This is a unique opportunity to travel by horse riding across four national parks in Sicily and is an exclusive offer to the clients of Authentic Italy in combination with our local partner based near Cefalu in Sicily. For horse lovers, riders and eco tourists this is a surprising way to discover the beauty, history, and atmosphere of this wonderful island in the Mediterranean. The journey takes you through the four Sicilian parks: the Madonie, Nebrodi, Etna and Alcantara.
An itinerary from Cefalù to Taormina (or vice versa) is characterized by an evocative landscape and fascinating pictures between history, culture and traditions. Through the ancient “Regia Trazzera” that from the “Madonie” park to the “Nebrodi” and from there until the slopes of Etna. The “Madonie” park, created in 1988, protects the variety of wildlife and vegetation present on the island. A land rich in history from the ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans. The “Nebrodi” park consists in about 70 km. of mountains and preserves the 50% of the forests of Sicily, enough to be considered the green lung of the island. The water of the “Alcantara” park, perennially flowing for about 40 km between castle, lava gorges and endemics plants is extremely interesting. The “Alcantara” is one of the parks easier to visit. Mount Etna with its 3300m peaks excels with its occasional eruptions The variety of the landscape from the sea to the forest and lavaflows, makes it a various habitat where an incredible quantity of animals and plants are found.
1st day: Transfer to Cefalù, dinner and overnight stay – little briefing on the Cefalù crossing – Clients will be accommodated in a 3 star property. For obvious reasons with tourist hotels, clients must adapt to each accommodation chosen.
2nd day 30km, 6h: Departure from Cefalù (fabulous pearl of the Tyrrhenian, one of the most beautiful destinations of Sicily). Crossing of the forests overlying the Cefalù countryside that connects to Pollina and Finale di Pollina arriving in Tusa mountain . Dinner and overnight stay. This first route starts at sea level and it will be along the coast for about half of the trip, crossing vineyards, olive and ashes (it is the tree from which it is extract the “manna”) that are typical of this area, then the trip cross the “macchia mediterranea”. Then The Pollina river will be crossed.
3rd day 35km, 7h: Departure from Tusa In the direction of Castel di Lucio and than to the final stop of Mistretta where you can admire a gorgeous little lake called Urio Quattrocchi with its circular shape, located on the slopes of mount Castelli at the beginning of the Nebrodi’s dorsal, a fascinating journey of about 70 km. Dinner and overnight stay. In this second route you will cross a typical mountain landscape.
4th day 35km, 8h: Departure from Mistretta direction Villa Miraglia, route of about 35 km. for a total of about 8 hours riding. During this ride you will cross the village of Cesarò where you can see the Lake of Cesarò with an extention of about 18 hectares, the altitude of the lake allows a luxuriant vegetation formed of a stretch of beech in the scavioli area. Dinner and overnight stay. In this 4th route in which the “Nebrodi” dorsal is already reached you will cross dirt paths running on the tops of the mountains characterized by forests rich of vegetation. Then you will discover the Giumenta wood characterized by oaks and beech, ending in the mountain pass “portella del contrasto”. After that you will cross a sort of natural tunnel inside the wood, almost impenetrable to sunrays, rich of various indigenous plants, well indicated by signboards. In this route you will be inside the “San Fratello” territories where you can admire the typical “San Fratellani” horses.
5th day 38 km, 8h: Departure from Villa Miraglia direction Floresta. Maybe the hardest route of the entire journey but at the same time the best. At this point we are right in the heart of the Nebrodi’s park where the altitude hike is considerable, from the sea reaches the maximum altitude of 1847 m. of mount Soro. Other heights are Serra del Re, Pizzo Fau and Serra Pignataro. Dinner and overnight stay. This tract runs at the slopes of mount Soro (1847 m), along the “biviere of Cesarò”, a natural lake of high mountains, an ideal place for bird watching because its characterized by many type of birds like his majesty the griffin. In this territory you can find the famous black pig of the Nebrodi, suidae, hybrid boar from which typical cold cuts are produced.
6th day 22 km, 5h: Departure from Floresta (Sicilian town which boasts the highest altitude position, located at 1275 m. above sea level) in the direction Roccella Valdemone. Dinner and overnight stay. In the route of Floresta we are in the land of the Tholos, ancient buildings made by pastors, with stone walls and straw roof, and the most famous Sicilian Caciocavallo. The small and ancient village is located in a fabulous plateau at 1300m, made up by wide pastures and dense forests which seems to touch the snow-capped Etna, which from now will be the vigilant of our caravan from its 3800m, and like a good giant will indicate us the way
7th day 17 km, 4h: Departure from Roccella Valdemone direction Castiglione Di Sicilia – Giardini Naxos (Taormina). In Giardini Naxos the horses will be left in a riding school – transfer of all the clients to the accommodation (in Giardini Naxos). Final dinner at the Cruyllas Castle of Calatabiano.
8th day: [transfer during the morning to the airport of departure]. We offer the chance for the rest of the family following – staying in villas, apartments, bed and breakfasts, hotel and farmhouses in the area of Cefalù, Taormina.
Instructor: Manuele Coco, 23 years old from Cefalù. Manager of a riding school, expert rider, 1st grade F.I.S.E., certificate of accompanist released from FITETREC ANTE, presence at type C national of jumping.
Guide Luciano Ferrigno, 33 years old from Tusa, owner of breeding of indigenous Sicilian and Andalusian horses.
Guide Carmelo Rocca, 35 years old, considered the man of the incredible trail rides, excellent experience as a rider, guide, certificate of ferrier released by CE.FO.P.
The group during the crossing will be followed by a technical equipment as follows:
The horse used in the crossing are all from our breeding, various races including Sicilian indigenous, Andalusian, Arabs and “San Fratellani”. Horses are average tonnage, resistant and well trained for the crossing, all registered to A.I.A. and with health requirements. Our horses are accustomed to perform trekking activities on the Madonie. They’re all above 4 years old.
The organization requires good physical condition, to be able to ride in all the three gaits for long periods during the day.
The equipment considered suitable from the organization is:
Total: £2000 per person for the week (excluding airfares)
The price will not include clothing equipment, A/D flight, additional insurance on request Single room occupancy there is an additional charge of £300 for the week.
The organization will provide technical assistance for the horses with a specialized vehicle, for the riders technical assistance providing groceries, medical assistance, medicine, and everything else with a vehicle, a van with horses’ magime and another vehicle where the personal riders baggage will be stored.
If you would like to enquire then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Horse Riding in Sicily
Trekking Route Map Key:
Sicilian historic building
Sicilian coastal town