Gorgeous pottery for sale all over Sicily. Photo via Flickr:Davide Restivo
Great views from atop Castelmola in Sicily. Photo via Flickr:Leandro's World Tour

Tasty biking fuel in Italy. Photo via Flickr:Toolmantim

Etna, Taormina, and the Ionian Sea

Italy Bike Tours

Land of Myths

The ancient stories are still alive on what the Greeks termed "Persephone's Island." Sicily is a land of myths and legends. Here, Dionysus discovered the vine and Hephaestus forged thunderbolts from Etna's molten lava. Though conquered and influenced by one invader after another, it has emerged with a unique and distinct culture, a blending of many, that sets it apart. To visit Sicily, is to visit the world.

​This bicycle tour in Italy winds through sleepy fishing villages and along the Etna foothills, lined with groves of lemons, oranges, and olives. Visit Taormina, pearl of the Ionian coast, the medieval towns of Randazzo and Castiglione, and the baroque city of Acireale. In fact, this is an island renowned for art, archeology, history, folklore, and breathtaking scenery. You will also see some of the most important Sicilian nature reserves: the Etna National Park, the park of the Alcantara valley, and the nature reserve "Forre Laviche del Simeto.

​At the end of your cyling days, reward yourself with the tastes of the ancients, the renowed Sicilian cuisine and wine!

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Where You’ll Stay

Accommodations in 3 star hotels and bed and breakfasts

What’s Included

  • Accommodations for 7 nights including breakfast in 3 star hotels and B&B’s
  • 24 or 27 gear bicycle rental with saddle bag
  • Luggage transfers
  • Detailed maps and road book
  • Phone assistance

What’s Not Included

  • Airport transfers
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Wine tastings
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • City taxes
  • Gratuities
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance
TourBike
TypeSelf Guided
SkillModerate
Length8 days
From735 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

Departures every Saturday from March 5 to November 19, 2016

Skill Level

This is a moderate, self guided bike tour with average daily distances ranging from 15 to 31 miles (23 to 50 km).

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Etna, Taormina, and the Ionian Sea Map

Day 1: Arrival in Nicolosi
Day 2: Etna - Nicolosi, 13 mi. (20 km)
Day 3: Nicolosi - Bronte, 30 mi. (49 km)
Day 4: Bronte - Maniace - Randazzo, 19/20 mi. (30/33 km)
Day 5: Randazzo - Castiglione - Gole dell’Alcantara - Giardini Naxos, 29 mi. (46 km)
Day 6: Giardini Naxos - Taormina - Giardini Naxos, 13 mi. (20 km)
Day 7: Giardini Naxos - Acireale - Acitrezza, 23 mi. (37 km)
Day 8: Acitrezza - Catania

*All distances are approximate.

Day 1: Arrival in Nicolosi
Individual arrival at Nicolosi, where you'll be fitted for your bikes and receive a roadbook and maps containing all the information you will need to complete each day of cycling.

Day 2: Etna - Nicolosi, 13 mi. (20 km)
Using public transportation (not included, approx. €6 per person), you will arrive in Rifugio Sapienza. It is possible to go further up the Etna mountain with funicular, four-wheel-drive, and a guide and then continue to Nicolosi with the bikes. In case of unfavorable weather conditions, alternative itnerary would be a public bus transfer to Catania and possibility of a sightseeing- tour through the town center.

Day 3: Nicolosi - Bronte, 30 mi. (49 km)
Leaving Nicolosi on quiet back roads, the route is mostly downhill as you arrive at the nature reserve, "Forre laviche del Simeto", to see the famous Saracen bridge. The route then passes through huge pistachio plantations. After an uphill slope, you will reach Bronte. Overnight in a country manor in the midst of a pistachio plantation.

Day 4: Bronte - Maniace - Randazzo, 19/20 mi. (30/33 km)​
Before leaving Bronte, you may want to check out one of the many pistachio producers in town. In Maniace, you can visit the Castello Nelson and the ex monastery of Santa Maria di Maniace. Cycling on quiet streets, destination is Randazzo, with its interesting medieval town center, rich in history.

Day 5: Randazzo - Castiglione - Gole dell’Alcantara - Giardini Naxos, 29 mi. (46 km)
Today will be an easy downhill trip along the "strada del vino dell’Etna” with many winemakers along the way. From the gracious town center of Castiglione, you will have a nice view over the Alcantara valley, which separates the Etna from the Nebrodi forests, which you will visit further down the road. Final destination will be Giardini Naxos, on the Ionian coast, where you might enjoy a refreshing swim in its splendid waters.

Day 6: Giardini Naxos - Taormina - Giardini Naxos, 13 mi. (20 km)
After only a short uphill climb, you will reach Taormina, pearl of the Ionian coast. A stop in Castelmola, a picturesque medieval village located about 3 miles (5 km) uphill from Taormina, can be enjoyed. The breathtaking view over the whole bay and from Calabria to Mount Etna makes the climb totally worth it! Return this evening to Giardini Naxos.

Day 7: Giardini Naxos - Acireale - Acitrezza, 23 mi. (37 km)
This easy trip takes you along the Ionian coast, also known as "riviera of lemons". After a short uphill slope, you reach Acireale with its interesting baroque city center. You finish today in Acitrezza.

Day 8: Acitrezza - Catania
After breakfast, end of tour and individual departure or extension with additional days.

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