Sicily Explorer riding holiday in Sicily - Far and Ride
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Sicily Explorer, Sicily


I would highly recommend this holiday. The horses were perfect: I would've happily brought mine home with me - with very comfortable saddles. Our guide, Alex, was very knowledgable about Mount Etna and frequently stopped to tell us something of interest. The scenery was amazing and varied, along with the terrain!

Judith W.
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!).

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!

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

Andrea T.
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!!

Jenny S.
This was hands down the best trail I've done. Everything was simply brilliant - Alex is an excellent guide, the horses are fun to ride and well-natured, the scenery was incredibly varied and beautiful and the food was delicious. I'll definitely be going back!

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

Sarah C.
"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!

Glenys R. (2nd visit)
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.

Veronica S. (Coast to Coast, July 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.

Sarah and Pablo, Read review
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

Kate & Peter (2018)
Words can’t fully express my holiday adventure……. It was truly wonderful / fabulous and everything else !!

Yvonne F
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.

Fantastic! Adventurous. Amazing views and nature. Challenging terrain and hours, in a good way. Lovely guides (Alex in front, Lizzie behind). Extremely fit horses, very sure-footed and bombproof. Horses are very well cared for, as are the riders. Good agriturismo or hotel accommodation and excellent food.



Type of horses:

Mixed breeds, primarily of Sicilian and Arabian backgrounds.

Nature of horses:

Sure-footed and well-trained but forward-going.

Height of horses:

15 - 16hh.

Weight limit:

90kg / 14st 2lbs / 198lbs

Tack type:

Mostly English but western saddles are available on request.


Travel Advice

Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.

Ride 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 Lizzie from the UK - she has ridden trails all around the world but fell in love with this magnificent island. She guides some of the trails and provides logistical support.

During the exciting multi-day trails such as 'Wild Sicily' and the 'Coast to Coast', you will move between comfortable accommodations, spending long hours in the saddle, riding through different national parks and exploring varied landscapes. These multi-day 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

See Programmes.


Food & Accommodation

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

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

Guests will enjoy typical Sicilian cooking during the rides - this includes a buffet style breakfast and a dinner comprising several courses and 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 breads 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.



These are point to point trails so there isn't time for other activities during the rides.


Further Details

Languages: English, French, Italian.

Health requirements: Good fitness required.

Age limit: 16+

Tuition: No.

Included: Accommodation, meals, riding, airport transfers.

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, extra drinks, tips and souvenirs.


Travel Information

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:

- Madonie Trail: arrival and departure Catania
- Wild Sicily Trail (formerly Cefalu-Etna): arrival and departure Catania
- Coast to Coast Trail: arrival and departure Palermo
- Etna Circular Trail: arrival and departure Catania
- Corleone to Madonie Trail (formerly Corleone-Cefalù): arrival Palermo, departure Catania

Airport: Catania

Alternative Airport: Palermo



Tour of Etna

This trek is a spectacular adventure that leads you around the highest active volcano in Europe, through tracks, mule paths and pistes. You will travel on the back of beloved horses, who will lead you through a succession of dense woods and recent lava flows to breathtaking views of the mini continent that is Sicily. With shorter riding days than the other point-to-point trails, this trail is perfect for riders who want something a little less challenging, as well as plenty of extra time to enjoy the swimming pools and facilities at the comfortable accommodations.


** Please note that this is a guideline and may be subject to change at the discretion of your host and guide.

Day 1: 

Transfer from the airport in time for dinner and overnight in Castiglione di Sicilia.

Day 2 (c.5 hours of riding): Castiglione di Sicilia - A Barunissa

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 setup 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 (c. 5 hours of riding): A Barunissa - La Fucina di Vulcano

Breakfast and an early departure at around 8:30am. 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 to 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") which appear as small mouths that opened 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 which offers magnificent views of the western slopes of Etna. Dinner and overnight.

Day 4: (c.5 hours of riding): La Fucina di Vulcano - Villa Dorata

Breakfast and another early departure from our hotel at around 8:30am. 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 canters. 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: (c.6 hours of riding) Villa Dorata - Etna Mille77

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: (c.6 hours of riding): Etna Mille77 - Chalet Clan dei Ragazzi

After breakfast you will enjoy a relatively leisurely departure at around 9:00am. 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", large specimen of oak tree with enormous size, 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: (c.6 hours of riding): Chalet Clan dei Ragazzi - Castiglione di Sicilia

Breakfast followed by departure from the chalet at around 9:00am. Today you will begin again by ascending through the pine forests of the lower slopes until you reach Piano Provenzana - renowned ski resort in 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 the mount Nero. Here you will stop in a shelter 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: 

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 (unless a single room is specified) and some have swimming pools for guests to enjoy on warm sunny days.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate riders with good fitness. You will need to be happy riding over challenging terrain and at heights. The pace is not overly fast (mainly walking due to the terrain) although there are some cantering opportunities along the way.
Type of ride: Trail ride.
Total riding time: c.5-6 hours per day for 6 days.
Departure dates: 2021: 19-26 June, 4-11 September
Pricing: 2021:

£1575 per person, based on double/twin room accommodation.
£1800 per person based on single room accommodation

Price includes transfers from/to Catania airport, accommodation, all meals with local wine, beers and soft drinks, guided riding and support vehicle.

*Single supplement 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).

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.

Wild Sicily Trail (formerly Cefalu to Etna Trail)

This horseback journey will surprise even the most seasoned equestrian with its beauty as you ride through four Sicilian parks: the Madonie, Nebrodi, Etna and Alcantara. The itinerary from Cefalù to Etna is characterised by an evocative landscape as well as a mixture of history, culture and tradition.

Through the ancient “Regia Trazzera” across the Madonie park you will follow old trails where Sicilian cowboys used to drive their herds from winter mountain pastures to summer lowland pastures. From there it is onwards to the Nebrodi and to the slopes of the famous Mt. Etna. This is an extraordinary adventure during which you will feel part of nature, riding a hardy and well cared for horse over a variety of interesting terrain. You will ride through some wild isolated country during the day but return at night to 3 star comfort and some local gastronomic delights. The traditional Sicilian cuisine is a source of great pride in the land's tumultuous history and reflects the influences of the changes. The isolated countryside will be a welcome change from city pollution and together with the extraordinary beauty and variety of landscapes it will ensure riders have a trip to remember.

The Madonie park, created in 1988, protects the variety of wildlife and vegetation present on the island. The land is rich with history: Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans all had influence on the towns and villages in this area of Italy. You will find castles and monasteries unique in Italy and the theatre of the famous “Targa Florio" car race.

The Nebrodi contains over 70km of mountains in which 50% of Sicilian forests are found; this is truly the green heart of the island. Riding on you reach Alcantara park where waters flow for about 40km in between castles and stunning landscapes, complete with lava gorges and native vegetation. Mt. Etna is unique in the Mediterranean. Its continuous succession of eruptions and variety of terrain from the sea to the forest make it a diverse ecosystem in which an incredible quantity of animals and plants are founded.

Alexandre is a very experienced trail guide and his knowledge of the countryside is matched with their passion for the environment and their pride in Sicily. The calm, good-natured horses will ensure that your trip is enjoyable, comfortable and safe with the long hours in the saddle. The route covers a distance of more than 200km at heights between 200 metres above sea level and 1600 metres on Nebrodi. Depending on the season it could take you to 2000 metres on Mount Etna. Most of the route leads through wild, wooded landscapes of Sicily, only short stretches are paved road. Accommodation is in high quality 3 star hotels/guesthouses and you will enjoy typical Sicilian food. Lunches are taken en route and are often in the form of a picnic.  


NB - please note that the itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather or volcanic conditions. 

Day 1:

Transfer from the airport to Casalvecchio Geraci, an old farmstead dating from the 1800's which has been restored and transformed into an agriturismo on the border between Madonie national park and the islands agricultural hinterland. Enjoy a dinner of local produce before your first nights sleep. 

Day 2 (c.7 hours of riding): Casalvecchio - San Mauro Castelverde

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 the wild valley of River Pollina, following ancient 'trazzere' surrounded by fields of grain and hay, before entering a very wild area covered in Mediterranean vegetation where you will have a picnic. After your lunch stop you will ride on to the village of San Mauro Castelverde, a medieval town on the top of a mountain, standing at about 1100m above sea level. Have dinner and spend the night in an old Franciscan convent which has been transformed into a hotel. 

Day 3 (c.6 hours of riding): San Mauro Castelverde - Monte Soprano

You will set out from the convent hotel after breakfast, following an old "trazzera" (transhumance road dating back to at least the Bourbonsand enjoying scenic views over the fields. You will ride directly under the huge blades of a wind farm before descending 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) where you will enjoy a delicious dinner and stay the night.

Day 4 (c.7 hours of riding): Monte Soprano - Villa Miraglia

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 (c.8 hours of riding): Villa Miraglia - Monte Colla 

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 (c.7 hours of riding): Monte Colla - Etna North 

After breakfast the group will leave Monte Colla heading in the direction of the source of the Alcantara River. You will ride on towards Randazzo, a typical Sicilian Village between the Nebrodi and Etna parks, which you will pass through before ascending Etna's northern slopes. Eventually you reach Mount Spagnolo where you follow the Altomontana piste to your accommodation, the Chalet Clan dei Regazzi immersed in an enchanting pine forest.

Day 7 (c.7 hours of riding): Etna North - Castiglione di Sicilia 

Today you will leave at 9.00 am after breakfast. Crossing lava flows from various older and more recent eruptions you climb through forests of pine, oak and chestnut and past volcanic caves, enjoying views of the mountains of Sicily. Eventually you reach the Rifugio di Timpa Rossa at an altitude of 1844m where you stop for a picnic lunch. Depending on the season and weather you may be able to climb up to the craters from the latest eruption in 2002. 

After lunch you follow small country lanes bordered by stone walls made from lava rock, and cross backwards and forwards over the river before reaching the Gorges of Castiglione and the Cuba Bizantina, a place of worship built in an unusual quadrangle shape and dating from the 7th or 8th century AD. Finally you arrive at Castiglione di Sicilia for your last dinner and overnight.

Day 8:

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

Accommodation: Accommodation is in good quality 3 star hotels and guesthouses.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: 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 November should be of an especially adventurous spirit, fit to ride long hours and in any kind of weather and happy to start early each day so as to get the riding done before dark.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 5 - 8 hours per day (25 - 50km).
Departure dates: 2021: 17-24 April, 8-15 May, 12-19 June, 10-17 July, 28 August-4 September, 25 September-2 October
Pricing: 2021:

£1630 per person, based on double/twin room accommodation. Price includes transfers from the closest airports (please contact us for specific details), accommodation, all meals with local wine, beers and soft drinks, guided riding and support vehicle.

Single supplement (where available): £225 *

*Single supplement 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).

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.

Corleone to Madonie Trail

This adventurous but comfortable trail ride will take you through some of Sicily's lesser-known areas, starting in the famous town of Corleone and leading you to the eastern boundary of the Madonie Park. During the ride you will explore a multitude of charming landscapes and terrain including dense woodlands, cultivated farmland, mountains of chalk or limestone, endless fields of grain, mysterious caves and ancient farms, towns and villages with fascinating histories. 

Whilst you will spend long days in the saddle and will need to be fit, you will receive a warm welcome every evening at a quality guesthouse and will have a chance to rest. Each place serves delicious Sicilian cuisine and wine, with meals created using local produce. Dinners are a minimum of four courses and lunches are eaten as picnics during the rides. 


Day 1 - Arrival: You will be transferred from the airport to your first accommodation in Corleone, Agriturismo Ridocco. Here you will meet your guide and the other trail guests for a first dinner and a good sleep. 

Day 2 - Agriturismo Ridocco to Gorgo del Drago: Your first riding day begins after breakfast with departure on horseback at approximately 08:30. The trail starts with the crossing of open fields which are planted with grains and fodder, still the island's main agricultural produce since Roman times. After three hours or so of travelling you will reach the reserve of the Ficuzza Wood - this was established by King Ferdinand of Bourbon in 1799 as his personal hunting ground. At approximately 7400 hectares this is one of the largest and most well-preserved natural woodlands in Sicily. You will take your picnic under the imposing slopes of Rocca Busambra which is the highest peak in western Sicily, standing at 1602m, before mounting up again to ride further into the forests. This reserve is home to a range of indigenous plants including red oak, holm oak, ash and pine. Your guide will lead you through the village of Ficuzza where you can make a short stop in order to admire the eighteenth century palace of King Ferdinand, also pausing to enjoy a refreshing drink from a bar. 

After this break you will ride on towards your overnight accommodation, the farmhouse Gorgo del Drago which lies on the edge of the reserve. Here you will settle your horses for the night before enjoying a sumptuous dinner and overnight in the farmhouse rooms. 

Approximate hours on horseback: 7.

Day 3 - Agriturismo Gorgo del Drago to Villa Dafne: Breakfast followed by departure from Gorgo del Drago at approximately 08:00. You will pass through the village of Godrano, which is famous for its cheese production, and onwards to Cefala Diana which is home to an old castle of Arab origins. From here you pass through Villafrati and then to Ciminna whose landscapes are characterised by rock formations composed of gypsum crystals, also where you will stop to enjoy your picnic lunch.

In the afternoon you will saddle up again and ride towards Roccapalumba, nicknamed "the town of the stars" for its planetarium and star-gazing opportunities. You will arrive at Villa Dafne where you will dine and sleep. 

Approximate hours on horseback: 8.

Day 4 - Villa Dafne to Mandragiumenta: This morning you will leave your accommodation on horseback at approximately 08:30, riding through arable farmlands following royal 'trazzere'. These are routes established during the Bourbon period for the relocation of livestock from north to south, still used today. You will then pass under the town of Alia and on to the caves of Gurfa, in the territory of Alia, which is home to the tomb of Minos. This king of Crete came to Sicily to hunt for Daedalus, who had helped Minos' daughter Ariadne and her lover, Theseus, to slay the Minotaur and escape from Crete. Minos was said to have been enraged at the loss of his daughter and therefore sought to find Daedalus who had settled in Sicily, but he was lured and killed by the daughters of Kokalo, the Sicanian king, before he could find him. Minos' tomb was transformed into a temple during the classical era, then used as a grain store in Roman times and even a luxury home in the Arab era. It was then used as a stable until 1997 and now stands as part of Alia's cultural heritage. 

Following a picnic lunch at these fascinating caves, you will re-mount your horses and follow the trazzere to the agricultural town of Valledolmo for a drink at the bar. From here you will ride on to the farmhouse Mandragiumenta where you will eat dinner and spend the night. 

Approximate hours on horseback: 5.

Day 5 - Mandragiumenta to Terravecchia: Following breakfast and departure at approximately 08:30, you will ride through fields in the valley of the Northern Imera River which forms the northwestern boundary of the Madonie mountains. You will stop for a picnic lunch at Polizzi Generosa, an ancient village with breathtaking views over the high Madonie mountains and the River Imera valley. In the afternoon you will continue riding towards Agriturismo Terravecchia in the territory of Castellana Sicula, home to a swimming pool with panoramic views of the Sicilian hinterland. Dinner and overnight here.

Approximate hours on horseback: 6.

Day 6 - Terravecchia to Rifugio Marini: Breakfast and departure at 08:30 again. This day of trail riding takes you through the heart of the Madonie Natural Park which spans 40,000 hectares and enjoys the greatest biodiversity of the island (it is home to more species than all of Great Britain!). On leaving the agriturismo you will begin to climb, soon reach high altitudes where the vegetation and landscapes begin to change dramatically. You will pass through dense forests of red oak and holm oak.

This afternoon you will arrive to Piano Battaglia which is the only ski station in the province of Palermo. Tonight you will dine and sleep at Rifugio Marini. 

Approximate hours on horseback: 6.

Day 7 - Rifugio Marini to Casalvecchio:

Another 08:30am departure after breakfast to start your second day of trail riding in the Madonie Park and your last day in the saddle. The ride begins by passing through areas of great botanical and scenic interest. You will ride on through wild territories, stopping for a picnic lunch in the area of Geraci Siculo, before descending to your hosts' base at Agriturismo Casalvecchio on the eastern edge of the Madonie Park. You will spend your final night here, enjoying a delicious dinner prepared with produce straight from the farm. 

Approximate hours on horseback: 6.

Day 8 - Departure: After breakfast it is time to head to the airport or to continue your travels in Sicily. 

Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Strong intermediate - advanced. You MUST have good riding fitness and be able to spend several long days in the saddle in a row. There is some challenging terrain and occasions when you may need to lead your horse on foot.
Type of ride: Trail.
Total riding time: 6 days riding with up to 8 hours a day.
Departure dates: 2021: 1-8 May
Pricing: 2021:

£1630 per person, based on double/twin room accommodation.

Price includes transfers from the closest airports (please contact us for specific details), accommodation, all meals with local wine, beers and soft drinks, guided riding and support vehicle.

Single supplement (where available): £225 *

*Single supplement 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).

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.

Coast to Coast Trail

An exciting adventure from Sicily's north coast all the way to the south! This fascinating trail connects the two famous and ancient cities of Cefalu and Agrigento by crossing the Sicilian hinterland between them. The first exploratory ride was carried out in November 2014 after months of planning and since then, many riders around the world have had the opportunity to experience this beautiful ride. Now Alex and his team have improved and perfected the ride and reinstate it for their customers in 2018.

Day 1: Arrival

Guests will arrive to Cefalu for dinner and overnight at Villa Magara, a beautiful panoramic property which faces the Tyrrhenian Sea and has a swimming pool. If you arrive earlier in the day then you have a chance to visit the wonderful old town. 

Day 2: Cefalu - Piano Battaglia

After breakfast you will be assigned your horse for the trail, then departing from Villa Magara at approximately 8am. The ride begins with a climb through dense Mediterranean vegetation and breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian Coast and the Gulf of Cefalu. After a few hours of riding you will reach the famous sanctuary of Gibilmanna, an ancient place of worship where 'Our Lady' is venerated. There will be a short stop here with time to visit the sanctuary. 

You will mount again and ride in the direction of Isnello, a small medieval mountain village, crossing the northern slope of the Carbonara Massif which is Sicily's second highest mountain (1979m). There will be a picnic stop in the woods before you ride on through oak, holm and beech trees to Piano Battaglia, a mountain location in the heart of Madonie Park. Here you will dine on typical products and spend the night. 

Approximate riding hours: 7-8.

Day 3: Piano Battaglia - Sciaritelle

Breakfast and departure at around 08:30am. Today you begin with a high mountain path through the middle of Madonie Park - you will need to dismount and lead your horse for a few hundred metres where the terrain is stony and steep. You will pass Portella Mele and you begin to finally see the inner Sicily and, in the case of clear days, can see more than half of this special island. 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) up to the river Imera Meridionale. This waterway crosses and climbs in the direction of the Sciaritelle farm, a renovated 19th century farmhouse with pool where you will enjoy another local dinner and spend the night. 

Approximate riding hours: 6 - 7. 

Day 4: Sciaritelle - Mappa

Breakfast and departure at around 08.30am. The route begins to head deep into agricultural lands, Sicily being well-known for its production of grain since early history, following along the 'trazzere' established by the Bourbon government in the 18th and 19th centuries to ensure free movement of people and livestock across the island. You will pass by the Madonna del Bilici which lies at Sicily's geographical centre and then by Marianopoli railway station, a eucalyptus forest and into a private hunting reserve. You will arrive at Agriturismo Mappa, the former residence of Prince Spadadora, which has also has a swimming pool. There will be a sumptuous dinner before bed. 

Approximate riding hours: 5-6.

Day 5: Mappa - Aragona

Breakfast and departure from Mappa at approximately 8am. 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 pool. Dinner and overnight. 

Approximate riding hours: 7-8.

Day 6: Aragona - Agrigento

Breakfast and departure at around 08.30am 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, a fascinating methane gas outcrop which has created small craters by carrying clay up from the depths of the earth. You will ride on, making a short stop in the typical village of Monte Aperto where you will enjoy a picnic in the shade. 

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. 

Approximate riding hours: 6-7. 

Day 7: Agrigento - Torre Salsa

Breakfast and departure at around 08:30am. Today is an impressive route through the countryside of Agrigento 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. Dinner and overnight at Agriturismo Torre Salsa, inside the reserve itself. 

Approximate riding hours: 6-7.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport.

Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Strong Intermediate and above with good fitness. You need to be capable riding at all paces, covering a range of terrain and riding for long hours. You will sometimes need to walk and lead your horse.
Type of ride: Trail.
Total riding time: 6 riding days with some long hours.
Departure dates: 2021: 22-29 May, 16-23 October
Pricing: 2021:

£1630 per person
£225 single supplement

Price includes transfers from the closest airports (please contact us for specific details), 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.

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.

Madonie Trail

A fascinating ride through the Madonie Natural Park, which extends to approximately 40 thousand hectares and is home to more than 70% of the island's wildlife. You spend around six hours a day in the saddle on average, exploring the best of the Madonie region.

Day 1: Arrival

You will arrive at Casalvecchio Geraci, an old farm dating from the 18th century which has been restored, immersed in the green hills of the River Raino valley. Delicious dinner prepared using produce fresh from the farm and overnight at the agriturismo.

Day 2: Casalvecchio - San Mauro Castelverde (hours of riding: 6)

After breakfast, you will be assigned your horse for the trail and the group will set off from Casalvecchio at about 8.00 in the morning.  You will begin by riding along the route of the River Raino, an affluent of the Pollina river, which marks the eastern boundary of the territory of the Madonie and which is characterised by its wild beauty, which made the perfect hiding places for the famous bandits which ruled the area in the late 19th and early 10th centuries. Stop for a picnic lunch immersed in nature. In the afternoon, climb towards the medieval town of San Mauro Castelverde, which sits at more than 1000m above sea level, with views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Enjoy a dinner prepared with local produce of the area and spend the night in an old monastery dating from the 16th century, which has been transformed into a hotel.

Day 3: San Mauro Castelverde - Cefalu (hours of riding: 7)

You will have breakfast and leave Castelverde at around 8.00 in the morning. Descend towards Castelbuono, the largest village in the Madonie, with around ten thousand inhabitants, and the former seat of the Ventimiglia Barons, who ruled for centuries over the entirety of the territory crossed during this trail. Stop for a picnic lunch in the area of Castelbuono. In the afternoon, ride towards the territory of Cefalu, passing through very wild areas covered in woods and mediterranean brush and the vineyard of Santa Anastasia. Have dinner and spend the night at Turismo Rurale Cefalu, a beautiful hotel equipped with a swimming pool overlooking the sea.

Day 4: Cefalu - Casena Mongerrati (hours of riding: 6)

Set off from the turismo at around 8.30 in the morning and being by riding through an area covered with mediterranean brush with breathtaking views over the Tyrrhenian coast. After a few hours, arrive at Gibilmanna, a famous sanctuary and Franciscan monastery dedicated to the Virgin, the patron and protector of the diocese of Cefalu. Visit the sanctuary, which contains one of the most beautiful works by Gagini, a famous Renaissance Sicilian sculptor, before continuing to the charming medieval village of Gratteri where you stop for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, ride through the San Giorgio forest, dense with oak and durmast trees and pass the ruins of the San Giorgio abbey dating from the 12th century, and the Madonna del Pedale dating from the 17th century. Finally you arrive at Casena Mongerrati, equipped with a swimming pool, near Collesano, an ancient village of Arab origin (Qal'at as-sirat) where you have a delicious dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Casena Mongerrati - Rifugio Marini (hours of riding: 5)

Leave Casena Mongerrati at c. 9am, crossing the Mugerrati forest which is dense with cork, holm oak and durmast trees. Ride towards Piano Zucchi where you stop for lunch beneath the imposing calcium massif of Carbonara. Continue towards Piano Cervi immersed in thick forests of oak, which slowly give way to beech trees and finally to reach Piano Battaglia, a famous ski station at 1600m. Have dinner and spend the night at Rifugio Marini.

Day 6: Rifugio Marini - Terravecchia (hours of riding: 6)

After breakfast, you will leave Rifugio Marini at around 8.30am. 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 (abies nebrodensis), the symbol of the park. Continue to the sanctuary of Madonna dell'Alto (1819m) - when visibility is good you can views of most of the island from here. Descend towards the agriturismo Terravecchia in the territory of Castellana Sicula, where you can enjoy a swim in the pool with wonderful views towards Sicily's enchanting hinterland. Have dinner here and spend the night.

Day 7: Terravecchia - Casalvecchio (hours of riding: 6)

You will have breakfast and set off at around 8.30 in the morning. Today you'll ride along the southern slopes of the Madonie, famous since time immemorial for the production of wheat and hay, the islands primary agricultural resource and the reason why Sicily was once known as 'Rome's granary' as well as constituting the islands main source of nourishment. Pass through Petralia Soprana, nominated the most beautiful village in Italy in 2018, and return in the afternoon to your base Agriturismo Casalvecchio Geraci, after riding along 'trazzere' (old pathways used for the transport of animals and goods), through beautiful scenery. Enjoy a delicious dinner made from the agriturismo's own produce and ovenright.

Day 8: Departure

Breakfast and departure.

Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate riders with good fitness. You will need to be happy riding over challenging terrain and at heights. The pace is not overly fast (mainly walking due to the terrain) although there are some cantering opportunities along the way. You should be prepared to dismount and lead your horse over rough ground.
Type of ride: Trail.
Total riding time: 6 days, 5 - 7 hours per day.
Departure dates: 2021: 10-17 April, 3-10 July, 18-25 September, 9-16 October, 6-13 November
Pricing: 2021:

£1530 per person in a twin/double room.
£1755 per person in a single room.

Price includes airport transfers, 7 nights of accommodation, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, select drinks with meals, 6 days of riding and transportation of luggage.

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.