Take a step back in time on this magical and historic island. Cross the island including a double ascension of Europe’s highest volcano: Mount Etna!
Our Trans-Sicily trip crosses this magnificent island from east to west. Enjoy some of the finest bike riding in the whole of Italy, including a double ascension of the highest volcano in Europe, Mount Etna.
The trip starts on the North Coast in Cefalù, one of Italy’s best-preserved medieval villages. From Cefalù we head into the centre of the island through the magnificent Madonie National Park and on to the east coast where a certain Mount Etna awaits to be conquered.
From Etna we cross the island, backtracking along the routes of Stages 4 & 5 of the 2020 Giro d’Italia to Enna then on to Agrigento and the Valley of Temples Unesco site.
A magnificent ride through this historic and passionate island - not to be missed!
Welcome to Sicily
Our trip starts at Palermo Airport where our staff will be there to welcome you before the short transfer to our hotel in Cefalù, one of the best preserved medieval villages in Sicily. We’ll check into the hotel, have our orientation meeting and bike-build before having lunch on the terrace overlooking the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Our warm-up ride takes us along the coast for 13km before heading inland and the 12km climb to Pollina, a classic Sicilian hill-top village with fantastic views of the Gulf of Palermo.
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 9:00am - either at Palermo Airport or at the Magaggiari Hotel close to the airport.
Madonie National Park
Our journey across Sicily kicks off with a magnificent ride through the Madonie National Park.
Leaving the hotel in Cefalù, within 1km we’re already on the start of the first climb, the 14km climb to the village of Gibilmanna. From Gibilmanna enjoy the next 5km downhill, after that it’s all climbing for the next 27km as we head for Piano Battaglia, the highest point of our ride today at 1600m.
The remainder of the ride takes us eastwards on virtually traffic-free roads through the centre of the island and into the Nebrodi National Park and eventually to our hotel in Troina.
A spectacular and unique ride today as we climb through the lava fields to Sicily’s famous volcano, Mount Etna.
From the hotel we head east over a couple of small climbs to the beautiful town of Bronte, famous for it’s pistachios and vineyards. For the next 30km we ride through extensive woodlands that make up the lower slopes of Etna, eventually arriving at the bottom of the climb, just outside Linguaglossa. From here we’ll be following the finish of Stage 5 of this year’s Giro d’Italia all the way to the summit of Etna, 15km up the road. The climb starts in the trees but eventually opens out to the incredible lava fields that surround the summit of Etna.
From the summit, enjoy the (mostly) downhill ride to our hotel in Zafferana Etnea.
Mount Etna (from the East)
Today we’ll conquer a different side of Etna on a completely different route, and with a completely different summit. Enjoy the 1km descent when leaving the hotel, afterwards it’s climbing all the way until we reach the summit at just under 2000m. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Gulf of Catania then marvel at the unique and unworldly landscapes of the huge lava field that surrounds the final 8km of this climb.
From the summit enjoy the long descent to Adrano where we meet the route of Stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia - which we’ll follow (in the opposite direction) to the magnificent hilltop town of Enna.
Today’s ride takes us into Sicily’s heartland where time seems to have stood still for centuries. Enjoy sleepy villages, traffic-free roads and magnificent landscapes.
After the last 2 days of big rides, we’ll enjoy a shorter ride of 100km and 2000m elevation gain. But don’t be fooled, the terrain is all up and down, a veritable leg-breaker - so enjoy the scenery and take it easy today!
Our destination is a truly authentic Sicilian gem, the hilltop, historic town of Caltanisetta which apparently derives it’s name from an Arabic name meaning “fortress of women”. You’ll have time in the afternoon to visit the fortress and the historic town centre - which is well worth the visit.
Agrigento UNESCO World Heritage Site
Our destination today is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Agrigento. Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples features remains of 7 ancient Greek temples dating back to the 6th century BC and is considered one of the most impressive Greek archaeological sites in the whole of Italy.
Our ride sees us leave Sicily’s heartland and head south-west towards the southern coast of the island. No major climbs today but a series of 3 x Cat 2 climbs, including the super-steep “wall” to Mussomeli, will make for another challenging day in the saddle.
Our hotel is just 1km from the Valley of the Temples so we’ll organise a late afternoon visit for those who’d like to discover this archaeological gem.
Along the South Coast
A beautiful final ride along parts of the south-west coast to Castelvetrano, another ancient town of Greek origin.
The first 70km run along a ridge 5km inland from the coastline with a series of short, steep climbs to contend with. After 70km we reach the town of Ribera and after a short downhill we start our main challenge of the day, the 17km climb to Caltabellotta, a spectacular village of Roman origin set high in the mountains. The descent from Caltabellotta takes us all the way down to the beach in Sciacca followed by a final 30km run-in along the coast to Castelvetrano, and the end of this magnificent journey across Sicily.
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. Our shuttle will take you to Palermo Airport, arriving at approximately 9:00am.