively port town of Trapani where you will spend the next two nights. Looming high above on the mountaintop as you enter Trapani is the ancient town of Erice, said to have been founded by exiled Trojans. This was also an important religious site and a famous temple dedicated to Aphrodite (later Venus in Roman times) once stood here. You can spend the afternoon strolling through Trapani’s historic centre or take the cable car up to Erice to enjoy the stunning views over the bay and visit the 12th century Castello di Venere, which is built on the site of Erice’s ancient temple.
Day 6: Favignana Island loop ride
Distance: 24 km | Ascent: 40 m | Descent: 40 m
This morning a short boat ride takes you to the Island of Favignana, set 7 km off the western coast of Sicily and well known for its tuna fishing tradition. It’s a delight to cycle on the flat coastal roads bordered by the inviting, turquoise-coloured sea. You can stop for a dip at one of the many secluded coves and bays and enjoy the slow pace of life before taking the afternoon ferry back to Trapani.
Day 7: Departure from Trapani
Your Sicily cycling holiday comes to an end after breakfast this morning, unless you have booked any additional services with us.
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