Cycling Sicily: Your Go-To Adventure Guide

Sicily is the largest Mediterranean island located at Italy’s southern tip and separated from it by just 3 km of water. Sicily boasts stunning landscapes, making it an ideal destination for adventurers of all kinds: whether you’re a keen cyclist or simply enjoy leisurely bike rides through picturesque countryside, Sicily offers trails for any preferences.

Explore the mountain and coastal routes, experiencing Sicily’s unspoiled beauty while getting your adrenaline pumping. The island’s central mountains, including Etna and Madonie, are particularly majestic, often cloaked in snow during winter. What’s more, Sicily’s coastline spans less than 1,000 miles, making it ideal for exploration by bike.
In essence, Sicily is a captivating destination that must be experienced firsthand.

When to Go

In Sicily, you can cycle year-round thanks to the mild climate and easy access via international airports in Catania and Palermo. The cycling season spans from March to November, with the best conditions typically from March to April and then again from the beginning of November.

During the coldest months (January and February), temperatures range from 8 to 15 degrees Celsius along the coast and 6 to 10 degrees Celsius inland. Mount Etna experiences colder temperatures similar to the Alps, with frequent snowfall. For optimal cycling, it’s recommended to stick to coastal routes during this time.

While summer (July and August) can be enjoyable, high temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius and crowded roads near tourist spots can pose challenges. To mitigate these issues, consider cycling during the cooler early hours of the day.

The Best Cycling Routes in Sicily

Da Cefalù a Castelbuono e rientro

Distance: 51 km with 1197 m elevation gain.

This cycling route connects Cefalù and Finale, offering stunning sea views and plenty of chances to stop and enjoy the coastal scenery. Along the way, you’ll also pass through Isnello, a municipality within Madonie Park known for its karst landscape featuring caves and cavities formed by natural processes. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Cefalù, a historic city rich in medieval architecture.

marco guastella Castelbuono – Pollina e ritorno mtb Sicilia 12.07.2020
Parco dell’ Etna: da Catania Centrale al Rifugio Sapienza – Giro ad anello

Distance: 77 km with 1943 m elevation gain

Climbing Mount Etna, known simply as “the mountain” by Sicilians, is a must-do experience on the island. This iconic ascent has been featured in the Giro d’Italia six times and offers a challenging yet rewarding journey up the active volcano.

Before embarking on this adventure, there are few things to consider:

  • Be prepared for increased traffic as you near Catania, so exercise caution.
  • Keep in mind the temperature difference as you ascend Etna; temperatures at the summit are about 10 degrees cooler than in Taormina. Pack appropriate gear, especially for the 18km descent from Rifugio Ragabo.
  • Etna is known for its windy conditions and frequent cloud cover. Choose clear, calm days for better visibility and breathtaking views.
  • Take care when navigating the harsh volcanic rock on Etna’s slopes to avoid accidents and damage to yourself and your equipment.
Global Cycling Network Mount Etna Epic Climb | Giro d’Italia’s First Summit Finish
Calatafimi Segesta

Distance: 46 km with 793 m elevation gain

This medium-difficulty ride includes exploring an archaeological area in the countryside of Calatafimi Segesta, where you’ll visit the Elimi Greek Temple with its Doric-style columns and the Greek Theater of ancient Segesta. You’ll ride along the scenic white paths of the beautiful Pispisa Woods, passing through vineyards and olive trees along the way.

Riserva dello Zingaro

Distance: 41 km with with 800 m elevation gain

This route is moderately challenging. It begins in Castellammare del Golfo, winding through its charming streets before reaching the scenic Belvedere, where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the city and the gulf. Along the route, you’ll pass by the picturesque bay of Guidaloca, the renowned Faraglioni of Scopello, and the entrance to the Zingaro Natural Reserve. The route also features visits to the historic Baglio of Scopello, the stunning ascent of Visicari, and a stop at the Castle of Baida.

Coast2Coast Bike Tour Coast2Coast – Itinerari in Mountain BIke Da Trapani allo Zingaro
Messina centrale – Capo Peloro – Foresta di Camaro – Giro ad anello

Distance: 47 km with 700 m elevation gain

This intermediate route is mostly well-paved and easy to ride. Here you’ll get to see the  Riserva Laguna di Capo Peloro and the “Camaro” forest which is situated past the town of Camaro sui Peloritani and spans approximately 100 hectares of municipal land, serving as the true green heart of Messina city.

Rolling Existence Cycling Sicily in Winter: Part One // World Bicycle Touring Episode 16
Magna via Francigena

Distance: 63.8 km with 1685 m elevation gain

The Magna Via Francigena follows the historic route connecting Agrigento and Palermo, which has been traveled by pilgrims and travelers for centuries. It offers a chance to experience authentic Sicily in its purest form. Journey through its heartland to uncover treasures such as archaeological sites, natural wonders, and artistic masterpieces, amidst the hills, plateaus, and expanses of the Sicilian countryside.

Ciclabili Siciliane Magna Via Francigena in Sicily by bike
Rosamarina Lake Loop

Distance: 31 km with 541 m elevation gain

This route is a mountain ride around Rosamarina, an artificial lake located between Termini Imerese and Caccamo in Palermo Province. You might see remnants of a former settlement and enjoy views of the Tyrrhenian Sea from the dam, especially in winter or spring when waterfalls flow into the San Leonardo River.

misterpj Mountain bike Tour “6° RADUNO ROSAMARINA LAKE” 06/05/2018 Caccamo (PA) In The Sicily ITA

Places to Stay

Sicily has quite a lot of bike-friendly hotels: See the list below to find the option that fits your preferred routes the most.

Mille e Una Notte: Via Pietro Novelli, 13, 91024 Nuova Gibellina link 

Hotel Punta Nord-Est: Viale Leonardo da Vinci, 67, 91014 Castellammare del Golfo link | instagram

Antico Frantoio Sas: Contrada Purcaria Mendolazza, Sambuca Di Sicilia, AG 92017 link

B&B De Casa: Via Casale, 31, 93017 San Cataldo CL link | instagram

Bed & Breakfast Via Venezia: Via Venezia, 10, 94017 Regalbuto Italia link

Urban Pop: Via Cristoforo Colombo, 53, 95121 Catania CT Italia link | instagram

Bike Rentals

Sicily Cycling Club: Via Gorizia, 48, 95126 Catania CT link | instagram

Coast2Coast: Via Ischia, 9, 92100 Agrigento AG link | instagram

Ciclabili Siciliane: Via Divisi, 52 — Palermo, Italy link | instagram

Ciclofree: Cda. Vizzinisi, 96010 Solarino SR, Italy link | instagram

Cafe Stops

Antichi Proverbi: Via Mario Rapisardi, 95030 Nicolosi, Sicily Italy link 

Ristorante Palazzaccio: Corso Umberto I, Castelbuono, Sicily Italy link | instagram

Osteria Garibaldi: Via Giuseppe Garibaldi 30, 95030 Nicolosi, Sicily Italy link | instagram

Sapori Sicilian Grill Restaurant: Via G. Saragat 25/29, 91014, Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily Italy instagram

Sfizi Fritti: Piazza Chiesa, 98165 Torre Faro, Messina, Sicily Italy instagram
Pepe Nero: Via Falcone e Borsellino 72 – 74, Termini Imerese, Italy link

If you come across any inaccuracies or wish to contribute additional routes, events, viewpoints, or places to the guide, please feel free to contact us. We welcome your feedback and are eager to make adjustments to enhance the guide.

You might also like these articles:

Cycling Vienna: 5 Best Routes, Bike Rentals, and More

Cycling Tirol: Best Cycling Climbs in Austrian Alps

Cycling Barcelona: The Inside Guide

Cycling Tenerife and Mount Teide: The Ultimate Guide

Cycling in Tuscany: Your Guide to the Best Rides in the Region

Girona Cycling Guide: Best Routes in the Cycling Mecca

The Ultimate Cycling Guide to Dubai

Scroll to Top