From Mount Etna to the sea
From Mount Etna to the sea: a fantastic 4-day bike tour starting on Mount Etna, followed by exploring the wild Nebrodi Mountains before descending along the Alcantara river valley to the beaches of Giardini Naxos for a dip in the Ionian Sea!
First day: Arrival and Mount Etna stay
Arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel on Mount Etna. Dinner and overnight stay.
Second day: Il Giro dell’Etna – 50 km with 900 meters of uphill vertical gain
Meet your guide and depart to explore her majesty Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. You will cycle through ‘fields’ of lava rock and will notice how the black surroundings are suddenly interrupted by the rich greenery of the thick pine forests and chestnut woods. This will be an unforgettable experience on your mountain bike!
Starting at Piano Vetore (on the southern side of Etna) we will head towards the northern side, along the beautiful Pista Altomontana. You will pass several lava stone mountain huts on the route and the lava sand and at times rocky terrain will put cyclists and their bikes to the test.
Mount Etna is a living mountain that ‘breathes’ and you will often hear the ‘voice’ of the volcano in the background while cycling along the Pista Altomontana. This will be an unforgettable ride, up to Pineta Ragabo, where we will stop at a mountain lodge for a delicious dinner and the first overnight stay.
Third day: Mount Etna and the Nebrodi Mountains – 65km and 1250 meters of uphill vertical gain
From Mount Etna we continue our trip on trails which take us through the Parco dei Nebrodi with its breathtaking landscapes.
Starting with a morning departure from Mount Etna, we cycle towards the beautiful medieval town of Randazzo and then upwards to Floresta, a small village in the heart of the Nebrodi mountains. The route takes us through dense forests full of indigenous flora and fauna, by the Flascio stream and past the foot of Monte Colla. On a clear day you will have unbelievable views of Mount Etna, the Tyrrhenian sea and the Ionian coast. After that we bike back to Randazzo for dinner and the second overnight stay.
Fourth day: From Nebrodi Mountains to Giardini Naxos through the Alcantara Valley – 55km and 800 meters of vertical gain
We leave medieval Randazzo and its wonderful churches and head towards the Alcantara Valley and the Ionian Sea along an ancient Roman road, known today as the ‘wine road’ due to the many wineries in the area. We cycle towards the town of Castiglione di Sicilia where we will briefly stop to admire the beautiful Cuba Byzantine, a 7th century Byzantine chapel. Along the way you can admire the many vineyards, vast olive and citrus groves. After Castiglione you can admire the wonders of the Alcantara Valley, where the Alcantara river has carved out a bed creating a fracture between two basalt walls at the end of its course: the famous Alcantara gorges. You will follow the river up to its mouth to the sea near Giardini Naxos, where we will have time for a short visit to the ancient Greek ruins and, weather-permitting, a nice swim in the Ionian Sea. Dinner and overnight stay at Giardini Naxos.
Fifth day: Departure
Transfer from Giardini Naxos to airport.