This is a challenging cycling holiday in East Sicily finishing with a difficult ride fully around Mount Etna. Starting on the coast in Siracuse you head inland passing through the baroque gems of Siracusa, Noto, Modica, Ragusa, Palazzolo Acreide with their numerous baroque Palazzi and churches. These are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and provides a wonderful contrast of historic delights and fabulous countryside scenery.
Your destination on this self-guided cycle tour designed for the road cyclist is the Mount Etna regional park where you shall ride the full circumference of the volcano. At 3,329m elevation, the volcano is active and often you shall be great with smoke billowing out of its crater. It is the highest volcano in Europe and the most active in the world! Come and be amazed and take the challenge.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
During the course of the day fly into Catania and take the bus to Siracuse, alternatively book a private transfer. Make sure you have enough time to explore this wonderful town.
Your bike adventure starts today with a cycle across the Iblei plateau with its numerous canyons, known locally as “cave”. To reach the plateau you first have a climb out of Siracusa to the Climiti mountains and then you ride along the ridge. Shortly before arriving in Sortino you will have a stunning view over the plain of Catania below and in the background the mighty volcano Mt. Etna is already within view. Now you leave Sortino and you descend via several hairpins bends to the Anapo Valley below. Now it is pretty undulating all the way to the coast where you start the last challenging climb to the Cavagrande del Cassibile before the descent to Noto, the capital of the Sicilian Baroque.
Today you shall cycle through two Baroque Gems, Ragusa and Modica so have your camera ready! You continue through the Iblei plateau. After breakfast, you shall have a quick warm-up as you ascend out of the city to the Old Noto, Noto Antica which was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1693! Now you continue to Castelluccio when you descend and then climb again to the Baroque towns Modica and Ragusa. After spending some time exploring continue your way to Palazzolo Acreide. Palazzolo Acreide dates back to the 12th century so you shall have plenty to see in the evening.
The cycle your today leads you from the Iblei plateau to the Erei mountains. The route today is continuously undulating, passing through some pretty mountain villages such as Cassaro, Ferla, Sortino, Buccheri and Vizzini. Your destination today is the centre of Sicilian pottery Caltagirone.
Today we cycle towards the centre of Sicily, which is of great agricultural importance. It has been described by the Romans as the granary of Italy. You will see vast plantations of prickly pears. You shall have the chance to visit the Villa Romana del Casale near Piazza Armerina with the well preserved polychromatic floor mosaics. This is a real marvel to see.
Today there is only one option, after cycle away from Caltagirone downhill into the valley below you then start your first climb of the day up to the village Mineo. From Mineo, you continue to Militello, a small town with an interesting ancient baroque town centre. You then cycle to the plain of Catania with its many citrus plantations, you will always have a view of the Vulcano, Mt. Etna which you will see the whole day in front of you. With a little luck and good view, you might see smoke from the craters. From Paternò you climb until Nicolosi on the slopes of the Etna where the stage finishes.
This final stage and the one you have been building up for, the circumnavigation of Mt. Etna. This for certain will be your highlight of this road bike holiday in Sicily. You shall have two long and pretty difficult climbs one climbing to 1650m and the other at 1900m passing lava fields along the way. If this is too difficult for you there is a shorter version on the north side of the volcano. The choice is up to you.
Departure back to Catania airport by bus or private transfer.
Fly into Catania airport and then by bus to Siracusa (approx. 1.5 hours).
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
|Tour Code||Prices From (per person)||Book Now|
|EtnaRB (7 Nights)||from £913||Book Now|