A Taste of Sicily - 6 days
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 welcome dinner prepared with local produce.
Day 2: Sanctuary of Gibilmanna and Pizzo Sant'Angelo (hours of riding: 5)
An enchanting introduction to the local area and the territory of Cefalù. After breakfast, we will set off and begin the day by riding around and then to the summit of the highest mountain in the territory of Cefalù, Pizzo Sant'Angelo (1081 metres). When the weather is good, from here you can admire spectacular views of the high Madonie Mountains, the Tyrrhenian Coast from Palermo to Capo D'Orlando, the Aeolian Islands, and much more. We will have a picnic lunch and visit the famous Sanctuary of Gibilmanna, before riding back to our base to enjoy a rich dinner prepared using local produce.
Day 3: Wine tasting (hours of riding: 5)
After breakfast we will begin the day’s ride following an ancient trazzera (old paths used for transporting animals which date from the Bourbon era) in the direction of Castelbuono, one of the most famous villages of the Madonie area, with beautiful views towards the high Madonie Mountains. Before lunch, we will reach the renowned vineyard of the Abbazia Santa Anastasia, a restored abbey, where we will enjoy a guided tour of the cellars, a tasting and a light lunch, before riding back to Casa "Il Bosco" in the afternoon.
Day 4: Rural life and Cefalù (hours of riding: 5)
In the morning we will ride to a local farm and get a real taste for Sicilian rural life, learning about how ricotta and local cheeses are made. We will then return to our base via one of the most panoramic spots in the territory of Cefalù, with fantastic views towards Palermo on one side and the Nebrodi Mountains on the other. In the late afternoon we will go down to the charming seaside town of Cefalù, where you will enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful historic centre and a delicious seafood dinner on the water's edge.
Day 5: Madonie Mountains (hours of riding: 7)
After breakfast we will set off on a two-day trail into the high Madonie Mountains. The day will begin with a beautiful climb up through wild Mediterranean vegetation and woods, with fantastic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. 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 6: Madonie Mountains (hours of riding: 7)
Before leaving the heart of the Madonie Mountains we will visit the Battaglietta, a depression in the landscape where all of the meltwater gathers and then travels along underground tunnels to Cefalù. We will descend from the high mountains, riding through beautiful woodland to reach the territory of the characteristic village of Isnello. We will stop for a picnic lunch, before returning in the afternoon to our base through wild and unspoilt vegetation, with beautiful views of the north coast.
Day 7: Sant'Ambrogio beach (hours of riding: 5)
On the last day of your stay, we will ride through dense Mediterranean vegetation and small country lanes to the small, picturesque seaside village of Sant'Ambrogio, where we will visit a local oil press and enjoy an olive oil tasting. Depending on the weather and the time of year, we will take the horses down to the beach and enjoy a beach picnic, before riding back to our base in the afternoon, to enjoy a delicious final dinner.
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