Ride Description – Sicily
Join us for 10 wonderful days and nights in the beautiful southeast region of Sicily, home of abundant sunshine, brilliant colors, unparalleled history, splendid wines and great local cuisine! Our SPLIT-BASE (i.e. – two FIXED BASES) tour will begin only 3 kilometers from the city of Noto (5 nights) and end in Ragusa Ibla (5 nights), both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The tour will also take us to several other villages with this same designation to include Siracusa, Modica, Palazzolo Acreide and Scicli, which represent the highest level of artistic and architectural achievement in the Baroque style of the day.
The price of the trip is $1795 USD per person double occupancy and includes the following INCLUSIONS/EXCLUSIONS just below. NOTE there is NO trip registration fee and there are NO payment fees by credit/debit card through PayPal. These fees are paid by Cycling Friends, LLC. A $500 USD deposit per person is required to secure a slot on the trip for each participant. Due date for final payments will be March 1, 2020. If single supplement applies, it will also be collected at the time of final payment due date. Single supplement cost is $500 USD.
Tour pricing is based on a minimum of 20 participants. If the minimum number of participants is not met at least 6 months prior to departure then the trip may be cancelled.
- One 4 Star and one 3 Star cycling friendly hotels, the 4 Star located only 3 kilometers from the city of Noto and the 3 Star in the heart of Ragusa Ibla, both villages named UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2002.
- Per person double occupancy room for 10 nights.
- Daily continental Sicilian breakfast.
- Dinner at the 4 Star hotel near Noto on 5 evenings to include 3 courses plus wine, water, and dessert. A daily vegetarian selection will also be available, and there will be no meal repeats during our stay.
- Dinner during our stay at the 3 Star hotel in Ragusa Ibla will be at restaurants selected by the Ride Director in or near the village of Ragusa Ibla. There will be 4 dinners provided during our stay in Ragusa Ibla or 9 dinners for the duration of the trip at both locations. Our first evening dinner in Ragusa Ibla will be on the day of our arrival after our ride from our hotel near Noto. However, dinner on the evening of our day off, our second day in Ragusa Ibla, will be on your own in the village of Ragusa Ibla.
- Daily business meeting and Happy Hour prior to dinner.
- Exclusive website for accepted participants only which will provide GPS tracks, maps and much more information about the ride and sight seeing opportunities in the area. Maps, route sheets and GPS tracks of the suggested daily cycling routes will be available at that time. The website will be available approximately 6 months in advance of departure.
- Transfer of your luggage from our first hotel near Noto to our hotel in Ragusa Ibla. We will ride from Noto to Ragusa Ibla on cycling day 5.
- Aid station at a very scenic overlook about halfway between our two hotels during the ride to Ragusa Ibla. Water, cookies, chocolate, etc. will be provided.
- Pickup and drop off at the Catania, Sicily airport. Dates and times are outlined below. Arrivals and departures should be planned accordingly. Travel time to the hotel near Noto from the Catania airport is approximately 1 hour, while 1 hour and 30 minutes is required to travel to the Catania airport from Ragusa Ibla.
- Pickup Date/Time: Departure from Catania airport to our hotel near Noto will be Sunday, April 26, 2020 (Section 1) or Saturday, May 23, 2020 (Section 2) at 4:00PM arriving at the hotel about 5:00PM.
- Drop Off Date/Time: Departure from our hotel in Ragusa Ibla to the Catania airport will be Wednesday, May 6, 2020 (Section 1) or Tuesday, June 2, 2020 (Section 2) at 7:30AM arriving at the Catania airport about 9:00AM.
- Pickup and drop off will include you, your luggage and bike case (if applicable).
- Bike rental coordination and assistance.
- Hotel gratuities for front desk, restaurant and maid service personnel at each hotel.
- Luggage transfers during entry to and exit from the hotels.
- Complementary wifi.
- Secure bike storage.
- Airfare and other transportation to and from the pick up and drop off location at the Catania, Sicily airport.
- Sightseeing fees.
- Bike rental.
- Daily lunches.
- Dinner on our cycling day off in Ragusa Ibla.
- Alcohol with meals other than wine which is included at dinner.
- Lodging before and after the trip.
- Personal items purchased during the trip.
It is recommended that singles seeking a roommate try to find their own, but the Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director may also assist by attempting to match singles registering for the ride. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the trip and given an agreeable and reasonable period of time to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option of receiving a full refund or paying the single supplement and staying on the tour. If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. Single supplement payments will be added to the unpaid balance due at the time of final payment.
Our first hotel, 4 Star Villa Favorita, is only 3 kilometers from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Noto and 3 kilometers from the convergence of the Mediterranean and Ionian Seas. It was established as a holiday house in the 18th century and is surrounded by beautiful trees and gardens. The pool overlooks the city of Noto in the near distance. A visit to Noto is a must for our guests and one of our rides will conclude here! We will spend 5 nights here before riding to our second hotel in Ragusa Ibla.
Our second hotel, 3 Star Il Barocco, located in the heart of Ragusa Ibla, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is surrounded by Baroque architecture and just 5 minutes from the famous Cathedral of San Giorgio. The hotel is located a very short walk to the promenade of Ragusa Ibla which is packed with excellent restaurants, quaint bars and wonderful shops, not to mention the historical significance of the setting. We will spend 5 nights here.
Arrival and departure for the trip will be at the Catania, Sicily airport. Luxury shuttle transportation will be provided from the Catania airport to our first hotel near Noto, approximately one hour’s distance. Luxury shuttle transportation will also be provided back to the Catania airport from our second hotel in Ragusa Ibla, approximately one and one half hour’s distance. Note there will be only one date and time pickup and drop off per trip and times stated will be prompt. See INCLUSIONS in the COST/ADMIN tab above.
Several options exist in planning your arrival and departure to the Catania airport. However, the recommended approach is by plane from the Rome airport (FCO). To avoid the issue of transporting and storing your own bike, high quality bike rentals will be available. See OTHER INFORMATION tab above. Details on air transport from Rome and rental options may be discussed with the Cycling Friends, LLC Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director for the tour.
Rather than wasting time and energy packing and unpacking each day, worrying about making it to your destination without getting lost, etc., our SPLIT-BASE (i.e. – two FIXED BASES) ride will do in and out (loop) rides of 35 to 50+ miles of varying but moderate terrain, returning to our hotels early to mid afternoon each day. This will allow plenty of time to taking a nice relaxing lunch on the road or in the nearby villages close to our hotels.
Riding in this area of Sicily the terrain is moderate with our range of daily climbing from 1400 to 3900 feet and an average of 2800 feet. Climbing grades average 4% to 5% with a maximum of 7%. All roads we will ride are paved and consideration has been given to avoiding high traffic areas. GPS tracks, maps and cue sheets of the suggested daily cycling route will be available in advance of the departure date and can be discussed with your Cycling Friends, LLC Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director who has personally ridden each route many times. Plan to make 2 to 3 stops sampling the quaint coffee shops and take lunch (not included in the trip price) in one of the many villages along the way. You are welcome to join one or two group led rides each riding day that will follow the ride schedule published on our private ride website for participants only.
Bike rentals will be available from our excellent supplier and partner in the area, Ciclofree, located in Siracusa. We have used Ciclofree since the inception of this ride in 2017 and for good reason. The quality and variety of bikes they offer and their level of service has been great. We are proud to be associated with such a great supplier and we have an excellent working relationship with them. We will provide rental coordination and assistance when ordering and at delivery and pick-up. Please note we will not begin the rental process until about 6 months prior to departure.
Mentioned in RIDING IN Sicily just above, we offer daily group rides for our scheduled and published ride of the day. We offer a couple of groups split not so much by riding ability but more by the actual participants themselves desiring to ride with their friends.
Our guides on each ride will not let anyone fall away from the group and you will not be left on your own. Although Cycling Friends, LLC does not have a dedicated sag vehicle, in case you get stranded on the road we will do whatever necessary to get you back safely to the hotel. We will publish a phone number list prior to trip departure in case of an emergency or if you need assistance.
May is a very pleasant time to visit Sicily. It is one of the driest months and the temperatures are very mild. During your stay you can expect to see temperatures of up to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for exploring and getting to know the island. The evenings are also a bit warmer with temperatures rarely dropping below 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The average temperatures are a high of 67 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures in May promote the abundance of colorful and fragrant wildflowers along our routes and for a moment you might think you are in a perfume shop!
Cyclists on our trips with non-cycling partners need not fear of a lack of things for the non-cyclist to enjoy in the area. It is also possible to rent a car locally and drive to many attractions close by. However, Noto and Ragusa Ibla and the area offers a wide range of activities. The Cycling Friends, LLC Ride Director and/or Ride Co-Director can direct you to the Noto and/or Ragusa Ibla Tourist Office centrally located in each village. These offices have a multitude of information about sights to see in and around the area.
Another opportunity for your exploration while in Ragusa is not by bike but a guided tour of Agrigento on our day off while in Ragusa. This city, on the southern coast, is renowned as the site of ancient Greek city of Akragas. During the tour you will visit the famous “Valley of the Temples”. This site is the home of seven monumental Greek temples in the Doric style constructed during the 6th and 5th centuries BC. These temples, some of the largest and best preserved ancient Greek buildings outside of Greece itself, are also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Riding in the southeastern region of Sicily affords you the luxury of visiting some of the villages best known for Baroque architecture. This architecture evolved in the 17th and 18th centuries as part of the Spanish Empire. The abundance of this style of architecture surged due to the rebuilding following a massive earthquake in 1693. Villages you will visit that were a beneficiary of this rebirth are Catania (our arrival city), Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa, Modica and Scicli. In addition, all of these villages were named UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2002. The only village you will not visit named in the 2002 designation is Caltigirone which is just out of our reach by bike on this trip. However, a tour to this village, known for its ceramics, can be arranged during your stay.
We will ride from our first hotel near Noto, very close to the southeastern coastline of Sicily, inland to the capital of the province of Ragusa named appropriately Ragusa. However, we will be staying in the old town of Ragusa named Ragusa Ibla which is situated below modern Ragusa. Ibla is home to many stunning palaces and churches with Baroque architecture to include the Cathedral of San Giorgio which is the most prominent. The village itself is a wondrous maze of winding narrow streets which beg to be explored. During your exploration you will find numerous shops, quaint coffee and pastry bars, clothing stores and of course wonderful authentic Sicilian restaurants. Ibla is the perfect ending to a wonderful Sicilian journey.
Congratulations! You will love this trip!
The deposit amount for this trip is $500 USD per person and is due at registration. Please note if there are any allowed discounts these will be deducted at the time of final payment. You will be notified in advance by Cycling Friends, LLC of your final payment amount if different than outlined below.
The balance of $1295USD per person (double occupancy or single with a roommate) or $1795 USD single supplement ($1295 USD + $500 USD = $1795 USD) will be due on or before March 1, 2020. Depending on currency exchange rates, there may be some minor changes in the amount of the final payment but this is unlikely. If this occurs you will be notified in advance by Cycling Friends, LLC.
Please review the 2 steps below for registration and making your deposit.
First, complete the registration form below. Every participant, whether cycling or not, is required to complete the form.
Second, you have two choices for signing the Release of Liability (aka RIDE APPLICATION WAIVER OF LIABILITY, ASSUMPTION OF RISK and INDEMNITY AGREEMENT) and making your deposit payment.
1) You can choose to electronically sign the Release of Liability and make your deposit payment by credit/debit card which flows through PayPal. You do not have to be a PayPal user to make payment. All fees associated with a credit/debit card payment are paid by Cycling Friends, LLC. Note you must do both, electronically sign the Release of Liability and make credit/debit card payment through PayPal or go to option 2) below and complete the process manually. This is your choice.
2) Or you can print the Release of Liability, date and sign it for each participant and then mail it and your deposit check(s) made payable to ‘Cycling Friends, LLC’ to the address below via USPS.
Cycling Friends, LLC
Sicilian Baroque Villages 2020 (please indicate Section attending)
2294 Seven Lakes Drive
Loveland, Colorado 80538 USA
In all cases of payment, whether electronically with a credit/debit card or through the mail, you will receive notification by email that your Release of Liability and check(s) or PayPal payment have arrived safely and been recorded and deposited.