Horse Riding in Sicily

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.

The Itinery:

Arrival at Palermo-Catania-Trapani airports:

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:

  • 1 4x4 with all the technical equipment relative to the horses’ assistance.
  • 1 Van for the horses’ transfer.
  • 1 4x4 for riders’s assistance furnished with a doctor
  • 1 Bus for the transportation of luggage and clients from transfer to and from various places.

The Horses

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.

Client Riders

The organization requires good physical condition, to be able to ride in all the three gaits for long periods during the day.

Equipment

The equipment considered suitable from the organization is:

  • Photocamera
  • personal clothes to ride
  • sunscreen cream
  • sunglasses
  • boots
  • to ride - cap.

Rates

  • Transfer A/D to Cefalù and departure from Taormina Fullboard treatment (during the crossing lunches will be homemade) 7 nights in double room Horse rental with English or American saddle (on request)
  • Technical assistance
  • Medical Assistance
  • Insurance

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.

Booking Conditions

  1. Registration is open to riders having a license and able to face 6/8 hours per day riding even in mountain. They will have to sign a document of responsibility, the organization will not be responsible if the rider will decide to stop the trekking due to personal reasons and no refund will be applied.
  2. If a rider will like to participate with his personal horse a different charge will be applied.
  3. Riders will be coordinated by guides that must not have to be exceeded in the gaits. It’s up to the guides to inhibit the trip to those who affect the success.
  4. All participants must wear boots and pants for riding, have done the tetanus vaccine and show a certificate of healthy and robust constitution for recreational activities made by the doctor.
  5. Every horse must be complying with vaccinations and test of Cogis and it must be registered at A.I.A.
  6. Every rider is responsible to damages to him or to third person during the crossing.
  7. Every rider in the spirit of mutual cooperation of the participants, must assist or at least help riders that for some reasons are in danger.
  8. Rider must: Follow the schedule time and the program established by the association. Respect the environment aware that is strictly forbidden to throw any kind of rubbish that can pollute or sully the environment, the route and the provisions of the organization.
  9. The success of the journey is strictly connected to the good weather conditions, the organization reserves the rights to modify some routes and to change course anytime, riders can be refund of the 80% if the trekking will be cancelled, if the trekking would suffer changes of days, the refund will concern the days in which the route will not be made.
  10. The minimum group is 8 people, the maximum group 16 people.
  11. In the first routes due to transfer reason from a place to one other some kilometres will be maden on the asphalt.
  12. Booking should be made before the 30th of April 2010 – with the payment of the entire balance. The cancellation term is till 7 days before the departure with a 30% refund, and the day of the departure 10%.

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 bookings@authentic-italy.co.uk

Horse Riding in Sicily: promotional image of horse and Sicilian coastal town

Horse Riding in Sicily

Horse Riding in Sicily: trekking route map

Trekking Route Map Key:

  • AG: Agrigento
  • CL: Caltanissetta
  • CT: Catania
  • EN: Enna
  • ME: Messina
  • PA: Palermo
  • RG: Ragusa
  • SR: Syracuse
  • TP: Trapani

Sicilian historic building

Sicilian historic building

Sicilian horses

Sicilian horses

Sicilian coastal town and stunning scenery

Sicilian coastal town