Coast to Coast - 6 days
Day 1: Arrival
You will arrive at Casa "Il Bosco", a charming restored nineteenth century country house, immersed in the wild countryside of the Madonie Park, with breathtaking views of the island's north coast and the Aeolian Islands. You will enjoy a dinner prepared with local produce and spend the night here.
Day 2: Casa "Il Bosco" - Rifugio Marini (hours of riding: 7)
After breakfast you will be assigned your horse for the trail and we will set off from Casa "Il Bosco" at about 8.30 in the morning. The day will begin with a beautiful climb up through wild Mediterranean vegetation and woods, with fantastic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. We will continue through woods of holm oak, cork and downy oak to the territory of Isnello. After a picnic lunch, we will begin our ascent on the northern slopes of Pizzo Carbonara, Sicily's second highest mountain at 1979 metres, riding through lush forests of oak, holm oak and beech trees to reach Piano Battaglia, a mountain station located at the heart of the Madonie Park, where you will enjoy a dinner prepared using typical local produce and spend the night at Rifugio Marini.
Day 3: Rifugio Marini - Agriturismo Feudo Catuso (hours of riding: 7)
After breakfast we will set off at about 8.30 in the morning. We will follow a route through the mountains in the heart of the Madonie Park and reach high altitudes from where you will begin to see Sicily's interior. We will descend towards the historic town of Polizzi Generosa and stop for a picnic lunch, before continuing along ancient paths through agricultural land to reach Agriturismo Feudo Catuso, an old farmstead, dating from the 13th century, which has been renovated. You will enjoy a dinner made with local produce and spend the night here.
Day 4: Agriturismo Feudo Catuso - Agriturismo Mappa (hours of riding: 7)
We will have breakfast and set off from the farm at about 8.30 in the morning. Today's trail takes us into the heart of Sicily's interior, its "breadbasket" since time immemorial, which is criss-crossed by "trazzere", ancient royal pathways, established by the Bourbons in the 18th and 19th centuries to ensure free movement of livestock and people across the island. We will pass the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bilici, at the geographical centre of the island, before riding on past the train station of Marianopoli and through endless fields of wheat and hay, to reach Mappa, the former residence of the Princes of Spadafora, equipped with a swimming pool. You will enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the night here.
Day 5: Agriturismo Mappa - Agriturismo Principe di Aragona (hours of riding: 7/8)
After breakfast we will leave Mappa at around 8.00 in the morning. We will ride through fields to the territory of the picturesque, ancient village of Sutera, which is considered one of the oldest settlements in human history and retains many traces of its prehistoric origins. We will continue on through the beautiful Monte Conca nature reserve to reach the valley of the River Platani, one of western Sicily's main waterways. We will stop for a picnic lunch and continue our ride through woodland and open fields to reach Agriturismo Principe di Aragona, a restored farmstead equipped with a swimming pool, where we will have dinner and spend the night.
Day 6: Agriturismo Principe di Aragona - La Casa di Bacco (hours of riding: 5/6)
After breakfast we will set off at about 8.30 in the morning and ride through rolling agricultural land to arrive at the small, typical village of Joppolo Giancaxio, where we will stop for a picnic lunch. We will then ride on towards the small town of Giardina Gallotti and continue through olive groves and vineyards to reach our accommodation for the night, La Casa di Bacco, set amidst its vineyards and equipped with a swimming pool. Time to relax at the hotel in the afternoon or to go on an excursion to the Valley of the Temples, before enjoying a rich dinner prepared with local produce and sampling the hotel's wine.
Day 7: La Casa di Bacco - Luna Minoica (hours of riding: 7)
We will have breakfast and set off at around 8.30 in the morning, riding through the countryside of Agrigento, cultivated with olive and almond groves, with wonderful views of the Mediterranean coast. We will stop for a picnic lunch near the town of Realmonte, then continue to the the coastal reserve of Torre Salsa, one of Sicily's most beautiful and best preserved coastlines, before concluding the trail on the reserve's beautiful beaches. Dinner on the beach, a short walk from Luna Minoica, a high quality hotel where we will spend the night.
Day 8: Departure
Breakfast and transfer to the airport.
- Airport transfers from/to the nearest airport.
- 7 nights in agriturismi, B&B and good quality hotels.
- 6 full days of riding.
- All meals from dinner on the day of arrival to breakfast on the day of departure.
- Luggage transfer by support vehicle each day.
Level: Comfortable at all three paces (walk, trot and canter), with experience of hacking out in the open.
Group size: Ten people maximum.
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.
Equipment: It is possible to hire riding hats and chaps on site. The following items are essential: waterproofs, layers (it can be cold at altitude), boots and chaps, and sun cream.
Accommodation: Agriturismi, B&B or good quality hotels.
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 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.
Languages spoken: English, French, Italian, Sicilian.
Airport: Arrive Palermo - Depart Palermo