Discover Sicily's heritage on a cycling trip

Thursday, 12 April 2014 9:32 AM

Cycling in Sicily is the perfect way to discover some of this island's most beautiful towns and stunning sights. Choosing to pedal your way from place to place will allow you to explore at your own speed and ensure you see the best Sicily has to offer.

One of the most striking features of this Italian destination is its landscape, which is dominated by the imposing Mount Etna. This is the tallest active volcano in Europe and it has certainly left its mark on the Sicilian scenery over the years. You really can't miss the snow-capped peak, especially if you're exploring in the south-eastern regions of the island where it has had the biggest impact.

Along with Mount Etna, what else should you look out for on cycling holidays in Sicily? Here are just a few suggestions.


Noto is one of eight towns that are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to their stunning baroque architecture. This settlement is perhaps the best place to get an introduction to this style of building, as its streets are lined with excellent examples of this artistic movement. Another quirk of Noto is that it is separated into two distinct parts - the old and the new.

In the late 17th century, an earthquake destroyed many of the buildings in Noto and in other towns and cities in the region, resulting in a large-scale reconstruction project which led to the wonderful baroque facades you see here today. The older districts of Noto are situated towards the top of a plateau, while its newer neighbourhoods can be found lower down the slopes. It's worth taking the time to wander around both as they are each home to their own architectural gems. Don't miss the Santissimo Salvatore Monastery, which covers some 11,000 sq m and is a joy to explore.


Pedalling further west will bring you to Ragusa, where you can marvel at more of the region's amazing baroque architecture. The city is spread across three hills and is separated by a deep valley, with two very different centres. One follows an old medieval layout, while the other is typical of the 18th century. The Duomo di San Giorgio is a striking baroque cathedral that is a sight to behold. Its 50 m high bell tower certainly makes it stand out, as do its ornate friezes and statues.

If you're keen to spend part of you cycling holidays in Europe by the beach, it's only a short ride to Marina di Ragusa, where you'll be greeted by a peaceful stretch of sand, ideal if you want to relax and soak up the sun before continuing with your adventure.


This city on Sicily's east coast is the ideal place from where to start and end your break. The settlement is steeped in history, with its most impressive landmarks to be found in the Necropolis of Pantalica. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is comprised of a variety of ruins dating from the periods of Greek, Roman and Byzantine rule on the island. Among the structures you can see are a Greek theatre, Roman amphitheatre and a temple dedicated to Athena. The foundations of the Prince's Palace - or Anaktoran - from the Byzantine era can also be made out. Undoubtedly one of the most impressive sights here, though, is the 5,000 tombs carved into the rock that were created between the 13th and seventh centuries BC.

Walk in the beautiful Madonie Mountains

Sicily's Madonie Mountains: perfect for a peaceful walking break

If you're hoping for a peaceful holiday spent walking in Italy, Sicily's Madonie Mountains are an ideal place to choose. Little-visited, they offer splendid scenery, tranquil paths and some wonderful wildlife to spot.

Experience paradise on earth on a Mediterranean cruise

Experience paradise on earth on a Mediterranean cruise

Going sailing in the Mediterranean is one of the most glamorous holidays you will ever experience; spend your days on the water soaking up the sun and moor up at fascinating and beautiful islands. If you're looking for the perfect place to go, it is hard to beat Palermo.

Auckland is a chic city to holiday in

Highlights of a trip to Auckland

New Zealand is a breathtaking part of the globe, and wherever you go on the two islands, you will come across stunning natural beauty. This is even true in its cosmopolitan cities such as Auckland, which allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Visit Korcula on your Croatia yacht charter

Discover the beauty of the Adriatic on a Kremik yacht charter

The Adriatic Sea is dotted with beautiful islands, some of which are inhabited and others that have been left to nature. Taking a yacht charter is the best way to discover many of these isles, as you can explore at your leisure, mooring up where you please.

Go on a spice tour on a luxury Zanzibar break

Top off an African holiday with a short trip to Zanzibar

Zanzibar is the perfect place to end any African holiday, providing you with the chance to experience some of the more luxurious offerings on the continent.

Book Sri Lanka holidays to discover stunning beaches and exotic wildlife

Book Sri Lanka holidays to discover stunning beaches and exotic wildlife

If you're browsing holidays in the sun for a culturally-rich location where you can enjoy pristine beaches as well as interesting excursions, you're sure to find a trip to Sri Lanka is perfect for you.

Enjoy a boating break on the Canal du Midi

Sunny short breaks boating in France and Italy

If you're looking to make the most of the Mediterranean sunshine on your next European short break, why not head to France or Italy for a relaxing, cultural boating break?

Casole d'Elsa is close to Siena

Top reasons to stay in Casole d'Elsa

Holidaymakers planning to rent luxury private villas in Tuscany should consider including Casole d'Elsa in their itinerary for the perfect mix of culture, history and stunning scenery - something that could make for an unforgettable Italian getaway.


Sign up to's ASPIRE.

Subject to terms of use and privacy policy

The best places to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic

 The best places to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic

April 15 2014 marks the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic, one of the most luxurious ocean liners the world has ever seen. It was also one of the world’s worst maritime disasters, with over 1500 of its passengers perishing with the ship itself. It's a story that has captured our imaginations for a century and as April 15 approaches, we discover the best places to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

Quirky luxury hotels - Stay in a fairytale castle

Quirky luxury hotels - Fairytale Thorngrove Manor

If you’ve ever dreamed of staying in a disneyesque fairytale castle, then this is probably what you imagined - turreted towers, romantic balconies, immaculate manicured gardens with scrambling roses and soft enchanting lighting. Welcome to the Thorngrove Manor.