Chef Bike Tour
A Mediterranean Bike Journey through Western Sicily
Sicilian cuisine is Italian, but also uniquely Sicilian. The volcanic soil is ideal for growing vegetables and grapes, and the surrounding water is abundant with fish.
- May 1 – 8
- Duration: 8-days
- Ride Type: Road
- Difficulty: Active (2 of 3)
- Average Daily Mileage: 20-50
- Price: $4,995
The largest island in the Mediterranean is arguably the most beautiful and certainly the most dense with history and humanity. Sicily’s complex culture is matched only by its stunning natural beauty and the incredible, diverse landscape: rolling hills and valleys swathed in grapevines, miles of aquamarine coastline and a series of archipelagos that can be reached by a quick boat ride. We will pedal back in time to a colorful and enigmatic past that has remained with the island.
This seductive Mediterranean island has lured conquerors and visitors for centuries. Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Normans have all contributed to the many layers of its vibrant culture. We’ll steep ourselves in the sights, scents and flavors of the western part of Sicily, an area less exploited by tourism. We’ll swim in pristine waters, sample the finest wines of the island at a local producer, and learn about the Greek heritage of Selinunte, a stunning waterfront village that is a UNESCO Archeological Site.
Sicily is a region renowned for its Baroque and Norman architecture, for its artistic importance (many poets, writers and intellectuals were born here), and of course, its excellent food!
In addition to its great wines, dinner in Sicily usually consists of vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, artichokes), plenty of seafood, and yes, lots of pasta and olive oil. Its lemons, oranges, figs, almonds and apricots are among the best in the world. I
Sicilian cuisine shows traces of all of the cultures which established themselves on the island over the last two millennia. Although its cuisine has a lot in common with mainland Italian cuisine, Sicilian food also has Greek, Spanish, French and Arab influences. The use of apricots, sugar, citrus, sweet melons, rice, saffron, raisins, nutmeg, clove, pepper, pine nuts, cinnamon (along with fried preparations) is a sign of Arab influences from the Arab domination of Sicily in the 10th and 11th centuries.
Normans influences are also found, such as in the fondness for meat dishes. Later, the Spanish introduced numerous items from the New World, including cocoa, corn, peppers, and tomatoes. In Catania, on the east coast, initially settled by Greek colonists, fish, olives, broad beans, pistachio and fresh vegetables are preferred instead. Much of the island’s cuisine encourages the use of fresh vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, and fish such as tuna, cuttlefish, and swordfish. In Trapani, in the extreme western corner of the island, North African influences are clear in the use of couscous.
DAY 1 – Palermo
DAY 2 – Corleone – 35 or 46 miles – Steady Climb
DAY 3 – Menfi – 37 miles – Hilly
DAY 4 – Belice Valley Loop – 46 or 36 miles – Hilly
DAY 5 – Menfi to Marsala – 51 miles – Flat
DAY 6 – Mozia – 25 miles – Flat
DAY 7 – Mount Erice – 40 or 58 miles – One Long Climb
DAY 8 – Transfer to the Palermo airport.
- Bikes equipped with a Garmin GPS (choice road or hybrid)
- Two or more professional tour guides throughout the program
- All accommodations in 4-star hotels and one 3 star
- All breakfasts, all lunches and all dinners
- Wine and beer with meals
- Wine tasting
- Sicilian delicacies prepared with a local chef and our chefs
- Visit of Selinunte Greek ruins
- Guided tour of Palermo markets
- Support vehicle during the tour and luggage transfer
- Shuttle at the beginning and at the end of the tour
- All coffee and cappuccino stops, ice cream, and snacks
- All activities mentioned in the day-by-day description
- Palermo and its Arab-Norman architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Monreale and its cathedral
- Selinunte ruins
- Take a swim in the blue Mediterranean waters
- Saline (salt farms) near Trapani
- The ghost towns of Gibellina and Poggioreale
- A lesser traveled, bucolic Sicily
- Seafood and Slow Food dishes and specialties
- Cooking demonstrations
- Sicilian wine production
- Overnight stay at a stunning countryside abbey
Your company pulls out all the stops, ensuring you sample the absolute best of the local cuisine. What could be better than guilt-free eating that comes from the workout you achieve every day? Combine that with being out in nature and surrounded by good company, and you’ve got yourself a little slice of heaven.
– Mary S