Ride Overview - Madonie to Mount Etna Ride
A horseback riding vacation to experience the diverse topography of Sicily, Italy! Few rides have the variety of riding trails as this one. Your trails will lead from rugged countryside and quiet lakes to black lava volcanic soil. You will experience the unique wonders of Mount Etna. Along the way, you will visit the ancient villages of Petralia, Soprana, and Capizzi. The horses are mountain professionals. They are used to the challenging hard trails and narrow passages. You will also experience an incredible variety of rich and tasty Sicilian mountain dishes made with fresh local produce. You need to be fit enough to ride up to 6 hours per day. There will be longer trots and canters. Your guide wants you to return home with not only many memories of fantastic riding on Sicilian trails but also having a clear and real idea about this incredible island. RIDING IN ITALY
Ride Itinerary - Madonie to Mount Etna Ride
You will be transferred from the airport to your comfortable B & B. After you have unpacked, you can enjoy a drink by the pool. You will meet your fellow at a delicious traditional dinner with local and seasonal products. Lodging at Agriturismo Terravecchia (Castellana Sicula)
After breakfast, you are invited to participate in a short briefing by the guides on the natural horsemanship used with the horses. Then you will mount up to discover the Madonie Mountain. Your trails will lead through lofty woods; and cross some rocky paths to an old Roman road that ascends to the ancient village of Petralia Soprana. Then an old herding trazzera will bring you to the picnic place. Here your group will meet the luncheon minibus for a light lunch. Then you will mount up to ride on a traditional high Madonie trail to your lodging, an ancient baronial estate, now used as a country hotel, Turismo Rurale Villa Rainò” (gangi). According to the time and weather conditions, there will be the chance to use the swimming pool. A gourmet dinner will follow, savoring the amazing recipes of Aldo and his wife.
You will ride through golden grain fields before your ascent towards the Nebrodi Mountains. A wide road that traverses to the top of high hills leads to the Sambuchetti – Campanito Reserve. You will then dismount for a picnic lunch. After a nice siesta, your group will ride down the hills in the shadow of Monte Soprano to your guest farmhouse, Agriturismo Monte Soprano” (capizzi). Here according to the time and weather conditions, you can use the swimming pool. The accommodation is not only an hotel, but also a big farm known for good production of meat and cheese. For this reason, during the dinner cooked by the “Mom,” you’ll have the chance to taste fresh local produce.
Your trail will lead to Capizzi, an ancient village at the gates of Nebrodi Park. Your group will stop for a short break in the town and then will continue the climb to the road known as Dorsale dei Nebrodi, a large trail that winds through majestic forests the top of the mountain. This trail will be followed for the next two days. You will have a packed lunch for picnic because there are no chances for the minibus to reach that area. Among ancient beechwood, amazing landscapes and breathtaking views of the Etna volcano and Aeolian Islands, you will find your next accommodation, the Villa Miraglia Resort (Cesarò). This can be considered an island of comfort in the middle of nowhere on top of Nebrodi Mountains. A gourmet dinner cooked by the chef Gianluca Barbagallo, with his reinterpretation of local cuisine, based on seasonal products.
You will be completely immersed in the mystical beauty of the park’s forests and mountains. Staying at altitude, you will cross the second part of the Dorsale to four crystal lakes: Maulazzo, Biviere, Cartolari, and Trearie. As you ride through the woods, there is a possibility to meet native Sanfratellani horses. As the previous day, there will be packed lunch. In the afternoon, you will cross places where you will have the feeling that you can touch Etna with a finger. Then your group will ride through the Masseria dell’Azienda Foreste Demaniali to the place where horses will pass the night. You will be transferred to the Fucina di Vulcano Hotel.
Today is a shorter day but a bit faster. Your trail will descend to the Flascio River valley. You will be able to canter to the Natural Reserve of Gurrida Lake. Next, your path ascends to the slopes of the volcano, area A of Etna Park. Here you will stop at the Natural Reserve of Monte la Nave where you will have the possibility to leave the horses free in a huge paddock. After lunch, there will be a short transfer by minibus to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Gourmet dinner with light recipes of the chef Sandro Chiù. This will be the last dinner together with the guides.
This is the last day of your riding vacation. As soon as your group reach the large track that goes all around Etna, your horse’s climb will begin. Here you will have the chance to admire the always changing landscape of the volcano. Packed picnic lunch will be offered. Among recent lava flows, coniferous and beech woods, you will reach one of the lateral craters. The climb to the volcano as well as the trail will depend on weather conditions. Next, your trail will descend to meeting point for the horses to be loaded for home. A short transfer will take you to your last accommodation, the Hotel Ragabo. Here, during a short break at the bar together with the guides, there will be time to say goodbye before the departure.
Transfer with the minibus to the airport. The time of departure will be set according to the first flight.
The guide reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on unforeseen circumstances.
Ride Details - Madonie to Mount Etna Ride
Dates: April 3rd – 10th, April 10th – 17th, April 17th – 24th, April 24th – May 1st, May 8th – 15th, May 22nd – 29th, June 5th – 12th, September 11th – 18th, September 25th – October 2nd, October 9th – 16th, November 6th – 13th, November 20th – 27th
Best Months to Ride: April – June and September – October
Airport: Catania Airport
Riding Days: 6
Daily Total Riding Hours: 5 – 8
Riding Ability: STRONG INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open spaces. Comfortable in the saddle for 6 hours or longer. Capable of riding on narrow ascending and descending mountain trails.
Group Size: 4-10
Weight Restrictions: 205 pounds
Horses: Sicilian horses (typically crossed with Arabian)
Saddles: handmade English/Western cross
Accommodations: 3*** agriturismi” (farm guesthouse), B &B and hotels
*Price: $2,200.00per person, double occupancy $195.00 single supplement
*Price is based on USD/Euro exchange rate and will be fixed at final payment.
**For total group size under 4, a small group fee may apply.
Included: lodging, horse, tack, guide, transfer to and from airport before 5 PM., all meals
Not Included: airfare, after 5:00 PM transfer to and from Catania Airport (150 euros)
Madonie to Mount Etna Ride: Gallery
Madonie to Mount Etna Ride