Italy - Sicily part 2

Blog Italy – Sicily part 2. Written on: 25-10-2023

Overview day 344 - 357

12 October - 25 October 2023


Km’s Cycled







route sicilië
Piedimonte Etneo - Ramacca - Riesi - Agrigento - Porto Empedocle - Siculiana - Roccamena - Palermo - Napoli - Pompeii - Napoli


We’re heading more inland. The first day is still fairly flat (partly along the coast) so we try to get as far as possible. First we have to cross Catania again. These are slow kilometers due to heavy traffic, small streets and poorly parked cars. When we are almost out of the city, we quickly replenish our water. Unfortunately, the fountain we see on a square doesn’t work, but all the people around us immediately come to the rescue and before we could ask for help ourselves, our water bottles are already filled at the cafeteria on the corner.


Around 17:00 we start looking for a place to sleep. The last few kilometers we had the wind in our backs so we made pretty good progress. There are no campsites, we knew that. But there is no real wild camping either, everywhere we look we see farmland. Fine to set up our tent, but in such cases we prefer to ask the owner. Eventually we see someone walking in the fields. We point to our tent, “uno notte”, and we can pitch our tent. We still had a stack of pancakes in the bag so we don’t have to cook anymore. The next morning we are sitting in the morning sun in front of our tent when a broadly smiling man walks up to us (the farmer’s son, we think.) Two steaming cups of coffee in both hands. We have to take a picture together and he also wants a picture of us with our bikes. He doesn’t see this very often

Fresh milk

Not much later, the farmer we spoke to yesterday also comes by. He asks if we need anything and if we want we can stay another night. We politely decline his offer. Bread? No, we don’t need it. Beer? Yes please, but it’s 8 o’clock in the morning and it will soon be 30 degrees so never mind. Egg? Not convenient. What about milk? Clearly, we’re not going to get away until we at least take something from this guy. Milk it is. But we don’t need that much, our bags are already full and heavy enough. It’s going to be 2 liters!

A little later we are grateful for the milk. We soon start to climb a lot and the milk, which comes straight from the cow, gives us a lot of energy. It is therefore gone within the hour.

bike touring sicily
wild camping sicily
Hills and mountains

The interior of Sicily is hilly. Or mountainous. We doubt that because we don’t know when a hill becomes a mountain. In any case, it is very beautiful and we see many vineyards, olive trees and other crops on the fertile volcanic soil. It’s clearly fire season too. Many fields are on fire or blackened and we can smell the freshly burnt remnants after the harvest. That also means that we have to choose our camping spot for tonight extra carefully. This time we don’t see anyone walking and it’s getting late. We cycle into a very quiet road that is unfortunately no longer in the best condition. To our surprise, we see two cars coming towards us. The last one of them stops and tells us that the road is a dead end. So we go back. There is no time to cycle anywhere else. We pitch our tent on the edge of an olive grove and go to sleep. The next day we will look at our route.

bike touring Sicily

The valley of the tempels

Via a different road than planned, but not much longer than planned, we cycle to Agrigento. We have had three good days and two nights of wild camping. We wash ourselves as best we can when we go wild camping, but now our armpits are happy with a decent shower.

The next day we visit the Valley of the Temples. The largest Greek temple complex found, outside of Greece. Most of the temples are in ruins, but a number are surprisingly well preserved. It’s special to be able to walk in between.

Our next visit will be to the Turkish Steps. A white cliff that has worn down over the years and disappears into the sea like a “staircase”. Previously, you were allowed to walk over the stairs, but unfortunately, or perhaps better this way, that has been forbidden for a while.

Scala dei Turchi
Scala dei Turchi

The labyrint of Agritento

After visiting the Valley of the Temples (beautiful), Agrigento itself (also beautiful) and the Turkish Steps (also beautiful), it is time to cross the island again towards Palermo. We plan a 3-day trip towards the caves of Gurfa and set off in good spirits. After a few kilometers up the mountain, we arrive at a road where there is a “no cycling” sign. Hmm, that was the route… It is a provincial road and you would normally be allowed to cycle on it. We are dubious and looking at the map, but we don’t see many alternative roads in the area. The road is super quiet, so we decide to continue the route. After a few kilometers we arrive at a junction with the signs “no cycling” again on all sides. Well, ignoring 1 sign is possible, but this is very clear that it is not allowed to cycle here and the road is also a lot busier. A short distance back is still a road where we seem to be allowed in. We decide to follow that path in the hope that we can still go in the right direction via a detour. But the exit we had in mind also has such a nice sign.

In the meantime we have found out that 1 of the roads has probably been upgraded to a highway and all the roads around it end up there.

Bicycles forbidden sign
Further away from the route

We decide to go the other way again (even more to the west instead of the north-east) because there is still a road that we seem to be allowed on. We continue cycling through the hilly area and then arrive at a junction where again the “no cycling” sign can be found on all roads. Including the road we just came off of. Oops.. Well, the good thing is that they are not busy roads. We decide to go to the coast to have a coffee and take a good look at the route again. The weather is very threatening, so we hope to be inside before the rain starts. As the only road users, we cycle down the road (where we are not allowed to cycle) towards the coast, where we are hopefully allowed to cycle again.

A different route

We decide to scrap the caves and plan a route through the north-west. Today we’re calling it a day. Fortunately, we can laugh about it. We now know that this doesn’t happen often and we are fortunately fit enough to cycle those extra kilometers. But if this had happened regularly in the first weeks of our cycling trip, I doubt that we would have cycled further after Santiago de Compostela.

Fox in Sicily


The next morning we get back on our bikes in good spirits. And this time we don’t see any “no cycling signs”. It is again very quiet on the road and we don’t see anyone walking in a field in the evening. We see fields on fire everywhere so we have to choose our spot for tonight. This time it will be a vineyard. They don’t burn them down. When it starts to get dark, a fox appears. He, or she, keeps his distance but is certainly not afraid of us. The next morning, Mrs. Vos (we’ll just make a female out of it) also comes to say hello to us.

We make one last steep climb and then we make a long descent into Palermo. The traffic in Sicily is dramatic to say the least, but in Palermo it reaches a low point. There will be a long lament about traffic in Sicily, and Palermo in particular. But now is not the time. Not the place. While writing this blog, the positive sense has long since returned, let’s keep it that way.

Cycling tan
Bike touring Palermo
Bike touring Palermo

The boat to Napels

On October 20, 2023, we will then take the boat to Napoli. It is a trip of about 13 hours and around 10:30, October 21, 2023, we arrive, with some delay, at the port of Napoli. It’s raining. Hard. That’s different from the 30 degrees we had in Palermo. So we put on our rain gear again and cycle to our first stop: the bicycle repair shop. It’s time for new tires. We are allowed to use the workshop to replace our outer tires and we get help from the craftsmen who work in the shop. When we’re done, it has stopped raining. On to our second stop: Pompeii.

The traffic is still not too good, but compared to Palermo it is an oasis here. However, there is a very, very big drawback. Namely, that strangely enough, the cycle paths show many similarities with a glass-dump. And yes, a flat tire is the result. You shouldn’t cycle through a glass-dump


But fixing a bicycle tire is no problem at all. The members of the suspension fork cycling club are now champions in repairing tires, so we can move on quickly. In the evening we call a number of bicycle shops to ask if they have bicycle boxes. About 2Km from the campsite we find one. We cycle straight there so we’ve already taken care of that.

The next day we visit Pompeii, it’s a lot bigger than we thought so we walk around for a few hours. Very nice to see that they are still working on the excavations and a number of houses are very well preserved.

Fixing bicycles


A day visiting Napoli cannot be missed and then it is really time to leave Italy and Europe behind us. We cycle to Napoli airport in the middle of the night, with those big bike boxes on the back, and start dismantling our bikes. It’s all going pretty smooth. Checking in is also no problem at all, all our luggage can be taken as “special luggage” there is no difficulty at all. That’s a good thing. At 10:05, with a 25 minute delay, we take off. The plane we are on makes a stopover at Istanbul and then we fly on to Singapore.

After almost a year on the road, it’s time for a new phase of our journey. Southeast Asia is our next destination.

bicycle box

Dit bericht heeft één reactie

  1. Thomas & Rosa

    All our best wishes for your journey in Asia! Beautiful pictures as always, a big hug from Chaioso!
    Thomas & Rosa

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