Arrive at Catania Airport and transfer to Le Terre di Castel Leone. Tonight we will host a tradiitional sicilian four course dinner with drinks.
Day 2 (hours of riding: 7)
At our riding centre you will be matched up with your horse for your journey into the breathtaking sicilian countryside. We 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, here you can admire breathtaking views of the valley and of 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 Agrimusco (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 a hearty breakfast we will begin by climbing again towards Agrimusco 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. At your overnight accommodation we provide a farewell four course dinner with drinks
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 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.
Age requirements: 16 years old and above.
Group size: Nine 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). 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: Comfortable mountain chalet.
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: 14 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: Etna Natural Park, Alcantara Natural Park, Nebrodi Natural Park, Castiglione di Sicilia, Zafferana Etnea, Randazzo, Bronte, Catania, Taormina.
Closest airport: Catania.
Transfers (optional): Transfers included from Catania airport, payable to the driver (one to three passengers per car and journey time of 1h30). Free transfers are available from Castiglione di Sicilia or Francavilla (easily accessible by train or bus from Catania).
Logistical base: Le Terre di Castel Leone.