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Molise

Overview

A holiday at this fabulous location is ideal for those looking to get away from it all. You will be riding in a very unspoilt area of Italy, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, experiencing the companionship of other guests, your welcoming guide and the friendly and sure-footed horses…

Highlights

  • Ride some of Italy's most wild landscapes
  • Eat delicious picnics carried by packhorse
  • Relax in your western saddle on a sensible horse
  • Enjoy caring for your horse like they are your own
  • Stay in remote locations and enjoy the peace of nature

Essential Facts

  • 6 itineraries available
  • Max 10 riders per group
  • Average of 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198 lbs / 14st 2lbs with a BMI less than 28 and a half.
    more info This destination will not take more than 3 riders at a time with BMIs over 27. To calculate your BMI, take your weight in kilos and divide it by your height (in metres) squared.

Description

A holiday at this fabulous location is ideal for those looking to get away from it all. You will be riding in a very unspoilt area of Italy, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, experiencing the companionship of other guests, your welcoming guide and the friendly and sure-footed horses. There are five trail riding and one centre based riding option to enjoy with varying levels of difficulty, including riding in valleys, fields, hills and mountains on lovely responsive horses, some of whom are homebred. This is a relaxed riding destination and although the terrain does not allow for galloping, able riders can enjoy lovely long canters and can test their ability on steep slopes and rocky trails.

If you are taking one of the trails then you will need to be reasonably fit, as the hours in the saddle are long, but you will be riding western style so you will be comfortable. You need to be able to mount and dismount unaided and to help groom and saddle your horse (you are shown how). Carmine is a very experienced guide whose knowledge of the area is second to none - he will show you wildlife and scenery beyond your imagination. He is a member of the FISE (Federation of Italian Equestrian Sports) and vice-president for the region of Molise. This destination sometimes provides opportunities to see wolves and bears, an unforgettable experience.

Accommodation on the trails varies from basic mountain lodges to hotels. You can be assured that at all these destinations you will be comfortable and very well fed (sometimes you can experience Carmine's delicious cooking - he used to be a chef!). The peace and tranquillity of this lovely destination must be experienced.

It is possible to book the Carpe Diem programme on dates when trails are not running. We can sometimes tailor make a package to suit you.

Both Sue and Holly have visited this destination (Sue has stayed at the farmhouse a few times and both have escorted a trail there). Either of the ladies would be more than happy to answer your questions and to share their enthusiasm for this wonderful place.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Western

Horses

Quarter horses, Paints, Appaloosas, Haflinger.

Riding

There are 6 itineraries:

  • Abruzzo Trail is a trail ride
  • Monte Capraro ('Goat Mountain') Trail is a trail ride
  • Majella Trail is a trail ride
  • Two Parks Trail is a trail ride
  • Valley of the Bear Trail is a trail ride
  • Carpe Diem is a based ride

Ages

16 years for trails and 12 years if accompanied by an adult.

Health

Riders should be in good shape.

Weight

90kg / 198 lbs / 14st 2lbs with a BMI less than 28 and a half. This destination will not take more than 3 riders at a time with BMIs over 27. To calculate your BMI, take your weight in kilos and divide it by your height (in metres) squared.

Food & Accommodation

Food

Breakfast is continental and can be eaten on the terrace or in the kitchen. The food here is wonderful with great care being taken to provide local specialities cooked with fresh ingredients. Vegetarians and those with special diets can be catered for with prior notice. Carmine used to own a restaurant and this is apparent from the wonderful recipes he shares with his guests.

Expect a lot of delicious pasta, salads, cheese and bread. You will also taste the juiciest, sweetest tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, tasty salami and other delights like tiramisu and fresh peaches. Lunchtime often consists of salami, cheese and bread for a picnic-style lunch, accompanied by a glass of crisp white wine. The food tends to be simple but very tasty, with meals comprising of just a few fresh ingredients.

A welcome drink is included, as are wines and beers with lunches and dinners. All other drinks must be paid for unless the hosts arrange a 'fuondo casa' which is like a kitty. This covers extra drinks, ice creams etc. during the week.

You will never go hungry here! Our own testers called the food 'imaginative and delectable' and 'original and sumptuous'!

Accommodation

You will stay in a farmhouse renovated sympathetically by Carmine in 2003 which now provides very comfortable accommodation for all guests. The farmhouse, dating from 1885, is almost 3000 feet above sea level and is situated on the edge of a wood and overlooking a beautiful valley. The house is not large but very comfortable. The living room has a large fireplace and is a wonderful place to sit and discuss the day.

There are three guest rooms both furnished simply and authentically. Two rooms are for two guests and the other comfortably accommodates six which is, of course, great fun for a group of friends. There are two bathrooms with all modern conveniences (bathrooms are in a building just across the path). There is a large kitchen in which Carmine cooks the most amazing meals which may be eaten around the large table or out on the terrace.

If you prefer more privacy we can arrange accommodation at an agriturismo just five minutes down the road for a supplement of 50 Euros per double room per night. This is to be paid in cash when you are there.

During the trails you stay in small hotels, simple guesthouses or in the mountain lodge. The latter is very basic (no electricity!) Also no wifi. but is a peaceful and a lovely stop off point during trails.

They provide clean sleeping bags and towels for the nights at the mountain lodge and small saddlebags with a water bottle.
There is wifi at the farmhouse and most of the hotels.

Itineraries

Abruzzo Trail Standard accommodation.

Monte Capraro ('Goat Mountain') Trail Standard accommodation.

Majella Trail Standard accommodation.

Two Parks Trail Standard accommodation.

Valley of the Bear Trail Standard accommodation.

Carpe Diem Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

There is a pool in the town nearby (5 minutes by car) where you can enjoy a swim.

In Agnone you can find the world 's oldest bell factory which is still in production and has been worked by the same family for over 26 generations. This is 20 minutes by car.

You can enjoy hiking accompanied by Antonio who has often helped on the trails with luggage transport and now he is a professional guide for hiking in Molise and Abruzzen (Molise Trekking).

It is possible to enjoy some camping - in 2021 Carmine built a steel firepit where you can enjoy a tasty barbecue and watch the sun go down.

There is rafting on the Sangro river in Casatel di Giudice.

Capracotta which is over 1421 metres above sea level offers skiiing and is a 40 minute drive by car.

You may enjoy a day with Stefano their official truffle pig.

This region is so unspoilt, with forest and pastures. There is a lot of culture and history to learn about here and Carmine will be able to tell you some stories from the past. One interesting fact, is that the indigenous people of Molise were Samnites and they were one of the last people to be conquered by the powers in Rome.

Travel

Guests are recommended to fly into Rome, although Naples can also work. They then take a train to Isernia from where a transfer is included.

Guests should not arrive at the farmhouse before 20.00, please. One transfer is included when guests arrive at 19.46 at Isernia train station and when they depart the farmhouse at approximately 09.00. Individual transfers are not possible but large groups may wish to travel by taxi from and to the airport. A minibus can be arranged - please contact us for prices.

Upon arrival into Rome Ciampino or Fiumicino you will travel by bus or train to Roma Termini (Rome's main station). From there you will take the Metro Blue Line in the direction Rebibbia, getting off at the first stop 'Tiburtina'. The journey is around 5 minutes. From Roma Tiburtina you will take the train departing at 17:30, arriving in Isernia at 19:46 (look on the display for destination 'Campobasso' as that is the final destination of this route). On arrival to Isernia at 19:46 there will be a taxi waiting for you to take you to the farmhouse. In case of delay, there is another train from Roma Termini at 18:07 which arrives in Isernia at 20:55. In that case, you will be charged for a taxi, approximately €25 for 1 - 4 people.

The journey from Rome to the farmhouse takes at least 4 hours, therefore the latest arrival time into Rome should be 14:00 (Naples - 15:00). Return flights should not be booked before 15:00 from Rome (14.30 from Naples) as you will not make it in time. Please leave plenty of time for this journey to be on the safe side, you can always look around Rome if you are there early and waiting for the train. The Coliseum is just a short walk from the train station.

Testimonials

Louise A., Dec. 3, 2014

Absolutely fantastic! I loved the long days in the saddle and the scenery. Great camaraderie too. So much laughter!


Dawn D., Dec. 3, 2014

A beautiful adventure. Close to nature with happy, willing horses and a lovely group to share the experience.


Amanda M., July 24, 2009

A fantastic experience, the scenery was amazing and the horses were so forward going and well behaved. I loved sleeping outside and looking up to the stars at night. Italian food, so great, and you couldn't ask for better guides.


Simon O., June 27, 2009

Great experience with lovely hosts. Riding was a good challenge and we learnt a lot.


John B., June 27, 2009

Brilliant. It was all we had hoped for and more. Most relaxing and great fun. Astrid & Carmine were the perfect hosts - we were treated like friends - food was excellent and varied and the horses were stars. My riding has improved and the views and scenery were wonderful.


Wendy B., June 27, 2009

A very good holiday, Beautiful setting with well looked after and cared for horses and very kind hosts. The overnight stay at the lodge and sleeping under the stars with our camp fire was very special. Riding through the beautiful scenery was wonderful.


Helen C., Sept. 30, 2008

The generous hospitality and easy temperament of the horses induced a holiday mood. Cantering through carpets of pale yellow and purple violets with the scent of wild oregano in the air created the perfect riding atmosphere.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

You are expected to arrive after 5pm on Saturday evening. In case you travel by train you can get a transfer from Isernia railway station at 19.45. It takes about twenty minutes by car to reach the comfortable farmhouse where Carmine lives. After settling in you can enjoy an aperitif and get to know your host and the other guests. You will be assured of a delicious three course dinner - probably a regional speciality together with a good local wine.

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 4 hours

This morning you may wish to lie in or perhaps you will be up early to look at the sun rising over the valley. Time to relax over breakfast and have a few minutes to yourself - a walk perhaps or maybe just sitting in the sun on the terrace. Before lunch there will be a brief demonstration in western riding. After lunch you will begin your ride to the park. For about 4 hours you will ride through forests and hilly pastureland before you arrive in San Pietro Avellana, our goal for today. The horses will stay here in a paddock to relax and roll. You will return by car to the farmhouse but before going to bed you will enjoy a a delicious three course dinner at Carmine's new Bistro

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 7 hours

After breakfast you will be taken back to the horses. And about 10.30 you get back in the saddle and follow the Tratturo Celano-Foggia. A Tratturo is a 2000 year old track that used to move cattle from the far south, where grass is scarce in summer. A picnic is taken in Montedimezzo. The hunting lodge which belonged to the royal family of Bourbon now contains a museum and the forest here is protected by UNESCO (worldwide this organisation only protects 256 forests, four of which are in Italy, two in Molise itself). You continue along the Tratturo as far as the river Sangro where you leave the Tratturo to follow small paths. Sunbathing lizards take to their heels. The air smells like an Italian kitchen, with rosemary and thyme growing everywhere. Next you climb uphill through a forest, after which you reach Roccaraso. Here you will enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the night. Roccaraso is at an altitude of 3,600 feet above sea level and is a well known skiing resort.

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 7 hours

After breakfast you leave Roccaraso behind and head for the Piano delle Cinque Miglia (the valley of five Miles). Here you can enjoy a long canter! At the end of the valley the first tall mountains loom up at either side, a gravel road takes you to the Montagna Spaccata (split mountain) where benches and old oaks tempt you to stop. The narrow, stony road, going up and up, leads to a water trough where the horses can drink. You can enjoy the view over the valley and perhaps take some pictures. The trail continues climbing until, all of a sudden, there is an open space in the forest that offers a beautiful panorama.

After this you lead the horses on foot until you reach "Agriturismo Jovana" (mountain lodge) where lunch is served - the owner has won various awards for his “ricotta” (cheese). After lunch you follow the gravel road which takes you upwards to Scanno and just outside the village the horses are left in a riding centre “Il Ranch”. You will be taken to the hotel in the village. Dinner is at a restaurant in the historical centre of Scanno and after dinner you can stroll around this lovely old village.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: 7 hours

Today is going to be challenging! You leave the civilised world behind you and ride through the unspoilt nature of the mountains of the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo where no cars are allowed. With a bit of luck you should come across wild horses or some deer.

The wolves and bears keep away from the clatter of hoofs. After a long climb you halt at 6,300 feet a.s.l. and enjoy the panoramic view. The mountain peaks are covered by snow until late spring. Then you will lead the horses down on foot as it is too steep here to stay mounted. Having reached the right path you can mount again and ride through extensive forests.

In a meadow you will have a picnic and if the weather is fine you might like a nap. After this the route continues through the forests until you reach Pescasseroli. After the long ride you will need a good dinner and that is exactly what you'll have at Eleanora.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 7 hours

This morning you can relax a little and take a leisurely breakfast. Pescasseroli is the 'heart' of the Abruzzo and hopefully you will enjoy the hustle and bustle of the town. You can walk to the Museum of Nature, the Fauna Garden and the Apennin Garden to see and enjoy the town, perhaps taking some coffee on the piazza. After lunch you will return to your horse and get back into  the unspoilt countryside. The route will get steeper and you will arrive in a valley where you can enjoy a canter. From there you will ride to the little town of Opi that has only 400 inhabitants. Both horses and riders will spend the night here. Dinner will be in a traditional local restaurant.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast you will resume riding making your way to the val Fondillo. Then there will be four miles of an exciting trip alongside the river. It leads to one of the most protected areas of the National Park, Camosciara. Here you will enjoy a picnic.  After many more miles you will reach the reservoir Lake Barrea down to the left.  So you will continue riding through another forest with different terrain and onto Sandras riding centre. By now you will be quite tired!  Here the trail ends. This last evening you will enjoy some pizza and look back on the week's trail.  Here you will spend the night.

Day 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast from Alfedena to Isernia.

Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances the programme may have to be adapted. However, the number of hours spent in the saddle and the destinations remain unaltered.

Although the Italian law does not require that riders wear helmets, we would appreciate it very much if you bring and wear your own riding hat.

Accommodation

You will stay 2 night at the comfortable farmhouse at the beginning of the trail and five nights in *** hotels.

Experience Experienced

You need to be very comfortable and experienced in the saddle for this trail. You also need to be fit because there are several occasions where you will need to walk beside your horse because of the terrain.

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

June 19, 2021 - June 26, 2021

Sept. 18, 2021 - Sept. 25, 2021

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£1185 $1645 €1390
Included 7 nights shared room accommodation, all meals from dinner on the first day up to and including breakfast on the day of your departure, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, five and a half days riding (6-7 hours per day) with two English speaking guides, transport of your luggage between overnight stops and arrival transfer from Isernia train station at 19:46 pm.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, return transfer from Alfedena (where the trail ends) to Isernia on the day of departure, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Alfedena to Isernia transfers (after the ride) €25
Paid locally
Payable locally
2021 - Drinks €35
Paid locally
There is a kitty for drinks before meals of 30-35 euros per person
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

You are expected to arrive on Saturday evening. After a welcome drink there will be dinner with your hosts. A three-course Italian dinner will be served every night, accompanied by local wines.

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 3 hours

The morning is yours. You may sleep late, take your time over breakfast, do whatever you like. Before lunch there are a safety-briefing and a short demonstration in western riding. After lunch there is a test-ride (3 hours) to enable you to get acquainted with the horse you are going to ride on the trekking. Dinner and overnight are at the farmhouse.

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After breakfast it is time to saddle up the horses (about 10am). Today’s destination is Capracotta, a little village of 965 inhabitants, which is one of the highest municipalities in Italy being situated at 5200ft. The name literally means "cooked goat". Before lunch you will ride through seemingly endless fields before it is time for a delicious picnic. After you have eaten and had a rest, you will enjoy a lengthy canter through a long valley. Capracotta can be seen looming ahead but it will take you about two hours to get there. Tonight you stay in a hotel and eat dinner at a restaurant.

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Today you will enjoy a day ride to climb 'il Monte Campo', the highest point of which is 5235ft. From here you will have a gorgeous view of 'Alto Molise' and the Abruzzo. After this you follow small paths along the slope of the mountain until you reach your picnic stop. You will then follow cross country skiing slopes which lead through a wood of silver firs.  A little later you arrive at Prato Gentile which literally means "kind meadow". In the afternoon you descend to Capracotta and ride through open landscapes with many meadows. The night will be spent at the same hotel but dinner will be at a different restaurant.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Today you start with a few enjoyable canters along a gravel road which leads gradually upwards. The horses can enjoy time to catch their breath whilst the riders enjoy views over four different mountain ranges - the Colle dell'Orso, the Matese, the Mainarde and the national Parc of Abruzzo. After another tasty picnic the trail will take you towards the small village of San Pietro Avellana. Here you dine and spend the night at a little B & B in the town. Before you settle down for your evening drink you help to make a paddock with electric wire to keep the horses safely enclosed during the night. Most of the rooms offer views of the horses grazing peacefully. Tonight a simple but hearty meal will be served.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After a short ride you will pass Montedimezzo which used to belong to the royal family of the Bourbons. Nowadays the hunting lodge is a museum and the forest is protected by UNESCO. Worldwide this organisation protects 256 forests - four of them are located in Italy, two of which are in Molise. You  ride through the forest and later reach a Tratturo (Celano-Foggia) which you will follow for a while.  Mario is a friend and he awaits you with the lunch table set for a picnic consisting of delicious treats. After this it will take around two hours for the group to ride to Littorio's agriturismo. Up until quite recently he used to keep horses of his own and so the paddocks next to his house are free for your horses to use overnight.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After breakfast you ride along the Tratturo Castel di Sangro-Lucera. A Tratturo is an old track, around 2000 years old, which is still used today to move cattle up from the far south where grass can be scarce during the summer. At around midday you will reach Pescolanciano where you will stop in a small restaurant for lunch.This afternoon you climb the hills which border the forest of Collemelucio, another UNESCO protected area. The project here is called Man and Biosphere (MAB). The last few miles on horseback take you over open heath land and through dense oak-woods. At about 5pm you will arrive back at Astrid and Carmine's farmhouse before unsaddling the horses for the last time and enjoying a farewell dinner.

Day 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast.

N.B. Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances the programme may have to be be adapted. The number of hours spent in the saddle, however, as well as the destinations remain unaltered.

Accommodation

3 nights at your host's farmhouse, 2 nights at a hotel and 2 nights at local B&B or guesthouses.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Happy at walk, trot and canter in open countryside. Willing and able to help groom and tack-up.

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

June 5, 2021 - June 12, 2021

Oct. 16, 2021 - Oct. 23, 2021

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£980 $1360 €1150
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on the first day up to and including breakfast on the day of your departure, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, five and a half days riding (6-7 hours per day) with two English speaking guides, transport of your luggage between overnight stops and set time Isernia train station transfers on arrival and departure
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Drinks kitty €35
Paid locally
There is a kitty for drinks before meals of around 30-35 euros per person
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

You are expected to arrive on Saturday evening at the farmhouse. After a welcome drink you can settle in. In the evening you will wine and dine with your host who will cook delicious three course Italian dinners. No need to say that these are accompanied by local wines!

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 3 hours

The morning is yours. You may sleep late, take your time over breakfast, do whatever you like. Before lunch there is a safety-briefing and a short demonstration in western riding. After lunch you set out for a test ride (three hours) to enable you to become acquainted with your horse. In the evening you will visit the new riding centre's Bistro owned by Carmine and you will enjoy a freshly prepared dinner.

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Today you ride through large stretches of woods and fields before eventually stopping at a idyllic spot to enjoy your picnic lunch. After lunch the ride continues as you pass the remains of a Samnitic temple. The Samnites were the original population of Molise and it took the Romans three centuries of warfare before they finally conquered this region, which became part of the Roman Empire (79 B.C.). Later you arrive at the plateau of the hill where you can see the beauty of the Majella. You will reach Montedimezzo.  It is an old hunting lodge and belonged to the Bourbon dynasty. Today it is a museum. The surrounding forest is protected by UNESCO who protect 256 forests worldwide.  Four of the forests are in Italy and two are in Molise. Today the ride ends here and you will enjoy a refreshing drink. The horses, meanwhile, will be loaded onto a lorry and taken to Pietransieri. This is a town where we follow in a car. At Christian's riding centre, the horses get well cared for as you will be. The hotel you sleep in is a few hundred meters from the stables.

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Today’s destination is the small town of Pescocostanzo. The trail takes you through increasingly high mountains. From here you have a good view point back to the hills of Molise. Climbing up the pass you will stop for a picnic at the Petra Cernaia,  viewpoint which will allow you see a completely different panorama. You will see Pecocostanzo. The village is about 4500 feet about sea level and directly on the slopes of the Majella Mountain. The terrain alternates with high plains pasture where you can enjoy some great canters.  You will then arrive at the stabling for the horses. Having spent about six hours on horseback you are bound to be longing for a drink and fortunately Pescocostanzo has a nice square with several bars and restaurants. Taking a walk in this picturesque medieval town is pleasant for everyone and a must for those who are interested in architecture. You will be staying at a small and cosy hotel with dinner in a restaurant.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

The National Park Majella (75,000 acres) is one of the biggest in Italy. It is a so-called Pan Park, which means that it is protected by WWF. Here there are thirty mountains which are over 6500 feet high. Today there will be a six hour long ride in the surrounding highlands and it's expected that you will be able to have nice canters here. The night will be spent at the same hotel. Dinner, however, is at a different restaurant.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 7 - 8 hours

This is going to be a demanding day spending about eight hours in the saddle. We leave the Parco National dell Majella and ride by the Park National della d'Abruzzo.  The first part of your trail takes you upwards towards a large valley. Here on this plateau you can canter, canter and canter until you reach the picnic spot. You will pass through a forest and finally be are surprised with a lovely view.  The next stretch is a long road, leading you down and down again.  Part of this road must be covered on foot. In the early evening you will finally reach your destination. After leaving the horses in a paddock, you will go to Sandra's riding centre where you will have dinner and spend two nights at her comfortable hotel.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Your last ride starts by passing through the town Alfedena, You will ride close to the border of two regions Abruzzo and Molise. The Mainarde Mountain is in front of you and you ride closer and closer. At the Valle Fiorita you will enjoy your picnic and a relaxing break. Today both horses and riders will stay at Sandra's riding centre where you can reflect upon your week and enjoy a traditional pizza.

Day 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast from Alfedena to Isernia.

Accommodation

Two nights at the farmhouse and five nights at *** hotels.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate riders upwards who are fit

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Oct. 2, 2021 - Oct. 9, 2021

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£1185 $1645 €1390
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms (two at the farmhouse and five at a hotel), all meals from dinner on the first day up to and including breakfast on the day of your departure, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, five and a half days riding (6-7 hours per day) with two English speaking guides, transport of your luggage between overnight stops and arrival transfer from Isernia train station at 19:46 pm.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, return transfer from Alfedena (where the trail ends) to Isernia on the day of departure, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Alfedena to Isernia transfers (after the ride) €25
Paid locally
2021 - Drinks €35
Paid locally
This is a kitty for drinks before meals of around 30-35 euros per person.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

You are expected to arrive on Saturday evening at the farmhouse. After a welcome drink there will be dinner with your host/guide. A three-course Italian dinner will be served every night, accompanied by local wines.

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 3 hours

The morning is yours - you may sleep late, take your time over breakfast or do whatever you like. Before lunch there is a safety-briefing. Then the horses are groomed and saddled up, followed by a short demonstration in western riding. After lunch there is a test-ride (3 hours) to enable you to get acquainted with the horse you are going to ride on the trek. In the evening you will visit the Bistro at the new riding centre owned by Carmine for a delicious dinner.

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast you mount up and ride through large stretches of wood and fields until you reach the picnic place, Campo Lungo. Here you can listen to exciting stories from our host who has knowledge of this place.  After lunch you pass through the remains of a Samnitic temple. In the afternoon you will arrive at the destination for today. The horses will be free in a paddock and you return to the farmhouse where you will enjoy a nice dinner..

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 6 hours

In the morning you will be returned to your horse and at about 11 am the ride will begin. You will follow the Tratturo Cellano-Foggia. A Tratturo is a 2000 year old track that is still used to move cattle from the far south where grass is scarce in summer. You will continue along the Tratturo as far as the river Sangro.  Here the Tratturo begins to be very wild and quite overgrown leaving narrow paths to follow.  The horse stay overnight at a riding centre which also features a restaurant. You will enjoy dinner there before heading for a nearby hotel for the night.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: 6 hours

Today's destination is the town of Roccaraarso. The trail will take you through increasingly high mountains.  Arriving at the top of the pass you will have a picnic and enjoy two very different panoramas.  Looking back you can see the hilly landscape of Molise and in front of you the Majella National Park welcomes you with its high mountains and vast valleys.  At the end of the afternoon you canter through one of these valleys. Roccararso will be your home for the next two nights.  It is a locally well known skiing resort.  Dinner will be at the hotel.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 7 hours

Today you enter the Abruzzo national park. The first part of the trail leads to the Piano delle cinque Miglia (the valley of the five Miles) - here you can enjoy a long canter! At the end of the valley, tall mountains loom up on either side and a gravel road takes you to the Montagna Spaccata (split mountain) where benches and old oaks tempt you to stop. You then turn left and the landscape changes, looking a little like the moon with a small lake. At the end of the day you descend the mountain on an old skiing track. The horses will be left at a stables whilst the riders return to the hotel. Having spent seven hours on horseback, a drink will be very welcome. Later you will meet for dinner at another restaurant.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast you leave the Two Parks and ride towards a town where time seems to stand still. You will enjoy a picnic before you ride downhill to the valley of the river Sangro again. Now you will follow the river along the park of the town with the same name, Castel di Sangro. The destination is Sandra's riding centre in Alfedena where both horses and riders will find comfortable accommodation. You will enjoy a last canter before you pass the town and look forward to a pizza dinner.

Day 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast from Alfedena to Isernia.

N.B. Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances the programme may have to be adapted, but always with your best interests at heart.

Accommodation

You spend 3 nights at the farmhouse and 4 nights at hotels out on the trail. Single rooms may be possible for hotel nights at a supplementary cost - please enquire in advance for availability.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate but fit for long hours in the saddle

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Sept. 4, 2021 - Sept. 11, 2021

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£1090 $1515 €1280
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on the first day up to and including breakfast on the day of your departure, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, five and a half days riding (6-7 hours per day) with two English speaking guides, transport of your luggage between overnight stops and arrival transfer from Isernia train station at 19:46 pm.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, return transfer from Alfedena (where the trail ends) to Isernia on the day of departure, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Alfedena to Isernia transfers (after the ride) €25
Paid locally
2021 - Drinks €35
Paid locally
There is a kitty for drinks before meals of around 30-35 euros per person (payable locally).
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

You are expected to arrive after 5 pm on Saturday evening. In case you travel by train you can get a transfer from Isernia railway station (there will only be one transfer per day). It takes about twenty minutes by car to reach the farmhouse.

You will soon recover from your journey when you get back to the farmhouse. With the wonderful view and a drink in your hand, you will soon get to know your hosts and other guests. You can be assured of a fantastic three-course dinner accompanied by tasty local wines.

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 3 hours

The morning is yours if you wish to sleep late and take your time over breakfast. During this time you will unwind and take a look around or perhaps just sit in the sunshine admiring the view.

After breakfast, there is a brief demonstration in western riding. Following this, you will do a test-ride (around three hours long) to enable you to get acquainted with the horse you are going to ride on the trail. This evening you will visit the new riding centre Bistro owned by Carmine and is close by and here you will have a drink and a three course dinner.

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 6 hours

At around 10 am you will leave the house and ride through Alto Molise with its hills, meadows and woods. You will stop for a delicious picnic in the shade of mighty oaks near the ruins of a Samnitic temple. The Samnites were the original population. It took the Romans three centuries of warfare before they finally conquered this region which then became part of the Roman Empire (79 BC).

After this welcome break, you will continue riding through the endless hills and unspoilt countryside. At the end of the day, you arrive at an agriturismo where dinner awaits, another regional speciality. You will spend the night here.

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast you continue the trail, following the old Tratturo Castel di Sangro-Lucera. The Tratturo is a centuries-old track that is still used to move cattle from the far south where grass is scarce in summer. After the Tratturo you reach Pescolanciano with its old castle. Here you stop for lunch. After this break you ride towards the Colle dell’Orso.

The trail gets steeper, climbing 1,800 feet to a height of 3,600 feet. The route leads you over narrow paths, through beech-woods with carpets of leaves. In the evening you reach a simple mountain lodge where you dine and spend the night. First of all the horses need to be taken care of after their long day. You sleep in dormitories.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: 7 hours

Today is dedicated to the magnificent scenery of the plateau of Colle dell’Orso and the cowboys. During this ride you will enjoy the most splendid views of the Abruzzi and Matese Mountain ranges, with peaks of appr. 6,500 feet. The most impressive scene of all is, however, the herds of cattle and wild horses in the plains. After this, you return to “cowboy-land”, over the hills and through the valleys, you ride as far as the so-called Magic Forest. Today you enjoy a picnic.

This piece of woodland is completely sheltered by rocks and there are but two possible ways of access, which makes the visit quite adventurous. Leaving the Magic Forest you go back to our mountain lodge, which is equipped with a shower. In the evening there will be a campfire or the fire will be lit in the fireplace.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 6 hours

In the morning you will once again enjoy the beauty of the Colle dell’Orso, called Magic Mountain by some. Your picnic lunch will be in the garden of a little church. In the afternoon the route descends, leading you back to civilisation. In the evening you leave the horses in a small riding stables before dining and spending the night at a cosy hotel. The journey takes about 20 minutes. Tonight, pizza is on the menu.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 6 hours

Today you are able to take it easy. First, you ride through Civitanova. Then you pass a valley where the river Trigno has been dammed. You follow the Trigno to Pescolanciano, climbing the hills that border on the forest Collemeluccio. This is one of the forests protected by UNESCO. The project is called Man and Biosphere (MAB). Worldwide UNESCO protects 254 forests. Four of them are located in Italy; two of which are in Molise.

The last few miles on horseback take you over open heathland and dense oakwood. At c. 5 pm you will arrive at Carmine’s farmhouse. Tonight you can enjoy more excellent wines and another delicious meal which will be your farewell dinner.

Day 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast.

N.B. Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the programme may have to be adapted.

Accommodation

3 nights at your host's comfortable farmhouse, 1 night in an Agriturismo, 2 nights in a simple mountain hut and 1 night at a hotel. The mountain hut has dormitory-style communal rooms (equipped with a shower). The bolder of you may wish to sleep outside with your horse!

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Riders must be reasonably fit and able to walk next to your horse over steep terrain. You must be able to walk, trot and canter and to mount and dismount unaided (this is easier to do in a western saddle than in an English saddle and should be relatively easy provided you are fit).

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

May 22, 2021 - May 29, 2021

July 3, 2021 - July 10, 2021

Pricing

2021 £895 $1245 €1050
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on the first day up to and including breakfast on the day of your departure, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, five and a half days riding (6-7 hours per day) with two English speaking guides, transport of your luggage between overnight stops and set time Isernia train station transfers on arrival and departure.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Drinks kitty €35
Paid locally
There is a kitty for drinks before meals of around 30-35 euros per person (payable locally).
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive on a late afternoon on Saturday and after a drink you can settle in. In the evening you will wine and dine with your hosts, who will cook a delicious three course Italian dinner always accompanied by delicious local wines.

Day 2

Riding: 3 hours

The morning is yours. You may sleep late, take your time over breakfast, or do whatever you like. Before lunch there is a safety briefing and  we groom and saddle up the horses - then there is a short demonstration in western riding. After lunch you do a test ride (3 hours) to enable you to get acquainted with the horse you are going to ride all week. Some riders like to ride different horses during the week, which is also possible.  We visit the new riding centre bistro owned by Carmine which is close by and we will enjoy a freshly prepared dinner.

Day 3

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

At about 10am the group leaves the house. After a long ride through a wood you reach many fields, where you can have a canter. Picnic is at an idyllic spot. After lunch there is a lovely view of the village of Vastogirardi. Then the route takes you through miles of beech woods. It ends in the Valle Fredda (Cold Valley). Here it is time for another long canter. In the evening we will enjoy another delicious dinner cooked by Carmine.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today you will ride pass the new riding centre and ride down to the village of Carovilli. We will tie up the horses and have a fresh aperitif in the Piazza. You will enjoy the atmosphere and the hustle bustle and gossip of the inhabitants. The next destination is Castiglione, a small town in the neighbourhood. On the top of the hill from Castiglione there is a ruined church which we can explore. The functioning bell still can be rung. The view from here looks down on  the valley of Carovilli.  After a delicious picnic, you will ride back to the farmhouse and in the late afternoon you can take time to enjoy yourself. You can relax with a book in one of the hammocks at the Bistro. By the cosy fireplace in the farmhouse you can find plenty of books to read, in English, Dutch or German. If you wish to go to the neighbouring town for a swim or visit the the castle in Pescolanciano, we can take you!

Day 5

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Today you will  cross a little river immediately followed by a steep adventurous climb. You will continue uphill along small paths with wild berry bushes left and right until the forest clears.  Here you will stop for a picnic. To the north you can see where the Abruzzo mountain starts. Then is it is just a short ride to Pietrabbondante (this literally means "plenty of stones"). You will visit a Roman theatre and the remains of two Samnitic temples. The Samnites were the original popular of Molise. It took the Romans three centuries of war before they finally conquered this region which then became part of the Roman Empire (79BC)  It is time to ride back home.

Day 6

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After breakfast you will ride downhill in the direction of Pescolanciano. Shortly before the village you will pass the Tratturo. This is a  2000 year old track that is still used to move cattle from the far south where grass is scarce in summer. From here there is a good view of the old castle from the village. Before arriving in the village there will be some canters through the fields. Lunch is served in a little restaurant. The owner is well known for her home made ice cream.   And now get your swimsuits out!  You can go swimming!  Next to the resting place of the horses there is a little pool which was build a few years ago and here you can relax.  The last few miles on horse back take you over open heath land and dense oak woods. At about 6 pm you will be back at the farmhouse, you will unsaddle your horse for the last time and enjoy another delicious dinner.

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast.

Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances the programme may have to be adapted.

Accommodation

Accommodation is at the comfortable farmhouse with shared rooms.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Novice, Intermediate to experienced riders

Minimum group size 3
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

May 8, 2021 - May 14, 2021

July 17, 2021 - July 23, 2021

At any time during: Aug. 1, 2021 - Aug. 31, 2021

At any time during: Nov. 1, 2021 - April 1, 2022

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£640 $885 €750
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, full board meals, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, 4.5 days of riding and return set-time transfer to/from Isernia train station in time for pick up at 17.45 and departure at 09.00.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Drinks €35
Paid locally
There is a kitty for drinks before meals of 30-35 euros per person
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.