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Come to live your dream with Horse On Horseback in Sicily during this horse riding holiday through the amazing nature of Madonie Park. This oasis of wildlife and uncontaminated nature in the province of Palermo hosts a huge amount of species of plants and animals. There are two different types of this trip: itinerant and stationary. In both options, you'll have the chance to admire the best highlights of the park: its wonderful hidden places and breathtaking views. Horses will bring you up and down the mountain, through ancient woods and across rivers. The accommodations are different from each other but they all have something in common: they are managed by people loving their land and caring about the tradition and the quality of the products.
A week ride that will give you a taste of the real Sicily.
During the week, you will spend 7 nights in hotels and agriturismi, each night in a different one. You could also choose the option of a stationary trip in Madonie. In that case, you'll stay in the same accommodation for the whole duration of the tour.
They are all different from each other, but have some things in common: 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.
Transfer from the airport of Palermo to the first accommodation. It will take about one hour. Guests will find Mirko and his family waiting for them at the wonderful Agriturismo Le Campanelle, which has an amazing view on green hills and the Mediterranean sea.
Once there, according to times, availability and weather conditions, guests will have the chance to drink something by the pool and take a bath. Then dinner will be served. Mirko and his father take care of the big and rich garden near the agriturismo, so guests will taste good local products.
On the first morning, after breakfast, you will be given some info about the horses and the training method used with them. It's based on natural horsemanship and there are a couple of suggestions that the guides can give to the riders to help them in building a good relationship with their horses.
Then you start your ride. The path you'll take will bring you through pastures and oak woods, to the small and cute village of Gratteri, with its amazing view on the coast. There, you will stop for a light lunch.
After the lunch break, you'll get back on the saddle and ride towards the old village of Collesano. The ancient path that connects the two little towns brings you through a big wood full of different kinds of oaks.
Once at the accommodation, you'll take care of the horses and have a drink together. This place is called Casale Drinzi and used to be a riding school. Now it's a well-known agriturismo and famous restaurant. A reach dinner will be served.
After a reach breakfast, you'll get on our horses and start the ride up to the mountain. You'll take a small rocky root that will lead you through pastures and woods up to Piano Zucchi. An upland higher in the mountain where you will have your light lunch.
As soon as everybody will be ready, you'll get back on your horses and restart the climb of the mountain up to Piano Battaglia. The ride will end at Piano Farina, where you find a shepherd's mountain house and a place where you can leave the horses. A short drive then will bring you to your hotel in Petralia Soprana. Dinner will be in town.
After a good breakfast at the hotel, you'll go back to Piano Farina. The ride today will bring you up to the “Sanctuary of Madonna dell'Alto”, on the top of Mt. Alto (1,819 meters), where you'll have your packed lunch.
After the lunch break the root, you will be brought down on the other side of the mountain, to reach the beautiful agriturismo of Terravecchia. This place used to be a riding school, but nowadays is just hosting two old horses, now part of the family.
Today Terravecchia is well-known for its special cuisine. There, guests will have the chance to enjoy the pool, according to availability season and weather conditions. Dinner will be served.
On this day, you will go to the other side of Madonie Park, to the village Geraci Siculo. A nice and fast path will guide you to the ancient village, where you'll have your good light lunch. Then, you'll take a different root through the rocky mountain to return to Piano Farina. You'll leave the horses and go to your hotel in Petralia Soprana. Dinner will be in town.
Today, you will spend the morning at the shepherd's place, watching and helping him with the cheese production. After a good lunch prepared with local products and, of course, fresh cheese, you will be ready to get on the saddle and start our ride down the valley, towards the pretty village of Castelbuono.
Crossing pastures and woods, you will reach a friend's stable right up on the village, where you'll leave your four-legged friends. A short drive will bring you to a wonderful B&B where you'll spend the night. Dinner in town.
The last morning you'll have the chance to spend some time visiting the wonderful castle in town, then you'll start your ride. The horses will bring you through the beautiful and reach valley surrounding Castelbuono until you reach Piano delle Fate, a great upland in the woods. This is a perfect place for the last lunch.
The ride in the afternoon will be shorter and will bring you to horses' pasture. There, you'll say goodbye to your four-legged friends. Then a short drive will bring you to Le Campanelle.
Transfer will be planned according to the first departure.
The horses are professional mountain horses. They are used to the very difficult, stony and hard trails of Madonie (on Nebrodi and Etna trails are a lot easier) and nobody of them has any problem in all the most difficult passages. You will remain astonished of their capabilities passing through some very tricky points with absolute tranquillity and a sure foot.
All the saddles were handmade built under Sicily on Horseback's directions in 2013 by a Sicilian saddle maker. They wanted to have sturdy and comfortable trekking saddles lighter than the saddles on the market, all very heavy.
They are all leather brown saddles. After one year of hard use, they are very happy about this new saddle so light but very strong. The saddle has a very comfortable and wide seat, so also western style rider can feel good. The stirrups are English. They always use on each saddle front strap and Crupper, so the saddle can't move going up and down the mountains and also the cinch can be fixed less tight because the saddle is maintained in her position by the crupper and front strap. A serious mountain trekking horse must wear both of them. Each saddle is equipped with a very capable and waterproof saddlebag. They are all the same, all bought in 2013. So among all the horses used in the trips, there are no differences in equipment. They wear all the same equipment, all of the same type, model and age.
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 travelers a different side of this special island. Not the touristic version of Sicily, famous for the beaches and coastal locations. They want to give their guests the 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.
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!
Those with particular food requirements (vegetarian, allergies, various) must advise at booking to have individually personalized food.
Transfer available for additional US$301 per person
You are suggested to choose Falcone–Borsellino Airport (PMO) for your flights because is the closest to Sicily On Horseback's place, and the transfer would be included in the price. The timing will be set from the guides according to the last arrival for the first day, and 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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