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This horseriding holiday brings you from Madonie Natural Park, a wonderful park in the province of Palermo, to the majestic Etna Volcano. Riding for about 240 kilometers through the wild and unknown Sicily, you'll have a great experience! You'll be taken to the heart of the true Sicily, skipping all the touristic places and show you the real soul of the island. During this week's ride, you'll have the chance to spend a great time with your beloved four-legged friends, enjoying Sicilian local cuisine, magic landscapes, and the uncontaminated nature. It's an itinerant ride that brings you each night to a different luxury agriturismo or hotel, where you can enjoy the best of the local products and have a taste of the Sicilian culture. The highlight is the last day of the trip, when you climb the volcano till the crater of the 2002's eruption, at about 2,500 meters on the sea level. The Sicily On Horseback team is waiting for you to have this great experience together!
During the week, you will spend seven nights in hotels and agriturismi, each night in a different one. They are all different from one another, but have some things in common: they are all run by families who really care about the quality of food and good services. Their aim, like Sicily On Horseback's, is to give to the guests the best taste of Sicily.
Going from a big farm run by the two sons of a family of breeders to a wonderful realis with luxurious rooms in the middle of the forest, you'll have the chance to enjoy the variety of food and traditions of different places.
You'll have the chance to share rooms or to have a single room paying a small supplement. Please remember that the availability of a single room depends on the accommodations.
A transfer is organized with a minibus from the airport. Time is set according to the guest's arrival. You are suggested to book flights landing not later than 5 p.m. because transfer requested after 5 p.m. must be paid extra (about 150 EUR). At the airport, participants will find somebody holding a sign with "Sicily on Horseback" written on it.
Once at the agriturismo, according to times, availability and weather conditions, guests could enjoy a drink by the pool and take a bath. A rich dinner with local and seasonal products will then be served.
After breakfast, participants are invited to take part in a short briefing with the guides, with a presentation of the horses and an explanation about how to have a better approach with them. Following the assignment of the horses, you leave to discover the Madonie Mountain.
You will ride through woods and fields, crossing some rocky paths, until you reach an old Roman trail that goes up to the ancient village of Petralia Soprana. Then, an old "trazzera" (large roads realized under the Spanish domination to facilitate people moving animals during the transhumance) brings the riders to the picnic place.
There, you meet the minibus, and after a light lunch and a short siesta, you get on the horses again and you ride to the next accommodation. After a couple of hours immersed in the typical High Madonie's landscapes, your first day ends at an ancient baronial estate, now used as a country hotel.
According to the time and weather conditions, there will be a chance to use a swimming pool. A gourmet dinner will follow, savoring the amazing recipes of Aldo and his wife.
After breakfast, you get on the saddle and, leaving behind the expanse of cereal fields that characterize the area. You begin your ascent towards Nebrodi Mountains. A large road that runs to the top of high hills and goes through the Natural Reserve "Sambuchetti - Campanito", guides the group until the picnic place.
After a nice siesta, you start the ride down the hills along the side of Monte Soprano, until you reach the homonymous farmhouse. There, according to the time and weather conditions, there's the chance to use a swimming pool again.
The accommodation is not only a hotel, but also a big farm well known for its good production of meat and cheese. For this reason, during the dinner cooked by the "Mom", you'll have the chance to taste local products.
Have breakfast then you ride to Capizzi, an ancient village at the gates of Nebrodi Park. You stop for a short break in the town and then you continue the climb till the road known as "Dorsale dei Nebrodi", a large trail that winds on the top of the mounts and through majestic forests. This trail will be followed for the next two days.
You will have packed lunch for a picnic because there are no chances for the minibus to reach that area. Among ancient beechwood, amazing landscapes and breathtaking views on Etna Volcano and Aeolian Islands, you get to Villa Miraglia Resort.
This can be considered an island of comfort in the middle of nowhere on top of the Nebrodi Mountains. A gourmet dinner cooked by the chef Gianluca Barbagallo, with his reinterpretation of local cuisine, based on seasonal products.
During this day, riders will be completely immersed in the mystical beauty of the park, with its forests and mountains. Staying at altitude, you go across the second part of the "Dorsale" and you meet four lakes: "Maulazzo", "Biviere", "Cartolari" and "Trearie". Crossing woods, there is also a possibility to meet some of the "Sanfratellani": mighty horses predominantly black that lives in the Nebrodi area.
As the previous day, there will be packed lunch, for the same reasons. During the afternoon, you'll cross some places where one has the feeling of being able to touch the Etna with a finger. Then you cross the "Masseria dell'Azienda Foreste Demaniali" until you get to the place where horses will pass the night. Customers will be moved with a short transfer to the hotel Fucina di Vulcano.
After breakfast, your guide will drive back to the place where you left the horses. It's a shorter day compared to the others, and it's also a bit faster. You go down to the valley of Flascio River as you cross galloping the "Natural Reserve of Gurrida Lake". Then you start to go up to the slopes of the volcano through the typical agricultural landscape until you reach the A area of Etna Park.
There, you stop in the "Natural Reserve of Monte la Nave", where you have a possibility to leave the horses free in a huge paddock. After lunch, there will be a short transfer with the 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.
That's the last day of the riding trip. As soon as you reach the large track that goes all around Etna, you start the climb. There, riders have a chance to admire the typical landscape of the volcano, always changing. Packed lunch for picnic.
Among more or less recent lava flows and coniferous and beech woods, you reach one of the lateral craters. The climb of the volcano, and also the trail you take, depending on weather conditions. Then, you come down until you reach the meeting point for the horse track that will bring them home.
With a short transfer, you will reach their last accommodation. There, during a short break at the bar together with the guides, there will be time to say goodbye before the departure. Then guides will start their trip back home, together with our horses.
Transfer with the minibus to the airport. The time of departure will be set according to the first flight.
Born in a family of farmers, Paolo rides since he was a young kid. During his life had lot of different experiences with horses, until he went to USA to study and practice Natural Horsemanship at the Academy of Edward Dabney, in Georgia. He takes care about horses, organization and trips. He personally breeds and trains his four-legged friends. Paolo is the founder of Sicily on horseback, and is working in the field of equestrian tourism since 12 years. He is a friendly guy and a handyman. He speaks basic English and French.
Selene rides since she was a kid. She attended a riding school and has been competing for several years. She is been working in the field of equestrian tourism for about 6 years and she moved to Sicily on horseback since a couple now. She takes care of horses, helps with the training and guides trips as well. She speaks English and French fluently.
Sicily On Horseback's aim is to show every traveler a different side of this special island. Not the touristic version of Sicily, famous for the beaches and coastal locations. They want to give you a chance to discover the real Sicily with its traditions, ancient and mysterious culture. Helping them to get tuned with this land and its people, crossing old landscapes almost unknown, offering the chance to taste the flavors of the past sitting at the table with Sicilian people.
All the meals from the dinner of the first Saturday to the breakfast of the last Saturday are included. Wine/beer is also included during lunch and dinner.
Food is the basis of the Sicilian culture! Sicilians have the ability to transform an easy product in one of the best meals of your life. For this reason, you'll have the chance to enjoy wonderful recipes. Food and wine will be an integral part of your experience. What they usually say: normal people eat for living, Sicilian people live for eating!
Transfer available for additional US$295 per person
The best and easiest solution would be landing at Catania's airport. The timing will be set from the guides according to the last arrival for the first day, and the first departure for the last day. Any other transfer required must be paid extra.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.
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