From Mount Etna to the sea

Level of difficulty:
Duration:
5 days
Starting from
€850
Guided
€690
Self-guided

From Etna to the Sea, a 4-day tour including the fascination of exploring Mount Etna, adventure in the wild Nebrodi mountains, a descent along the Alcantara Valley to finish on the coast of the Ionian Sea in Catania.

Guided
Bike tour with our qualified ITA/ENG guides, to get the best of your mountain bike experience. Costs are per person based on a minimum of 4 people per group, in two double rooms when included.
Self-guided
Independent, free to take your time and enjoy the bike experience at a pace that suits you. Follow an accurate GPS track to discover the delights of your bike ride. Costs are per person based on a minimum of 4 people per group, in two double rooms when included.
Description

From Etna to the Sea, a 4-day tour including the fascination of exploring Mount Etna, adventure in the wild Nebrodi mountains, a descent along the Alcantara Valley to finish on the coast of the Ionian Sea in Catania.

 


First day: Mount Etna

Arrive at the airport and transfer to your hotel on Mount Etna.


Second day:

Etna South –> Floresta 56 km with 970 meters of uphill ascent

Meet your guide and depart to explore as Sicilians say ‘Her Majesty’ Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano. Biking in this unique territory makes for an unforgettable experience on your mountain bike. You will cycle through large expanses of lava rock where the blackness abruptly ends to give way to the green of the dense Pine trees as well as forests of Chestnut, Oak and Beech.

We continue downhill, leaving behind the grandeur of the volcano to enter the wilds of the Nebrodi Mountains. We climb up the Alcantara River to its source at the foot of Floresta, the highest village in Sicily. Dinner and overnight stay.

Mount Etna mtb
Mount Etna mtb

 


Third day: Nebrodi Mountains -> Alcantara Valley 53km with 850 metres of ascent

We leave Floresta and go in the direction of the Alcantara Valley, stopping for a short visit at the Argimusco Plateau, an archaeological site with monolithic rocks which lies close to the Malabotta Forest Nature Reserve. The 360° view from the Argimusco Plateau is breathtaking, with the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north and the Aeolian Islands in full view, the Ionian Sea and Calabria to the east, Mount Etna to the south and the Nebrodi Mountains to the west. What a spectacle!

We then head east down towards Francavilla di Sicilia and the Alcantara Valley. The route offers lots of variety from typical river views to architectural monuments built by both man and nature. We make a brief stop at the famous Alcantara gorge, a narrow crevice between two high lava basalt walls, before finishing the ride in the valley. Dinner and overnight stay.

 

Alcantara River trails
Alcantara River trails

 


Fourth day: Alcantara Valley -> Ionian Sea -> Catania, 60km with 770 metres of ascent

 

We leave the farmhouse and go downhill along the banks of the Alcantara, riding along the river until it flows into the sea at San Marco beach, where we can have a refreshing swim in the Ionian Sea. We continue in a southerly direction along the coast, crossing the Fiumefreddo Nature Reserve and pass through several small villages set on ancient lava rock.

The old railway near Castiglione di Sicilia
The old railway near Castiglione di Sicilia

 

We make a brief stop in Acitrezza, a small town with a longstanding fishing tradition that overlooks the small archipelago of the Ciclopi Islands, to enjoy a delicious Sicilian granita and brioche. After that it’s onwards to the historic centre of Catania, our final destination. The free evening gives you the chance to visit the sites and admire the Baroque architecture which make Catania a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight stay.

San Marco beach
San Marco beach

Fifth day: Departure

Transfer to Catania airport.

Extra Info

Season: from March to November

Included:

  • 3 E-mtb excursions
  • Qualified MTB guide (Italian and English)*
  • GPS device with GPS track to follow **
  • 3 nights in 2/3 star Hotel /Agriturismo . Half board accommodation, included water and house wine. Other beverages not included.
  • 1 night in 2/3 star B&B in the historical centre of Catania
  • Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel
  • Van support
  • E-MTB rental (professional bikes with disk brakes, tubeless wheelset, air suspension fork, Yamaha motor, Shimano groupset etc.)
  • Transfer from/to Catania airport and hotels in the surrounding area
  • Travel insurance

Not included:

  • Flights and public transportation
  • Expense of personal nature such as drinks, phone calls, etc.
  • Any items that have not been mentioned in the price inclusions above

What to wear and bring with you:

A small backpack/rucksack for your personal items (you can leave this in the van if you don’t want to take it with you during the excursion).

Comfortable clothes suitable for biking

A change of clothes in case it rains

Closed shoes e.g. trainers or biking shoes (no flip-flops or sandals)

Sunglasses & sun cream

A camera or smartphone if you want to take photos

A spirit of fun and adventure

 

* For guided tours

** For self-guided tours

Map
Etna - Nebrodi
Nebrodi - Alcantara
Alcantara - Sea