A Trail Crossing, Wild Sicily Madonie to Etna Horse Riding 6 days
Beginning at the eastern Madonie Mountains to arrive at one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Etna.
Day 1: Arrival
Arriving at Casa “Il Bosco”, a charming restored nineteenth century country house, immersed in the wild countryside of the Madonie Park, with breathtaking views of the island’s north coast and the Aeolian Islands, you will enjoy a dinner prepared with local produce and spend the night here
Day 2: Casa “Il Bosco” – Al Convento (hours of riding: 6)
8.30 am after breakfast, set off from Casa “Il Bosco”. You will begin the day riding through dense mediterranean vegetation with beautiful views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, passing close to the town of Castelbuono and stopping for a picnic lunch. Then riding up the valley of the River Pollina, one of the most fascinating and least known areas of Sicily. Climbing then towards San Mauro Castelverde, a medieval mountain village at more than 1000m altitude, riding along enchanting and forgotten pathways, to reach Al Convento, a former monastery dating from the 16th century and transformed into a quality hotel. Guests will spend the night here and enjoy a delicious dinner prepared with local produce.
Day 3: Al Convento – Monte Soprano (7hrs riding)
After breakfast, set off at around 8.30 am. Riding through the village of San Mauro Castelverde before following a panoramic ancient pathway (a “trazzera“), which passes the boundary between the three provinces of Palermo, Enna and Messina, at an altitude of about 1200m. Passing below the great turbines of a wind farm. Then descending into the forests of the Sambughetti-Campanito reserve for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, you continue on to the territory of Nicosia, followed by Cerami, before arriving at the agriturismo Monte Soprano, a working farm with a swimming pool set on the slopes of the Nebrodi Mountains for dinner and to spend the night.
Day 4: Monte Soprano – Villa Miraglia (7hrs riding)
This day of the trail takes us through the heart of the Nebrodi Natural Park, along the famous “Dorsale” (the Nebrodi Ridge), a track of about 100 kilometres) which passes through forests and high mountain pastures. With extraordinary views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aeolian Islands to the north, and the island’s hinterland to the south – Enna, Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Siracusa, Catania, and Etna towering above everything else. Entering the Nebrodi Natural Park through beech woods in the territory of San Fratello, famous for its sanfratellani horses, a native breed which you may catch a glimpse of grazing in the wild. A stop for a picnic lunch in a shaded spot beneath centuries-old trees is followed by arriving at the Relais Villa Miraglia, where you will have a delicious dinner made with local Nebrodi products and spend the night.
Day 5: Villa Miraglia – Monte Colla (hours of riding: 8)
After breakfast, a ride of more than 40 kilometres along the “Dorsale” through mountains, woods and lakes amidst beautiful scenery. First coming to the Maulazzo Lake, dominated by Monte Soro, the highest peak in the Nebrodi mountain range (at 1847 metres) and covered in magnificent beech woods. After reaching the famous lake Biviere di Cesarò, a resting place for migrating birds, you will continue along the “Dorsale“, with lush forests giving way to clearings with panoramic views, with the Aeolian Islands to the north and the majestic peak of Mount Etna to the south. Arriving at Monte Colla, the most isolated hotel on the island, housed in an eighteenth century aristocratic home at around 1400 metres above sea level in the territory of Randazzo, where you will enjoy a delicious dinner prepared with local produce and spend the night.
Day 6: Monte Colla – Arco dei Sogni (hours of riding: 6)
Set off at about 9.00 am after breakfast. Descending the valley where the source of the Alcantara River is found, yo will continue through beautiful woodland to reach the village of Santa Domenica di Vittoria for a picnic lunch. Descending after lunch once again into the Alcantara Valley, riding through fields, vines and fruit orchards, to reach the village of Malvagna, perched on the slopes opposite Mount Etna. Dinner and spending the night at the B&B Arco dei Sogni.
Day 7: Arco dei Sogni – Chalet Clan dei Ragazzi (hours of riding: 7)
Setting off at 8.00 am and riding through the village of Malvagna before descending into the valley of the Alcantara River, which we cross near the little gorges of Malvagna, before beginning the climb up the northern slopes of Mount Etna. Stopping for a picnic lunch on Mount Etna and continuing to climb up through woods and lava flows until reaching the Rifugio Timpa Rossa (at 1844m). Depending on the season and the conditions, continuing to climb up to the craters from the last major eruption of 2002. Dinner and overnight stay at Chalet Clan dei Ragazzi, immersed in a majestic forest of larix pines.
Day 8: Departure
Breakfast and transfer to the airport.
Wild Sicily Madonie – Etna 6 days horse riding in Sicily
Rider level: Intermediate | Advanced: Comfortable at all three paces (walk, trot and canter), with experience of hacking out in the open.
Max 10 persons. Languages Spoken: English, French, Italian & Sicilian.
Key information/requirements: Between six and eight hours in the saddle per day. You must be comfortable at all three paces (walk, trot and canter) and physically fit. This programme is aimed at intermediate and advanced riders and it is not suitable for beginners or riders with only limited experience. The terrain is varied and there may be long trots and gallops along the way.
Meals: Evening meals consist of authentic Sicilian cuisine prepared with local produce. A typical evening meal will include a variety of starters, a pasta course, a meat/main course, dessert, wine, water and a digestif. Picnic lunches are provided by a support vehicle (together with tables, chairs and cutlery) and include fresh bread, salads, cheeses, olives, charcuterie, Sicilian specialities, wine or other drinks on request, coffee or tea.
Tack: Comfortable English saddles, with a sheepskin cover, or Western saddles on request. Guests are not required to groom or tack up the horses.
per person sharing.
Contact us for available dates