Madonie Trail - 2 days
Day 1 (hours of riding: 7)
We will set off from our base, Agriturismo Casalvecchio, at around 9.00 in the morning, riding along an ancient “trazzera” which follows the valley of the rivers Rainò and Calabrò, tributaries of the River Pollina, on the eastern boundary of the Madonie Park. We will then ride along paths 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 we can admire beautiful views across most of Sicily. We will have a picnic lunch in the woods, before continuing to climb into the high Madonie mountains, reaching Portela Mandarini, an important crossroad between ancient transhumance routes through the mountains. We will ride along paths and lanes through the park to arrive in the afternoon at Piano Battaglia. We will enjoy a rich dinner prepared with local produce and spend the night at Rifugio Marini.
Day 2 (hours of riding: 6)
After breakfast we will set off along a different path, which takes us past the inghiottitoio della Battaglietta, an interesting karst phenomenon, admiring spectacular views of the high Madonie mountains. We will ride on through woods of conifer, oak and beech trees, to reach the steep scaletta d'Alfano beneath monte Catarineci, from where we can admire breath-taking views of half of Sicily and beautiful holly and beech trees. We will reach the medieval village of Geraci Siculo, where we will stop for lunch. In the afternoon, after a brief visit of the village, we will ride back to our starting point along an ancient path with panoramic views, immersed in dense Mediterranean vegetation.
- Airport transfers from/to the nearest airport.
- 1 nights in agriturismi, B&B and good quality hotels.
- 2 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 Not applicable - Depart Not applicable