Sicily touring anybody done that

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
leadale
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Joined: 20 Apr 2017, 3:48pm

Sicily touring anybody done that

Postby leadale » 20 Apr 2017, 4:19pm

I hope to tour some of Sicily this summer but have no information or plan as yet, Has anyone got any past experience of good routes to follow, and best way of getting there with bike and kit, or possibly hiring for a week - thanks for any info -

thornie1543
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Re: Sicily touring anybody done that

Postby thornie1543 » 21 Apr 2017, 10:06am

Theres a guy on here who posts thread with lots of pics etc about touring sicily,just type sicily into the search function,i just looked and the guy is called Conrad,might be some info on his posts or you could maybe message him and pick his brains.

leadale
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Re: Sicily touring anybody done that

Postby leadale » 21 Apr 2017, 12:03pm

Thanks for the tip Thornie

raybo
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Re: Sicily touring anybody done that

Postby raybo » 21 Apr 2017, 5:32pm

I rode around most of Sicily in 2016. I started in Messina and went clockwise to Palermo (after riding south from Naples). I wrote a detailed journal about it if you want much more detail.

Some thoughts:

The interior is hilly and the coast is crowded.

The small roads that are great for riding rarely go along the coast and virtually never go directly where you want to go.

The coastal roads tend to carry fast traffic.

Route planning makes a difference.

Italian drivers are very courteous and while it can be scary to ride a foot away from fast traffic, it is likely much safer than doing the same in the U.K.

You will see great piles of dumped trash everyday!

The real draw of Sicily is ancient ruins and beautiful churches.
Visit my on-line bike touring archive at www.biketouringtips.com

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ConRAD
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Re: Sicily touring anybody done that

Postby ConRAD » 23 Apr 2017, 2:34pm

leadale wrote:... I hope to tour some of Sicily this summer ...

I’m afraid that just one week isn’t enough to go anywhere in Sicily… and summer, if that’s your only chance, might turn to be an overall horrible experience unless you know exactly where to go.
Italian drivers are not as bad as their reputation, “personal safety” is not an issue anywhere and, as far as cycling is concerned, don’t forget that internal parts of the island are pretty hilly everywhere and the coastline very busy all the time, both with cars and lorries.
For a number of reasons I’ve been cycling Sicily several times by now, always in the between fall and spring time, winter included of course !
Personally I’ve never got problems with traffic, also along main roads (Strade Statali).
I remember at least five tunnels on SS115 in the between Sciacca and Agrigento in the South and a couple, maybe three, tunnels along SS187 between Palermo and Trapani in the North.
All of them indicated at the entrance by a plate as “unlit” … but actually/fortunately pretty short and at least “cemetery alike illuminated”.
If cycling on the East between Catania and Siracusa be very careful not to take SS114 after Priolo because at a certain point it’s going to be considered a sort of a motorway and as such forbidden to bicycles!!!
Remember that minor roads are often a nice alternative but not always easy to find unless you use a gps or you have good maps.
Yes, I confirm, either along main or secondary roads you’ll find great piles of disgusting dumped trash everywhere, and with the trash … stray dogs of course … that for some very strange reason have never been aggressive though !!
If you really want to go to Sicily for just one week, a chance however might be: fly to Catania, take a couple of days tour around Etna, then go South to Siracusa from where, along the coast, you can reach Noto-Vendicari-Marzamemi-Porto Palo-Isola delle Correnti-Pozzallo-Sampieri-Donnalucata-Marina di Ragusa.
Please consider that from Pozzallo to Siracusa and then from Siracusa back to Catania there is a real, and not so bad so far, “working” train !!!

Some of my recent trips to Sicily HERE, ... they are in Italian, I apologize for that, so just look at the pictures ... good luck!!
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ConRAD
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Re: Sicily touring anybody done that

Postby ConRAD » 23 Apr 2017, 4:23pm

it might be interesting and worth to consider too, to take a flight to Malta and from there with a very efficient catamaran service to reach Pozzallo in less than two hours (look for VirtuFerries)
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leadale
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Re: Sicily touring anybody done that

Postby leadale » 24 Apr 2017, 6:57pm

Thanks Conrad and Raybo for the info and thoughts very much appreciated and lots for me to ponder

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trilathon
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Re: Sicily touring anybody done that

Postby trilathon » 25 Apr 2017, 10:59pm

I rode across Sicily a few years back, flew into Trapani, cycled to Segesta (greek temple)
Then down to Selinunte on the southern coast where there's a ruined Greek city and acropolis, along to Agrigento another famous set of Greek temples ( probably the best ones bar none anywhere )
Then through the centre and up Mount Etna, down to the coast and to catch the ferry to the toe of 'the boot. before heading north ooop Italy . Just 5 days in Sicily but most memorable and pleasant

very quiet roads, empty towns and deserted countryside ( lots of emigration due ato variety of issues ) Lovely flowers and fruit scents in May. Great bread, cheese, olives and meats. The orchards are mainly olives, lemon and oranges on my route...the oranges tasted rank but had a great fragrance...yes I went scrumping in a Mafioso orchard !

I didn't really plan it just went to see a few bits and pieces...wild camped in some great locations ( 5C temple and on Mount Etna amongst the volcanic cones and two B& B 's I found on the hop which were very good value for money. Didn't look for nor happen upon any offical campsites, but that's italy.
Searching for, and camping in, places of antiquity and wild beauty. Former ironman, 3PCX, Rough Stuff Fellowship, fell runner, regional time trial champion and 20 odd years of cyclo camping around Europe.