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Family Cycling in Italy: Exploring Calabria’s Coastal Charms

By We Love Cycling

Springtime in Calabria unfurls like a well-kept secret, revealing a landscape ripe for exploration, especially on two wheels. This southern Italian region, with its rugged mountains, crystalline seas, and ancient villages, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and cultural richness, making it an ideal destination for families seeking adventure. Let’s pedal through some of Calabria’s most inviting cycling experiences, promising unforgettable memories for families in Spring 2024.

Cycling the Coastline: Tropea to Capo Vaticano (approx. 20 km)

Santa Maria dell'Isola
Stop by the famous Santa Maria dell’Isola. © Profimedia

Suitable for: Children aged 6 and above

Start your family biking journey in Tropea, the jewel of Calabria, known for its stunning beaches and the majestic Santa Maria dell’Isola monastery. This gentle 20 km ride to Capo Vaticano meanders along the Tyrrhenian coast, offering breathtaking sea views and a chance to dip your toes in the turquoise waters. The route is perfect for families, with safe paths and plenty of spots to enjoy a picnic or a gelato break. Capo Vaticano greets you with its famous lighthouse and panoramic views of the Aeolian Islands, making it a rewarding endpoint to your ride.

Sila Grande Loop (varied distances)

Lago Argo
Take a break by the beautiful Argo lake. © Profimedia

Suitable for: Children aged 8 and above

Elevate your family’s biking adventure in the heart of Calabria’s Sila National Park. The Sila Grande Loop offers a variety of distances, winding through dense forests and serene lakes, like Lago Cecita and Lago Arvo. This area, with its cooler climate and flat to gently rolling terrain, is ideal for families. Children aged 8 and above will delight in spotting wildlife and exploring the park’s educational trails. Biking in Sila Grande is not just a journey through nature, but an immersive experience in one of Italy’s most precious ecosystems.

The Ancient Byways: Stilo to Gerace (approx. 30 km)

Visit the historical jewel of Stilo. © Profimedia

Suitable for: Families with teens

Dive into Calabria’s rich history by biking from the Byzantine wonder of Stilo, famous for its Cattolica church, to the medieval town of Gerace, with its imposing Norman castle. This 30 km route takes you through the heart of Calabria’s rugged countryside, with climbs and descents that are more suited to families with teenagers. The reward lies not only in the physical challenge but in the journey through time, as each pedal brings you closer to understanding Calabria’s layered past.

Reggio Calabria Coastal Cruise (approx. 25 km)

Explore the village Scilla with the old medieval castle Castello Ruffo. © Profimedia

Suitable for: Children aged 10 and above

Embark on a scenic ride along the Strait of Messina from the city of Reggio Calabria to the picturesque village of Scilla. This 25 km route is a feast for the senses, with the mesmerizing “Bronzi di Riace” statues in the National Museum, the fragrant bergamot orchards, and the spellbinding views of Sicily across the water. Scilla, with its legendary Charybdis whirlpool and quaint fisherman’s district of Chianalea, offers a charming conclusion to a day’s ride. The mostly flat coastal road makes this journey accessible for families with children aged 10 and above.

Aspromonte Adventure (varied distances)

Discover Calabria’s wild side in the Aspromonte National Park. © Profimedia

Suitable for: Families with teens

For the more adventurous families, the rugged terrain of Aspromonte National Park offers a thrilling biking experience. With routes of varied distances and difficulties, families can choose their own adventure, whether it’s challenging mountain ascents or leisurely rides through ancient forests and alongside rushing streams. This area provides a unique opportunity to explore Calabria’s wild side, with the chance to encounter rare flora and fauna and visit remote villages where time seems to stand still.

Each of these routes through Calabria presents a different facet of this enchanting region, from its sun-kissed coasts to its ancient, whispering forests. Spring 2024 in Calabria is not just a season but a canvas, waiting for families to paint their adventures across its varied landscapes. Whether cruising along the coastline, delving into history, or challenging yourselves in the mountains, Calabria promises a spring filled with discovery, bonding, and the unparalleled joy of exploring together on two wheels.