Sicily – Etna Cycling Holiday

  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Leisurely to Moderate
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Nicolosi / Acitrezza
  • Distance

    126 miles/203 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeWine Lovers
  • Accommodation

    Comfort
  • Tour code

    010-101CIT
Price From £641

Overview

This self-guided cycling holiday in Sicily circumnavigates mighty and moody Mount Etna, unveiling some of the most beautiful corners of this picturesque island. Along the way you can visit the edge of the active crater, soak up ancient history, sample exquisite cuisine and swim in the warm Ionian Sea.

You’ll start your cycle tour in Nicolosi, a traditional settlement at the foot of Mount Etna. Spend your days cycling to wonderful old towns like Castiglione, Randazzo and Taormina taking in nature reserves, vineyards and even pistachio plantations along the way.

Randazzo - Sicily - Italy*

Randazzo

The tour takes you along quiet, mainly flat, back roads for the most part, but there are also some quite challenging hills to contend with also. Anyone with a moderate level of fitness and a love of culture and nature will really enjoy this tour.

Itinerary & Map

The tour takes you along quiet, mainly flat, back roads for the most part, but there are also some quite challenging hills to contend with also. Anyone with a moderate level of fitness and a love of culture and nature will really enjoy this tour.

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Nicolosi

Etna - Sicily

Mt. Etna

Arrive in Nicolosi, where you’ll spend the next two nights. This traditional Sicilian town is nestled at the foot of Mount Etna, and here you’ll get your bikes set up for you and pick up your road book with all your maps and essential route details.

Day 2: Etna – Nicolosi, 13 miles/20 kms

Rifugio Sapienza - Etna - Sicily - Italy*

Rifugio Sapienza

Today you can cycle to Rifugio Sapienza. There is a local bus that takes you there and you can book and pay for this locally. The cost is approximately €6. From here you leave your bikes and ascend legendary Mount Etna on the funicular railway. You can then hire a mountain guide to step onto the volcano itself should you wish. After your trip onto the mountain it’s downhill on your bikes virtually all the way back to Nicolosi. If the weather’s not suitable for a volcano tour you can bus it over to the historic city of Catania where there’s plenty of sights and local colour.

Day 3: Nicolosi – Bronte, 30 miles/49 kms

Picturesque Adrano

Picturesque Adrano

You’ll have a longer day in the saddle today, but in case you overindulged the night before on Sicily’s superb food and wine you’ll be glad to know the first part is downhill – but then it does get hillier! Follow quiet country lanes through nature reserves and pistachio plantations. You’ll pass through charming old towns such as Biancavilla and Adrano and then the final uphill kick which is about 5kms is to Bronte where you will overnight. (If you don’t fancy this uphill cycle to the hotel in Bronte then you can request a transfer).

Day 4: Bronte – Maniace – Randazzo, 19 to 23 miles/30 to 36 kms

Randazzo - Sicily - ItalyII*

Randazzo

This is pistachio country, so why not take a tour round one of the local pistachio estates before heading out for an easy-going day of cycling. Stop off first at Maniace where there’ll be time to pop into the former monastery of Santa Maria di Maniace and the old Castello Nelson. After the break continue along minor roads with scant traffic to the charming medieval town of Randazzo.

Day 5: Randazzo – Castiglione – Gole dell’Alcantara – Giardini Naxos, 28 miles/44 kms

Giardini-Naxos Bay - Sicily - ItalyII*You’ll hardly notice the distance today as it’s downhill along a scenic vineyard-lined route. As you’ll be making pretty quick time of the cycling you’ll be able to stop and explore Castiglione and admire the view across the forested valley to Etna. Then it’s onwards to the coastal town of Giardini Naxos where you can take a dip in the clean waters of the Ionian before settling into your accommodation where you’ll spend the next two nights.

Day 6: Giardini Naxos – Taormina – Giardini Naxos, 12 miles/20 kms

Taormina - Sicily - Italy

Taormina

You might be starting your day with a short uphill stretch but it’s worth it as you reach Taormina, set on a hillside overlooking the sea. From here you’ve the option to head further up the hill to take in some of Sicily’s most breathtaking views – where the sweeping bay stretches out in front of you from Mount Etna to Calabria. Every up has a down of course, so it’s a wonderful freewheel back down to Giardini Naxos for a second night by the sea.

Day 7: Giardini Naxos – Acireale – Acitrezza, 23 miles/37 kms

Acireale - Sicily - Italy*

Acireale

It’s your final day of riding and you’ll round off your Sicilian adventure with a largely flat route along the Ionian coast. There’s a short but not overly demanding uphill stretch at the end but it’s well worth it as you’ll be arriving at the attractive historic city of Acireale with its interesting baroque centre. You then continue on to your final destination Acitrezza.

Day 8: End of trip

After breakfast it’s time to check out and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2019 Arrival Dates
Arrivals every Saturday from 06 April to 19 October

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2019 Prices
010-101CIT
Per person
06 Apr
to
30 Jun
01 Jul
to
31 Aug
01 Sep
to
19 Oct
Comfort category
Double/twin £663 £766 £663                
Single £891 £1004 £891                
Triple £641 £754 £641                
Solo cyclist £1027 £1130 £1027                
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Deposit per person £100

Price Includes

7 nights accommodation. See practical information
7 x Breakfast
Luggage transfer
Maps & route information
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Helmet (€10 payable locally)
Optional bus Nicolosi to Rifugio Sapienza (€6 payable locally) on day 2
Transfer Catania Airport - Nicolosi (€25 per person to be paid locally, min 2 pax)
Transfer Acireale - Catania Airport (€25 per person to be paid locally, min 2 pax)
Tourist tax (approx €2pppn, payable locally)

Supplements

Half board: 7 x dinners (£189)
Extra night Acitrezza, double/twin, comfort (£38)
Extra night Acitrezza, single, comfort (£57)
Extra night Nicolosi, double/twin, comfort (£36)
Extra night Nicolosi, single, comfort (£50)
Bike with pannier and lock. See practical information (£116)
Electric bike with pannier and lock (£158)

Practical Information

Bikes

Example of bike used on this tour

Example of bike used on this tour

The bikes provided on this tour are modern alloy framed, city bike models with 24 speeds and comfortable saddle with upright riding position.

The bikes come equipped with a rear pannier, bell, puncture repair kit, water bottle holder and water bottle.  Per room you also receive a lock, pump, one map holder and odometer.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are available to rent and pay for locally €10. This must be advised at the time of booking.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Comfort: Comfortable hotels and guesthouses.

Nicolosi: B&B Sotto Il Vulcano
Bronte: Feudo Marullo
Randazzo: B&B Ai Tre Parchi
Giardini Naxos: Hotel San Giovanni
Acireale/Acitrezza: Hotel Lachea

Local taxes
Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

Getting There

Fly to Catania

Research flights from the UK here

Arrival and departure transfers from/to Catania Airport may be booked in advance. Approximate cost per person is €25 each way and is to be paid locally.

Gallery