Spanish Castle, Milazzo, Aeolian Islands on the Tyrrhenian Sea, Sicily, Italy. Photo via Flickr:SarahTz

Lava from Stromboli Island near Sciara del Fuoco, Sicily, Italy. Photo via Flickr:unukorno
3.5/5 (2 ratings)

Sicily and the Aeolian Archipelago

Italy Bike + Barge Tours

Bike and Boat in Sicily!

Let yourself be enchanted by this spectacular bike and boat tour in Sicily in the heart of the Mediterranean sea. Comprised of a number of satellite islands and archipelagos, Sicily, though part of Italy, seems a world apart. Conquered and influenced by one invader after another, it has emerged with a unique and distinct blended culture.

On this adventure, on board a traditional Turkish Caïque, by bike and boat, you will explore the extraordinary Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago, comprised of the "seven sisters"; seven inhabited islands that are now part of the Unesco World Heritage List.

It seems the Gods have bestowed their blessings here and the wonders of nature abound. The volcanic origins have left a dramatic legacy of black-sand beaches, smoldering craters, and splintered, rocky coastlines with breathtaking views and the myths and legends remain! It was here that Dionysus discovered the vine and Hephaestus forged thunderbolts from Etna's molten lava. Aeolus, the God of the Winds, lived here, and Ulysses battled the monstrous Polyphemus and his companions, the followers of Vulcano, God of the Fire!

Highlights include but not limited to:

  • Creeks of Vulcano
  • Cave of the Cavallo
  • Pool of Venere
  • Valle Muria beach and Stacks Menalda (only reachable by boat)
  • Sciara del Fuoco
  • Panarea's rocky ridges

This is not a passive exploration by any means, but a truly active journey, combining boating and cycling tours deep into the wonders of the Aeolian Islands.

Looking for a different flavor? Check out our full list of bike and boat tours in Italy here.

Skill Level

Easy to moderate guided bike and boat tour with average daily distances between 15 and 35 km. Change in elevation between 0 and 600 m per day.

Please note: This tour is rated "Easy-Moderate" with ebike option and "Moderate-Difficult" (depending on conditioning) for regular bike option.

Where You’ll Stay

Aboard the Turkish Caïque, the Sundial. Turkish caiques are constructed of solid wood and differ from the "gulet" because the foremast is higher than the stern.Though this is traditionally a sailing vessel, the sails will not be relied upon for wind power but the motor will always be utilized.

What’s Included

  • Transfer to and from Catania Airport on arrival and departure days
  • Accommodations for 7 nights (6 nights in port and one night in roadstead)
  • All meals, breakfast, packed or on board lunch, dinners, beginning with dinner on Day 1 and ending with breakfast on Day 8
  • Bike rental
  • Tour guide
  • Sheets and towels (1 change per week)

What’s Not Included

  • Beverages
  • Entrance fees
  • Gratuities
Length8 days
From1355 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

2016 Dates
Saturdays, August 27, September 3, September 10, and September 17, 2016

2017 Dates
Saturdays May 27, June 3, June 10, June 17, August 26, September 2, September 9, and September 16, 2017

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Sicily and the Aeolian Archipelago Map

Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Milazzo, 9 mi. (14 km)
Day 3: Vulcano, 19 mi.  (30 Km)
Day 4: Panarea and Stromboli (Sciara del fuoco)
Day 5: Panarea – Salina, Malvasia Island
Day 6: Salina - Lipari, 21 mil (34 km)
Day 7: Lipari, 16 mi. (25 km)
Day 8: Departure

The captain and the guide reserve the right to make alterations to the itinerary, depending on wind, sea and weather conditions or organizational requirements. 

Day 1: Arrival
Individual arrival at Catania Airport from which there is a collective transfer at 3:30 pm to Milazzo Harbor at Catania airport. Plan your airfare accordingly and please note that transfers are only available on embarkation and disembarkation days. Embarkation will be on the Sundial at 6:00 pm at the Marina di Nettuno in Milazzo (Me). After settling in, you will enjoy a complimentary drink. Dinner will follow and presentation of the program. Night in the port of Milazzo. 

Day 2: Milazzo, 9 mi. (14 km)
Your exploration of history begins with a visit to the charming old town which retains some fine buildings and churches. The cape is also well worth exploring, particularly the Norman castle, the cavernous rock church of Sant'Antonio di Padua and the beaches of the Riviera di Ponente. Great views and sunsets are guaranteed and there are several good walking trails. The night this evening will be spent in the port of the Marina of Milazzo.

Day 3: Vulcano, 19 mi.  (30 Km)
The boat will navigate to the Island of Vulcano or Sulphur Island. After breakfast on board,  you will have the morning at your disposal to explore. Vulcano is famous for its sulfurous pit, a natural mud bath, that many feel is healthy and relaxing for your skin. The main draw, however, remains the Fossa di Vulcano, or Gran Cratere (Large Crater), the steaming volcano that towers over the island's northeastern shores. In the afternoon, a visit to the Grotta del Cavallo (Horse cave) is scheduled. Discovered in 1960, this was an incredible archaeological find. Take a regenerating bath in the “Piscina di Venere” (Pool of Venus). Finally, you will discover by bike the hinterland of the island towards Piano Grillo, ideal place to admire an amazing panorama. Dinner on board and overnight in port in Vulcano

Day 4: Panarea and Stromboli (Sciara del fuoco)
After breakfast, the morning will be spent circumnavigating Panarea, the smallest of the Aeolian Islands. The geological and eruptive activity has deeply changed the appearance of the island during the millennia. Panarea was for a long time the widest island of the Aeolian archipelago and as witness of this there are numerous little islands in the north-east (Basiluzzo, Spinazzola, Lisca Bianca, Lisca Nera, Bottaro e Dattilo) resulting from eruptions of a single, vast, original volcanic complex sunk into the sea following a violent eruption. The volcanic activity is still clearly visible on the island where vapors rise from the fumaroles and cracks between the rocks. Lunch will be on board today as the boat navigates towards Stromboli. There is a walking tour on the agenda with a climb up to 400 m above sea level, to admire the volcanic explosions. Dinner on board while the boat circumnavigates Stromboli to admire the show of the “Sciara del Fuoco” at night. Afterwards, the boat navigates up to Panarea.

Day 5: Panarea – Salina, Malvasia Island
After breakfast on board, you will have free time in the morning to visit the little village of Panarea, the Drautto beach and the prehistoric village. Lunch will be enjoyed on board as the boat navigates up to the Island of Salina. Disembarkation in Salina and visit to the Hauner Winery, that produces capers and Malvasia, a very famous local wine, exported all over the world. Overnight will be in the port of Salina.

Day 6: Salina - Lipari, 21 mi. (34 km)
Today you will explore the interior of the biggest island of the Aeolian Archipelago. You will cycle till Rinella, extreme opposite cape of the Island and visit the lake of Lingua and Pollara. Perhaps you would like to taste the “granita” of Alfredo. Upon returning to the vessel, destination is Lipari. Here there will be free time to visit the village and the possibility to visit the archaeological museum Bernabò Breà. Tonight you overnight in the port of LIparia.

Day 7: Lipari, 16 mi. (25 km)
After breakfast, the boat will navigate around Lipari followed by a fantastic coast to coast ride by bike. You will pass the "white beaches" colored by pumice, and then Canneto, an exclusive summer resort, and finally, the return back to the historical center. In the afternoon, the boat will navigate to Milazzo for dinner and overnight in the port. 

Day 8 : Departure
Disembark at 9 am, after which there is a collective transfer to Catania airport. 

You can view all of our bike and boat tours in Europe or look at our featured bike trips, specials, and news.

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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Customer Feedback

  • David M. 1 month ago

    My grades given to this trip show my displeasure with several items encountered while on our trip. First, the pickup at the airport was bungled by "Pepe" our guide. He did not have a sign for us to recognize the tour! It was a miracle he finally found us. The boat was laid out well, the crew was very pleasant, however none of the 3 crew members spoke fluent english (necessary for the Americans, Canadians, Dutch, and German passengers). My major complaint was regarding the cabin Air Conditioning. The captain only turned on the AC from 6PM to Midnight. In August, the temperature was in the mid 80's - too hot to sleep in an enclosed cabin after midnight! I would discourage any potential guest not to take this trip unless the captain changes his AC rules and provides cooling throughout the night!
    The food was OK with little variation from day to day but the last "onshore meal" at a local restaurant was inedible!! Skip the restaurant meal and eat onboard (not a current option) or give the guests an upscale restaurant or eliminate the meal altogether and each guest is on their own for the last supper.

    • Jehiel 1 month ago

      Hi David,
      Since our return from this trip, changes have been made to the difficulty rating as well as the tour page and travel documents to better represent the tour. We are also working with our local partner to make improvements based on your input. Thanks for sharing this feedback. It was very nice meeting you and Susan!

  • Ross D. 1 month ago

    The Aeolian Archipelago Trip was sold as easy/moderate and as a result there were several people that probably should not have been there. As a consequence the guide was indecisive most days how to deal with the itinerary and as a consequence kept adjusting and shortening the rides. As for my wife and I we traveled all the way from Canada to enjoy the boat, scenery and riding as a total experience.

    Because of the constant changing of the daily itinerary and shortened rides we became somewhat dissatisfied with the total experience.

    • Jehiel 1 month ago

      Hello Ross,
      Thanks for sharing this feedback. As a result, we have changed the rating and recommended the ebike option less experienced riders. We have also been in contact with our local partner to ensure the itenerary is presented in full and is followed.
      I had a great time meeting you and Donna on this trip and hope to help you plan your next one!

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Sicily and the Aeolian Archipelago Boats + Barges

Sundial Photo

Sundial Italy Comfort Class Boat The Sundial is a comfort class Turkish Caique, constructed of pine and mahogany in the Vedat Sungul Shipyard in Bodrum, Turkey, using the ancient art of Turkish shipbuilding still in use. The boat has a spacious dinette, large solarium with comfortable beach mattresses, and on the stern deck, a wide and elegant lounge. Catering on board is an excellent combination of fresh seafood and vegetables, pasta and meat, seasoned with Mediterranean herbs.