Arrive at Catania Airport and transfer to Le Terre di Castel Leone. Tonight we will host a traditional sicilian four course dinner with drinks.
Day 2 (hours of riding: 7)
We will set off from Le Terre di Castel Leone in the Alcantara valley, and after crossing the river we will begin to climb up through the Malabotta forest reserve, on the far eastern side of the Nebrodi mountain range, from where you can admire breathtaking views of the valley and of Mount Etna. We will continue to climb up to about 1200 metres above sea level, to reach the "patriarchs of the forest", enormous oak and beech trees, which are hundreds of years old. Here we will stop for a picnic lunch before continuing on to Argimusco (nicknamed "the Sicilian Stonehenge"), famous for its striking megaliths – according to some, created by years of weathering, and according to others, sculptures carved by ancient civilizations, but missing from the official record of the region's history. From here we will descend the northern slopes to reach the medieval town of Montalbano Elicona, where we will visit the old town and the castle, before arriving at our hotel on the town's main square, where we will have dinner and spend the night.
Day 3 (hours of riding: 7)
After breakfast we will begin by climbing again towards Argimusco and its megaliths, before entering the Malabotta forest once more, and beginning the descent along a different, but equally scenic route, immersed in truly unspoilt and wild natural surroundings. Here we will stop for a picnic lunch. We will then continue on through the village of Malvagna, before entering the Natural Park of the Alcantara River and following an old mule track along the banks of the river, arriving late in the afternoon back at our starting point.
After breakfast you can transfer to Catania Airport.
2 days riding, 3 nights all meals £630 per rider
For one rider only: £725
This trail is available at any time on request for two or more riders from April to December, but the dates need to avoid our week long tour dates.
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 Catania - Depart Catania