General

Discover inner Sicily: Round tours by bike and by car from Caltanissetta

You don’t have to change accommodation every night to have an exciting active holiday in Sicily.

It is possible to stay in the same place and still cycle routes that give you a variety of experiences regarding landscapes, towns, temperatures, people, food and wine. It is a different type of holiday far away from mass tourism, and these are the highlights:

  1. Roads without traffic in an authentic and gorgeous landscape.
  2. You stay in the same place and cycle up to 6 different routes in all directions.
  3. Possiblity to make together Sicilian dinners.
  4. It is a 30 minutes car ride to the most outstanding tourist attractions in Sicily: the Valley of Temples in Agrigento and the Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina.

The cycling routes start from BB Wine&Bike, which is located right in the center of the island, in the most archaic and authentic part of Sicily. The guests have available up to 2 double rooms in front of a big fruit garden. Often dinner is made together and sometimes it happens to have a house concert in the villa. It is also possible to take part of almond and olive picking!

You can also  rent electric bikes. Even if the bike may be your most important means of movement, we advise also to rent a car. If you don’t want to rent a car, it is also possible to move around with buses and trains, with a certain amount of patience.

Here you can find a proposal of a 10-days-holiday that can be adapted to your needs.

DAY 1. ARRIVAL

You will arrive at the airport in Catania or Palermo. If you don’t have a car, you travel by train to Caltanissetta. There you’ll be staying at a cozy B&B. After checking in, there will be trying out of the bikes and welcome dinner.

DAY 2. CYCLING. CALTANISSETTA-STRATA FOGLIA-PIAZZA GARIBALDI-SANTO SPIRITO-THE ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM-THE REDENTORE MOUNTAIN. 20 km

Breakfast with products from the garden is served on the terrace with view towards Etna. Then you cycle to the old part of Caltanissetta. The town lays ca. 600 meters above the sea. Even if it has been inhabited since prehistoric times, its name come from Kalat-Nissa (the women’s castle), given by the Arabs in 900 a.C. It is said that in the castle women created the famous cake ‘cannolo’. The old part has markets, squares and local everyday life. Then you cycle to the Church of S. Spirito, which lays at the town’s outskirts. It is one of the most important churches of the Arab/Norman period (ca. 1000 A. C.) and was built by Roger I of Sicily. Near the church you find the Archeological Museum, which is worth a visit. While going back, you climb up the Redentore mountain, high 700 meters, with a great view over the town and large parts of inner Sicily. In the evening dinner together or at a pizzeria/restaurant.

DAY 3. CYCLING. CALTANISSETTA-DELIA-SOMMATINO-MARCATO D’ARRIGO. Ca. 50 km

After breakfast you cycle on old roads without traffic where you may encounter a couple of tractors and some shepherds with their sheep flock. You pass by olive groves and grapevines. The absence of woods allows you to see far away. After a while you arrive to Delia, which is the perfect  place to stop for a coffee or a beer. There is local life in the main square and we can guarantee you that you will be the only tourists. You continue eastwards down to Sommatino. Also here, the rarity of tourists make people helpful to find a good place for lunch. Then you go north, on smaller roads. The landscape becomes more dramatic, characterized by bare hills that stretch up in the air. In the evening you may cook together at BBBike&Wine or go for a pizzeria or restaurant.

DAY 4. CARDRIVE. THE VALLEY OF TEMPLES IN AGRIGENTO AND SCALA DEI TURCHI.

You drive south-east on good roads to the Unesco protected Valley of Temples in Agrigento. After a 30 minuets drive you arrive. It is considered Sicily’s oldest and most important tourist attraction. The site was part of the town Akragas, which was founded in 581 B.C. by the Greeks. The Greek poet Pindaro called Agrigento: ‘the most beautiful town inhabited by people’. The five temples are dedicated to the following gods: Hera, Concordia, Heracles, Castor and Pollus, Hephaestos and Demeter. You see the temples on foot. Then you shortly drive to Scala dei Turchi.  At this amazing mountain formation a bath has to be made.

DAY 5. CYCLING. PIETRPERZIA-CAPODARSO-SABUCINA-CALTANISSETTA. 50 km.

In the morning you  cycle southwest downhill to the Salso river. You pass the stone bridge on old asphalt roads. No traffic, but likely some shepherds with their sheep flock. After a while you arrive to Pietraperzia. It lays monumentally on a hill and has been inhabited for more than 5000 years. You go up to the castle passing by the old town. Here time has stood still. You can find a bar in the city center. Going back to Caltanissetta, you have an amazing view of inner Sicily’s landscape. The same view that the Greeks had when they inhabited this area 2500 years ago. You take a break in the center of Caltanissetta.

DAY 6. CYCLING. SAN CATALDO-ROCCELLA-BORGOPALO-SERRADIFALCO. 45 km.

Today the ride goes eastwards. The landscape is different and more open. You cycle first up to San Cataldo. The area has been inhabited for many centuries B. C., and you can still find caves where people were living. You cycle by Roccella towards Porto Palo, where you have a wonderful view over great parts of inner Sicily. The landscape is characterized by durum wheat cultivation, olive and almond trees. Sometimes you meet a farmer with his tractor. At the end of the downhill you pass by a salt mine before you start to go up to Serradifalco. Here you have time for a good break in the bar at the piazza, before you start going back to BB Bike&Wine.

DAY 7. CARDRIVE. THE VILLA DEL CASALE IN PIAZZA ARMERINA AND MORGANTINA

In the morning, you drive eastwards to the UNESCO-protected Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina. This was a roman hunt castle built in the 3rd and 4th century A. D.  The mosaics on the floor are the most outstanding of that period and cover up to 3500 square meters. All the villa was covered by soil until they started to excavate in 1950. Then you can take a walk in the old part of Piazza Armerina. The cathedral, according to many, is among the biggest and finest you can find on the island. If you have time and will, you can continue to Morgantina in the afternoon. This town was built by the Greeks in 340 b. C. Two hundred years later it reached its maximum moment of development, becoming one of Sicily’s most important towns. At the time, it had more than 10.000 inhabitants. You find, among other ruins, an agora, a theater and a gymnasium.

DAY 8. CYCLING. CALTANISSETTA-XIRBI-SANTACATERINA. 50 KM.

After breakfast, you pass by the old town of Caltanissetta, where you may stop at the market. You then cycle on narrow roads passing by grapevines, almond and olive trees. As far you can see, there are just farms, wild flowers and durum wheat cultivations. It is not possible to get more inside the island. Here you can still see people that travel on donkeys and sing out the products they want to sell: freshly caught snails or seasonal herbs. After a while you arrive to the small town of Santa Caterina. Here you take a break in a bar. If you wish, you can continue to the small village of Marianopoli, or you go backwards on relaxing narrow asphalt roads to Caltanissetta.

DAY 9. CYCLING. DELIA-CAMPOBELLO DI LICATA-LICATA. 60 km

After breakfast you cycle south towards the sea. After passing Delia, you cycle on narrow roads surrounded by grapevines down to Campobello di Licata, where you may take a break in a bar. Continuing south, after a while you arrive to the seaport of Licata. The old part of the town is nice, with local everyday life. In the afternoon you take the train back to Caltanissetta.

DAY 10. CARDRIVE. INNER SICILY: SUTERA AND MUSSOMELI

On the last day you take a car drive going more inside the island. First, you drive to Sutera, which lays at the foot of the Mount San Paolino. Here people have lived for at least 7000 years. From this small mountain village with not even 1000 inhabitants you have a fabulous view over big parts of the island. The oldest part of the town is called Rabato. It was built by Muslims 1000 years ago. It is a great walk going up on the top of the mountain to the S. Paolino church.

You continue passing by the castle of Mussomeli towards the Polizzello mountain, in the middle of the area that once was called Sikania, the kingdom of the native Sicilians, that existed many thousands years ago. The mountain is full of holes: they are the entrances to the graves where the dead were laid one over the other. The graves were richly furnished with vases and jars.

You continue north, and drive by the villages of Villalba and Vallelunga. Near Vallelunga you arrive to the Regaleale properties, owned by the family Tasca D’Almerita since 1833. Their grapevines make one of the best wines in Sicily. It is possible to taste and buy some wine. Going back, you pass by Marianopoli. You will find a farwell dinner at BB Bike&Wine.

DAY 11. DEPARTURE.