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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

  • 5 itineraries available
  • Max 10 riders per group
  • Average of 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198 lbs / 14 st 2 lbs

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 too.

During these exciting multi-day trails you will move between comfortable 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.

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 5 itineraries:

  • Tour of Etna is a trail ride
  • Wild Sicily Trail (formerly Cefalu to Etna Trail) is a trail ride
  • Coast to Coast Trail is a trail ride
  • Madonie Trail is a trail ride
  • Deep Sicily is a trail 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.

Weight

90kg / 198 lbs / 14 st 2 lbs

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

Tour of Etna Standard accommodation.

Wild Sicily Trail (formerly Cefalu to Etna Trail) Standard accommodation.

Coast to Coast Trail Standard accommodation.

Madonie Trail Standard accommodation.

Deep Sicily 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

Testimonials

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 in time for dinner and overnight in Castiglione di Sicilia.

Day 2 - Castiglione di Sicilia - A Barunissa

Riding: 5 hours

Breakfast and departure at around 9:00 am. You will begin by heading in the direction of the river Alcantara, toward the small gorges at Castiglione. Passing by the Byzantine Cuba (place of worship from the VII century), you will follow the paths up the valley and through the Parco fluviale dell'Alcantara. After a full morning, you will reach the area surrounding Mojo Alcantara, where there will be a picnic lunch set up and awaiting your arrival. An enjoyable rest here and then back in the saddle to head to your accommodation for the night, A Barunissa, which is immersed in woods. Dinner and overnight.

Day 3 - A Barunissa - La Fucina di Vulcano

Riding: 5 hours

Breakfast and an early departure at around 8:30 am. Today you will begin to ascend the north-east slope of the volcano, Etna, through forests of oak, chestnut, beech and Sicilian brooms (genista aetnensis). This highly perfumed species of tree flowers between May and September, filling the slopes of Etna with its heady aromas and can be recognised at this time by its wonderful yellow flowers and considerable size. Coming up above the trees, you will reach the Pista Altomontana (the high mountain paths), near the mount of Santa Maria. You will continue to follow the tracks up to the mount of Spagnolo, passing through the lava fields left behind by the eruption of 1981. Here you will spot the "Hornitos" (from the Spanish "little ovens") that look like small mouths which open up during the violent eruption. You will find a sheltered place to enjoy your picnic, with an amazing view over - seemingly - all of Sicily, before again descending from the western slope towards tonight's accommodation. La Fucina di Vulcano is a very comfortable hotel that offers magnificent views of the western slopes of Etna. Dinner and overnight.

Day 4 - La Fucina di Vulcano - Villa Dorata

Riding: 5 hours

Breakfast and another early departure from our hotel at around 8:30 am. Again, you will start the day by heading uphill from the western leg of the Pista Altomontana to reach the mount of Scavo. From here you will pass through a succession of charming beech and conifer forests, reaching yet more recent lava flows. On the days of good visibility, you can enjoy breathtaking views over Sicily and then onwards along the high western slope of Etna, where you can have some nice gallops. You will take your picnic lunch near the mountain refuge of Galvarina. Then, riding through the afternoon, you will reach your fourth accommodation of the trip, Villa Dorata. This is a beautiful small villa overlooking the Gulf of Catania and the mediterranean sea. Dinner and overnight.

Day 5 - Villa Dorata - Etna Mille77

Riding: 6 hours

Following breakfast you will have a very early departure from Villa Dorata today, at around 7:30am. You will start by crossing a reserved area known as the ​​"Rifugio Sapienza", where you will be able to visit the Silvestri Craters (large lateral craters born during a major eruption in the late XIX century). You will then start to descend through the "Desert of Etna", so called because of the harshness of the territory and absence of any marked trails running through it. Finally you will return to the tree line and then through forests of oaks, holm and chestnut trees, before reaching the village of Zafferana Etnea, famous for its production of honey. Here you will also find your next accommodation at the B&B Etna Mille77, a beautiful house with sea views. Dinner and overnight.

Day 6 - Etna Mille77 - Chalet Clan dei Ragazzi

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast, you will enjoy a relatively leisurely departure at around 9:00 am. Starting off by climbing back up the slopes from the east side of Etna, through predominantly oak forests with the inclusion of the famous "Ilici du Carrinnu", an amazingly large oak tree specimen that is believed to be around 700 years old! You will pass along the edge of the Valle del Bove, a great gorge on the eastern slope of the mountain which channels the flow of lava during eruptions. You will enjoy a picnic lunch up on the slopes, before mounting up and resuming your journey uphill to the Sartorius Craters. These fantastic scars on the landscape were created during a large flank eruption in 1865 and now forms an interesting piece of geological marvel. Finally, you will begin to head down from the slopes, through forests of birch and beech and arrive in the Pineta Ragabo, with its great umbrella-like pine trees (pinus larix). Here is also located your accommodation for the night, Chalet Clan dei Ragazzi. Dinner and overnight.

Day 7 - Chalet Clan dei Ragazzi - Castiglione di Sicilia

Riding: 6 hours

Breakfast followed by departure from the chalet at around 9:00 am. Today you will begin again by ascending through the pine forests of the lower slopes until you reach Piano Provenzana - a renowned ski resort in the winter months. Here you will climb yet further, following a set of tracks and paths through an almost lunar landscape. This plateau was the scene of the last major eruption of Etna, back in 2002. The craters you will ride along up here were only created in October of that year following ongoing ground movements on this side of the Volcano. You will continue along the camber of the craters until you loop around to mount Nero. Here you will stop in a sheltered place to enjoy a picnic lunch, near the refuge of Timpa Rossa. You'll find yourself completely immersed in one of the most southerly beech forests of the hemisphere, before beginning the descent from the northern side of Etna. Winding down through mixed deciduous forests, up through vineyards near Solicchiata, to finally arrive back at the home base in Castiglione di Sicilia. Dinner and overnight.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

Breakfast and departure for the airport or onward travel.

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 and experienced riders with good fitness. You will need to be happy riding over challenging terrain and at great heights. The pace is not overly fast (mainly walking due to the terrain) although there are opportunities for plenty of trots and canters along the route.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

July 9, 2022 - July 16, 2022

Sept. 3, 2022 - Sept. 10, 2022

Pricing

2022
Sharing double/twin
£1485 $1880 €1750
2022
Single room
£1700 $2150 €2000
Single room price has to be paid if there is nobody for you to share with (or if you are not willing to share a room and would prefer to pay the extra).
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals with local wine, beer and soft drinks, 6 days of guided riding and support vehicle, return Catania airport transfers.
Not included Flights, extra 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.

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 rider with good fitness. 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 up for an adventure! Riders joining in late October/November should be of an especially adventurous spirit, fit to ride long hours, in any kind of weather and happy to start early each day so as to get the riding done before dark.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

April 30, 2022 - May 7, 2022

May 28, 2022 - June 4, 2022

June 18, 2022 - June 25, 2022

July 2, 2022 - July 9, 2022

Aug. 27, 2022 - Sept. 3, 2022

Oct. 29, 2022 - Nov. 5, 2022

Pricing

2022
Single room
£1750 $2215 €2060
2022
Sharing twin/double room
£1535 $1945 €1810
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals, drinks with meals including wine, beer 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 - Piano Battaglia

Riding: 7 - 8 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. You pass the famous sanctuary of Gibilmanna, an ancient place of worship where 'Our Lady' is venerated and 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.

Day 3 - Piano Battaglia - Feudo San Giorgio

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. Pass the Sanctuary of Madonna dell'Alto at 1819m, the highest sanctuary to the Virgin Mary in the world, before beginning your descent. Today's picnic will be near Nociazzi, in the region of Castellana Sicula, and the afternoon ride continues on trazzere (old routes used for livestock) to reach Feudo San Giorgio, a renovated 19th-century farmstead with a pool where you will enjoy another local dinner and spend the night.

Day 4 - Feudo San Giorgio - Mappa

Riding: 7 - 8 hours

Breakfast and departure at around 08.30 am. Descend towards the southern part of the Imera River on the western boundary of Madonie Park, which you cross before climbing up the other side of the valley. The 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 with walking through the fields towards the picturesque and ancient village of Sutera,  considered one of the oldest known in mankind's history and featuring several examples of prehistoric living. The route crosses and stops in the village before taking you to the Platani river valley, one of western Sicily's major watercourses, and through Monte Conca nature reserve. You will eat your picnic and ride on through the valley until your next stop at the farm Principe di Aragona, another old restored property with a pool. Dinner and overnight.

Day 6 - Aragona - Agrigento

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Breakfast and departure at around 08.30 am in the direction of Agrigento, the ancient Akragas of the Greeks, founded in 580 BC by the people of Rhodes and Crete. After crossing the agricultural area near Aragona you will arrive at the Macalube di Aragona, a fascinating methane gas outcrop that has created small craters by carrying clay up from the depths of the earth. You will ride on towards Passo dei Briganti in the territory of Agrigento where you stop for lunch and have time to relax. In the late afternoon, you are taken on a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples (the Temples of Hera, Concordia, Hercules, Zeus and Castor & Pollux) a world heritage site that contains some of the best-preserved Greek temples in the world. Back at Passo dei Briganti, you will enjoy another local dinner.

In the afternoon you will ride in the direction of the temples, taking a guided tour of the key sights (the temples of Hera, Concordia, Hercules, Zeus, Castor & Polux) before heading to your overnight stop at the farm Passo dei Briganti. Dinner and overnight.

Day 7 - Agrigento - Torre Salsa

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. You will arrive in the Torre Salsa coastal reserve, one of the most beautiful and best-preserved coastlines in Sicily, where the adventure ends on one of the reserves beautiful beaches. Dinner and overnight at Luna Minoica, a high-quality hotel.

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.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

April 16, 2022 - April 23, 2022

May 21, 2022 - May 28, 2022

Oct. 8, 2022 - Oct. 15, 2022

Pricing

2022
Single room
£1750 $2215 €2060
2022
Sharing twin/double room
£1535 $1945 €1810
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

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.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

April 9, 2022 - April 16, 2022

May 7, 2022 - May 14, 2022

July 23, 2022 - July 30, 2022

Sept. 24, 2022 - Oct. 1, 2022

Oct. 15, 2022 - Oct. 22, 2022

Pricing

2022
Single room
£1655 $2095 €1945
Single price is payable if you end up in a single room (or request one).
2022
Sharing twin/double room
£1445 $1825 €1700
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, drinks with meals (local wine, beer or 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 - 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.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

June 11, 2022 - June 18, 2022

Sept. 17, 2022 - Sept. 24, 2022

Pricing

2022
Sharing twin/double room
£1485 $1880 €1750
2022
Single
£1700 $2150 €2000
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.