Bike Tour of the Gurfa Caves

From a ghost town to a mysterious cave past endless wheat fields

 

Cycling itinerary in Sicily

Explore Sicily’s hidden treasures on quiet backroads where time seems to stand still. Tour around the ghost town near Roccapalumba and visit the mysterious Gurfa caves where the legend says that the King of Crete Minos died. The tour ends at the railway station Caltanissetta-Xirbi.

Most of the journey is on secondary roads with low traffic.

Recommended bike: touring & trekking bike, e-bike (use the battery with parsimony).

The itinerary runs mostly along secondary roads past caracteristic Sicilian landscapes between the Provinces of Palermo and Caltanissetta. From the railway station at Roccapalumba-Alia you can already see the former residential area of the railway workers to your right where the only traces of the contemporary civilization are the dust bins outside of the buildings that are visibly abandoned with prickly pear cactuses growing on the roofs and balconies.

After the short detour to the ghost town you ride back past the railway station and continue towards the small village of Alia where you’ll find indications for the Gurfa caves, but in case you don’t see any, just ask for “Gurfa” and the locals will show you where to go. It is necessary to book a visit to the Gurfa caves at the tourist office, please refer to the information below. Gioacchino is one of the knowledgeable volunteers at the tourist office, make sure you call in advance.

More info at: www.comune.alia.pa.it

Tourist Office Via Santa Croce n.10   Phone: +39 091 8219528

Attractions:

Ghost town near Roccapalumba – A dismissed residential area of the railway workers

The mysterious Gurfa cave in Alia

Trains: 

Start from the railway station Roccapalumba-Alia. Connections from Palermo with several trains during the day and the possibility of carrying your bike on all regional trains at a daily cost of euro 3.50. Check the timetable on www.trenitalia.com

Please note: if you travel solo or as a couple, you will hardly ever have problems in finding a place for your bikes on the train, but if you are a group of cyclists please bear in mind that most trains only have limited space for bikes and book a private bike shuttle instead. Get in touch if you wish to book a bike shuttle.

Terrain: This route is almost completely on asphalt roads with a few short unpaved sections at the entrance of the caves.

Difficulty level: easy – intermediate due to a few climbs

Recommended bikes: trekking and touring bikes, gravel bikes and e-bikes. Rent a bike for your tour of the Gurfa caves.

Map

 

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Route Info

 Bike

Touring, trekking, gravel, e-bike

 Attractiveness

Best period

All year round

Distance

82 km

Duration

5 hrs on the bike, 8 hrs including stops

 Departure

Roccapalumba-Alia, Railway station

Arrival

Caltanissetta-Xirbi, Railway station

 Elevation gain

1,460 m

 Highest point

745 m

 Intermodal Transport

Train, private shuttle

 Skill level

 Fitness level

Riding Surface

  • Asphalt 88% 88%
  • Paved 11% 11%
  • Unpaved 1% 1%
  • Track 0% 0%

Way Type

  • Road 12% 12%
  • Urban road 3% 3%
  • Cycle path 0% 0%
  • State road 85% 85%

Bike Map – Accommodation & Services

Nearby points of interest
  • Airport
  • Atm
  • Bakery
  • Bank
  • Bar
  • Bicycle store
  • Bus station
  • Cafe
  • Church
  • City hall
  • Clothing store
  • Convenience store
  • Dentist
  • Department store
  • Doctor
  • Electronics store
  • Gas station
  • Hospital
  • Laundry
  • Museum
  • Pharmacy
  • Police
  • Post office
  • Restaurant
  • Shopping mall
  • Store
  • Taxi stand
  • Train station
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Explore Sicily’s hidden treasures without the hassle of planning. We offer guided and self-guided tours for individuals and small groups. Get as much support as you need with our tailored tour proposals.

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Elevation Profile

Use the dynamic altitude chart to see all climbs along the route. Select your preferred map type from the available options on the top right position of the map. If you have activated the relevant function in your browser you will see a marker pointing to your current position.

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Search and book a hotel near Alia or Caltanissetta to explore the Gurfa route.

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