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#382351 - 28.10.07 17:50 Sicily
leyre
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Hi bikers!
anybody has cycled through Sicily????
I am looking for a kind of warm place to cycle, better Italy as I love the country and if it is next to the sea even better!
well, it would be for January or February. By the way, already cycled Le Cinque Terre near Genova, so do not suggest that one.
Thanks a lot
L
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#383732 - 02.11.07 21:52 Re: Sicily [Re: leyre]
veloträumer
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Hi Leyre,

I was just two days in Sicily (in 2006, summer), because I had done a complete Italy tour from Germany to Sicily. So I just want to give you some little. The road Messina - Giardini-Naxos is full of traffic, partially. Instead you have a wonderful look to the sea. Most fascinating is the Isola Bella and coastline close to Taormina. To go for Taormina upwards is not a must - it's very touristic and really exciting except the panorama.

It's worth to go for the Gola alcantara, a canon you have to pay for if visiting. But you get a good impression even from outside and from the road a little bit north of the entry.

You shouldn't miss the highlight of any Sicily tour: a climb to the Etna. Iwas coming from Zafferana to the Rifugio Sapienza and then down to Nicolosi further to Catania. You see wonderful red flowers inside the black stony earth and you feel in a strange character between dead stone spreading new nature. The bringing death of lava stone and the new life. There is always great panorama to the sea, if there are no clouds.

In Sicily you can stay in a lot of bed & breakfast houses. To start for the Etna: I had a very wonderful night in Milo-Fornazzo, B&B "Lo Faro Lavinia". I watched the fire spitting Etna in the night, a two large rooms a comfortable bathroom, a terrace in the morning with a very good breakfast under trees and flowers, selfmade marmelade etc. Very heartly people.

Catania is elegant and without cars inside, but outside you feel like in a hell of traffic. I know, there are a lot of other fascinanting routes, especially passes north of the Etna region. Maybe I will tke some later time.

Have fun on your tour!
Liebe Grüße! Ciao! Salut! Saludos! Greetings!
Matthias
Pedalgeist - Panorama für Radreisen, Landeskunde, Wegepoesie, offene Ohren & Begegnungen
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#384061 - 04.11.07 14:07 Re: Sicily [Re: veloträumer]
leyre
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Thanks a lot for the info. I will see to it and let you know. Just a question, how did you get there? did you fliy to Rome and train with some other low cost?
thanks again
L
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#384080 - 04.11.07 15:31 Re: Sicily [Re: leyre]
veloträumer
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I started my tour in the very south of Germany at Lindau (Bodensee). From Stuttgart to Lindau by train (20 Euro with bike, now it's 22 Euro).

Then starting the tour through the Alps (Davos - Bórmio - Rovereto - Vicenza), going on to cross whole Italy, especially the passes of the Apennino and some coastlines: Chióggia - Poppi - San Marino - Cagli - Ancona - Monti Sibilini - Gran Sasso/Campo Imperatore - parco nazionale dell'Abruzzo via passo Diavolo - Monti Matese - Pompeji - Costa Amalfi - Salerno - Marina di Camerota - Páola - Cosenza - Monti Sila - Crotone - Capo Rizzuto - Monesterace Marina - Tropéa - Gambàrie (Aspromonte) - Mélito di Porto Salvo - Réggio di Calabria - (ferry) - Messina - Giardini-Naxos - Linguaglossa - Rifugio Sapienza (Etna) - Catània

I got a flight back from Catània to Stuttgart with Hapagfly/HLX (today look for: TUI-fly). About 120/130 Euro with bike including taxes. Sometimes you can get cheaper, if you are more flexible with the dates. Alternative cheap airlines are flying to Lamézia Terme or Palermo. Don't look for Réggio di Calabria - you just can take general flights by Al Italia via Milano or Napoli - very expensive. Night trains and interregional fast trains you can't take inside Italy, because you can't take the bicycle with it.
Liebe Grüße! Ciao! Salut! Saludos! Greetings!
Matthias
Pedalgeist - Panorama für Radreisen, Landeskunde, Wegepoesie, offene Ohren & Begegnungen
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#384092 - 04.11.07 16:42 Re: Sicily [Re: veloträumer]
leyre
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Vielen Danke Mathias. Ich schaue mal in internet die Flüge, aber nach Stuttgart spielt keine Rolle. Ich wohne in Spanien.
Danke troztdem. Eine Frage, wie war das Wetter? Glaubst du dass es zu kalt in Februar oder Januar ist?
danke
Grüsse
L
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#384147 - 04.11.07 19:53 Re: Sicily [Re: leyre]
veloträumer
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Ich war zwischen Mitte Juni und Mitte Juli unterwegs. Im Apennin war es häufig kühler als erwartet - zudemsehr wald- und wasserreich. Der südliche Teil des Aspromonte ist sehr trocken und wohl immer heiß im Sommer, in Sizilien erster Tag trocken heiß, zweiter Tag schwül-heiß mit Wolken.
Genaues zu Winterzeiten weiß ich nicht. Im Aspromonte gibt es im Winter Skibetrieb auf über 1000m (bei Gàmbarie). Sizilien ist Ganzesjahresziel, radeln geht in jedem Fall - allerdings wird es wohl hin und wieder unbeständig sein - könnte also eine Regenfront den Urlaub beeinträchtigen. Am Ätna war es sogar im Sommer kalt und windig, obwohl es unten heiß war - also im Winter erst recht.
Liebe Grüße! Ciao! Salut! Saludos! Greetings!
Matthias
Pedalgeist - Panorama für Radreisen, Landeskunde, Wegepoesie, offene Ohren & Begegnungen
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Off-topic #384208 - 04.11.07 23:56 Re: Sicily [Re: veloträumer]
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Please write in English in this section of the forum, or use private messages if you think that your posts are not of interest for the public.

Thank you.
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Off-topic #384581 - 06.11.07 18:15 Re: Sicily [Re: atk]
leyre
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Sorry!
L
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#386334 - 13.11.07 21:33 Re: Sicily [Re: leyre]
MichKai
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I've been on a two week trip through Sicily in May 2006. It consisted of
- 8 full-day stages with complete luggage
- 3 part-day stages with complete luggage
- 1 part-day stage without luggage
- 2 full-day stages without luggage
The complete distance adding up to about 1500 kilometers organized as a round-trip around Sicily covering almost the complete island with the exception of some of the inner parts, a section in the south east of the island (Golfo di Noto) and the north-eastern coast. Starting and end-point is the airport of Palermo. Another possibility certainly is the airport of catania.
Bed and breakfast are an attractive and cheap possibility for overnight stays. In some cases, I've chosen hotels instead.

06.05.06 44 km Palermo Aeroporto - Punta Raisi - Terrasini - Castellammare ([1], stages 33, 34)
from the airport of Palermo, which is about 30 kilometers north-west of Palermo on a small plain between the high rocks of M. Pecoraro and the mar tirreno. From here I started to a half-day stage along the coast, following the No. 187 to the west.
07.05.06 156 km Castellammare - Segesta - Erice - Trapani (Erice) - Marsala - Marzara del Vallo - Selinunte ([1], stages 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, variants: southern descend of Erice and roads from Mazara del Vallo to Campobello de Mazara)
The longest stage of the journey is leading around the western part of Sicily. First it is following the friendly valley of F. Freddo and F. Caldo to the exposed temple of Segesta that requires some time for a closer look. Then following small roads via Bruca and Buseto Palizzolo through gorgeous chains of hills to the outstanding hill of Erice, that definitely deserves being ascended on its north side providing breathtaking outlooks across sea and coast below. The town of Erice partly is flooded with tourist, but some almost deserted beautiful cobbled lanes can be found as well.
The southern descend on a merely narrow road is absolutely great for its visions of the steep hillsides and the blinking patterns of the salt-pits of Trapani and that town itself.
After criss-crossing the outskirts of Trapani and following the dense traffic towards the south, the coastal town of Marsala is reached after about 29 kilometers. I continue on smaller roads along the coast towards Mazara del Vallo and then through the vineyards north of the big A29 almost straigt to Castellvetrano and after some more kilometers through the growing dark of night, the No. 115d leading to the south to the temples of Selinunte is reached.
08.05.06 120 km Selinunte - Menfi - Sciacca - Ribera - Cattolica Eraclea - Agrigento ([1], variant of stage 43, part of stage 24)
After a walk through the impressive temples of Selinunte, this stages leads to the east along the coast to another place famous for its town, Agrigento, and its valley of temples.
The 35 km from Selinunte to Sciacca can be traveled on a calm road south of the No. 115. But 10 km east of Sciacca unfortunately there is no alternative to the No. 115 itself, that has to be followed to the departure to Ribera. The way via Cattolica is pure fun, as the road winds up and down the beautiful hill til the Valley west of Agrigento is reached. Then it is a little difficult and frightening to fight the way across big roads into the centre (on the way from the north-west side there are some uncomfortable uphill bridges).
09.05.06 120 km Agrigento - S. Leone - Naro - Ravanusa - Riesi - Mazzarino - Piazza Armerina. ([1], variation of stages 22, 31 and 32)
Another morning decorated with lots of temples in the valley of temples of Agrigento. The way first leads out of Agrigento down the south slopes of the city hill to the valley of temples. For lack of time I left out the museum and continued to the shores of S. Leone and to the south-east to the No. 115 at Plla. di Rocca Corvo. Then furher to the inside of the island via Naro, Ravanusa, Mazzarino, where the used roads sometimes are slightly too broad and providing too much traffic. The last few kilometers from Mazzarino to Piazza Armerina are definitely much more pleasant.
10.05.06 110 km Piazza Armerina - Mirabella - Caltagirone - Mazzarrone - Chiaramonte - Ragusa
Anoter morning with almost no cycling because I'm busy visiting the world heritage site Villa del Casale in the valley west of Piazza Armerina. The stage then leads almost strictly to the south west, via Mirabella with a first glimpse of Mt. Aetna on the horizon, to Caltagirone visiting its beautiful stairs in the centre. The western plains of Monte Iblei are climbed at the town of Chiaramonte, approaching Ragusa from the north.
11.05.06 123 km Ragusa - Modica - Palazzolo Acreide - Buccheri - Sortino - Siracusa ([1], stages 17, 19, 7, 6)
After crossing the broad valley of F. Irminio I have a little taste of the extraordinary cioccolato di Modica, which is manufactured there with uncommon tastes like white pepper or nutmeg. The way to Siracusa leads up to the top of Monte Iblei, which is reached at Palazzolo Acreide. Then I cycle along the deep gorges of F. Anapo and across M. Climititi with its strange hydroelectric power plant down to plantations of oranges and lemons. The hotel is only some few steps from the bridge to Ortygia, the old part of town.
12.05.06 135 km Siracusa - Priolo Gargallo - Melilli - Lentini - Catania - Nicolosi ([1], stages 9, 4, 3, 1, 64, with variants)
The first part of this stage leads along a broad road along the coast, then from Melilli to Lentini on nice roads between the hills. Followed by the vast Piana Catanina, the passage of the airport and a straight crossing of Catania, the finale is the southern ramp of Mt. Aetna to Nicolosi.
13.05.06 38 km Nicolosi - Linguaglossa ([1], stages 67, 68)
In this two-part stage the luggage is first being cycled to the other side of Mt. Aetna, to Linguaglossa.
120 km Montanie del Peloritane: Linguaglossa - Castiglione - Francavilla - Sella Mandrazzi - Fondachelli - Antillo - Taormina - Piedimonte - Linguaglossa
Because of the clouds that have covered the top of Mt. Aetna that fast that day, I decide for the round-trip to Monti Peloritani, without luggage, of course. Unfortunately, the track south of the peak of M. Pomaro seems to be unusable, perhaps because of a landslide (a way which would almost have kept me on a good altitude of about 1000 meters). So I have to use the alternative, that first leads me all way down to Fondachelli and then on a steep road back up into the mountains. To be back to Linguaglossa in time, I have to take the direct way back to the coast via Antillo and the valley of F. di Agrò (otherwise I would have liked to try the road along the mountain tops in direction of Messina). For lack of time I also have to leave out the sights of Taormina and finally reach my B&B shortly after sundown.
14.05.06 28 km Linguaglossa - Rifugio Brunek, Piano Provenzana, Rifugio Citelli (Aetna Nord) , Aetna South - Linguaglossa ([1], part of stage 70)
Today, there's just one possibility: The northern ramp of Mt. Aetna to the highest reacheable point at about 1600 m. Then I raced back down to Rifugio Brunek and started for the second part...
32 km Offroad Aetna West from Rifugio Brunek to Rifugio Sapienza ([1], stage 73)
A great way of getting close to the nature on Mt. Aetna by bike. Beware of the free roaming herds of cattle (especially when with calfs) and the caterpillars (in long processions on the track with ugly rash causing hair). Located on altitudes between 1400 m and about 1900 m and also crossing some lava fields of the eruption of 2003.
42 km Rifugio Sapienza, Zafferana Etnea, Milo, Linguaglossa
In the third part, I first ascended to the vast black landscape of Rifugio Sapienza, then descended on the broad road to Zafarello and circeled the hill on about 700 m height back to Linguaglossa.
15.05.06 120 km Linguaglossa - Bronte - Cesaro - Sella del Miraglia - S. Teodoro - Cerami ([1], stages 66, 51)
The trip around Mt. Aetna is left at Bronte to head back to the west. At Cesaro, I leave the direction for a short visit of the Nébrodi with calm forests and wide green rounded hilltops, sometimes covered with mist coming up from the sea. Back down at S. Teodoro, I take the complicated road via C. Mezzalora and Lago di Ancipa, that permanently ascends or descends along the mountainside and provides a rather rugged pavement. Because of the long duration of that section, I can just reach Cerami at sundown so I just stay there.
16.05.06 120 km Cerami - Nicosia - Sperlinga - Gangi - Petralia - Piano Bataglia - Piano Zucchi - Collesano - Campofelice di Roccella ([1], stages 50, 49)
After a fast descend from Cerami, I finally reached the vivid town of Nicosia. Next sights are reached in famous Sperlinga. After I passed Gangi and Petralia, I crossed the breathtaking mountains of the Madonie (highest point at Piano Bataglia) and followed the long and winding road down to the sea, that is reached at Campofelice di Roccella.
17.05.06 150 km Campofelice di Roccella - Lascari - Gratteri - Isnello - Munciarrati - Piano Zucchi - Piano Battaglia - Petralia - Geraci - Castelbuono - Cefalu - Campofelice di Roccella ([1], variant of giro E)
Gorgeos round trip without luggage spanning most of the Madonie.
18.05.06 70 km Campofelice di Roccella - Palermo ([1], stages 46, part of 47)
Relaxing half day tour along the northern coast back to Palermo.
19.05.06 Way back from Palermo to its airport, traveled by bus with the boxed bike in the luggage compartment.

May has definitely been a good choice for cycling Sicily because the whole island is covered in flowers, from the colourfull meadows of the lowlands to the yellow broom on the slopes of Mt. Aetna.
I've had the impression, that the roads might be more slippery in wet conditions, especially inside of towns, because they are sometimes as if being polished. In one of the seldom showers of rain, I almost immediately slipped and fell from my bike. That might for sure be more critical in January of February.

Literature:
[1] Sizilien per Rad (Carmen Fischer / Helmut Walter, Verlag Wolfgang Kettler, 2. Auflage 2006)
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#386337 - 13.11.07 21:43 Re: Sicily [Re: leyre]
dcjf
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Hi,
I was one time in december for cycling in Sicily. It was fine to cycle, although the days are rather short. My route was from Palermo over Segesta to Erice (nice old town on the mountain)-Trapani, than to Selinunt and Gela and at the end I took the train to Catania and climbed the Etna (road to th rifugio sapienza) and over windpressed snow to the top of the mountain.
By the way, if you want to relax a bit from cycling, the eolian islands are rather comfortable. The months of january, february and december are realy good if you like it anticyclic, almost no tourists and therefore less infrastructure. But it can even snow down to the sealevel.
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#389138 - 23.11.07 20:20 Re: Sicily [Re: dcjf]
leyre
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thanks a lot for your help
Greetings
L
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#389743 - 26.11.07 02:44 Re: Sicily in November [Re: leyre]
KenR
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Sharon and I just got back from a week in eastern Sicily doing single-day loop rides in a wide range of different areas: near Ragusa (southeast), near Cephalu (northern coast), near Leonforte (center by Enna), near Sferro (between Enna + Catania), and the Aeolian little island of Lipari. (We used a rental car to take ourselves and our tandem bike to a different area each day.)

We had lots of fun, lots of variety, beside the sea, up in the mountains, thru farmland. Two things special about Sicily for us were the variety of plants and animals in the farmland (with green fields and some flowers still in November) -- and Mt Etna with lots of fresh white snow on its upper slopes which fell I think just before we arrived.

I'll post some photos after I get a chance to select and edit them.

We found helpful the Sizilien per Rad book (especially the page where they rate the routes with 1,2,3 stars) and the Lonely Planet Cycling Italy book -- though we did not follow exactly any of the routes in any book. Very helpful are the Touring Club Italiano 1:200000 maps with scenic roads highlighted in green.

Ken

Geändert von KenR (26.11.07 02:47)
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#389882 - 26.11.07 15:32 Re: Sicily in November [Re: KenR]
leyre
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thanks a lot Ken, I will try to cycle it by Easter when the weather is better
ALl the best
L
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#391793 - 02.12.07 16:32 Re: Sicily in November [Re: leyre]
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I just put selected photos from our November visit up on the web, and also a detailed report.

A week later, Sharon and I still feel that Sicily is a place we'd go back to for more riding, and again in November.

Ken
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#392066 - 03.12.07 11:59 Re: Sicily [Re: leyre]
tabula-raser.de
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Unterwegs in Deutschland

Hi Leyre,
i´d like to suggest Cyprus for jan/feb. You will find warm weather, moderate wind and beautiful landscape. The people are friendly, especially in the turkish part. Why don´t you
think about a contrast to Italy?

regards,
Mäxx
Ich gestatte mir Besonnenheit
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