Sicily: Etna – Taormina – Ionian Sea
8 days / 7 nights | Across the land of myths
A striking bike tour along the Etna foothills and along the national park. This journey will take you through ancient towns, pervaded by history and myths, on the tracks of ancient savors and exquisite wines. It is of medium difficulty and will allow you to visit Taormina, pearl of the Ionian coast, the medieval towns of Randazzo and Castiglione, and the baroque city of Acireale. You will 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".
This self-guided bike tour gives you enough freedom to organize your trip as you would like but still offers the convenience of an organized tour to let you enjoy your bike vacation to the fullest.
Day 1: Nicolosi
Indivitual arrival at Nicolosi, handover of the bikes and the roadbook and maps containing all the information you will need.
Day 2: Etna – Nicolosi, km 20
Arrival at Rifugio Sapienza with public transportation, possibility to go further up the Etna mountain with funicular, four-wheel-drive and a guide and return to Nicolosi with the bikes.
In case of unfavourable weather conditions public bus transfer to Catania and possibility of a sightseeing-tour through the town center.
Day 3: Nicolosi – Bronte, km 49
You are leaving Nicolosi on quiet back roads, almost all the time downhill you arrive at the nature reserve "Forre laviche del Simeto" to see the famous Saracen bridge. From here you will pass through huge pistachio plantations that announce the near city of Bronte. Overnight in a country manor in the midst of a pistachio plantation.
Day 4: Bronte – Maniace – Randazzo, km 30/36
Passing outside of Bronte you will soon arrive in Maniace where you can visit the Castello Nelson and the ex monastery of Santa Maria di Maniace. Continuing on secondary streets you will reach Randazzo, with it's rich and interesting medieval town center.
Day 5: Randazzo – Castiglione – Gole dell’Alcantara – Giardini Naxos, km 44
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 vally, which separates the Etna from the Nebrodi forests and which you will visit further down the road. You final destination will be Giardini Naxos on the Ionian coast, where you might enjoy a regenerating bath in its splendid waters.
Day 6: Giardini Naxos – Taormina – Giardini Naxos, km 20
After only a few kilometers uphill you will reach Taormina, pearl of the Ionian coast and by itself worth a travel. Here you will have the possibility to visit Castelmola, a picturesque medieval village 5 km above Taormina with breathtaking view over the whole bay and from Calabria to Mount Etna, before you return to Giardini Naxos.
Day 7: Giardini Naxos – Acitrezza, km 37
This easy trip takes you along the Ionian coast, also known as "lemon riviera". After a short uphill slope you reach Acitreale and it's interesting baroque city center. The stage finishes in Acitrezza.