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Madonie Trail - Sicily

The Madonie Natural Park, which extends to approximately 40 thousand hectares, is home to more than 70% of the island's wildlife. The park is characterised by dense woodland, where different species grow according to differing altitude. Above 1300 metres, the park is dominated by beech woods, survivors of the Ice Age, and it is also home to many other species, including various types of holly, and other native species such as the abies nebrodensis, a beautiful fir tree, which at one point covered the Sicilian mountains, before being felled for its high quality wood, and which for a long time grew unknown, before being discovered by chance about 30 years ago by a group of inhabitants of a deep, isolated valley. The park not only boasts natural riches, but also a wealth of historical and anthropological interest, including its ancient and medieval villages, which we will pass through, and the remnants of past lives centred on the pastoral, agriculture and forestry. Each night we will stay in a high quality agriturismo set in a restored farmstead, where you can still truly feel the region's past, and you will enjoy delicious food. As this trail consists of a loop through the Madonie Natural Park, it is possible to only do four of five days of the programme, on request.

What's Included:

  • Transfers from and to the airport. All meals and drinks (from dinner on the day of arrival to breakfast on the day of departure) Overnight stays in high quality accommodation Hire of a horse for the duration of the trail
  • with an English or a Western saddle
  • depending on your preference Expert guides who are very familiar with the areas you will ride through during the trail

Price: From £1530pp

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Itinerary and prices – scroll down for more details

Day 1: Arrival
You will arrive at Serra Guarneri, in the territory of Cefalù, where we will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 2: Serra Guarneri – Gibilmanna – Casale Drinzi (hours of riding: 6)
After breakfast, you will be assigned your horse for the trail and we will set off from Serra Guarneri at about 8.00 in the morning, riding towards Gibilmanna, a famous sanctuary and Franciscan monastery dedicated to Our Lady, the patron and protector of the diocese of Cefalù.  First, we will ride through the vineyards of the Azienda Sant'Anastasia, before passing through a wild landscape covered in Mediterranean brush, and arriving at Gibilmanna after about three or four hours.  We will visit the sanctuary, before continuing on towards the charming medieval village of Gratteri, where we will stop for a picnic lunch.  In the afternoon, we will continue the ride through the San Giorgio forest, dense with oak and durmast trees, and we will pass the ruins of the San Giorgio abbey, dating from the seventeenth century.  Finally, we will arrive at Casale Drinzi, nearCollesano, an ancient village of Arab origin (Qal'at as-sirat), where we will enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the night.

Day 3: Casale Drinzi – Donna Lavia (hours of riding: 6)
We will have breakfast and leave Casale Drinzi at around 8.00 in the morning, crossing the Mugerrati forest.  Depending on the conditions and the thickness of the snow, we will ride towards Piano Zucchi or Piano Cervi, renowned spots high in the mountains, immersed in thick forests of oak, which slowly give way to beech trees, to reach Portella Colla, at 1400 metres, from where we will begin the descent down the southern slopes to arrive in the afternoon at agriturismo Donna Lavia, in the territory of Polizzi Generosa, also of medieval origin.  We will enjoy a rich dinner and spend the night here.

Day 4: Donna Lavia – Terravecchia (hours of riding: 6)
After breakfast, we will set off from Donna Lavia at around 9.00 in the morning.  We will ride through the middle of the ValloneMadonna degli Angeli to admire the last remaining examples of the Nebrodi fir(abies nebrodensis), the symbol of the park.  We will stop for a picnic lunch up near the sanctuary of Madonna dell'Alto (at 1819 metres) – when visibility is good, you can enjoy views of most of the island from here.  We will then descend towards our agriturismo, Terravecchia, in the territory ofCastellana Sicula, where you can enjoy a swim in the pool with wonderful views towards Sicily's enchanting hinterland.  

Day 7: Casale Margherita – sea – Serra Guarneri (hours of riding: 6)
We will have breakfast and set off at around 9.00 in the morning.  Today we will descend towards the coast, through rich olive and almond groves, and manna ash trees.  We will pass through the Guarneri forest and the charming seaside village of Sant'Ambrogio, set on a very beautiful part of the coastline near Cefalù, to reach the beach.  Depending on the conditions (and how crowded the beach is), you can swim with the horses, before climbing back in the saddle for the final part of the ride towards Serra Guarneri, where we will arrive in the evening.  We will enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the night here. 

Day 8: Departure 
Breakfast and departure.


£1530 per person for a double room.
£1755 per person for a single room.

Additional Info

Level: Comfortable at all three paces (walk, trot and canter), with experience of hacking out in the open.

Age requirements: 16 years old and above.

Group size: Ten people maximum.

Key information / requirements: Between five and seven hours in the saddle per day.  You must be comfortable at all three paces (walk, trot and canter).  You must be 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.

Weight: Max 90 kg.

Accommodation: Agriturismi or 3* good quality hotels.

Themes: Mountains, forests, flora, fauna, lava flows, craters, history, mythology, agriculture, views.

Meals: Picnic lunches, typical Sicilian dinner in the evening (minimum four courses). Refined Sicilian cuisine prepared with local produce.  Evening meals include: starter, pasta course, meat / main course, dessert, wine, water and digestif (liqueur, grappa, limoncello or other available options), coffee or tea.  Continental or American-style breakfasts on request.  For groups of four or more riders, picnic lunches are provided by support vehicle (together with tables, chairs and cutlery) and include: fresh bread, salad, cheeses, olives, charcuterie, Sicilian specialities, wine or other drinks on request, coffee or tea.  For groups of less than four riders, picnic lunches consist of sandwiches and fruit (carried in saddlebags).

Languages spoken: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Sicilian.

Horses: 12 horses of Sicilian breeding, all well trained and accustomed to the terrain.  The horses live out at pasture.  The guide cleans, grooms and tacks up the horses.

Tack: Comfortable English saddles, with a sheepskin cover, or Western saddles on request.  All horses are ridden with a martingale and a crupper.

Luggage transport: By support vehicle.

Optional additional activities: Swimming pool, walks, guided tours of towns and historical sites with a local guide.

Nearby towns and places of interest: Ficuzza Natural Park, Madonie Natural Park, Bosco di Granza, Corleone, Prizzi,Collesano, Cefalù.

Airport: Palermo.

Transfers from/ the airport: Included in the programme price.

How To Book

  • 30% deposit to book
  • Final balance 8 weeks out
  • Fill in booking form below
  • Pay deposit via WorldPay

Optional Extras

  • Equipment: It is possible to hire riding hats and chaps on site