EUR 695.00

Italy - Cycling holiday around Etna, Sicily

8 day cycling holiday in Sicily around the highest active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna, which is now protected as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The route runs through the gently undulating landscape at the foot of Mount Etna to medieval and baroque towns. Dark lava stones from Mount Etna's numerous eruptions are visible throughout the landscape. The route follows the less traficed backroads to some of the most important nature reserves in Sicily. Accommodation at small hotels.

The route is mostly flat or with small ups and downs and a few tougher ascents. It is possible to rent an electric bike on this tour.

Highlights on this tour

  • Well-chosen routes along narrow roads through Sicily's beautiful landscape
  • Through citrus orchards, pistachio plantations, olive groves and vineyards
  • Discover ancient buildings from the Arabs, Romans and Greeks time
  • The beautiful village of Castiglione di Sicilia
  • Enjoy Sicilian culinary delights and fine wines
  • Opportunity to go up to the main craters at Etna
  • The coastal towns of Taormina, Giardini Naxos, Acireale
  • Stay in cozy hotels
  • Luggage is transported from hotel to hotel
Overview
Trip Grading :
1
2
3
4
5
6
Month of departure:
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Dates

If you can select the date in the calendar on this page, then the tour can start on that date.

Customer reviews

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Day 1 Arrival Nicolosi

Arrival at Nicolosi and check-in. Information meeting and hand-over of bikes, route directions and maps.

Day 2 Nicolosi - Etna - Nicolosi (23 km)

Today you will do  a trip up on the volcano Mount Etna. Take the bus (ticket not included) up to Rifugio Sapienza at 1900 meters altitude (6,233ft). Here you can choose between doing your own walks or joining an excursion higher up on the mountain with a certified guide. The greatest experience is to do a 6 hour guided walk up to the main crater at 3300 meters altitude (10,827ft). In the afternoon get on your bikes to enjoy an easy downhill ride back to Nicolosi. If the weather does not permit trips on the mountain, you can go sightseeing in Catania instead.

Day 3 Nicolosi - Bronte (49 km)

From Nicolosi you follow quiet backroads downhill. You'll pass numerous citrus plantations, which Sicily is famous for. Find a small restaurant and enjoy a delicious lunch before you continue to the lava canyons of the river Simetos which can be seen from an old Saracene bridge, which in fact was not built by Arabs but by the Romans. The river has cut through the dark basalt, which is solidified magma from volcanic eruptions from Etna and the canyon sides are up to 5 meters high (16.4ft).

Then it's time to do the final section through pistachio plantations and you will arrive in Bronte after a 5 kilometer climb.

Day 4 Bronte - Maniace - Randazzo (35km)

Before leaving Bronte, you might want to check out one of the many pistachio products in the city. Then continue to Maniace, where you can visit the Castello Nelson and the church dedicated to Santa Maria di Maniace. Continue to the old medieval town Randazzo, located at the foot of the Nebrodi mountains. The city is more or less built of dark lava stone.

Day 5 Randazzo - Castiglione - Alcantara gorge - Giardini Naxos (50 km)

The route goes from Randazzo along the "Etna Wine Route" to the Byzantine chapel dedicated to Santa Domenica. From the village of Castiglione you have a nice view over the Alcantara valley which separates Etna from the Nebrodi forests. After a stroll around the old town center you head downhill towards the Alcantara river. After a lunch stop in Francaville it's time to visit the Alcantara canyon where the water has eroded the solidified lava and created beautiful gorges. Then you head towards today's final destination, Giardini Naxos, on the Ionian coast.

Day 6 Giardini Naxos - Taormina - Giardini Naxos (20 km)

A short bike ride uphill takes you to Taormina, a gem on the Ionian coast and worth a trip in itself. Here you can visit Castelmola, an attractive medieval town 5 km further uphill. From here you have a nice view over the coast. Back in Taormina you can get on the cable car down to the water at Isola Bella and take a dip in the Mediterranean. Return for another night in Giardini Naxos.

Day 7 Giardini Naxos - Acireale - Acitrezza (35 km)

The last cycling day follows the coast, also known as "Lemon Riviera". A stretch of road follows the promenade along the water to the beaches of Marina di Cottone. After the fishing village of Stazzo you will arrive at Timpas steep lava slopes. A short climb takes you to the town of Acireale, and its interesting baroque city center. The tour terminates in Acitrezza, which is the perfect place to visit a fish restaurant overlooking the water.

Day 8 Acitrezza - Catania

After breakfast, the tour ends.

Price includes

Not included
  • Transportation to/from Sicily
  • Rental bike
  • Travel and cancellation insurance
EUR 695.00

Practical info

General information

The price is based upon two people sharing. It is also possible travel alone in a single room. Simply choose "1 person" in the booking form and it will automatically add the single room surcharge.

Notice: If you open the booking form, fill it out and go to page two, you can save your quote and have it sent to your email as a pdf. This way you can easily send it to others who can then see the price and exactly what is included. When you have saved the quote you can easily restart the booking and you will not need to enter all the information again.

Transportation

Please note that transportation to and from the destination is not included in the package, and that you have to make sure to book your own flight. This is easily done online. It is your responsibility to ensure that the flight schedule fits start and end dates of your trip. We recommend that you book the trip with us before you buy your plane tickets. Catania is the nearest airport.

Local transport

Day 1: From Catania railway station, it is possible to take a local bus to Nicolosi. Your host in Nicolosi will pick you up at the bus if you call ahead.

We can also arrange a transfer directly from the airport to the first hotel. The price per person is 25 €, which is payable directly to the driver. A taxi from the airport to Nicolosi costs about 60 €.

Day 2: You can bring your bikes along on the bus to Rifugio Sapienza. Should the bus be full, you can ask your host to drive you and your bike up there (15 € per person).

Day 3: It is possible to pre-book transportation for yourself and your bike the last 5 km up the hill to Bronte. The price is € 7.50 per. person and payable on the spot. This transfer must be ordered upon arrival at Nicolosi.

Day 8: Transfer from Acitrezza to Catania airport costs 25 € per person

More detailed information about local transport available in the Pre-departure information forwarded by booking the trip.

Excursions on Etna (Day 2)

It is possible to walk on your own around the Silvestri craters, which are close to the Rifugio Sapienza. These craters are no longer active.

There is also the option to take the cable car up to 2500 meters altitude and walk around on your own. The price for the cable car is around € 50 per person.

The cable car can also be combined with both a guided walk and drive with four-wheel drive buses up for about 3000 meters altitude from where you walk up to the main crater at about 3300 meters altitude. Trips to the main crater can only be done together with authorized volcano guides. The tours will last 2-6 hours and cost 55 to 75 € per person. All tours on Etna are dependent on the weather and volcanic activity. Note that it is likely to be cold at the summit, even during summer there may be snow fall, so warm clothing is necessary.

Accommodation

Overnight at 3-star tourist class hotels. We can arrange extra nights before or after the tour. Contact us if you are interested in this option.

Food and drink

Breakfast is included.

Lunches and dinners are not included. The route notes contain suggestions for restaurants on the route.
It is possible to preorder half board; breakfast and dinner.

Trip grading

Most of the route follows roads with little traffic and is graded as Level 2.

The route is mostly flat or with slight increases. In some places there will be more challenging hills (Bronte, where it is possible to book a transfer, and Castiglione, which it is possible to skip). You bike mainly on quiet minor roads, with a limited amount of traffic. The roads are a little more busy during the summer high season, but this is rarely a problem. Read more about our grading system here. While biking your luggage is transported to the next hotel.

Travel insurance

We highly recommend that you are covered by a good travel insurance covering at least Medical Expenses, Illness, Personal Accident, Baggage and Repatriation. The customer is responsible to take the necessary travel insurance that covers these costs. Mountain Adventures, or our local partners, do not have any responsibility for our customers not being covered by a necessary travel insurance. You have to arrange your insurance in your home country.

Climate

It can be hard to plan your trip according to the weather, but to give an idea of the local climate, see the data below as shown on yr.no.

Cycling in Italy, Sicily, temperatures

The Travel Guarantee Fund

We are members of the Travel Guarantee Fund (nr. 2529) and have all available insurances. Read more about that here.

Have any questions?

Call our experts on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Phone: +44 20 3936 1208

Or write to us at

[email protected]

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