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Sicily Explorer

Overview

These adventurous riding holidays are the perfect way to experience Sicily. You will usually be riding with Alex, one of Sicily's most knowledgeable riding guides, on multi-day trail rides through different parts of the island (depending on which route you book). Riders will spend full days in the …

Highlights

  • Follow trails through spectacular Sicilian landscapes
  • Marvel at the majestic active volcano, Mount Etna
  • Long hours in the saddle across some tricky terrain
  • Enjoy delicious Italian food, and plenty of it!
  • Learn from an experienced and passionate local guide

Essential Facts

  • 6 itineraries available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 85kg / 187 lbs / 13st 5lbs

Description

These adventurous riding holidays are the perfect way to experience Sicily. You will usually be riding with Alex, one of Sicily's most knowledgeable riding guides, on multi-day trail rides through different parts of the island (depending on which route you book). Riders will spend full days in the saddle riding through the beautiful landscapes of this special island and learning about its history. Alex is ably supported by his partner Lizzie - she is from the UK and has ridden trails all around the world but fell in love with this magnificent island. She guides some of the trails as well and provides logistical support when needed.

During these exciting multi-day trails you will move between accommodations, spending long hours in the saddle, riding through different national parks and exploring varied landscapes. These trails are generally suitable for fit riders as the hours are sometimes long and there is some challenging terrain, although some routes are trickier than others and we are happy to advise on which option will suit you best. Please keep in mind that single rooms are limited at what are often small, country accommodations and whilst we do offer single room prices, it is much appreciated if you would consider sharing a twin room with another rider.

Both Holly and Cathy from our team have ridden with Alex (owner) and would be happy to tell you more about their great experience of Sicily. You can be assured of a great horseback adventure and wonderful Sicilian hospitality!

"To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is to not have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Horses & Riding

Tack

Mostly English but western saddles are available on request.

Horses

All the horses are Sicilian bred and are mostly Sicilian indigenous breeds crossed with Arabs. They live out all year round and are hardy and sure-footed. The horses are trained to be forward-going and energetic, but obedient and well behaved. They are the heart of the team and are treated with the utmost care and respect.

Riding

There are 6 itineraries:

  • Wild Sicily Trail is a trail ride
  • Coast to Coast Trail is a trail ride
  • Deep Sicily is a trail ride
  • Sicilian Odyssey is a trail ride
  • Madonie Trail is a trail ride
  • Residential Programme is a based ride

Ages

16+

Health

A good level of fitness is required for all trails. Some, such as the "Wild Sicily", will include long sections where it is necessary to dismount and lead your horse up or down very steep shingle tracks. You do need to be a very fit and active person for some of the routes.

Weight

85kg / 187 lbs / 13st 5lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Guests will enjoy typical Sicilian cooking during the rides - this includes a buffet-style breakfast and a dinner comprising several courses, accompanied by local wine. The food here is fresh, traditional and absolutely delicious.

Lunches may be a proper picnic brought in the support vehicle and laid out on a table - this generally includes local produce such as cheeses, meats, salads and bread with soft drinks and some local wine. If you are riding in a more remote area, such as on the slopes of Etna, then you may have to settle for something more simple such as a sandwich from your saddlebag.

Accommodation

During the trail rides, guests will stay in guesthouses, agriturismo or hotels along the trail route. Mostly they are rural houses of around 3* level and are simple but clean, comfortable and generally have en suite bathrooms. They all serve traditional cuisine.

The accommodations are selected for their locations and authenticity so some are smarter than others.

Itineraries

Wild Sicily Trail Standard accommodation.

Coast to Coast Trail Standard accommodation.

Deep Sicily Standard accommodation.

Sicilian Odyssey Standard accommodation.

Madonie Trail Standard accommodation.

Residential Programme Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

As these are point to point trail rides, there will not be much time to add in other activities during the riding day. However, some of the itineraries do include opportunities to visit interesting natural or historical sites located close to the trail route. Your guide Alex is incredibly knowledgeable and no doubt will have some great facts and explanations for you when these opportunities do arise.

Sicily itself is a beautiful and diverse island that has been influenced both from a historical and gastronomical sense by a variety of ancient cultures over the centuries. As a result, it is a colourful, vibrant and deeply complicated place which we would highly recommend planning to spend a few extra days exploring if you are able to!

Travel

This destination offers several different trail routes, many of which start and finish at different points. The nearest airport depends on which trail you book:

- Tour of Etna Trail: arrival and departure Catania
- Wild Sicily Trail (formerly Cefalu-Etna): arrival Palermo and departure Catania
- Coast to Coast Trail: arrival and departure Palermo
- Madonie Trail: arrival and departure Palermo
- Deep Sicily: arrival Palermo and departure Catania

Your flights should arrive/depart within the window of 11am - 5pm.

Testimonials

Becca & Glenna, Oct. 18, 2023

This was the most physically challenging ride we've ever experienced. We knew going in that there would be long days in the saddle and necessary handwalking. The terrain is steep and often very rocky making for tricky walking. The horses were certainly more sure-footed than were we! Some areas were quite nerve-wracking, and we are so very proud of ourselves for accomplishing and enjoying this challenging ride! The food was amazing! Four courses at each dinner was so much, and it was difficult to resist as we wanted to try everything. The picnics were perfect...lush, colorful salads accompanied by local salami-type meat and local cheeses. One day the ricotta was still warm fresh from the farm! Renzo ensured that we wanted for nothing on those picnics! We loved our horses! Glenna's mare Mora was the perfect fit...she was just the right temperament and set the perfect pace. And I loved my boy, Lupo. He's sassy, but not too much, and was a willing and lovely partner for the week!


Judy M., Oct. 17, 2023

Excellent in all aspects - horses, food, accommodation, guiding and hosting were all fabulous. Alex was our guide for the week and his knowledge of the area and Sicily in general is very impressive. A good balance of history, wild life, fauna and flora. He always told us where we were going and was clear about when a change of pace was about to happen.


Lorraine G., Sept. 27, 2023

We had a wonderful time. The countryside was stunning and unexpectedly really mountainous and green due to a very wet month preceding our visit - lucky for us not so much for the people that went in May! Alex was incredibly knowledgeable and excited to share the history of his homeland.


Sue G., Sept. 14, 2022

Amazing scenery that wouldn’t be accessible in any other way. Very tough terrain and endurance-challenging riding. There was an interesting mix of different types of accommodation, and all the food was excellent. The picnic lunches were really good and made an enjoyable stop. (Favourite memory?) Circling the crater of Etna - terrifying at the time, but brilliant afterwards.


Julian & Alice, May 13, 2022

Friendly and helpful hosts. Lovely horses. Amazing scenery and beautiful wildflowers. Spring in Nebrodi is fabulous.


Ilena, Feb. 18, 2020

The best riding holiday i've ever been on. An amazing experience with spectacular scenery on fantastic horses the most enjoyable week with a great group of very good horse riders, everything was excellent. Mount Etna - breathtaking views at the end of a an extremely varied week, better than anything I expected or imagined.


Yvonne, Oct. 18, 2019

Words can’t fully express my holiday adventure... It was truly wonderful, fabulous and everything else !!


Kate & Peter, Oct. 20, 2018

A real adventure with fabulous food, good horses and stunning scenery. Favourite memory - galloping through the forest tracks of Nebrodi. Alex was conscientious, knowledgeable, thorough and generally excellent


Veronica S. (Coast to Coast)., Aug. 8, 2018

Great trail! Full of challenging routes and amazing sceneries; fantastic food throughout; Alex, Alberto and Riccardo top guides and entertainers. the tack used was one of the best I have ever used! Ash, my steed, was an amazing horse and reactive when needed, otherwise, he was Mr. Cool. (Favourite memory?) Canter at sunset towards Aragona; diving in the swimming pools at dusk after the rides and the chats at dinner with the group.


Sarah and Pablo, March 23, 2018

We have had the most amazing time which exceeded all our expectations! The authenticity of Francesco and Alex and their passion for all things Sicilian permeates every aspect of this wonderful trail ride and for those looking for something “different” and away from the crowds we cannot recommend it enough.


Glenys R. (2nd visit), Nov. 2, 2017

"Overall, how did you find the holiday?" Simple - it was amazing! Alex was brilliant. Don't think it could be improved.
"Would you book another riding holiday with us in the future?" Yes, probably back to Sicily for a third time!


Sarah C., May 30, 2017

Excellent - one of the best rides that I have done!


Jenny S., April 25, 2017

Just letting you know that I had the most amazing holiday with Alex in Sicily last week! It was beyond my expectations from start to finish. Alex and Attila were wonderful guides and such knowledgable horsemen. Our group bonded really well and we had so many laughs along the way. Most importantly the horses were fabulous - so nimble and forward going and very well cared for and trained by Alex. After the wonderful Sicilian food I'm now back on salads for a while!!


Andrea T., May 16, 2016

An amazing experience. Lovely horses, stunning scenery, an expert guide and loads of wonderful local food and wine.


Paula M., May 16, 2016

Fantastic - could not fault a single thing. The whole experience surpassed everything I was expecting. The whole trip was amazing - the horses, the scenery, food, hotels and guides - so many memories, cannot choose a favourite!


Russell C., Nov. 4, 2015

Alex is a fantastic guide, he has a really deep knowledge of Sicily's cultural history as well as its natural beauty. He was also great with the horses. He was very attentive to all our needs, we felt safe and in good hands at all times and he had a real passion for Sicily (as well as horses!).


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Transfer from the airport to Casa Il Bosco, a charming restored nineteenth century country house immersed in the wild countryside of the Madonie National Park. Enjoy a dinner of local produce before your first nights sleep.

Day 2 - Il Bosco - Casalvacchio

Riding: 7 hours

After breakfast you will be suitably matched to a horse, tack will be checked and you will be made aware of the characteristics of your particular horse. At approximately 8.30am the trail begins through dense mediterranean vegetation with beautiful views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Pass close to the town of Castelbuono and stop for a picnic lunch before riding up the valley of the river Pollina, one of the most fascinating, wild, panoramic and least known areas of Sicily, between the territories of Castelbuono, San Mauro Castelverde and Geraci Siculo. Ride along enchanting forgotten pathways to reach the Agriturismo Casalvecchio where you spend the night.

Day 3 - Casalvecchio - Monte Soprano

Riding: 7 hours

Set out about 9am and ride along an old "trazzera" (transhumance road dating back to at least the Bourbons) which passes the boundary between the three provinces of Palermo, Enna and Messina, reaching an altitude of about 1200m before passing directly under the huge blades of a wind farm. Descend into the woods of the 'Sambughetti-Campanito' reserve, where you will eat your picnic. In the afternoon you continue into the territory of Nicosia and Cerami, following a steep path through a cork forest, before reaching the agriturismo Monte Soprano (with pool) set on the slopes of the Nebrodi Mountains, where you will enjoy a delicious dinner and stay the night.

Day 4 - Monte Soprano - Villa Miraglia

Riding: 7 hours

Today you enter into the heart of Nebrodi Park, riding along the famous 'Ridge of Nebrodi' - this is a long, dirt track which runs between forests and high mountain pastures. Nebrodi is a charming area which offers incredible views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aeolian Islands to one side, with the Sicilian hinterland provides of Enna, Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Siracusa, Catania and Etna to the other side. Alex will lead you through the beech woods in the territory of San Fratello which is famous for its horse breed which is very hardy and has a large, strong head. It's possible to see them grazing in the wild. 

Lunch today is taken in a small clearing in the shade of the trees, close to a water source (Nocita). In the afternoon you will reach the Relais Villa Miraglia where you will eat a great dinner of local Nebrodi produce.

Day 5 - Villa Miraglia - Monte Colla

Riding: 8 hours

This is arguably the most beautiful part of the trail - over 40 kms in the wild and green territory, riding along the 'Dorsale dei Nebrodi'. You will come to the Lake Maulazzo which is overlooked by Mount Soro, the highest peak in the Nebrodi (1847m) and covered by impressive beech woods. The trail comes next to the famous lake Biviere di Cesarò which is a stop-off for migratory birds. Riding along the 'Dorsale' brings you from lush forests into beautiful clearings which offer views of the Aeolian Islands to the north and to the majestic peak of Mount Etna to your south. Your afternoon ride will bring you to Monte Colla, the most isolated farmhouse in the island dating back to the 18th century and now converted into an agriturismo. It is an ancient aristocratic residence situated at about 1400m high in the territory of Randazzo. You will be tired but no doubt feeling satisfied, ready to enjoy a wonderful traditional Sicilian meal cooked with local fresh produce.

Day 6 - Monte Colla - Malvagna

Riding: 8 hours

After breakfast leave around 8am and enter the surrounding woods again to descend into the valley where the source of the Alcantara river is found. Then climb up towards the town of Floresta (the highest commune on the island at 1273m) before following the crest of the mountains to reach the megalithic site of Argimusco which was recently added to the UNESCO list. Stop here for a picnic lunch and in the afternoon ride down through the centuries old wood of Malabotta to reach the typical village of Malvagna which looks out towards Etna. Have dinner and spend the night at the B&B Arco dei Sogni.

Day 7 - Malvagna - Etna North

Riding: 7 hours

Today you will leave at 8.00 to ride through the village of Malvagna before descending in the valley of the Alcantara river which you cross near the little gorges of Malvagna. You then begin the climb up the northern slopes of Mount Etna, stopping for a picnic and continuing to climb up through woods and lava flows to reach Rifugio Timpa Rossa at 1844m. Depending on the season and conditions you may continue to climb up to the craters from the last major eruption in 2002. You'll have dinner and overnight at Rifugio Ragabo immersed in a majestic forest of larix pines.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your journey home.

Accommodation

Accommodation is in good quality 3 star hotels and guesthouses.

Experience Experienced

Experienced, FIT riders. You need to be able to ride at all paces and for long hours, comfortable with covering a variety of different terrain. This is the most challenging trail at this destination with several days of 7+ hours riding - you should be fit for long days in the saddle and able to stand in the stirrups to canter and to go up hills.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

May 3, 2024 - May 10, 2024

June 15, 2024 - June 22, 2024

Aug. 24, 2024 - Aug. 31, 2024

Oct. 12, 2024 - Oct. 19, 2024

Pricing

2024
Single room
£1845 $2340 €2160
2024
Sharing twin/double room
£1625 $2060 €1895
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals, drinks with meals including wine or soft drinks, 6 days of riding & set-time transfers from Palermo on arrival and to Catania on departure.
Not included Flights, additional drinks, travel insurance, tips & other personal expenses.
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 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Guests will arrive at Casa Il Bosco, a charming restored nineteenth-century country house immersed in the wild countryside of the Madonie National Park, with breathtaking views of the island's north coast and the Aeolian Islands. Enjoy dinner prepared with local produce and spend the night here.

Day 2 - Il Bosco - Rifugio Marini

Riding: 7 hours

After breakfast, you will be assigned your horse for the trail, then depart from Casa Il Bosco at approximately 8.30 am. The ride begins with a beautiful climb through wild Mediterranean vegetation and woods with fantastic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Continue through woods of holm oak, cork and downy oak to the territory of Isnello, a small medieval mountain village. After a picnic lunch, you start your ascent of Sicily's second-highest mountain Pizza Carbonara (1979m). Continue riding through oak, holm and beech trees to Piano Battaglia, a mountain station located in the heart of Madonie Park. Here you will dine on typical produce and spend the night at Rifugio Marini.

Day 3 - Rifugio Marini - Feudo Catuso

Riding: 7 hours

Breakfast and departure at around 08:30 am. Today you follow a route through the mountains in the heart of Madonie to reach high altitudes from where you will begin to see Sicily's interior. Descend towards the historic town of Polizzi Generosa and stop for a picnic lunch before continuing along ancient trazzere (old routes used for livestock) to reach Agriturismo Feudo Catuso, an old farmstead dating from the 13th century which has been renovated. Enjoy another dinner made with local produce and spend the night.

Day 4 - Feudo Catuso - Mappa

Riding: 7 hours

Breakfast and departure at around 08.30 am. Todays trail takes you into the heart of Sicily's interior, its "breadbasket" since time immemorial, which is crisscrossed by trazerre. You will pass by the Sanctuary of our lady of Bilici which lies at Sicily's geographical centre and then by Marianopoli railway station, and through endless fields of wheat and hay to reach Mappa, the former residence of the Princes of Spadafora, which also has a swimming pool. There will be a sumptuous dinner before bed.

Day 5 - Mappa - Aragona

Riding: 7 - 8 hours

Breakfast and departure from Mappa at approximately 8 am. Your trail starts through the fields towards the picturesque and ancient village of Sutera, considered one of the oldest settlements in mankind's history and featuring several examples of prehistoric living. Continue on through the beautiful Monte Conca nature reserve to reach the Platani river valley, one of western Sicily's major watercourses. Stop for a picnic lunch and continue your ride through the woodland and open fields to reach Agriturismo Principe di Aragona, a restored farmhouse with a pool. Dinner and overnight.

Day 6 - Aragona - La Casa di Bacco

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Breakfast and departure at around 08.30 am to ride through rolling agricultural land to arrive at the small, typical village of Joppolo Giancaxio where you stop for a picnic lunch. Continue riding towards the small town of Giardina Gallotti and through vineyards and olive groves to reach your accommodate at La Casa di Bacco. Time to relax beside the pool in the afternoon or go on an excursion to the Valley of the Temples before enjoying a rich dinner with the hotel's wine.

Day 7 - La Casa di Bacco - Luna Minoica

Riding: 7 hours

Breakfast and departure at around 08:30 am. Today is an impressive route through the countryside of Agrigento, predominantly cultivated with olive and almond groves and with sweeping views of the Mediterranean coast. Stop for a picnic lunch near the town of Realmonte and continue to the Torre Salsa coastal reserve, one of the most beautiful and best-preserved coastlines in Sicily. Your adventure ends on one of the reserves beautiful beaches. Dinner on the beach, just a short walk from Luna Minoica, a high-quality hotel where you spend the night.

Day 8 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport.

Accommodation

Accommodation will be provided in a range of comfortable hotels, country homes and villas along the trail route. The stops are chosen for their character, unique situation and Sicilian authenticity. Most offer twin and double bedrooms (unless a single room is specified) and some have swimming pools for guests to enjoy on warm sunny days.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Strong Intermediate and above with good fitness. You need to be capable of riding at all paces, covering a range of terrain and riding for long hours. You will sometimes need to walk and lead your horse and you must be able to stand in the stirrups to canter and to go up hills.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

April 6, 2024 - April 13, 2024

Oct. 26, 2024 - Nov. 2, 2024

Pricing

2024
Single room
£1845 $2340 €2160
2024
Sharing twin/double room
£1625 $2060 €1895
Included 7 nights of twin/double room accommodation, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, table wine with lunches and dinners, 6 days of riding and transportation of luggage, set-time transfers from Palermo airport.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, extra drinks, tips and other personal expenses.
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 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Transfer from the airport and arrive at Casa Il Bosco, a charming restored nineteenth century country house immersed in the wild countryside of the Madonie National Park, with breathtaking views of the islands north coast and the Aeolian Islands. Delicious dinner prepared using local produce.

Day 2 - Casa Il Bosco - Casalvecchio

Riding: 7 hours

After breakfast, you will be assigned your horse for the trail before setting off from Casa "Il Bosco" at around 8.30. Begin the day riding through dense mediterranean vegetation with beautiful views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. You will pass close to the town of Castelbuono and stop for a picnic lunch, before riding up the valley of the River Pollina, one of the most fascinating, wild, panoramic and least known areas of Sicily, between the territories of Castelbuono, San Mauro Castelverde and Geraci Siculo. Ride along enchanting and forgotten pathways to reach Agriturismo Casalvecchio, an old farm dating from the eighteenth century, which has been restored, immersed in the green hills of the River Rainò valley. Spend the night here and enjoy a delicious dinner prepared with produce straight from the farm.

Day 3 - Casalvecchio - Baglio San Pietro

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast, you leave Casalvecchio at around 8.30 in the morning. Begin by riding along a “trazzera” (an old pathway used for transporting goods and animals across the island) in the direction of Gangi, a hilltop town of ancient and mysterious origin. After passing below Gangi, ride through mountain pastures with beautiful views across the surrounding countryside, to reach the Bosco di Sperlinga, a natural forest, where you stop for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, you ride on to the village of Sperlinga, a fascinating place characterised by troglodyte dwellings, some of which are still in use today, and its unique castle, which is carved into the rock. Visit the village and its castle, before a short ride to reach Baglio San Pietro, a restored farmstead dating from the seventeenth century and equipped with a swimming pool, where you will have dinner and spend the night. Your accommodation sits on the edge of the town of Nicosia, one of the most important towns in the province of Enna.

Day 4 - Baglio San Pietro - Agira

Riding: 7 hours

After breakfast, set off at around 8.30 in the morning. Begin the day by descending into the valley of the Salso Cimarosa River, which you follow, immersed in unspoilt nature and surrounded by the impressive peaks of the Erean Mountains. Stop for a picnic lunch and continue to follow the wild valley to reach the territory of Agira, an interesting town of ancient origin perched on a hilltop, with breathtaking views of the island's interior. You will have dinner and spend the night here.

Day 5 - Agira - Raddusa

Riding: 6 hours

Set off from Agira at about 8.30 in the morning and cross rolling hills, riding through endless fields of grain and forage. You will reach the breath-taking and little-known Castello di Pietratagliata, a castle perched precariously atop a jagged rock, first documented in the fourteenth century, whose origins are shrouded in mystery and legend. Stop here for a picnic lunch, before riding on through rolling farmland to reach your accommodation for the night in the territory of Raddusa. Dinner and overnight.

Day 6 - Raddusa - Torre di Renda

Riding: 6 hours

Set off at about 8.30 in the morning and ride through beautiful farmland to reach the site of Morgantina, one of the largest archaeological sites in Sicily, which was a city founded by the island’s Sicel populations. Stop for a picnic lunch and visit the site. In the afternoon, you will ride through rolling fields, climbing to take in beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, reaching as far as Mount Etna on a clear day. You then continue along sandy tracks through woods of eucalyptus and pine to reach Torre di Renda, an old structure which was formerly the local bishop’s residence, equipped with a swimming pool, in the territory of the famous medieval town of Piazza Armerina. Rich dinner and overnight.

Day 7 - Torre di Renda - Agriturismo Il Mandorleto

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast, you depart at around 8.00 in the morning and descend a scenic valley to arrive after about one hour at the Villa Romana del Casale, one of the most important historical sites in Sicily and boasting around 3500m² of spectacular mosaics dating from the fourth century. After visiting the Villa Romana, you ride north through rolling farmland and stop for a picnic lunch in the woods. In the afternoon, you will ride through peaceful eucalyptus forests and reach the Lake of the Olivo Dam. Continue through woods, followed by rolling fields of wheat and hay, to reach Agriturismo Il Mandorleto, based in an old agricultural hamlet and famous for its production of almonds, one of the most important ingredients in Sicily's culinary tradition. Delicious dinner and overnight.

Day 8 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport

Accommodation

Accommodation will be provided in a range of comfortable hotels, country homes and agriturismo along the trail route. The stops are chosen for their character, unique situation and Sicilian authenticity. Most offer twin and double bedrooms (a limited number of single rooms may be available on payment of a supplement) and some have swimming pools for guests to enjoy on warm sunny days.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Strong Intermediate and above with good fitness. You need to be capable of riding at all paces, covering a range of terrain and riding for long hours. You will sometimes need to walk and lead your horse and you must be able to stand in the stirrups to canter and to go up hills.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

April 20, 2024 - April 27, 2024

Sept. 28, 2024 - Oct. 5, 2024

Pricing

2024
Single room
£1845 $2340 €2160
2024
Sharing twin/double room
£1625 $2060 €1895
Included 7 nights of twin/double room accommodation, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, table wine with lunches and dinners, 6 days of riding and transportation of luggage, set-time airport transfers from Palermo on arrival and to Catania on departure.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, extra drinks, tips and other personal expenses.
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 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive at Casa "Il Bosco", a charming restored nineteenth century country house, immersed in the wild countryside of the Madonie Park, with breathtaking views of the island's north coast and the Aeolian Islands. You will enjoy a dinner prepared with local produce and spend the night here.

Day 2 - Casa “Il Bosco” - Casalvecchio

Riding: 7 hours

After breakfast you will be assigned your horse and set off from Casa “Il Bosco” at around 8.30. You will begin the day riding through dense mediterranean vegetation with beautiful views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. You will pass close to the town of Castelbuono and stop for a picnic lunch, before riding up the valley of the River Pollina, one of the most fascinating, wild, panoramic and least known areas of Sicily, between the territories of Castelbuono, San Mauro Castelverde and Geraci Siculo. You will ride along enchanting and forgotten pathways to reach Agriturismo Casalvecchio. You will spend the night here and enjoy a delicious dinner prepared with produce straight from the farm.

Day 3 - Casalvecchio - Baglio San Pietro

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast, you will leave Casalvecchio at around 8.30 in the morning. You will begin by riding along a “trazzera” (an old pathway used for transporting goods and animals across the island) in the direction of Gangi, a hilltop town of ancient and mysterious origin. After passing below Gangi, you will ride through mountain pastures with beautiful views across the surrounding countryside, to reach the Bosco di Sperlinga, a natural forest, where you will stop for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, you will ride on to the village of Sperlinga, a fascinating place characterised by troglodyte dwellings, some of which are still in use today, and its unique castle, which is carved into the rock. You will visit the village and its castle, before a short ride to reach Baglio San Pietro, a restored farmstead dating from the seventeenth century and equipped with a swimming pool, where you will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 4 - Baglio San Pietro - Le Querce di Cota

Riding: 7 hours

After breakfast you will leave Baglio San Pietro at around 8.30 in the morning. You will begin the day by descending into the valley of the Salso Cimarosa River, which you will then follow, immersed in unspoilt nature and surrounded by the impressive peaks of the Erean Mountains. You will stop for a picnic lunch and continue to follow the wild valley of the Salso Cimarosa, followed by the valley of the River Troina di Sotto, passing through the territories of Gagliano Castelferrato and Troina, historic hilltop towns of ancient origin. In the late afternoon you will arrive at Agriturismo Le Querce di Cota, a beautiful hotel with a swimming pool, where you will enjoy a delicious dinner prepared with homegrown organic produce and spend the night.

Day 5 - Le Querce di Cota - Fucina di Vulcano

Riding: 6 hours

You will have breakfast and set off at about 8.30 in the morning, following the valley of the River Troina di Sotto for a few hours. You will then climb through rolling farmland before descending into the valley of the Simeto River, at the foot of the great "Montagna", majestic Mount Etna. After a picnic lunch you will ride through the territory of Bronte, famous for its pistacchio production. You will ride around the edge of the town to arrive at La Fucina di Vulcano, a high quality hotel with a swimming pool and breathtaking views of Mount Etna. Dinner and overnight.

Day 6 - Fucina di Vulcano - Giardino di Efesto

Riding: 5 hours

After breakfast, you will leave La Fucina di Vulcano at around 8.30 in the morning and ride through the countryside of the territory of Bronte, before beginning our ascent on Etna's western slopes to reach the Pista Altomontana, which you will join in the vicinity of Monte Scavo and follow through forests of beech and conifer trees, crossing ancient and more recent lava flows. When visibility is good, you can enjoy breathtaking views of half of Sicily and Etna's summit from here, and it is also possible to enjoy some excellent gallops along this part of the trail. You will stop for a picnic lunch near the Galvarina refuge and arrive later in the afternoon at the Giardino di Efesto, a charming hotel immersed in the woods at 1700 metres of altitude, where you will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 7 - Giardino di Efesto - Feudo Magazzeni

Riding: 6 hours

You will have breakfast and set off at about 8:00 in the morning. You will ride through the area of Rifugio Sapienza to reach the impressive Silvestri craters, created during a major eruption at the end of the nineteenth century, and known as a "bottoniera" because they follow a fracture line like the buttons on a shirt, before descending through the area known as the Desert of Etna, so-called for its arid landscape and the absence of pathways that cross through it. You will then ride through woods of oak, green oak and chestnut trees, before arriving in the territory of Zafferana Etnea, famous for producing honey, before continuing on to your next accommodation, Feudo Magazzeni, a beautiful historic property, recently restored, in the territory of Sant'Alfio. Dinner and overnight.

Day 8 - Rest day

Riding: No riding.

A rest day for horses and riders. It is possible to book an excursion to the summit of Mount Etna (by jeep and on foot) or an Etna doc wine-tasting.

Day 9 - Feudo Magazzeni - Clan dei Ragazzi

Riding: 6 hours

You will have breakfast and set off at about 8.30 in the morning, beginning the day by climbing Etna's north-eastern side through forests of green oak (quercus ilex), amongst which you will find the famous Ilici du Carrinnu, a green oak which is centuries-old and of enormous dimensions. You will then ride along the edge of the Valle del Bove, a famous depression in the landscape into which flows the lava from almost all of the eruptions from Etna's southeast crater, the highest and most active of the volcano's craters. After a picnic lunch, you will climb to reach the impressive Sartorius craters, created during a major lateral eruption in 1865, before riding on through forests of birch, beech and larix pines, to the area of Piano Provenzana. Here you will begin to follow a series of pathways through a lunar landscape and pass through the site of Etna's last great lateral eruption in October 2002. You will ride along the 2002 lateral craters and pass Monte Nero and the Timpa Rossa refuge, immersed in enchanting beech woods, before crossing the 1928 lava flow to arrive at the Ragabo pine forest with its giant larix pines, in the midst of which sits Chalet Clan dei Ragazzi, where you will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 10 - Clan dei Ragazzi - Hotel Nebrodi

Riding: 7 hours

After breakfast you will set off at around 8.30 and begin the day following the Pista Altomontana until you reach the area of Monte Spagnolo, riding through very panoramic areas, including the lava flow from 1981 and its "Hornitos" (small holes that opened up during the eruption, whose name derives from the Spanish word for little ovens). You will then begin your descent on Etna's northwest slopes, riding through beautiful forests, to reach Randazzo, a famous a historic town, which you will ride through before beginning to climb Monte Colla, the first mountain in the chain of the Nebrodi peaks on the eastern side. In the late afternoon you will arrive at Hotel Nebrodi, the most isolated hotel on the island, housed in an eighteenth century aristocratic home. Here you will enjoy a delicious dinner prepared with local produce and spend the night.

Day 11 - Hotel Nebrodi - Villa Miraglia

Riding: 7 hours

You will have breakfast and set off at around 8.30, riding for the full day within the Nebrodi Park. From Monte Colla you will reach the famous "Dorsale" (a pathway following the ridge of the Nebrodi Mountains), which you will follow for almost 40km in the midst of a strikingly beautiful landscape, with lush forests giving way to clearings with panoramic views, glimpsing the Aeolian Islands to the north and the majestic peak of Mount Etna to the south. You will pass the lakes of Cartolari and Biviere, a resting place for migrating birds, and finally Lake Maulazzo, dominated by Monte Soro, the highest peak in the Nebrodi mountain range (at 1847 metres), covered in magnificent beech woods. Finally you will reach Villa Miraglia, a charming hotel in the very heart of the Nebrodi Park, where you will enjoy a rich dinner and spend the night.

Day 12 - Villa Miraglia - Monte Soprano

Riding: 7 hours

After breakfast, you will set off at about 8.00 in the morning and continue to follow the Dorsale through forests of beech and oak. In the afternoon, you will begin our descent from the Nebrodi Mountains, following wild and forgotten pathways, with spectacular views towards the centre of the island. In the late afternoon you will reach Monte Soprano, in the territory of Cerami, a large working farm and agriturismo equipped with a swimming pool, where you will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 13 - Monte Soprano - Al Convento

Riding: 7 hours

You will set off at 8.30 and leave the Nebrodi Park behind, entering the Sambughetti-Campanito Reserve, in the territory of Nicosia (province of Enna). As you leave the reserve you will stop for a picnic lunch, before riding on beneath the huge turbines of a wind farm, with breathtaking views of the island's north coast and the Madonie Mountains. In the afternoon you will arrive at the picturesque medieval village of San Mauro Castelverde, where you will have dinner and spend the night in a former Capuchin monastery transformed into a hotel.

Day 14 - Al Convento - Casa "Il Bosco"

Riding: 7 hours

You will have breakfast and set off at about 8.30, beginning the day by descending into the wild and beautiful valley of the River Pollina. After crossing the river you will stop for a picnic lunch near Castelbuono, before returning to the territory of Cefalù, where your adventure comes to an end where it began, at Casa "Il Bosco". Dinner and overnight.

Day 15 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Breakfast and transfer to the airport.

Accommodation

Accommodation is in good quality 3 star hotels and guesthouses.

Experience Experienced

Experienced, FIT riders. You need to be able to ride at all paces and for long hours, comfortable with covering a variety of different terrain. This is the most challenging trail at this destination with several days of 7+ hours riding - you should be fit for long days in the saddle and able to stand in the stirrups to canter and to go up hills.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

May 18, 2024 - June 1, 2024

Pricing

2024
Single Room
£3675 $4665 €4300
2024
Sharing Double/Twin Room
£3250 $4120 €3795
Included 14 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals, drinks with meals including wine or soft drinks, 12 days of riding & set-time transfers from Palermo on arrival and to Catania on departure.
Not included Flights, additional drinks, travel insurance, tips & other personal expenses.
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 at Casa Il Bosco, a charming restored nineteenth-century country house immersed in the wild countryside of the Madonie park with breathtaking views of the islands north coast and the Aeolian Islands. Enjoy dinner prepared with local produce and overnight here.

Day 2 - Il Bosco - Gole di Tiberio

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast, you will be assigned your horse for the trail and the group will set off at about 8.30 in the morning.  You will begin by riding through an area covered in Mediterranean brush with breathtaking views over the Tyrrhenian coast, You reach Castelbuono, the largest town in Madonie with around 10,000 inhabitants and the former seat of the Ventimiglia Barons who ruled for centuries over the entirety of the territory crossed during this trail. Have a picnic lunch in the shadow of the towns famous castle before enjoying a short visit to the historic centre. In the afternoon, ride through olive groves and woodland to reach the wild valley of the river Pollina. Enjoy a rich dinner and spend the night at Agricampeggio Gole di Tiberio, perched above the UNESCO Tiberio Gorges and with beautiful views along the valley.

Day 3 - Gole di Tiberio - Casalvecchio

Riding: 6 hours

You will have breakfast and leave at around 8:30 in the morning. Begin by descending to the river Pollina with beautiful views towards the high Madonie mountains. Your trail follows the River Pollina valley, one of the most fascinating, panoramic and least known areas of Sicily, between the territories of Castelbuono, San Mauro Castelverde and Geraci Siculo. Stop for a picnic lunch and continue along enchanting and forgotten pathways to reach Agriturismo Casalvecchio where you spend the night.

Day 4 - Casalvecchio - Rifugio Marini

Riding: 7 hours

After breakfast, you will set off at around 8.30 again this morning, riding along an ancient trazzera that follows the valley of the rivers Raino and Calabro, tributaries of the river Pollina on the eastern boundary of Madonie park. Ride along shepherds tracks through a wild and unspoilt area to reach the territory of Petralia Soprana, a town of medieval origin and the highest in the province of Palermo, from where you can admire beautiful views across most of Sicily. Have a picnic lunch in the woods before continuing to climb into the Madonie mountains, reaching Portela Madarini, an important crossroad between ancient transhumance routes through the mountains. Ride along paths and lanes through the park to arrive in the afternoon at Piano Battaglia for a rich dinner prepared with local produce.

Day 5 - Rifugio Marini - Giardino Donna Lavia

Riding: 6 hours

You will have breakfast and leave at around 8.30 am. Visit the Battaglietta, a depression in the landscape where all the meltwater gathers and then travels along underground tunnels to Cefalu. Then ride through the Vallone Madonna degli Angeli to admire the last remaining examples of the Nebrodi fir, the symbol of the park. Continue to the sanctuary of Madonna dell'Alto (1819m) - when visibility is good you can see most of the island from here. Then descend towards the territory of Polizzi Generosa, an important historical town, before continuing onto Giardino Donna Lavia which dates back to the fourteenth century and historically served as a watchtower, monastery and noble residence.

Day 6 - Giardino Donna Lavia - Casena Mongerrati

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast, set off from Giardino Donna Lavia at around 8.30 in the morning. Begin the day climbing up through forests of oak into the high Madonie Mountains to reach Portella Colla and Piano Cervi, an area of outstanding beauty where you can often spot wild deer. Stop for a packed lunch amidst the forests of Monte Cervi before descending through wild and rocky terrain into the territory of Collesano, an ancient village of Arab origin (Qal'at as-sirat). Finally, you arrive at Casena Mongerrati, equipped with a swimming pool, where you enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the night.

Day 7 - Casena Mongerrati - Casa Il Bosco

Riding: 7 hours

Have breakfast and leave Casena Mongerrati at around 8.30 in the morning, crossing the Mugerrati forest, which is dense with cork, holm oak and durmast trees. Ride on towards the territory of Isnello and stop for a picnic lunch, before climbing through the woods to reach the famous Sanctuary of Gibilmanna, a church and Franciscan monastery dedicated to the Virgin, the patron and protector of the diocese of Cefalù. Visit the sanctuary, which contains one of the most beautiful works by Gagini, a famous Renaissance Sicilian sculptor. Continue through dense Mediterranean vegetation, with beautiful views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aeolian Islands to return to your base, Casa "Il Bosco", where you will enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the night.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

Breakfast and departure.

Accommodation

Accommodation will be provided in a range of comfortable hotels, country homes and villas along the trail route. The stops are chosen for their character, unique situation and Sicilian authenticity. Most offer twin and double bedrooms (a limited number of single rooms may be available on payment of a supplement) and some have swimming pools for guests to enjoy on warm sunny days.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate to advanced - riders should be happy to ride at all paces over varied terrain, to spend long hours in the saddle and to dismount and lead their horse if required. You must be able to stand in the stirrups to canter and to go up hills.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

July 6, 2024 - July 13, 2024

Sept. 14, 2024 - Sept. 21, 2024

Pricing

2024
Single room
£1750 $2225 €2050
2024
Sharing twin/double room
£1530 $1940 €1790
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, drinks with meals (local wine and soft drinks), riding and luggage transportation, set-time transfers from Palermo airport.
Not included Flights, insurance, extra drinks, tips & other personal expenses.
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 be transferred from the airport to Casa "Il Bosco", a charming restored nineteenth century country house, immersed in the wild countryside of the Madonie Park, with breathtaking views of the island's north coast and the Aeolian Islands. Enjoy a welcome dinner prepared with local produce.

Day 2 - Sanctuary of Gibilmanna and Pizzo Sant'Angelo

Riding: 5 hours

An enchanting introduction to the local area and the territory of Cefalù. After breakfast, mount up and set off to begin the day by riding around and then to the summit of the highest mountain in the territory of Cefalù, Pizzo Sant'Angelo (1081 metres). When the weather is good, from here you can admire spectacular views of the high Madonie Mountains, the Tyrrhenian Coast from Palermo to Capo D'Orlando, the Aeolian Islands, and much more. Have a picnic lunch and visit the famous Sanctuary of Gibilmanna, before riding back to your base to enjoy a rich dinner prepared using local produce.

Day 3 - Wine Tasting

Riding: 5 hours

After breakfast you begin the day’s ride following an ancient trazzera (old paths used for transporting animals which date from the Bourbon era) in the direction of Castelbuono, one of the most famous villages of the Madonie area, with beautiful views towards the high Madonie Mountains. Before lunch, you reach the renowned vineyard of the Abbazia Santa Anastasia, a restored abbey, where you can enjoy a guided tour of the cellars, a tasting and a light lunch, before riding back to Casa "Il Bosco" in the afternoon.

Day 4 - Rural life and Cefalu

Riding: 5 hours

In the morning you ride to a local farm and get a real taste for Sicilian rural life, learning about how ricotta and local cheeses are made. You then return to your base via one of the most panoramic spots in the territory of Cefalù, with fantastic views towards Palermo on one side and the Nebrodi Mountains on the other. In the late afternoon you head down to the charming seaside town of Cefalù, where you will enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful historic centre and a delicious seafood dinner on the water's edge.

Day 5 - Madonie Mountains

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast you set off on a two-day trail into the high Madonie Mountains. The day will begin with a beautiful climb up through wild Mediterranean vegetation and woods, with fantastic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. After a picnic lunch, you begin your ascent on the northern slopes of Pizzo Carbonara, Sicily's second highest mountain at 1979 metres. Ride through lush forests of oak, holm oak and beech trees to reach Piano Battaglia, a mountain station located at the heart of the Madonie Park. Here you will enjoy a dinner prepared using typical local produce and spend the night at Rifugio Marini.

Day 6 - Madonie Mountains

Riding: 6 hours

Before leaving the heart of the Madonie Mountains you visit the Battaglietta, a depression in the landscape where all of the meltwater gathers and then travels along underground tunnels to Cefalù. Descend from the high mountains, riding through beautiful woodland to reach the territory of the characteristic village of Isnello. Stop for a picnic lunch, before returning in the afternoon to your base through wild and unspoilt vegetation, with beautiful views of the north coast.

Day 7 - Sant'Ambrogio Beach

Riding: 5 hours

On the last day of your stay, you ride through dense Mediterranean vegetation and small country lanes to the small, picturesque seaside village of Sant'Ambrogio, where you will visit a local oil press and enjoy an olive oil tasting. Depending on the weather and the time of year, you can take the horses down to the beach and enjoy a beach picnic, before riding back to your base in the afternoon, to enjoy a delicious final dinner.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast, transfers to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodation

Most nights are spent at Casa "Il Bosco", a charming restored nineteenth century country house, but there is one night out elsewhere for some adventure.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You should be at least an intermediate rider who is confident in all paces across varied terrain. You must be able to stand in the stirrups to canter and to go up hills.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

June 8, 2024 - June 15, 2024

June 29, 2024 - July 6, 2024

Sept. 7, 2024 - Sept. 14, 2024

Pricing

2024
Single room
£1580 $2005 €1850
2024
Sharing twin/double room
£1450 $1845 €1700
Included 7 nights accommodation, 6 days of riding, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, table wine with meals, set time transfers from/to Palermo airport.
Not included Flights, additional drinks, travel insurance, tips and other personal expenses.
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.