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Western Sicily Highlights Self-Guided

Western Sicily Highlights Self-Guided

Flag italy Italy

  • Region Region West Sicily
  • Tour Type Tour Type Self Guided (Open Departure)
  • Duration Duration 10 days
  • Bike Type Bike Types Road, Hybrid, Touring & e-bike

Core Route

490 Kilometres
2 (Moderate) Difficulty Level: 2 (Moderate)
Average Distance per Day: 54 km
0 100 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 652 km
0 1000 km

Extended Route

580 Kilometres
3 (Challenging) Difficulty Level: 3 (Challenging)
Average Distance per Day: 64 km
0 100 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 833 km
0 1000 km
April - October from
€1140
Next Steps

The ancient name for Sicily was Trinacria – the three-cornered island. Each part of the island has its own history and character, contributing to a varied and complex whole.

The history of Sicily can be traced back more than 2000 years, during which time it has been dominated by many different rulers – Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and Spanish – with each succeeding culture leaving its unique indelible mark on the island.

This is a itinerary takes you around the western coastline from Palermo to Selinunte and then turns inland to explore the western and central interior of the island.

Starting from Mondello just north of Palermo you begin by following the coast west around the shores of the picturesque Golfo di Castellammare to the resort of the same name. From Castellammare you can ride to the pretty coastal village of Scopello and have the option to hike in the beautiful Zingaro National Park. Leaving Castellammare you ride west to Trapani on the coast, to a small place called Fontanasalsa. A loop ride from here takes you to wonderful Erice and San Vito lo Capo. Alternatively you can choose to take the short ferry ride over to the Egadi Islands for the day. Continuing south around the coast you visit Marsala en route to Mazara del Vallo and then visit the fabulous ruins at Selinunte. From Selinunte you turn inland to ride through the Sicilian hinterland to Contessa Entellina. Continuing north you visit Corleone en route to Piana Degli Albanesi, with beautiful views far and wide. The last leg of this journey brings you back to Monreale, a stunning hill town just outside of Palermo, where you will stay your last night.

Highlights

  • Scopello

  • Zingaro Nature Reserve

  • The temples at Segesta

  • Erice

  • The Trapani salt pans

  • Sampling Marsala wines in Marsla

  • The incredible ruins at Selinunte

  • Wine tasting at Contessa Entellina

  • Corleone

  • Monreale Cathedral

Day 1

Arrive into your starting town of Mondello, a charming beach town just outside of the capital, Palermo. We will meet you with your bikes and take you through your adventure.

2

Mondello-Castellammare 79km)- You may experience some light traffic as you leave the bustling Palermo area behind you, before joining the tranquil Sicilian countryside for the remainder of your ride. We rejoin the stunning coastline on the ride into Castellammare del Golfo, the small seaside town.

Mondello Castelammare Elv

3

Castellammare Loop Ride (various options)- We have various coastal rides for you to take today, of varying distances and difficulties. You may want to spend at least part of the day taking in the beautiful beaches surrounding Castellammare and swimming in the ocean.

4

Castellammare-Fontanasalsa (55km)- There are a couple of different routes down toward Nubia and Fontanasalsa. The first, slighly longer route follows the coastline up towards Erice and down the Western coastline. The more direct route takes us inland through beautiful olive groves and farmland before rejoining the coastline before the end of our ride.

Castellammare Fontanasalsa elv

5

Fontanasalsa Loop Ride (various options)- We have various options for you today. The core routs heads north towards Trapani, who's famous old town juts out into the sea in the shape of a sickle. From there we begin a long climb up Monte San Giuliano toward the stunning Erice, which has ancient origins. Laid out on a triangular plan, the town has preserved its medieval character with fine city walls, beautifully paved streets, stone houses, small squares and numerous churches – including the medieval Chiesa Matrice. It would make an ideal stop for lunch, before beginning the descent back toward Fontanasalsa.

Fontanasalsa Loop elv

6

Fontanasalsa-Mazara (75km)-A beautiful meandering ride along the Western coastline of Sicily. You briefly come inland before rejoining the coastline before Marsala, famed worldwide for its sweet dessert wines, and is an elegant town full of stately baroque buildings. This would make an ideal lunch stop. There is then a very flat, gentle section along the coastline, nicknamed the 'African Coast', as it is closer to Tunisia than mainland Italy, into Mazara del Vallo, Mazara is a sizeable fishing port, and one of the most typically Arabic towns in Europe.

Nubia Mazara elv

7

Mazara-Selinunte (40km)- Today is a relatively short ride down to the southern coastline, ending in the beautiful, historic Selinunte, one of Italy's great Greek archaeological sites. The isolated ruins here have stood abandoned for most of their history. The lack of later development allows modern visitors to imagine the ancient town of Selinus as it would have been two and a half thousand years ago.

Mazara Selinunte Elv

8

Selinunte-Contessa Entellina (52km)- A great ride north through idyllic pastures and quiet county lanes before approaching the foothills of Monte Genuardo, with a reasonable climb up into the picturesque Contessa Entellina.

Selinunte Contessa elv

9

Contessa Enellina- Piani degli Albanesi (55km)- Again this ride takes in the stunning farming countryside that is closely associated with Sicily. As we head north from Contessa Entellina we pass the town of Corleone, which was made famous in fiction due to the family connection in the Godfather trilogy. It also has very real mafia connections in real life, being the town in which some well-known clans had their headquarters (the Clan dei Corleonesi). The most notable event in Corleone was the arrest in 2006 of Bernardo Provenzano, the "Boss of Bosses", who had been in hiding from the authorities for more than 40 years.

We then begin the ardous climb up to the mountainous plateau of Piana Degli Albanesi, which was founded in the 16th Century by Albanian refugees who had been expelled from the Balkans by the Turks.

Contess Piana degli Albanesi elv

10

Piani degli Albanese- Monreale (36km)-Piana degli Albanesi- Monreale (35km)- The last leg of your adventure is a gentle ride north toward Monreale on the outskirts of Palermo, which plays home to the magnificent Cathedral of Monreale, the finest example of Norman architecture in Sicily. Work was started in 1172 and took ten years to complete. The interior mosaics rank alongside the most impressive creations of the Italian Middle Ages. There are various pretty villages on route where you can stop and take in your last memorable sights of Sicily

Albanesi Monreale elv

Route Map

Accommodation

The standard accommodations for the self-guided itineraries are family run hotels, agriturismos, and bed and breakfasts. Generally, these have around 10 to 20 guest rooms and the owners live on the premises. Italian hotel are classified by a star rating system – from one to five stars – standards for each category may vary a little from region to region. Most of the hotels that we use fall into the three star category – though we occasionally use two and four star hotels when circumstances or availability dictate. In almost all cases the bathroom facilities are ensuite (self-contained within the room). Some of the smaller hotels do not have a restaurant, but there will always be several options close by, within easy walking distance.

The Italian breakfast is light – a cappuccino and a brioche (pastry). Most hotels serve a continental breakfast of orange juice, coffee, tea or hot chocolate, bread rolls and jam. There may also be yogurt, cheeses, cured meats, pastries and cakes.

When you book a tour, your pre-trip planner will have more details about the specific facilities and services provided by the accommodations.

Examples of our Western Sicily hotels include;


Getting there

Air

There are two airports in the region. Palermo Airport is the larger and services most international flights. Trapani has mostly internal flights but also serves a limited number of European destinations – including London.

Getting from Palermo Airport to Palermo

Train

Trains run from Palermo Centrale to Punta Raisa (Airport) approximately every 30 minutes – the journey takes from 45 minutes to an hour.

Taxi


The best option is to take a taxi or airport bus to Trapani Station, and then a train to Palermo. Trains run approximately every 2 hours and the journey takes about 3 hours.

To and from Mainland Italy

The main train line takes you to Sicily from the mainland along the coast going south from Rome. Ferries connect Sicily to mainland Italy, Sardinia, Malta, Tunisia, and Egypt.

Useful links

Palermo Airport

Trapani Airpor

Ferrovie dello Stato

Autoservizi Lumia

Autoservizi Salemi

Autoservizi Segesta

Siremar

Ustica Lines


Climate

Sicily has a perpetually sunny climate with coastal temperatures rarely dipping below 15C. Beaches and off-shore islands warm up around mid-April and stay hot well into October. Inland in the mountains the weather is generally pleasantly fresh even in the stiflingly hot months of July and August when the coastal temperatures exceed 30C.

The best times for bicycle touring in Sicily are April, May, June, September and October. In these months the weather is usually good, prices are lower, and there are fewer tourists. Between April and June is the best time to enjoy the explosion of spring flowers.

Core Tour Costs €1140
Luggage Transfers €555 (per couple)
Hybrid Bike Tours €195
Road Bike Tours €265
E-Bike Tours €330
single Supplements €350


1140 Euro is the cost per person sharing. The cost includes the following

  • 10 nights' accommodation with breakfast
  • 4 Evening meals
  • Pre-trip planner
  • Routes in the form of highlighted maps and cue sheets
  • Regional Handbook
  • Telephone support
  • Meet and greet (if you are renting bicycles)


  • Luggage transfer charges are calculated as follows:

    The standard charge is based on one or two riders. A couple would therefore share the luggage transfer costs. There is then a small additional fee for the third and each additional person.
    For example:

    1. Total cost for one or two riders = 555 Euro (277 per person based on two people sharing)
    2. Total cost for three riders = 555 + 65= 620 ( 206 per person)
    3. Total cost for four riders = 555 + 65 + 65 =685 (171 per person)

Note that the more riders in the group, the less expensive are the luggage transfers per rider.

Please note that whilst we will try our best to provide you with the exact bike as listed below, due to availability or sizing issues we may not always be able to. The bike you will receive will be of a very similar spec and always in very good condition.

Trek FX hybrid

  • 5 frame sizes
  • FX Alpha Gold Aluminium
  • FX Alloy fork
  • 27 speed

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Fitted with: Rear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)

Equipment provided: Handlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool.

Available on request: Panniers, helmet, odomoter, gps unit


Cannondale Synapse 105

  • Carbon Frame
  • Shimano 105 Shirting
  • Shimano 105 Breaking system
  • Lightweight


Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip)

Fitted with: Platform pedals, bottle cage,

Equipment provided: map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool, frame bag

Available on request: Panniers, helmet, odomoter, gps unit

Sduro Trekking E-Bike

  • Drive unit: Bosch Active Plus, 50Nm
  • Battery: Bosch PowerPack 400Wh
  • 28" wheels

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Fitted with: Rear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)

Equipment provided: Handlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool.

Available on request: Panniers, helmet, odomoter, gps unit

Next Steps

Are you ready to find your next adventure? Leave us your details to make an enquiry.

+44 (0) 7780 496969