You will be hosted in old farmhouses converted in beautiful Agriturismi to offer you an authentic experience of local rural life. These will be located in small villages or in the Natural Parks we will be travelling thriugh. They all offer a welcoming environment and clean and comfortable double rooms with en-suite – there is a supplement of €150 for the single occupancy room.
All meals are made with locally produced food and will offer you an experience of the typical Sicilian cuisine. Lunch will consist in a picnic with sandwiches, while breakfast and dinner will be served at the farmhouses where you will be staying. Dinner will consist in several courses and include local produced wine. A vegetarian and vegan meal option is available on request.
Luciano, Sergio and Selene will be your hosts and guides. They are local equestrian guides with years of experience working with horses and organising trails in the area. They have a strong passion for horses and their territory, and will proudly show you what beautiful Sicily has to offer. They speak English and French.
Airports: Palermo Airport (PMO) and Catania Airport (CTA). You can fly London Stansted-Palermo with Ryanair; London Gatwick or Luton- Catania with Easyjet. Transport transfer can be arranged from/to each airport – approximately cost €100-150 one way (for each car). Transport from/to Cefalu’ train station is free.
|Duration||8 days / 7 nights|
|Riding Time||6 days / 6-9 hrs per day|
|Group size||min 4 - max 10|
|Ride Ability||experienced riders|
|Tack Type||choice of English or Western|
Arrival and overnight at Tenuta Luogo Marchese, Pollina. There will be a welcoming dinner with a presentation of the guides and the trail.
After breakfast, you will be assigned a suitable horse and be able to choose between English and Western saddle. The trail will start at about 9am and bring you to the countryside around Castelbuono, a charming medieval town rich in history and traditions. You will ride through the largest cork forest in Sicily towards Geraci, a small town at around 1000mt of altitude, which is famous for its castle and mineral water. After a short break with refreshments, you will ride across forests on ancient paths and arrive in the afternoon at Casalvecchio Geraci. This is a beautiful farmhouse sitting on the banks of the river Raino’ and recently restored in a welcoming Agriturismo. The day will end with a hearty dinner made of local products and a good night of rest in the peaceful Sicilian countryside.
The ride starts after breakfast along an old “trazzera“, an ancient route with scenic views over the surrounding fields of wheat and hay. You will ride up the hills and reach Malpassetto, the border of the provinces of Palermo, Enna and Messina. The ride will continue in the woods of the reserve ‘Sambughetti-Campanito’ where you will stop for a relaxing picnic. After a rest, the trail will enter the territory of Nicosia and Cerami and go down on an old steep path into a beautiful cork forest. Here you will end the day at “La Sugherita”, a rural accommodation in a beautiful setting. Within a short walk, there is an interesting prehistoric sites to visit.
On day 3 the ride will get more adventurous and enter the heart of the Nebrodi Park. You will ride along the famous “Ridge”. This is the most important itinerary in the Nebrodi Park, nearly 80 km long and with an height difference of 2350 m, almost all near the main peaks, in the midst of thick oak and beech forests, wetlands, and pretty lakes. A route full of charm and extraordinary views over the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aeolian Islands on one side and the provinces of Enna, Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Siracusa, Catania and Etna on the other side. You will ride through the beech woods in the territory of San Fratello, famous for its native horses that you will be able to encounter and watch grazing free in the wild. Lunch will be held in a small clearing in the shade of trees near a source of water (Nocita) and you will arrive in the afternoon at the hotel Rifugio del Parco for a delicious dinner based on products from the Nebrodi area.
This is probably the most beautiful part of the trail, stretching for 40 kilometers along the “Dorsale dei Nebrodi” across mountains, forests and lakes through a landscape of amazing beauty. You will reach the lake Maulazzo, dominated by Mount Soro, the highest peak in the Nebrodi (1847 meters) covered in magnificent beech woods. You will also pass the famous lake “Biviere di Cesarò” an important site for migratory birds. The ride will continue along the Dorsale where lush forests give way to panoramic clearings, from which you can see the Aeolian Islands to the north and the majestic peak of Mount Etna to the south. After a long but fulfilling ride, the day will end at the Agriturismo Monte Colla, near Randazzo. This is a unique old farmhouse dating back to the 18th century and situated at 1400mt of altitude.
After breakfast, you will depart from Monte Colla and descent towards the town of Randazzo, enjoying a lovely view of Mt. Etna along the way. Randazzo dates back to Greek time and retains a rich monumental heritage that can be appreciated with a ride through the city. A lunch break will be taken nearby. The ride will continue in the scenic valley of the river Alcantara and come into the territory of Castiglione di Sicilia (Catania province). Here you will end the day at the farmhouse San Marco, just below the slopes of Etna.
Today the ride starts through a rich agricultural area characterised by crops of peaches, almonds, olive, vineyards and drywalls of lava stone and brings you into the Etna Natural Park. You will ride through beautiful forests of pine, oaks and chestnuts and visit the volcanic caves. The views from there are breathtaking and you will be able to spot the mountains of Sicily and Calabria! The ride will continue up into the “Ragabo” pine forest, at about 1500 mt above sea level. Here you will stop for lunch and then continue the climb through the pine forests up to Piano Provenzano, about 1800 mt above sea level. According to the season, the weather and the volcanic conditions, the ride could continue up to the craters of the great 2002 eruption. At the end of the day, you will come down to spend a second night at Agriturismo San Marco. A final dinner will be the chance to share memories and experiences of a beautiful week together.
Breakfast and departure.
It is possible to organize mini trails in the Cefalu’ area for shorter stays on request. Option available all year around except in combination with the trails weeks – please contact us for further information and booking.