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Trending Now: Sicily, Corsica & Sardinia

Posted by Carol Sicbaldi

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Guess what's trending right now in Italy? If you ask our guests, it's the islands that offer the ultimate European getaway. In our recent survey, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica score high, thanks to a new North-to-South route, a private boat cruise on our Mediterranean Island Hopping trip, plus three spectacular itineraries on La Bella Sicilia. We can't say enough about the diverse riding, food, architecture, history—and most importantly—the warm, vivacious people.

Sicily

Dangling off the edge of Italy’s boot toe, the Mediterranean island has been considered a prime European getaway for some time now. But head to the slopes of volcanic Mt. Etna on the eastern coast for a big Sicilian surprise: a burgeoning wine tourism scene fueled by a cluster of sophisticated wineries taking advantage of the mineral, lava-informed soils. Soak all this in and more on La Bella Sicilia.

Rich, distinct, rugged, lush.

The largest island in the Mediterranean region of Italy, and separated from the southwest tip of the mainland by the Strait of Messina, Sicily stretches a total of 9,924 square miles.

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Sicilian wine and food—eggplant, bell peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, mozzarella—are big topics in the foodie world these days. You'll find local delicacies like tiny, local Slow Food capers and fresh Sicilian cheeses such as ragusano paired with some of the best Sicilian wines available.

Focusing on Sicily’s lush green spectacle in springtime and its vast golden stage in autumn, our route takes you from the south to the north tip of the island, to historic interior areas never seen by most tourists. A hike up Mt Etna—the highest volcano in Europe—adds intrigue to the route along the way to Sicily's dreamy, volcanic Aeolian Islands, each with its own distinct character and charm.

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Sicily 

 

Corsica and Sardinia

What else is trending in the Mediterranean these days? Our big-hit NEW north-to-south route on our Mediterranean Island Hopping trip follows the coastline with spectacular seaside views, before heading inland toward the secret heart of Sardinia. Distinct and exotic, Italian-influenced Sardinia and French-flavored Corsica enchant all who visit their Mediterranean shores and magical hills. In hilly Corsica, called the “beautiful city” by the ancient Greeks, you’ll cycle by jagged purple-pink rock formations, dramatic white cliffs, and translucent blue coves. Corsica is also a gastronomical tour de force! Its cuisine is heavily based on the traditional products of the island. An Italian—especially Tuscan and Genovese—influence is very evident, perhaps even more so than French influences.

Like their Sardinian neighbors, Corsicans tended to live in the hilly interior of the island, historically to protect from once upon-a-time seafaring invaders. Likewise, they herded sheep, grew vegetables and sought out a precarious existence. 

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Bonifacio, Corsica 
 
Sardinia represents all the mystery and allure of a far away place, frozen in time.
 
The Sardinians consider themselves Sardinian first, then maybe Italian. With a rich, long history of storytelling, music, and nomadic culture, a strong dialect/language, and ancient customs and rituals (often celebrated in the form of festivals), Sardinia captures the heart and soul of all our guests. You'll love meeting and engaging with the people of this magical island.

barbagia.jpgThe interior parts of Sardinia are as striking as the coastal areas 

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Couples, families, groups of friends and single travelers alike are choosing the islands for a reason. An island bike tour offers something different. There's a sense of physical separation from the mainland and being further away from home and routine. The fact that the island is finite is an added attraction—you can see quite a bit while cruising at your personal cycling pace.

If nothing else, you'll love just gazing out at the deep-blue sea, happily marooned as your bicycle glides across awe-inspiring landscapes and wide-open horizons.

Mediterranean Island Hopping 

 

Written by Carol Sicbaldi

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