Calabria on the road

Motorbike tour between sea and mountains
Moto al mare

© Vincenzo Stranieri

Sport and nature

Among the regions to discover "on the road", all year round, Calabria is perfect both for conformation, given its extraordinary proximity sea/mountain, and for logistics, since some enchanting places are often difficult to reach by car or public transport.

Discovering Calabria on the road is an adrenalin-pumping experience that passes through craggy coastlines, cliffs, mountain bends and villages suspended between green and blue.

Moto calabria
Regione Calabria

Travelling in Calabria by motorbike: itineraries

A trip to Calabria by motorbike is perfect for discovering the authentic and still little-known face of a region that offers the natural beauty of no less than 800 km of uninterrupted coastline, 5 Marine Parks and 3 National Parks, as well as dozens of Protected Regional and Nature Reserves and 15 of Italy's Most Beautiful Villages.

1. Motorcycling in the Pollino

Starting from the north and from the Pollino National Park, the tour of Calabria by motorbike passes through Papasidero (CS) and the suggestive Grotta del Romito, the prehistoric cavity within which the famous graffito image of Bos Primigenius and the so-called Burial of the Little Brothers were discovered. We are in the Lao Valley, which for adrenalin sports enthusiasts means parking the motorbike and grabbing the oars for rafting on the Lao River. The Pollino motorbike route crosses the 9 Villages of the Lao, a brand that encompasses 9 municipalities to be discovered through 3 thematic routes: the Strada della Storia e della Cultura (History and Culture Route), the Strada degli Antichi Mestieri (Ancient Crafts Route) and the Strada dei Sapori (Food Route).

The Pollino motorbike tour continues to the Arbëreshë (Italo-Albanian) villages, discovering the ancient religious traditions of the Greek Orthodox rite, the typical costumes and the most characteristic historical centres, such as the village of Civita, among the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy. Finally, Castrovillari, the "Capital of the Pollino", famous for its Historical Carnival and Folklore Festival. It is worth visiting the historical centre, the Civita, arranged around the Aragonese Castle and the Basilica Minore di San Giuliano.

Moto Pollino
Vincenzo Stranieri

2. Riviera dei Cedri Tour

Shared by the production of the Cedar of Calabria PDO, the municipalities of the Riviera dei Cedri offer motorcyclists the proximity of the sea to the hillside villages, to be reached by riding up hairpin bends.

Starting from the north, one passes through beautiful coastal resorts, three of them Blue Flags (Tortora, Praia a Mare, San Nicola Arcella) and home to wonderful natural attractions (Isola Dino, Spiaggetta dell'Arcomagno and Grotta della Pecora). The motorbike tour of the Tyrrhenian Sea continues through the towns of Santa Maria del Cedro, where you can discover the history and uses of the precious citrus fruit with a visit to the Cedar Museum. Next, the marinas of Belvedere Marittimo and Cetraro.

Regione Calabria

3. Sila by motorbike

The Sila National Park is the green heart of Calabria. Here, according to recent analyses, you can breathe "the cleanest air in Europe". Crossing the Sila by motorbike allows you to get to know the territory of three provinces: Cosenza, Catanzaro and Crotone. Each of them is characterised by reserves and protected areas, unmissable natural attractions, small mountain villages, branded food and wine products - such as Patata Silana PGI and Caciocavallo PDO - and some symbols of Calabrian flora and fauna, such as the Sila wolf.

Starting from the province of Cosenza, the Sila tour by motorbike cannot but pass by the ski peaks of Camigliatello Silano and Lorica - not to be missed even in summer - and continue towards the lakes of Sila (Lake Arvo, Lake Cecita and Lake Ampollino, as well as the smaller basins of Ariamàcina, Votturino and Passante) as far as the Catanzaro area, stopping off at the Abbey of San Giovanni in Fiore.

The Catanzaro Sila offers the uniqueness of the Fallistro Nature Reserve, in the presence of the so-called Giants of the Sila (majestic centuries-old trees) and the Valli Cupe Reserve, with its waterfalls in the greenery, as well as the fascinating Mancuso Village (in Tyrolean style), and the MABOS - Museo d'Arte del Bosco (Museum of Woodland Art). The Crotone Sila slopes down to the Ionian Sea, passing through the villages of Cotronei, Mesoraca, Petilia Policastro and Savelli, and the evocative landscapes of the Calanchi del Marchesato.

Moto Sila
Vincenzo Stranieri

4. Costa degli Dei and Costa Viola

The motorbike tour of the Calabrian Tyrrhenian Sea passes two breathtaking coastlines: the Costa degli Dei, in the province of Vibo Valentia, and the Costa Viola, from Palmi to Reggio Calabria, for an itinerary marked by fiery sunsets looking towards the Aeolian Islands and sheer cliff bends.

A true motorcyclist's paradise, the cliffs of Ricadi and Capo Vaticano offer panoramic views just a stone's throw from the tourist resorts of Pizzo - with its unmissable Castle of Murat and Calabria's most famous ice cream: the Tartufo di Pizzo - and Tropea, one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy, famous for its view of the Scoglio di Santa Maria dell'Isola, the sweet Red Onion of Tropea PGI and its Blue Flag beach.

Aliaksandr Antanovich/Shutterstock

The Costa Viola is a varied coastline, perfect to discover by motorbike, alternating rocky stretches with fine sand. Palmi, the "City of Varia", a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies on the slopes of Monte Sant'Elia, which towers above the coast and is a must-see for motorcyclists. Cala Janculla, solitary and inaccessible, is the flagship beach of Seminara, "City of Ceramics". Bagnara, rebuilt in Art Nouveau style after the earthquake of 1908, like most of the towns on the Strait of Messina, is the home of Torrone di Bagnara IGP (nougat) and swordfish. Scilla, with the Ruffo Castle and the fishermen's village of Chianalea, among the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy, is the not-to-be-missed stop before reaching the city of Reggio Calabria, with its legendary Lungomare (waterfront) and the National Archaeological Museum housing the Riace Bronzes.


5. Aspromonte and the Grecanica Calabria

The Aspromonte motorbike tour is a wild experience, in contact with a harsh and generous nature at the same time. Part of the Aspromonte National Park are the so-called "ghost towns" of the Grecanica area (Rogudhi, Africo Vecchio and Pentedattilo); the UNESCO World Heritage Geosites (Valle delle Grandi Pietre), which boast the beauty of rocks sculpted by nature into the shape of dragons and milk cauldrons; the grandeur of Pietra Cappa, among the highest geosites in Europe; the panoramic view of the two seas from Montalto and the close encounter with the native breed of the Aspromonte goat, from whose milk some dairy delicacies are made.

The history of this mountain is narrated through ad hoc routes, also perfect for motorbikes: from the Sentiero dell'Inglese (Englishman's Path), recalling Edward Lear and the other travellers on the Grand Tour who came to these uncontaminated places, to the "Corrado Alvaro" Literary Park, which retraces the birthplace and literary places of the Calabrian writer from San Luca, to the evocative Sanctuary of the Madonna di Polsi.

Parco Nazionale Aspromonte
Antonio Arico/Shutterstock

6. The villages of the Ionian Sea

Travelling up the Calabrian Ionian coast by motorbike is a journey within a journey. From the Grecanici villages of Bovesia, which head to the beautiful village of Bova (among the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy), in the province of Reggio Calabria, the itinerary goes up along State Road 106 through: Costa dei Gelsomini, Riviera degli Angeli, Costa degli Aranci, Costa dei Saraceni and Costa degli Achei, 10 Blue Flags (Siderno, Roccella Ionica, Caulonia Marina, Soverato, Sellia Marina, Melissa, Cirò Marina, Villapiana, Trebisacce and Roseto Capo Spulico), passing through the naturalistic beauty of the Protected Marine Reserve of Isola Capo Rizzuto, a stone's throw from the iconic seaside fortress of Le Castella, in the province of Crotone.

The Calabrian Ionian is an alternation of seaside villages and medieval hilltop towns, many of them among Italy's Most Beautiful Villages (Gerace, Stilo - the "City of the Sun" of Tommaso Campanella, Badolato and Rocca Imperiale, home of the Lemons of Rocca Imperiale PGI), which are complemented by the not-to-be-missed visit to the 5 National Archaeological Parks symbolic of Magna Graecia (Locri Epizefiri, Monasterace, Scolacium, Capo Colonna and Sibari).

Regione Calabria

Last update: Feb 16, 2024 11:07 AM