Cycling the Sicily Divide: Stage 1 from Palermo to Gibellina

A moderately challenging cycling route with a significant climb in the first section.

Stage 1 Variant of the Sicily Divide from Palermo to Gibellina by bike

On this page you will find the description of Stage 1 Variant of the Sicily Divide from Palermo to Gibellina by bike, as well as a map of bike hotels, checkpoints where you can stamp your Divider Pass, water points, bike shops and the main points of cycle tourism interest.

The cycle route goes from Palermo, the regional capital of the largest island in the Mediterranean, to Nuova Gibellina, a modern city rebuilt after the 1968 earthquake that destroyed the original historic center of Gibellina.

Bikepacking Sicily from Palermo to Gibellina by bike

Distance: 79 km
Elevation Gain: +1394 m/-1187 m
Maximum Slope 9%: 9,8%
Average Slope: 3,5%

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Checkpoints, Bike Hotels, Water Fountains and Points of Interest from Palermo to Gibellina by bicycle

  1. How is the first stage of the Sicily Divide?

  2. Where can I stamp my Divider’s Pass?

  3. What is there to see along the route?

  4. Where can I fill my water bottle?

  5. Are there hotels that accept bicycles?

  6. Where can I rent a bike for the Sicily Divide?

In the Google map below, all the points for stamping the pass, the bike hotels affiliated with Sicily Divide, the fountains and things to see are georeferenced.

1. How is the first stage of the Sicily Divide?

To go from Palermo to Gibellina by bike it is necessary to first climb the mountains of the “Conca d’oro” by bike and then with a long descent, interrupted only by the climb to Camporeale, reach Nuova Gibellina

The variant of the first stage of the Sicily Divide from Palermo to Catania is fascinating and leads us to travel the entire famous SP20, an ancient and panoramic road, much loved by Palermo cyclists, which climbs up the mountains and then descends to the valley through a canyons with mysterious stone spiers and abandoned quarries.

2. Where can I stamp my Divider's Pass?

Here’s the translation of the text you provided into English:

“If you’ve requested the Divider’s Pass, you’ll surely also want to get it stamped. If you haven’t requested it yet, you can do so by visiting the website page for the Divider’s Pass request. The places where you can get it stamped are called Checkpoints and are usually bars, bike rentals, bike hotels, restaurants, or bike workshops. Getting your pass stamped is an opportunity to meet local people, be recognized as Dividers, take a break for a snack, or get your e-bike’s batteries recharged. Do you want to know all the points where you can stamp the Divider’s Pass along the first stage of the Sicily Divide from Palermo to Gibellina and vice versa? The stamping points from Palermo to Gibellina can be found on the Google map in this section and are:

  • Ciclabili Siciliane – Palermo 
  • Genchi Extreme – Palermo
  • B&B Ai Viceré – Palermo
  • B&B Piazza Marina – Palermo
  • Bar Mirto – Monreale
  • Moma Cafè – Gibellina
  • B&B Mille e una notte – Gibellina
  • Elimi Home – Gibellina”

3. What is there to see along the route?

The route of the first stage of the Sicily Divide from Palermo to Gibellina is very colorful and allows for cycling through a landscape characterized by a very present and strong nature. Moreover, the encounter with the Sicilians is, in itself, an unforgettable experience. Cycle tourism in these areas is a recent phenomenon but is growing very rapidly thanks to the beauty of the landscapes and the success of projects like Sicily Divide, which are grassroots initiatives but supported by local communities.

Places to see along the route:

  • Palermo with its historic center and the seafront;
  • Monreale with its extraordinary Cathedral;
  • The SP20 road that winds through the mountains of Palermo among forests and hairpin bends;
  • San Giuseppe Jato with a beautiful archaeological area; San Cipirello, a small town that slumbers peacefully in the shadow of the mountains;
  • Camporeale, small but unexpected;
  • Gibellina, the arrival point of today’s stage.

4. Where can I refill my water bottle?

Fountains are not very common, but you can find some along the cycling route of the first stage of the Sicily Divide from Palermo to Gibellina and vice versa. On the Google map on this page, all the fountains are also georeferenced with great accuracy. However, the advice for all cyclists is to stock up on water whenever possible, especially in the hot months.

5. Are there any hotels that accept bicycles?

Uno dei punti di forza del Sicily Divide è costituito dalle strutture ricettive bike friendly che si possono trovare lungo tutto il percorso. Per vedere tutte le strutture basta cliccare il linl qui sotto oppure usare i link che sono cliccabili dopo avere selezionato la struttura nella mappa di Google all’inizio di questa pagina. 

6. Where can I rent a bike for the Sicily Divide Classic?

Transporting your bike by plane, train, or ship can be risky and may cause damage to the frame and the more exposed components. If you want to minimize this type of risk, you can rent one of our bikes, tested dozens of times on the Sicily Divide route and guaranteed to be 100% safe. Additionally, you can take advantage of our special packages for tours and Adventure Packs, which include bike, gadgets, and bike transport from Trapani/Palermo to Catania and vice versa. Visit our rental page to see all the available bikes and offers.

Komoot Track From Palermo to GIbellina by mountain and gravel bike

In this section, you’ll find the link to the Komoot for stage 1 variant from Palermo to Gibellina by bike. In the comments of the track, you’ll find a brief description of the route, what there is to see, the bike hotels along the route, and the must-visit places. What are you waiting for? Get ready and start your adventure from Palermo without any doubts or hesitations. This track is suitable for gravel and mountain bikes but can also be easily tackled with a hybrid trekking bike. There are no technical sections, the only part that may present problems in case of rain is the SP12 Provincial Road before Gibellina, which turns into a clay trap. In case of bad weather, we recommend following the road bike track found in the next section of this page or in the part dedicated to the Sicily Divide by road bike. If you’re looking for bike hotels to stay along this route, you can find them both in the comments of the Komoot track and on the page dedicated to bike hotels along the Sicily Divide.

Komoot Reverse Track From Gibellina to Palermo by mountain and gravel bike

Here you can view and download the reverse track from Gibellina to Palermo for gravel and mountain bikes. The departure point in this case is Gibellina, with arrival in Palermo at our headquarters at Via Divisi 52, here’s the address on Google Maps. The towns crossed, in this case, are Gibellina, Camporeale, San Cipirello, San Giuseppe Jato, Pioppo, Monreale, and Palermo. As in the case of the regular track from Palermo to Gibellina, also in the case of the Reverse track, we recommend avoiding the section of the SP12 which, in case of rain, becomes impracticable due to clay. If you’re using a road bike or if it has rained in the days before your departure, you can use the track of the Sicily Divide for road bikes. If you’re looking for bike-friendly accommodation to stay in, you can choose one of our bike hotels along the Sicily Divide.”

Le altre tappe del sicily divide classic

Seleziona l’immagine delle altre tappe per visualizzare la scheda dedicata. Nelle altre schede troverai tutte le informazioni indispensabili a pianificare il tuo viaggio come fontane, tracce GPX e Komoot, bike hotels, ciclofficine, cosa vedere.

What is the best time to tackle stage 1 of the Sicily Divide?

Fellow cyclists, grab your helmets and mark these golden words: spring and early autumn are your prime times to embark on the Sicily Divide! April and May offer sunshine and coolness, perfect for pedaling without breaking into a sweat. September and October? A embrace of mild weather, ideal for those who love to ride without the summer’s scorching heat.

Forget umbrellas and raincoats, during this period rain is rare and the sun is no longer the summer bully. Ready to become the living tales of legendary cycling adventures? These four months are your ticket to the perfect ride. Go, cyclists, the road calls and the Sicily Divide awaits you with a fairy-tale climate!

clima cicloturismo Sicily DIvide Tappa 1 variante

Sicily Divide Classic: everything you can't miss

In this section, you can find a description of everything there is to see along Stage 1 of the Sicily Divide from Palermo to Gibellina. Of course, by following the track in reverse, you will see the same places but just in the opposite order.

Palermo by bike, cycling holidays in Palermo

Km 0 of the Route

Palermo, a city of extraordinary contrasts, invites you to discover its unique beauty by cycling through its streets. This Sicilian gem, approaching a population of a million, retains the charm of ancient alleys and the scents of traditional cooking that spread at lunchtime. Cyclotourists, prepare for a journey through history and culture in one of Europe’s most densely packed historical centers, an open-air museum that will surprise you at every corner.

Embark on the discovery of Palermo’s treasures, from the Byzantine mosaics of the Palatine Chapel to the Arab vestiges of the Norman Palace, up to the majestic Teatro Massimo. Each pedal stroke will reveal a millennial story, witnessed by the faces and deep gazes of the Palermitans, heirs to a cultural melting pot that has shaped the unique identity of this city.

Your cycling adventure must include the historic center, the beating heart of Palermo, but also explore beyond, where neighborhoods once known for negative news today reveal a surprising capacity for rebirth. Cross Kalsa, Sperone, Brancaccio, and Sant’Erasmo, where murals tell stories of courage and change, celebrating key figures like Falcone, Borsellino, and Father Pino Puglisi, symbols of a community that continues to fight for legality.

Palermo, with its streets rich in history and hidden corners, is a must-visit destination for those who love cycle tourism and the discovery of places that tell authentic stories, where each pedal becomes a moment of discovery and encounter with the deep soul of this enchanting city. Bring with you the desire to explore and let Palermo win your heart, pedal stroke after pedal stroke.

B&B Ai Vicerè



B&B Piazza Marina

Ciclabili Siciliane Via Divisi, 26 tel: +393331358769

  Genchi Extreme

Prestigiacomo bici

 

  • assistenza bici muscolari
  • assistenza bici a pedalata assistita
  • vendita accessori
  • vendita ricambi

Monreale by bike, cycling holidays and rental in Monreale

Km 9 of the Route

As you ride the stage of the Sicily Divide between Palermo and Gibellina, don’t miss the stop at Monreale, a Norman jewel set in history from the 12th century and protected by UNESCO. This town is a concentration of art and spirituality, with its cathedral that rises like a crown over the Sicilian landscape.

On a bike, the crowded streets can be a challenge, so consider the option of parking your two-wheeler in one of the guarded parking areas near the main square. From there, proceed on foot to better savor the medieval atmosphere and sublime architecture. The Cathedral of Monreale, construction beginning in 1172, is a masterpiece that deserves your attention, with its golden mosaics narrating biblical stories.

Don’t forget to visit the Diocesan Museum, which preserves works that weave the thread of devotion and religious art, and the Museum of Modern Art, where tradition meets innovation. Monreale is an unmissable piece of your cycling journey, a place where time seems to slow down, and beauty is revealed in every stone.

non ci sono bike hotels a Monreale

 



 

 

Non ci sono ciclofficine a Monreale

San Giuseppe Jato by bike, cycling holidays in San Giuseppe Jato

Km 28 of the Route

Durante la tappa del Sicily Divide da Palermo a Gibellina, San Giuseppe Jato è una perla da non perdere. Questo borgo pittoresco, fondato nel 1776 e immerso nella naturale cornice della Valle dello Jato, vi accoglie con il suo patrimonio storico. Fate una pausa e ammirate la Chiesa Madre in stile barocco e il Palazzo Municipale neoclassico. Avventuratevi al museo archeologico in Palazzo Abatellis per un tuffo nel passato tra reperti preistorici e romani. Il Monte Jato, oasi verde perfetta per gli amanti del trekking, domina il paesaggio, mentre nelle valli sottostanti si estendono uliveti e vigneti. Qui la cultura si intreccia con la natura: partecipate alla Festa di San Giuseppe a marzo o alla Sagra del Vino in settembre. In dicembre, il Presepe Vivente rievoca antiche tradizioni. San Giuseppe Jato offre un autentico spaccato di Sicilia, ricco di storia e natura, ideale per arricchire il vostro viaggio ciclistico.

non ci sono bike hotels a San Giuseppe Jato



Non ci sono checkpoint a San Giuseppe Jato

Non ci sono ciclofficine a San Giuseppe Jato

San Cipirello by bike, cycling holidays in San Cipirello

Km 30 of the Route

San Cipirello is a relatively young town, but its territory has a very ancient history since it was inhabited by the archaic people of the Elymians. The area where it stands is very fertile, which is why its economy is based on agriculture and farming, although in recent years the archaeological park has encouraged tourist presence. The secondary roads with little to no traffic in the area where San Cipirello is located, and in general, the entire Alto-Belice Corleonese area, are perfect for cycle tourism and biking excursions. In San Cipirello, there are Sports Associations (ASD) that operate actively in the cycling sector.

non ci sono bike hotels a San Cipirello



Non ci sono checkpoint a San Cipirello

Non ci sono ciclofficine a San Cipirello

Camporeale by bike, cycling holidays in Camporeale

Km 43 of the Route

Camporeale is a very active town in the enogastronomic production, so much so that it is called the “city of wine.” Its cheeses and cured meats are very famous throughout the region and beyond. For cyclists traveling the Sicily Divide, Camporeale is the peak from which to descend towards Nuova Gibellina. The landscape around the village is rural, relatively flat, and sparsely populated, making it perfect for long bike rides on secondary roads with almost no traffic. From here on, the itinerary of Stage 1 Variant is a succession of open horizons and very green fields in autumn, winter, and spring, and very yellow in summer.

non ci sono bike hotels a San Cipirello



Non ci sono checkpoint a San Cipirello

Non ci sono ciclofficine a San Cipirello

Gibellina by bike, cycling holidays in Gibellina

Km 75 of the Route

Gibellina has two beating hearts: one that nourishes the memory of the city, no longer existing, reduced to rubble by the earthquake of 1968, and one that pulses in a modern and bright city, rebuilt by internationally renowned artists in the years following the earthquake with avant-garde styles for the time. A reality like Nuova Gibellina evokes contrasting emotions, balanced between nostalgia and wonder, so it must be explored in all its contrasts and loved because it cannot leave one indifferent. The surrounding territory is perfect for cycle tourism, both mountain biking and road cycling. From here, one can meet Dividers coming from Trapani and headed to Catania.

Mille e una notte B&B



Elimi Home

Moma Cafè  

Non ci sono ciclofficine a Gibellina