Cefalu'-Etna, 6 days
Trekking that allows us to cross the entire North-Eastern Sicily (known as the Val Demone) through the four parks of the Madonie, Nebrodi, Etna and Alcantara.
In the organization of our trails are included:
- Transfer from/to the airport
- All meals with drinks (from the dinner of the arrival day to the breakfast of the departure day)
- All nights in quality accommodations (see partners)
- Horse hire with english or western saddle
- One or more local English speaking guides, experts in the area that is crossed throughout the journey
Our horses stay with us throughout the duration of the trail and are greeted by the same structures so guests never need to use other means of transport not even for short distances.
All meals are made from local produce from picnic lunch to dinner in farmhouse that include a minimum of four litters.
dates 2021: 01-08/05 ; 05-12/06 ; 04-11/09; 09-16/10.
Prices: €1600for double room, + €150 single room supplement.
Day 1 (Luogo Marchese - Casalvecchio); hours on horseback: 7
Assignment of horses and saddles. At about 9am departure from Tenuta Luogo Marchese the countryside around Castelbuono, charming medieval town rich in history and tradition. Ascent through the largest cork forest of Sicily to Geraci, a mountain town (about a thousand meters high) which is famous for its castle and its mineral water.
After a short refreshment stop we leave forests and ancient abandoned paths, until we arrive in the afternoon at "Casalvecchio Geraci", a beautiful farmhouse recently restored on the banks of the river Raino', a tributary of the river Pollina, surrounded by the Sicilian countryside planted with wheat. You will enjoy a hearty dinner of local products and meat.
Day 2 (Casalvecchio - La Sugherita); hours of horseback: 5
From our farm walk along an old "trazzera" (ancient route dating back at least to the Bourbon) with a scenic overview through fields of wheat and forage up to an altitude of about a thousand feet and then getting to step Malpassetto, the border of the provinces of Palermo, Enna and Messina.
We enter in the woods of the reserve 'Sambughetti-Campanito' where we eat the picnic, then we enter in the territory of Nicosia and Cerami, before going down on an old steep path and set in a forest of cork which brings us at the "La Sugherita" where we stay for our third night and from where you can take a short walk to a prehistoric troglodyte.
Day 3 (La Sugherita - Villa Miraglia); hours on horseback: 8
In this stage we enter in the heart of the Park of Nebrodi along the famous "Ridge" a long dirt road (about a hundred kilometers) between forests and high mountain pastures.
A place full of charm and extraordinary views on the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Aeolian Islands andin the other side on the Sicilian hinterland provinces of Enna, Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Siracusa, Catania and Etna. Through the beech woods in the territory of San Fratello, famous for its sanfratellani horses, a native breed which is very strong and durable, with a very large head. They can be seen grazing in the wild.
Lunch will be held in a small clearing in the shade of trees near a source of water (Nocita). We will arrive in the afternoon at the hotel "Rifugio del Parco" where will eat a great dinner of local Nebrodi products.
Day 4 (Villa Miraglia - Monte Colla); hours on horseback: 8
This is probably the most beautiful stage, runs for 40 kilometers along the "Dorsale dei Nebrodi" including mountains, forests and lakes and a landscape of amazing beauty.
Now we come to the lake Maulazzo, dominated by Mount Soro, the highest peak in Nebrodi (1847 meters) covered by magnificent beech woods, then the famous lake "Biviere di Cesarò" stopping place for migratory birds. Continue along the "Dorsale" where lush forests give way to panoramic clearings, from which you can see to the north the Aeolian Islands and to the south the majestic peak of Mount Etna.
We will arrive in the evening tired but satisfied in Monte Colla, which is a unique old farmhouse dating from the 18th Century that has been converted to an agriturismo. Monte Colla is more than 1400 meters in altitude in the territory of Randazzo.
Day 5 (Monte Colla - Al Vecchio Torchio del Casale); hours on horseback: 6
We will depart Monte Colla and make our descent into the town of Randazzo, gaining a lovely view of Mt. Etna along the way. Randazzo dates back to Greek time and retains a very rich monumental heritage that can be appreciated on the ride through the city. Picnic lunch will be near the city.
We continue then along the valley of Alcantara river and come into the territory of Castiglione di Sicilia (Catania province) where we'll find our farmhouse "Al Vecchio Torchio del Casale", just below the slopes of Etna.
Day 6 (Al Vecchio Torchio del Casale - Etna North): hours on horseback: 7
After going through a rich and evocative agricultural area characterized by its crops of peaches, almonds, olive groves, vineyards and drywalls of lava stone,we enter in the Etna natural Park where we will ride thru beautiful forests of pine, oaks and chestnuts. We'll visit volcanic caves and admire breathtaking views of the mountains of Sicily and Calabria. After that we will ride into the "Ragabo" pine forest about 1500 meters above sea level.
There we'll stop for lunch and then continue to climb through the pine forests to Piano Provenzano (about 1800 meters above sea level) and according to the season and the weather and volcanic conditions, continue to climb up to the craters of the last great eruption of 2002.
At the end of the day we come down to spend the second evening at "Al Vecchio Torchio del Casale", where after a good dinner will spend the last night with the beautiful images of the trail etched in our minds for a long time yet...