From Mount Etna to the sea
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fifth day: Departure
Transfer to Catania airport.