From Mount Etna to the sea MTB Tour
SEASON: from March to November
Group journey (min. 4 people)
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: Etna South –> Floresta 56 km with 970 meters of uphill ascent
Departure to explore His Majesty Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, through a unique territory for an unforgettable experience on your mountain bike. You will cycle through fields of lava rock where the black is interrupted abruptly to give space to the greenery of the thick pine forests and chestnut woods, in a continuous alternation of predominance of the forces of nature.
From Piano Vetore (Etna South) we head towards the North side, along the famous Pista Altomontana, meeting several mountain refuges in their characteristic lava stone construction. The terrain will put cyclists and bikes to the test. Rock and lava sand will be with us for part of the ride, and then suddenly leave the pass to thick pine forests and rich undergrowth with beautiful vegetation.
Mount Etna is a living mountain that breathes. Often you find yourself pedaling and hearing in the background the powerful “voice” of the volcano that accompanies cyclists towards the arrival at altitude.
We leave Mount Etna cycling towards Randazzo. On the way down to the beautiful medieval village, we ride through the dramatic 1981 lava flow which threatened the village stopping just a few hundred metres before.
This will be an unforgettable ride. After that, we cycle on the Alcantara river bridge, near Randazzo before entering into the wild of the Nebrodi Mountains.
Riding along the Alcantara river we get up to Floresta, the highest village in Sicily, where we stop for dinner and overnight stay.
Third day: Nebrodi Mountains -> Alcantara Valley 46 km with 600 meters of uphill ascent
We leave Floresta to explore the paths of the Parco dei Nebrodi with its breathtaking landscapes.
We go downhill along the Alcantara river bed for a while before encountering the Monte Colla climb. It’s a quite demanding climb of about 6 km, the only one of the day, but the view at the end of it will be extremely rewarding. On your way up you will ride through a wooded area with monumental beech trees. That will be a perfect time to have a break and embrace one of them!
Almost at the summit of Monte Colla, we will have one of the most spectacular views of Mount Etna.
The route leads us to the track that runs along the Flascio stream at the foot of Monte Colla. Exciting course through the dense forests of the Nebrodi Park and spectacular views. A wide variety of indigenous flora and fauna.
Then we go down towards Randazzo, a beautiful medieval town nestled between Etna, the Alcantara river and the Nebrodi mountains, with its antique stunning churches. The route will take us closer to some of them: Chiesa di San Martino, Chiesa di San Nicola and Basilica di Santa Maria. Near the Basilica di Santa Maria, a stop at the Pasticceria Musumeci to try the ice cream or the typical Sicilian almond flavoured “granita”, is a must!
Then we 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 down along the river towards the Agriturismo, where we stop for dinner and overnight stay.
Fourth day: Alcantara Valley -> Sea and back 60 km and 930 meters of uphill ascent
Leaving the Agriturismo we head for the Cuba Byzantine, an ancient Byzantine chapel of the 7th century. Just 200 metres away we may stop a while by the small waterfalls of the Alcantara river.
We head then uphill for Castiglione di Sicilia where we will make a short visit to beautiful Castello Lauria, on top of the village, where we will have a magnificent view of the whole Alcantara Valley.
After Castiglione. through an off-road route, you can admire the wonders of the Valley, where the Alcantara river has carved out its bed, creating at the end of its course a fracture between two basalt walls: the famous Alcantara gorges. The structure of the walls, which are tens of metres high, is characterized in some places by colonnar structures that recall aligned “organ reeds”, elegant “fans” and ordered “stacks of wood”. The river environment, between lakes and waterfalls, is mainly characterized by Mediterranean scrub. We will follow the river up to its mouth to the sea, at the San Marco beach, where we will have, if possible, a nice bath in the Ionian Sea.
A nice ride along the sea, going south, will take us to the Natural reserve of Fiumefreddo river, before heading back uphill to the Agriturismo.
The route, characterised by trails, away from traffic and ancient “trazzere” or country roads, will make us discover suggestive corners. In gradual ascent, we will go to the discovery of ancients Sicilian Masserie o farmhouse, Norman bridges and above all the Alcantara river,
Fifth day: Departure : Transfer to Catania airport.
PRICE: € 645 per persona in double room, minimun 4 persons.
What is included:
- 3 mtb excursions
- Qualified MTB guide (Italian and English)
- 4 nights in 2/3 star Hotel /Agriturismo . Half board accommodation, included water and house wine. Other beverages not included.
- Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel
- Van support
- MTB rental (professional bikes with disk brakes, tubeless wheelset, air suspension fork, shimano 2×10 grouset etc.)
- Packed lunch, or lunch on the way, during bike excursions
- Transfer from/to Catania airport and hotels in the surroundin area
- Travel insurance
- Flights and public transportation
- Expense of personal nature such as drinks, phone calls, etc.
- Any items that has not been mentioned in the price inclusions above
The price is per person and refers to a minimum group of 4 people, in two double / twin rooms. On request: price for only n. 2 participants, single supplement, E-bike.
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
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY:Medium – level excursion or tour on off-road trails with long challenging uphill parts and short technical uphill and downhill sections. Suitable for fit cyclists who have done similar trails in the past.
GUIDED TOUR: Bike tour with our qualified ITA/ENG guides, to get the best of your mountain bike experience.
Catania airport and hotels in the surrounding area pick up and drop off is included in the price. Please contact us for rates on pick up and drop off for other airports in Sicily.
- We always do our best to make all our clients happy, no matter where you come from or who you are. Here are a few reasons to choose us for your excursion or tour…Etna Bike Tour guides are:
- Cyclists themselves who have many years of riding experience, be it on a mountain bike, city bike or road bike or all 3! We take bikes seriously but we also know how to have fun and that’s why our guides choose the nicest places and best trails to take our clients on.
- Experts in our field and we know the local area well. We’ve biked on many great trails in Sicily and even created some of our own. We know where the best single-track is and where the
- toughest climbs are. We will find something to suit and please every type of biker. We try our best to take our clients on quiet trails away from mass tourism, traffic and the stress of daily life where they can enjoy the surrounding scenery, the amazing views and get back to nature on a bike.
- Foodies who love eating good local food and tasting Sicilian wine. Start your day with a good cappucino at the local bar or have a traditional lunch in one of the many Sicilian trattorie. Taste some locally produced wine at one of the great wineries on Etna. No matter what your tastes are, your guide will know where to go to satisfy your craving.