Cycling tour of the Chiaramonte castles in Sicily

Cycling tour of the Chiaramonte castles in Sicily

bike ride in Sicily among the fortresses of the powerful Chiaramonte family

Even if today the Chiaramonte name no longer arouses the feelings of fear and respect that made one’s lips tremble just to whisper it, their mighty and austere fortresses are still there, to ensure that no one usurps their rich and fertile territories. Some of these have become tourist residences, others can be visited as monuments, others are ruins. We have selected the most interesting ones and have collected them in a single circular cycling itinerary.

Cycling tour in Sicily - tour of the Chiaramonte castles

The Chiaramontani castles are among the most beautiful in Sicily, this family, rich and powerful, has made control of the territory the reason for its infinite wealth. The castles were, therefore, the most important tool for their goal to be achieved. The castle, in fact, performed various functions, among which that of residence was perhaps the least important. The presence of a mighty and spartan manor, austere and threatening, subdued any desire for rebellion of the subjects and prevented any enemies from threatening the established power.

The Chiaramontani Castles bike tour of Sicily crosses and overlaps with other very famous cycling itineraries in Sicily. Among these, an example is the Grand Cycling Tour of Sicily by bike which runs along the coast and passes in front of the castle of Montechiaro, in Agrigento and in front of Scala dei Turchi; in Racalmuto, on the other hand, you cross the Magna Via Francigena which is the most famous pilgrimage in all of Sicily. Finally, but only for distance since it is the most famous cycling route in Sicily, the tour of the Chiaramontani Castles by bike crosses Sicily Divide, the bike trail from Trapani to Catania. This encounter, perhaps the most relevant, takes place in Mussomeli, one of the most beautiful castles in Chiaramonte. To reach Mussomeli, just leave Racalmuto and follow the road signs on the provincial roads that easily reach Mussomeli and its castle.

Bike rental in Sicily

Transporting your bicycle by plane or ship can be risky as damage to your bicycle could prevent you from traveling according to your schedule. This would ruin your vacation and your enjoyment. To make your journey go smoothly, you could rent one of our Trek and Specialized bikes and enjoy the benefits of 24-hour assistance.

Tour of the castles by bike

This is a cycling tour in Sicily

Thanks to its warm weather, the wild pristine nature and the worldwide famous cuisine Sicily is one of the most popular cycling destinations in Italy.  The Tour of the Chiaramontani Castles of Sicily is an opportunity to explore by bike the inner areas  of the island that are still little known, amazing and beautiful all over the year. 

The GPX track of the Tour of the Chiaramontani Castles of Sicily

Here you can find the official track of the tour of the Chiaramontani Castles of Sicily. The tour passes by several towns famous for their history and what there is to see. During the tour you can decide to sleep in one of the accommodation facilities that accept bicycles and which, perhaps, also have some more services for the cycle tourist. Each of the villages and towns crossed has a more or less ancient story to tell but they all have one thing in common, they are the beating heart of a Sicily that is in danger of disappearing and that needs cycling tourism to keep the memory of its past strong and hope for a future of well-being.

Agrigento by bike, the Grand Cycling Tour of Sicily, the Magna Via Francigena and the SIBIT route.

Built away from the ruins of ancient Greek temples, this chaotic city characterized by an intricate network of viaducts, some of which are permanently closed because they are unsafe, is not exactly the most suitable Sicilian city for cycle tourism. Once you get over the cultural shock of the happy driving of the inhabitants of Agrigento and the incomprehensible management of domestic waste, the historic center of this city is very beautiful and allows for truly extraordinary views of the plain and the coast below. Agrigento, in addition to being one of the stages of passage of the circumnavigation of Sicily by bicycle, is also the point of arrival and departure of some pilgrim routes in Sicily. Do not miss the evening stroll on the Via Atenea, a visit at sunset of the Duomo which lights up in an intense orange and, of course, a visit to the Valley of the Temples which unfortunately cannot be crossed by bicycle. If you decide to rent a bicycle in Agrigento to go around the city, you can choose any type of bicycle since Agrigento offers cycle tourism and sport cycling itineraries of any type, from mountain bike trails on dirt roads to long racing bike routes. , passing from itineraries to gravel. The only suggestion we would like to give is to always check that the roads are practicable by bike because sometimes these are off-limits to bicycles, as in the case of some provincial roads on which the SIBIT bike route passes but which have been closed due to the danger of the road surface .

San Leone by bike, cycling holidays by the sea.

The golden sand, the thousand bars that stay open until late in the evening and a beautiful cycle path tell a beautiful story of summers spent smiling among the beach umbrellas and sunbeds and chatting during the long summer siesta hours. San Leone, however, is not only the most loved beach by the people of Agrigento but also a place with an ancient history that has its roots in the Greek era of Sicily and continues until the landings of the allies during the Second World War. The low elevations of the San Leone area and its long beaches make this place ideal for long rides on travel bikes, racing bikes and gravel bikes. If you are considering renting a bike in San Leone, you can opt for a travel bike, an electric pedal assisted bike or a carbon or carbon aluminum racing bike. The important thing is that you choose a bike with good shock absorption capacity since the road surface is not always perfect.

Palma di Montechiaro and Marina di Montechiaro biking from the sea to the mountains.

These two places with high-sounding names hide a story of horrors and revenge since Montechiaro is nothing more than a distortion of the Chiaramonte name who was trampled and humiliated after the execution of Andrea Chiaramonte, the last of his family to command these territories , guilty of having allied with the wrong people to try to overthrow the established power. On the coast, a few kilometers from the inhabited centre, is the Castle of Montechiaro, one of the most beautiful in all of Sicily and the only one, among those in Chiaramonte, overlooking the sea. To explore the areas bordering Palma di Montechiaro and Marina di Palma, given the continuous ups and downs that characterize its streets, the advice is to choose an electric pedal assisted bicycle. So, if you are thinking about renting a bicycle in Palma di Montechiaro or Marina di Palma, the advice is to choose an assisted pedal e-bike or, in any case, a bicycle that has a transmission suitable for itineraries with steep slopes such as a mountain bike or a gravel.

Naro by bicycle, a view on the valley.

populous and ancient village on the Sicani, Naro hosts one of the most beautiful of the Chiaramonte castles and certainly the best preserved. Its enviable position overlooks the old village and its entire valley. On clear days it is possible to see from the sea up to the snow-capped peaks of Etna. A spectacle that can only be enjoyed from a few points in this area. A bike ride through the alleys of Naro and along the streets and alleys that surround the village is a truly unforgettable experience. Like Palma, Naro is also located in a hilly area where the roads have a rather irregular course with steep ups and downs and walls with significant gradients. If you want to rent a bike in Naro, the same advice applies as for Palma di Montechiaro.

Favara by bike, a cultural cycling holidays.

Also known by the ancient name of Fabaria, this crowded and cheerful town hosts the Farm Cultural Park which is, to date, one of the most important cultural centers on the island. This initiative set in motion by a private citizen with a lot of imagination and inventiveness, has allowed the regeneration of the historic center of Favara which risked being destroyed by neglect, degradation and building abuses. The Chiaramontano di Favara castle itself is hardly recognizable and weighed down by structures built over time. From Favara passes the Via Francigena Fabaria, one of the paths developed by the Friends of the Cammini Francigeni di Sicilia. Favara, given its growing fame, is a destination for ever increasing tourist flows. However, its territory is rather irregular and characterized by many ups and downs. The presence of the Vie Francigene (which often use dirt roads), suggests, for bike rental in Favara, to take a mountain bike or a pedal assisted mountain bike. If, on the other hand, you prefer to rent a racing bike, it is better to choose an endurance bike in which the transmission also has minimum 34-tooth sprockets.

Racalmuto by bike, the way of the writers.

Famous for its sulfur mines and the sad story of the “carusi” who worked there in a state of semi-slavery, Racalmuto is today a town taking its first steps towards modernization with an eye to preserving its past. The contribution that the Magna Via Francigena has brought to its newborn tourist system is beginning to give the first good results, especially in terms of seasonal adjustment. The Magna Via Francigena is the path that from Palermo reaches Agrigento, also passing through Racalmuto. For this tour the use of a mountain bike or an e-bike is recommended, so if you decide to rent a bike in Racalmuto, it is better to choose this type of bike.

Siculiana, the perfect cycling destination in Sicily.

This village is very different from all those around it, above all because it has kept its historic center in good condition. A luxurious summer resort of the Adler chain was born near it and this is obviously relaunching the economy given that the tourists who visit these areas are generating an important induced on the commercial activities present in the city. The reason why such a prestigious chain has chosen this area is easy to understand given that the Siculiana coast is very famous for its natural beauties which can be visited by bicycle. The most famous itinerary that passes by the parts of Siculiana and runs along its coast is the Circumnavigation of Sicily by bicycle which, going all the way around the Sicilian coasts, also passes through here. The Adler relais has today become a delivery point for our rental bicycles in Siculiana. So, if you decide to rent a bike in Siculiana you can easily ask for delivery at the Adler or even at any other point in Siculiana and surroundings.

Scala dei turchi by bike, the white marna.

The Marl is a rock composed of clay and calcium carbonate. Its whipped cream-like appearance has made it famous all over the world. Cycling near the huge hills of white marl is really very exciting. The two points in which this rock takes on an extraordinary appearance are the Scala dei Turchi and Punta Bianca. In these places, the contrast between the white rock, the blue of the sea and the ocher tuff sand is a spectacle of nature that must be preserved with operations aimed at preventing building abuses, illegitimate marl withdrawals and vandalism. While Punta Bianca is easily reached by bicycle, to get to the Scala dei Turchi beach it is better to leave the bicycle in custody at one of the many bars on the road and walk down to the beach so as not to have the encumbrance of the bicycle.

Chiaramonte Castle in Sicily
Marina di Palma is a cycling destination in Sicily
cycling tour of the Sicilian Castles
Chiaramonte castle in Favara

What is the best bicycle for touring the Chiaramontani Castles?

The itinerary of the tour develops mostly on asphalt which, even if not always of excellent quality, can be covered with any type of bicycle. However, the precarious conditions of the asphalt suggest the use of at least 30 mm tires with some grooves so as to guarantee smoothness but greater control over road holding.

The ideal bike would be a pedal assisted touring bike but even a gravel bike is already more than enough.

a rural and quite road in Sicily

Gravel bike in Sicily

Sicily is an island that has relatively flat coasts and many dirt roads. The inland areas, on the other hand, can be quite challenging, with many elevations and dirt and stone roads. There are several groups of cyclists who have definitely converted to gravel cycling so it is possible to find many tracks for gravel in Sicily. The Castelli Chiaramontani tour was tested for the first time with a gravel bike which was perfect for the type of road we encountered.

Mountain biking in Sicily

Sicily is a paradise for mountain bikers as it has several mountain ranges crossed, far and wide, by the “trazzere”, rural roads that are today in rough condition due to poor maintenance. Every weekend, thousands of mountain bikers go wild in search of the best trail or that dirt road that no one knows yet. The tour of the Chiaramontani Castles of Sicily is not suitable for the use of mountain bikes as it develops for the most part on paved roads. However, in its surroundings there are several mountain bike tours that you can take before and after the tour of the castles.

Road biking in Sicily

An ancient tradition of road cycling has always characterized the panorama of cycling in Sicily. In addition to the numerous events organized by sports clubs and associations, an ever-increasing number of amateurs flock to the provincial and state roads to train both on weekdays and on weekends. A road bike tour is not always easy due to the difficulty of loading the luggage on the bike, but modern bikepacking bags are of help to those who decide to go on a road bike trip. It is possible to complete the tour of the Chiaramontani Castles by racing bike even if in some short stretches, the precarious conditions of the asphalt can make the vibrations and jolts unpleasant.

road bike tour of the sicilian castles in Sicily

Touring Bike in Sicily

This type of bicycle, like the gravel bike, is the all-rounder of cycle tourism. With a good travel hybrid bike you can ride anywhere, even on slightly dirt roads. Obviously, the tour of the Chiaramontani Castles of Sicily is an excellent test bench for this type of bicycle which is always at ease on rough roads and often gives its best. Travel bikes usually also have generous and sturdy luggage racks for carrying luggage, therefore, it is certainly the best solution for those who decide to cover the itinerary in more than one day.

E-bike holidays in Sicily

The tour of the Chiaramontani Castles of Sicily has a series of continuous ascents and descents, which make the itinerary very fun but also quite challenging. The pedal assisted bicycle, or e-bike, or electric bicycle, can be a good solution for doing the tour since it allows you to climb the hills with greater agility, therefore, to get less tired. This type of bike, in fact, has a motor and a battery. This is the generic definition of the pedal assisted bicycle, in reality there is much more to say given that, more and more often, cyclists choose the e-bike for their rides or for cycling holidays.

e-bike tour in Sicily

Can I ask for further information on the Tour of the Chiaramontani Castles?

Ciclabili Siciliane is a network made up of a tour operator that deals with bike rental and bicycle travel throughout Sicily, therefore also in the places of the tour, and an A.S.D.C. which promotes cycling tourism in a free and continuous way. Do not hesitate to contact us on our telephone number at the bottom of this page and consult our facebook page and instagram profile, which you find below, to stay updated on all our news.

Have a nice trip to Sicily!

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