Sicily Off Road

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The Sicily Off Road bike tour takes us through the three largest regional parks in Sicily: the Madonie Mountains, with their almost Dolomite styile peaks; Nebrodis, wrapped in thick and mysterious forests; and Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe.

We have created an amazing, one of a kind tour on the magnificent Italian island of Sicily. We have linked some of the most interesting trails from the beach of Cefalu to the slopes of Mt.Etna.

The route will wind through forest tracks, paths covered with ashes, old military roads with ancient origins and fun single-track in the dense forest of Mount Etna.

It will be a very challenging ride from a physical point of view, with an elevation gain that will exceed 10,000 metres in about 330 kilometres, but there will be long descents like the one we will enjoy the last day: from 3,100 metres of elevation on top of Etna to 600 mt of Zafferana Etnea, our final destination!

We will stay in a variety of wonderful accommodation: from hotels by the sea and huts in the woods, to farms near typical villages, where we will enjoy good food and great Sicilian hospitality.

 

Sicily Off Road
8 days 11000
330 km Medium/Hard
€ 1.590
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Good to know

Roberto Gazzoli

Your Head Tour Guide

Roberto Gazzoli

We have over 15 Years
of experience

excellent care
and service

Guides & helpers speak
multiple
languages

Travel Stages

Cefalù

Day 1 
Arrival of riders in Palermo. Transfer to our hotel in Cefalù. Briefing of presentation. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 2: Cefalù – Piano Battaglia
1st Stage – Kilometers 52 – Elevation 2,500 metres
We start from our nice hotel in front of the sea and move to the centre of Cefalù to take a group picture in front of the wonderful Cathedral. Take care along the cobbled road in town – it is very old and slippery, especially when wet.
We leave the sea and begin our climb to the Madonie, riding on a secondary road. After 13 kilometres and 600 metres of climbing, we enter a nice forest road that will lead us to the Gibilmanna Sanctuary.
After a brief stop we will continue on our way to reach the nice little town of Gratteri where we can refill our bottles.
Riding through the narrow streets of the town we will reach a gravel road that will allow us to ride around the Pizzo Dipilo. After a brief technical single-track section we will start a fast and very scenic descent to Isnello where we will stop for lunch. The second half of the day is still uphill, first on an old military road and then on secondary road in a dense forest of beech. We will reach our hotel in the heart of the Park and can have a taste of the typical cuisine of the Madonie.

Sicily MTB

Day 3:  Piano Battaglia – Mistretta
2nd Stage – Kilometers 76 – Elevation 2,000 metres
We start our day with a brief uphill to Portella Colla followed by short but scenic downhill that will show us some of the most beautiful scenery in Madonie Park, also called the Dolomites of Sicily.
After less than 5 kilometres we enter the forest road that brings us to one of the highlights of this first part of the tour: Madonna dell’Alto, a stunning viewpoint from where we can already spot our destination, Mt. Etna. With a fast, fun and slightly rocky descent, we will arrive at Petralia Sottana in time for lunch. The second half of the day is easier with continuous up and down and a wonderful view of the town of Gangi. We will then ride up to a long line of wind turbines before entering the last valley that goes to our final destination, Mistretta

Sicily Nebrodi MTB

Day 4: Mistretta – Nebrodi Park
3rd Stage – Kilometers 56 – Elevation 1,750 metres
We leave the little town of Mistretta and enter Nebrodi Regional Park. We are not going to meet any other towns until we reach the end of the Nebrodi ridge that we will ride for the next two days.
After an easy section that follows the wind turbine line, we enter the dense forest typical of this park. The park is home to many wild black pigs, cats and horses.
We will ride a section of an ancient Roman trail and road. We will meet our van support for lunch near the only asphalt intersection on Portella dell’Obolo and then go on along the route with continuous up and down. The last section, after Portella di Femmina Morta (Dead Woman Pass) is an enchanting downhill towards our hotel which is nestled in the woods.

Day 5: Nebrodi Park – Randazzo
4th Stage –  Kilometers 60 – Elevation 1,250 metres
The second day on the Nebrodi Ridge starts with an uphill back to Portella di Femmina Morta followed by a fast descent to beautiful Maulazzo Lake. On this section of the ridge the forest is less dense with open meadows that offer us wonderful views of Mt.Etna toward the east and the Tyrrhenian Sea and Lpiari Islands towards the north. The Nebrodi Ridge ends in Floresta where we will have lunch and start the long downhill to Randazzo, following the Alcantara River. After a brief stop in Randazzo for an ice-cream and a rest in front of the beautiful cathedral built of black lava rock, we will finish our stage with a short uphill to our Agritourism accommodation.

Day 6: Randazzo – Etna
5th  Stage – Kilometers 34 – Elevation 1,400 metres
We now begin our climb up the highest active volcano in Europe. The first section is on a road that will bring us to the beginning of the “Altomontana”, a well maintained forest road that climbs around the slopes of the volcano. The landscape here is constantly changing – we will enter dense forests that have been suddenly destroyed by the lava flows that have taken place over the centuries. Once a lava flows has burned and covered a forest it will take approximately 100 years before new vegetation starts growing again.
Today’s stage is not very long but it will be impossible not to stop often to admire this incredible natural show.
After lunch in a small hut we will continue for the last section of the day that includes a nice single-track section through the lava field.
Our hotel is located at 1,900 metres, the perfect place to start our final climb to the top of the volcano tomorrow.

Etna MTB

Day 7: Etna – Zafferana Etnea
6th Stage  – Kilometres 45 – Elevation 1,350 metres
We start this spectacular stage start with a 13-kilometre climb that brings us just under the highest craters of the volcano at 3,100 metres. It is an incredible uphill in a unique, almost lunar landscape which is devoid of trees and vegetation.
Once we reach Torre del Filosofo we will enter a section that is only possible to cross by foot or bike. This section goes around the main central crater from where we can see the volcanic smoke.
From 3,100 metres, we will start a fast, fun downhill that goes directly to Piano Provenzana. The views from here are absolutely amazing.
After lunch in Piano Provenzana we will enter an incredible single-track section that ends near Zafferana Etnea.

Day 8
In the morning transfer to Catania International Airport and fly back

Sicily Off Road - Etna
Sicily Off Road - Nebrodi
Sicily Off Road - Cefalù
Sicily Off Road - Etna
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Roberto Gazzoli

About your guide

Lover of cyclotourism since the late 90s, over the years has always tried to move a little more further the limits of his biking adventures.
After several solo bike tour including Sardinia, Sicily, Corsica and Iceland, in 2006, he came in contact with Projecting Adventure Cyclism, former Progetto Avventura, participating in  the Atacama Desert and Mongolia bike tour.
​Passionate about winter ultramarathon and endurance, he has participated in several editions of the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska. In 2017 he raced the Tour Divide, 4.500 km from Canada to Mexico on a singlespeed.
Since 2009, he joined the Projecting Adventure Cyclism taking care of various aspect of the Travel Agency.
It deals with the creation, management and guiding of bike tour, in addition to maintain relationships with customers.
Much of the information that you will receive will have his signature.

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