Sicilian Explorer

On this point-to-point trail ride, ride across Sicily from coast-to-coast and explore its rolling hills and lovely views. You will ride along ancient pathways that will take you through the heart of the island, and explore the mountain tracks of the Madonie Natural Park. Discover important landmarks along the way and learn about the history behind each quaint town. Aside from excellent, adventurous riding, you can expect delicious, home-made picnics and dinners, washed down with a glass of local wine. This is great trail ride in Sicily for riders looking to learn about local history combined with great food, and beautiful landscapes.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
8 days (6 days riding)
From £1,685

Itinerary

Highlights

- Explore the beautiful Madonie Natural Park in northern Sicily, home to more than 70% of the island's wildlife.
- Ride across Sicily from the north to the south coast. This trail offers unparalleled immersion in Sicily's complex history and agricultural heritage.
  • Day 1 1: Home – Palermo - No riding

    Fly to Palermo in Sicily. Please note that flights are not included but can be booked on request.
    Upon arrival you will be met by our local partners and transferred to Casa “Il Bosco”, a beautifully restored 19th century country house, immersed in the wild countryside of the Madonie Natural Park in Northern Sicily. From there you can enjoy breath-taking views of the island’s north coast and the Aeolian Islands. You will meet your guides and fellow riders and enjoy a dinner prepared with local produce before you head to bed.
  • Day 2 2: Casa Il Bosco - Piano Battaglia - Approx. 7 hours riding

    Today, after the horses are assigned, you will start your point-to-point trail ride riding through the wild Mediterranean vegetation and woods. Make sure to look around and enjoy the fantastic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ride along the famous Sanctuary of Gibilmanna and continue through woods to the territory of Isnello. Stop to enjoy a picnic lunch before beginning your ascent on the northern slopes of Pizzo Carbonara, Sicily’s second highest mountain.
    Continue your trail ride along lush forests until you reach Piano Battagli, a mountain station located at the heart of the Madonie Park. Enjoy a delightful dinner prepared with local produce.
    Overnight at Rifugio Marini.
  • Day 3 3: Piano Battaglia – Agriturismo Feudo Catuso - Approx. 7 hours riding

    This morning’s ride starts by following a route through the mountains in the heart of the Madonie Park. You will reach high altitudes from where you can see the landscapes of Sicily’s hinterland.
    You will descend towards the historic town of Polizzi Generosa and stop for a picnic lunch. Continue to follow ancient paths until you reach Agriturismo Feudo Catuso, an old farmstead, which has been renovated.

    Dinner and overnight at Agriturismo Feudo Catuso.
  • Day 4 4: Feudo Catuso – Mappa - Approx. 7 hours riding

    Today start descending towards the southern part of the Imera River, the western boundary of the Madonie area, which you will cross, before climbing up the other side of the valley.
    The trail you will be following will lead you to the heart of Sicily’s interior, which is criss-crossed by “trazzere”, ancient royal pathways, established by the Bourbons in the 18th and 19th centuries to ensure free movement of people across the island.
    As you make your way to Mappa, you will pass the Sanctuary of Our Lady Bilici, at the geographical centre of the island. Ride until you find the train station of Marianopoli. After riding through endless field of wheat and hay, you will reach the former residence of the Princess of Spadafora – Mappa.
  • Day 5 5: Mappa – Aragona - Approx. 7/8 hours riding

    You will begin your day riding through fields to the territory of the picturesque village of Sutera. It is considered to be one of the oldest settlements in human history and retains many traces of its prehistoric origins. Today you ride through the beautiful Monte Conca nature reserve until you reach the valley of the river Platani. At the end of the day, you will reach the farm of Principe di Aragona, a restored farmstead.
    You may have time to enjoy the pool before dinner time.

    Dinner and overnight at Agriturismo Principe di Aragona
  • Day 6 6: Aragona – Casa di Bacco - Approx. 7 hours riding

    Today you will make your way to Agrigento, the site of the ancient Greek city of Akragas, founded in 580 BC by the Rhodians and Cretans. After riding through an agricultural area, you will arrive at the Macalube di Aragone, where you will witness the odd phenomenon of small mud volcanoes formed by methane rising up through the earth and creating craters as it emerges.
    After stopping for a picnic lunch, you will ride through vineyards until reaching the small town of Giardina Gallotti. Arrive at the Casa di Bacco in time to enjoy the swimming pool.

    Dinner and overnight at La Casa di Bacco.

  • Day 7 7: Agrigento –Torre Salsa - Approx. 7 hours riding

    Today you will follow a striking route with olive and almond groves witnessing wonderful views of the Mediterranean coast. Continue to the coastal reserve of Torre Salsa, one of Sicily’s best preserved coastlines, before concluding the trail on the reserve’s lovely beaches.

    Dinner and overnight at Luna Minoica.
  • Day 8 8: Palermo - Home - No riding

    After breakfast, transfer to Palermo Airport on time for your flight back home.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 4 international riders and a maximum of 10 riders, plus guides.

- If you sign up to the ride as a solo rider and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement of approx. £230/€260/$280. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date. Solo supplements are not guaranteed, please contact us if you would like to guarantee your own room.

- Transfers are included to and from Palermo airport - please make sure to arrive/depart between 11am and 5pm.

- Rider weight limit: 90kg / 14st 2lbs / 198lbs.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Accommodation

Double room - guesthouse

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8

Price doesn't include

Meals

Personal extras

Transport

International flights

Extras

Tips to the local team

Insurance

Visas and personal purchase
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    08/04/2023 15/04/2023 £1,685 €1,984 $2,089 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    28/10/2023 04/11/2023 £1,685 €1,984 $2,089 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The horses are Sicilian bred and are mostly Sicilian indigenous breeds crossed with Arabs. They live out all year round and are hardy and sure-footed. They are trained to be forward-going and energetic, but still respectful of their riders.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

This holiday is for intermediate and advanced riders. You should be comfortable at all three paces and able to keep your balance over varied and uneven ground.

Rider weight limit: 90kg / 14st 2lbs / 198lbs

Pace

This is a multi-base riding holiday in which you will be spending around 7 hours on average in the saddle each day (some days are even longer!). The main pace is the walk, with the possibility of long trots and canters along the way.

Tacking ability and participation

The team will look after the horses - guests are not required to groom and tack. You can help groom and feed the horses if you want to.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You must be riding fit as during this ride you’ll be spending long hours in the saddle - previous experience of a multi-day riding holiday is recommended. Expect variable weather conditions.

Equestrian equipment

Comfortable English saddles, with a sheepskin cover, or Western saddles on request.
Saddlebags are provided.
We recommend you bring your own helmet.

Travel info

Comfort

You will stay in renovated farmsteads and small hotels. All have been selected with care, even though some are a little more basic than others, it brings this riding holiday a touch of authenticity.

Meals

Breakfasts will be had at your local farmstead.
Picnic lunches are provided by the 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.
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.

Special diets can be accommodated with advance notice.

Climate

Sicily has a mostly Mediterranean climate along the coastline, with mild, moderately rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. In inland areas, winters can be moderately cold and summers are still hot to very hot. Some areas of Sicily are quite high and it will get colder at higher altitudes. The best time to enjoy this trail ride in the spring time and early summer time as temperatures tend to be pleasant (lower twenties), although the likelihood of rain is higher. Autumn is a lovely time of the year to go, with very comfortable temperatures and beautiful autumn colours in the mountains.

Guide and local team

Alex is your guide and a true expert when it comes to Sicily's natural wonders, biodiversity, history and culture. Alex was a pioneer of equestrian tourism in Sicily and over the years he has explored and organised countless horse riding excursions and trails across the island. He guides the majority of our trails rides in Sicily and is an insatiable explorer who loves discovering new paths through his beloved Sicily, and sharing them with his guests. Alex is half French and half Sicilian and is fluent in French and English (as well as Italian and Sicilian). He was born in France and grew up in the territory of Madonie in Sicily. He studied Cultural Tourism Sciences at Palermo University and worked in cultural tourism for around ten years before specialising in equestrian tourism.

Lizzie, his wife, also guides the trails. She has ridden trails around the world, but fell in love with the truly unique experience of trail riding in Sicily. Lizzie's mission is to share Sicily's wild beauty, enchanting culture and delicious food and wine with like-minded horse riding enthusiasts from around the world. She guides some of our trails and also provides logistical support along the way. Born and raised in London, Lizzie is English and is fluent in French and Italian.

Tips

Tipping is not obligatory, however one can be made to the local team at your discretion.
Please note you may not have access to an ATM during the ride, as you stay in remote areas.

Packing list

As you climb up, it will get cooler - please make sure to bring waterproofs and layer up!

Head
- A riding helmet is required. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable.
- Sunhat: cap for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun and dust

Upper Body
- Thermals in case of cold weather (long or short-sleeved T-shirts)
- Short or long-sleeved cotton shirts (to provide protection from the sun) or T-shirt in a quick-drying material
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent (plus a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm Goretex-style jacket (water-proof and breathable)

Legs
- 2 pairs of jodhpurs or long leather trousers
- 1 change of trousers (riding trousers or jeans)
- 1 pair of waterproof over trousers)
- A swim suit may be useful
- Cotton or synthetic underwear (non-irritant)

Hands and feet
- 1 pair Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps or long boots.
- 1 pair of sandals
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Night gear
- Pyjamas

Other useful items
- Small bumbag to be worn whilst riding
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle
- Backpacks are not to be worn whilst riding. Everything should be kept either in saddlebags or in a bumbag : lip balm, sun screen, small camera, glasses, rope etc.
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Toiletries
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Vitamin C tablets
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Painkillers
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

General information
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Visa & Health

Formalities

British citizens: other nationalities, please contact us.

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:
- you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
- if you are travelling to Italy and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days

At border control you may need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay, and
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
- Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit.

Passport validity from 1 January 2021
From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

Please visit for the FCO website for up-to-date information - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade à l'étranger :
    Piazza Farnese 67
    00186 Rome
    Tél. : +39 06 686 013 02
    Fax : +39 06 686 015 66
  • Ambassade en France
    51 rue de Varenne
    75007 Paris
    Tél. : 01 49 54 03 00
    Fax : 01 49 54 04 10
    ambasciata.parigi@esteri.it
  • Ambassade d'Italie
    ChancellerieElfenstrasse 14
    3006 Berne
    Tél. : 031/350 07 77
    Fax : 031/350 07 11
    ambasciata.berna@esteri.it
  • Ambassade d'Italie
    Rue de Livourne 38
    1000 Bruxelles
    Tél. : 0032/2/543.15.53
    Fax : 0032/2/537.57.56
    passaporti.bruxelles@esteri.itvisti.bruxelles@esteri.it

Health

UK Citizens: A UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the European Union (EU).

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/

It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. It does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment.

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.

Travellers should be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK.

For up to date information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. UK citizens will require an adapter.

Budget and money

The main currency is the euro. You will find ATM ("Bancomat") in every city, town and most villages. Both credit and debit cards are used.

Telephone and jetlag

Phone code: +39