Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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View of Aeolian Islands from Lipari
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Highlights

  • Cycle, sail, and hike the volcanic Aeolian Islands of Sicily.
  • Fresh authentic Sicilian food, such as caponata.
  • Mud baths and beaches of Vulcano.
  • Explore caves and geological wonders that can only be reached by boat.
  • Take in a natural fireworks show at Vulcan Stromboli.

Cycle, sail, and hike Sicily’s volcanic Aeolian Islands on this bike and boat tour. By day enjoy geological wonders of these lush volcanic islands and in the evening dine on delicious authentic Sicilian arancini and relax aboard the ship.

Explore the creeks of Vulcano, the Cave of the Cavallo, and the Pool of Venere, named after the goddess Venus. Circumnavigate the Strombolicchio, the natural lighthouse of the island of Stromboli, bringing you to one of the highlights of the tour, the “Sciara del Fuoco,” where you will get to walk up the volcano. From there take in the unspoilt Menalda Stacks in Lipari and Valle Muria beach, sites only reachable by boat. All the while enjoying a truly active holiday that allows you to relax while sailing after your daily hikes or cycling.

Day 1: Arrive Catania, transfer Milazzo

Meeting at 3:30PM at Catania airport, there is a single timed transfer to Milazzo harbour. If you have time explore the “New City.” Embark at 6PM at the Marina di Nettuno. After you’ve unpacked enjoy a welcome drink, dinner and a presentation of the program.


Overnight: Port Milazzo


Day 2: Cycle trip Milazzo

Today visit and explore the “Old Town” and the Castle of Milazzo, completed throughout the 16th century and of Spanish architecture. Follow the path of Giuseppe Garibaldi, a general that led the unification of Italy. After your day of exploring Milazzo return to the boat and enjoy a relaxing evening and a nice dinner before heading to your next destination in the morning.


Cycle: 14 km


Overnight: Port Milazzo


Day 3: Vulcano

After breakfast you can visit and cycle around the “Sulphur Island,” nicknamed so for its sulphurous pit that allows for a natural mud bath. The afternoon is more adventurous as your guide will stop at all the major points of interest, such as the Grotta del Cavallo where you will encounter a “deafening silence” and have a regenerating bath in the Piscina di Venere.


Cycle: 18km


Overnight: Port Vulcano


Day 4: Panarea (Lisca Bianca-Bottaro-Dattilo) and Stromboli

Sail around Panarea, the smallest island of the Aeolians due to the volcanic complex collapsing from constant earthquakes, fumaroles from the old complex can still be seen. Enjoy lunch on board as the boat sails towards Stromboli. Here, during your walk (tot. duration: 3h30min), you will get to admire the “Sciara del Fuoco,” a natural fireworks show, from the boat, afterwards turn back towards Panarea.


Cycle: 3h30min walk


Overnight: Roadstead, Panarea


Day 5: Panarea to Salina, Malvasia Island

Enjoy free time in the morning to visit the little village of Panarea, Drautto beach, and the prehistoric village. From there back on board to head to the Island of Salina to visit Hauner winery. Where capers and world famous local wine Malvasia are produced.


Cycle: None


Overnight: Port Salina


Day 6: Salina to Liapari

A morning cycle leads you around Salina, going to the extreme opposite of the island, Cape Rinella. Visit the Lake of Lingua and Bay of Pollara and enjoy an unmissable granita at Alfredo’s. Return to the boat and head towards Lipari, where you will enjoy a visit to the village during your free time. You could even go to the Museo Archeological Regionale Eoliano, founded by Ligurian archaeologist Bernabò Breà, dedicated to the prehistory of the Aeolian Islands.


Cycle: 22 km


Overnight: Port Lipari


Day 7: Lipari

On your coast to coast cycle of Lipari you will pass the white beaches of the island, their color a result of the extraction of pumice from the area. From there pass the small seaside town of Canneto (meaning reed in Italian) and return to the historical center rich in shops and restaurants. Re-joining the boat for a leisurely afternoon sail, you will make your way back to Sicily’s mainland port.


Cycle: 25 km


Overnight: Port Milazzo


Day 8: Disembark and onward travel

After breakfast, a single timed transfer to Catania airport is provided. Should you wish to spend extra time in Sicily please contact us.

Accommodation

You will spend each night on the boat in your comfortable en-suite cabin. Your boat is always docked at night and only sails during the day. You will stay on the Sundial a  Turkish caique boat. The boat was built in Turkey using the ancient art of Turkish shipwrights, the boat is a solid
structure of pine and mahogany.


The Sundial- Recently refurbished in 2012, the boat is 24.5 meters long and 6.25 meters wide, and can accommodate up to 12 people in 6 double cabins. The cabins each have private facilities consisting of private shower room, hairdryer, and hot and cold water.  There is also air conditioning, storage space, and portholes, these cannot be opened.



Sundial Boat in Aeolian Sea



Cabin on Sundial Boat



Lounge on Sundial Boat



Dining on Sundial Boat


Single Cabins & Solo Cyclists

If you require a single cabin or are traveling solo we are happy to
arrange a single cabin, which is subject to a supplementary payment.


Meals

All meals are included from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8 (except 1 dinner in Lipari). The catering prepare on board is an excellent combination of fresh seafood, vegetables, pasta and meat all with the scent of Mediterranean herbs. Breakfasts will be of breads, yoghurts, and fresh fruit. You will get to experience truly authentic delicious Sicilian and Mediterranean food on your voyage.

Availability

This tour departs on set dates from May to mid-September. We recommend bookings as soon as your travel dates are confirmed as spaces are limited.


Sicily is known to have long, hot summers with July and August being the hottest months. Always make sure to stay hydrated and carry plenty of water. It is also advised to wear skin protecting clothing and use sun cream/screen, especially during the months of July and August.


Do I need
sailing experience?

Absolutely not! You can sit back
and relax on deck.


Grade & Terrain

All of your cycling on this trip will be guided. This cycling route follows a combination of quiet country and coastal roads and some busier routes closer to towns and villages, so please do be mindful of other roads users.


This boat & bike tour is well-suited to those who want to cycle short distances on quiet country and coastal roads but don’t mind the odd hill now and again. You’ll generally start the day uphill as you will cycle from sea level up to local villages, towns and other points of interest. We would suggest that you get out on your bike for a couple of back to back days of cycling prior to travel.


This trip is rated easy to moderate and is 103 km in total of cycling, and the daily distance is between 14 and 34 km. There is ample time for the bike tours to be completed at a leisurely pace as your guide will stop at all major points of interest along the way.


Navigation,
Route Notes & Maps

Each ride will be guided so you don't have to worry about finding your way.


The daily distance is between 14 and 34 km. There is ample time for the bike tours to be completed at a leisurely pace as your guide will stop at all major points of interest along the way.



Bikes - Included


21 gear hybrid bikes equipped with mudguards, bike stand, rear pannier and handle bar bag, tire pump and puncture repair kit. E-bikes can be hire at extra costs if you would like a little extra pedal power.


If you would like a little
assistance, Ebikes are available for a supplementary payment.


Please do supply us with your
height when selecting your bike. 


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Bike that you have
suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency
evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and sailing schedules are approximations of the recommended
routes. We reserve the right to make appropriate changes to the route and
sailings depending on local weather conditions.

Getting to/from Catania

The Catania Airport is accessible by a small number of national and low-cost airlines, such as British Airways, Easyjet, and Alitalia to name a few.


There will be a single timed transfer, to pick you up from the airport and bring you to the port. If you are unable to make these transfers we will be happy to arrange a transfer for you at an additional cost.

Included

  • 7 night en-suite double cabin
  • Single timed transfer to/from Catania Airport to Port Milazzo
  • Bike Hire
  • Trip to Stromboli
  • All meals (except 1 dinner in Lipari)
  • English speaking guide
  • Information pack
  • 24/7 local partner and UK telephone support

Excluded

  • Transfers to/from Catania Airport other than those described
  • Entrance fees (other than those described)
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal equipment and expenditure
  • The itinerary is often subject to change due to sailing conditions and/or any volcanic activity. In case of poor weather on the night of day 4 the captain may have change the overnight anchor to Stromboli harbour. A supplement of around €25-30 per person (payable locally) will be required in the event of this.

Extras

  • E-bike Upgrade
  • Single Cabin
  • Additional nights before or after tour
  • Transfers other than those described

We are often asked the following questions, so hope that you will find the answers useful. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions or for more advice from our team.

How far in advance do I need to book?

Due to the limited number of sailings, we suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised to secure your cabin.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded easy to moderate, there is a total of 103km cycled. The cycling days are broken up with plenty of opportunities to stop for coffee in village plazas, panoramic photo shots and a the chance to take a refreshing dip! As much of the riding is coastal you will encounter shallow sections of hillier roads so it is a good idea to get out on your bike for a couple of back-to-back days in the lead up to your holiday. Remember, you can always book an Ebike bike if you would like a little assistance hills and longer rides.

When is the best time of year?

In the spring months of March and April the pastry shops are in full swing and processions line the streets to mark Easter in Lipari.  Average temperatures are 15˚-18˚ C

May presents lovely conditions on Aeolian islands with sunny, breezy days and brilliant wildflowers. Having more sunny days the temperatures in May tend to be around 22˚C.

Late September offers beautiful weather for swimming and smaller crowds. The temperatures are much warmer in September with an average of about 26˚C.

Water temperatures tend to be similar to the average air temperature.

What personal equipment do I need?

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. You’ll need to wear a helmet, which are not supplied so please bring your own. If you have any questions about what to take then we’d be happy to share our own top tips and advice.

What happens if I want a day off the bike?

You’re more than welcome to relax on deck as the ship sails to the next meeting point. Depending on the daily scheduled there should also be enough time to get out and explore on foot.

 


Aeolian Islands Tour (cycle, hike, sail) - 5 STAR

5

Many thanks to Vera and the Sundial Crew for a wonderful week touring the Aeolian Islands. The tour was guided by Vera, a very smiley/cheerful and knowledgeable leader of the Group. We were part of a group of twelve who were very well looked after by the Crew on board the boat and Vera on the Islands. The cycling was more challenging without the use of an ebike, but very worthwhile. The holiday highlight was seeing pods of dolphins whilst sailing between Islands was watching Stromboli erupting in the evening. I would highly recommend this 7 day experience. 5 STAR

Tony M

London

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Italy Bike & Boat: Sicily & The Aeolian Islands

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100.0

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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