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Italy - Sicilian Odyssey
Discover the wild and unspoilt island of Sicily on horseback!

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We GUARANTEE you won't find the same horse riding holiday at a lower price through any other source... and if you do, we promise to refund the difference!

from £3,265 or €3,800

Horse Riding Holidays Italy, Sicilian Odyssey

PRICES & DATES top

Sicilian Odyssey: Prices 2024

GBP, £ EUR, € USD, $
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  • $4,148
    • GBP: 3,265
    • EUR: 3,805
    per person sharing
  • $4,695
    • GBP: 3,695
    • EUR: 4,307
    single room

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

Included – All riding, full board accommodation, luggage transfer & airport transfers

Excluded – Flights, drinks & tips

Sicilian Odyssey: Dates 2024

18 May – 1 June

Getting There
Arrive and depart Palermo Airport.

Transfer
Please arrive before 5pm if possible, it’s about a 1 hour transfer to the first night accommodation in the seaside town of Cefalu.

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

The ultimate Sicilian trail ride and a truly fantastic adventure, crossing Sicily from the Madonie Mountains through enchanting valleys and incredibly varied scenery to reach majestic Mount Etna, encircling the volcano, and returning to the Madonie Mountains through the breath-taking Nebrodi Mountains, one of the greenest and most unspoilt parts of the island..

Riding alongside Alex & Lizzie, they will personally guide you through the enchanting landscapes, giving you first-hand experience of the culture, staying in local agritourism hotels, farmhouses and guesthouses along the way and eating some of the most delicious, authentic Sicilian food along the way.

Alexandre Morello & Lizzie Reeves – Partners
Alex is a true expert when it comes to Sicily’s natural wonders, biodiversity, history and culture. Over the years he has explored and organised countless horse-riding trails across Sicily. He’s an insatiable explorer who loves discovering new paths through his beloved Sicily and sharing them with our clients.

Lizzie has ridden many trails around the world but fell in love with the truly unique experience of trail riding in Sicily. She was born and grew up in London and studied French and Italian at Oxford University, before doing a post-graduate diploma in law. She worked for some time as a solicitor and specialised in international arbitration, before settling in Sicily full time to follow her true love of the island, horses and Alex.

Sicily has a good climate for riding almost all year round, amazing natural beauty and varied landscapes. Sicily is also truly unique in terms of its accessibility to riders. The island benefits from a vast network of trails and country lanes and an open countryside approach to land ownership, which means that there is access to almost all of the island on horseback, including its most remote and wildest corners. This also means that road riding during the trail is kept to an absolute minimum.

Over the centuries, Sicily has absorbed the influences of all those who have occupied the island, from the Greeks to the Arabs and the Bourbons. The charm of Sicily’s complex and unique identity is undeniably captured in its people, who could be defined as nothing other than “Sicilian”, and whose character is as intriguing and enchanting as the island’s history. The island’s richness and complexity also shine through in its cuisine, which combines centuries-old different culinary traditions and influences.

THE RIDING top

Sicilian Odyssey: Horses – Sicilian Local Breed, with some Arab Crosses / 14.2hh – 16hh

Sicilian Odyssey: Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to Advanced. You must be able to canter in control in open space and have and independent seat and hands.

Tack – English Style

Sicilian Odyssey: Weight Restriction – 85 kg / 13.4 stone / 188 lbs.

Sicilian Odyssey: Group Size – Maximum 10.

ACCOMMODATION top

The accommodation is a mix of Agritourism Hotels, B&B’s & Farmhouses, that have been chosen for their location, warmth and charm.

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. Picnic lunches are provided by 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.

Horse Riding Holidays at North Coast to South Coast are part of the Zara’s Planet collection of Horse Riding holidays Italy.

Please Ask About

  • Other Sicilian Trails, including Madonie Trail, Madonie to Mount Etna, Wild Sicily, Ride Across Sicily, Corleone to Madonie and the Mount Etna Trail

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

Day 1
You will arrive at Casa “Il Bosco”, a charming, restored nineteenth century country house, immersed in the wild countryside of the Madonie Park, with breathtaking views of the island’s north coast and the Aeolian Islands. You will enjoy a dinner prepared with local produce and spend the night here.

Day 2
After breakfast we will assign your horse and set off from Casa “Il Bosco” at around 8.30. We will begin the day riding through dense Mediterranean vegetation with beautiful views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. We will pass close to the town of Castelbuono and stop for a picnic lunch, before riding up the valley of the River Pollina, one of the most fascinating, wild, panoramic and least known areas of Sicily, between the territories of Castelbuono, San Mauro Castelverde and Geraci Siculo. We will ride along enchanting and forgotten pathways to reach Agriturismo Casalvecchio. Our guests will spend the night here and enjoy a delicious dinner prepared with produce straight from the farm.

Day 3
After breakfast, we will leave Casalvecchio at around 8.30 in the morning. We will begin by riding along a “trazzera” (an old pathway used for transporting goods and animals across the island) in the direction of Gangi, a hilltop town of ancient and mysterious origin. After passing below Gangi, we will ride through mountain pastures with beautiful views across the surrounding countryside, to reach the Bosco di Sperlinga, a natural forest, where we will stop for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, we will ride on to the village of Sperlinga, a fascinating place characterised by troglodyte dwellings, some of which are still in use today, and its unique castle, which is carved into the rock. We will visit the village and its castle, before a short ride to reach Baglio San Pietro, a restored farmstead dating from the seventeenth century and equipped with a swimming pool, where we will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 4
After breakfast we will leave Baglio San Pietro at around 8.30 in the morning. We will begin the day by descending into the valley of the Salso Cimarosa River, which we will then follow, immersed in unspoilt nature and surrounded by the impressive peaks of the Erean Mountains. We will stop for a picnic lunch and continue to follow the wild valley of the Salso Cimarosa, followed by the valley of the River Troina di Sotto, passing through the territories of Gagliano Castelferrato and Troina, historic hilltop towns of ancient origin. In the late afternoon we will arrive at Agriturismo Le Querce di Cota, a beautiful hotel with a swimming pool, where we will enjoy a delicious dinner prepared with homegrown organic produce and spend the night.

Day 5
We will have breakfast and set off at about 8.30 in the morning, following the valley of the River Troina di Sotto for a few hours. We will then climb through rolling farmland before descending into the valley of the Simeto River, at the foot of the great “Montagna”, majestic Mount Etna. After a picnic lunch we will ride through the territory of Bronte, famous for its pistachio production. We will ride around the edge of the town to arrive at La Fucina di Vulcano, a high quality hotel with a swimming pool and breath-taking views of Mount Etna. Dinner and overnight.

Day 6
After breakfast, we will leave La Fucina di Vulcano at around 8.30 in the morning and ride through the countryside of the territory of Bronte, before beginning our ascent on Etna‘s western slopes to reach the Pista Altomontana, which we will join in the vicinity of Monte Scavo and follow through forests of beech and conifer trees, crossing ancient and more recent lava flows. When visibility is good, you can enjoy breath-taking views of half of Sicily and Etna‘s summit from here, and it is also possible to enjoy some excellent gallops along this part of the trail. We will stop for a picnic lunch near the Galvarina refuge and arrive later in the afternoon at the Giardino di Efesto, a charming hotel immersed in the woods at 1700 metres of altitude, where we will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 7
We will have breakfast and set off at about 8:00 in the morning. We will ride through the area of Rifugio Sapienza to reach the impressive Silvestri craters, created during a major eruption at the end of the nineteenth century, and known as a “bottoniera” because they follow a fracture line like the buttons on a shirt, before descending through the area known as the Desert of Etna, so-called for its arid landscape and the absence of pathways that cross through it. We will then ride through woods of oak, green oak and chestnut trees, before arriving in the territory of Zafferana Etnea, famous for producing honey, before continuing on to our next accommodation, Feudo Magazzeni, a beautiful historic property, recently restored, in the territory of Sant’Alfio. Dinner and overnight.

Day 8
A rest day for horses and riders. It is possible to book an excursion to the summit of Mount Etna (by jeep and on foot) or an Etna doc wine-tasting.

Day 9
We will have breakfast and set off at about 8.30 in the morning, beginning the day by climbing Etna’s north-eastern side through forests of green oak (quercus ilex), amongst which we will find the famous Ilici du Carrinnu, a green oak which is centuries-old and of enormous dimensions. We will then ride along the edge of the Valle del Bove, a famous depression in the landscape into which flows the lava from almost all of the eruptions from Etna’s southeast crater, the highest and most active of the volcano’s craters. After a picnic lunch, we will climb to reach the impressive Sartorius craters, created during a major lateral eruption in 1865, before riding on through forests of birch, beech and larix pines, to the area of Piano Provenzana. Here we will begin to follow a series of pathways through a lunar landscape and pass through the site of Etna’s last great lateral eruption in October 2002. We will ride along the 2002 lateral craters and pass Monte Nero and the Timpa Rossa refuge, immersed in enchanting beech woods, before crossing the 1928 lava flow to arrive at the Ragabo pine forest with its giant larix pines, in the midst of which sits Chalet Clan dei Ragazzi, where we will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 10
After breakfast we will set off at around 8.30 and begin the day following the Pista Altomontana until we reach the area of Monte Spagnolo, riding through very panoramic areas, including the lava flow from 1981 and its “Hornitos” (small holes that opened up during the eruption, whose name derives from the Spanish word for little ovens). We will then begin our descent on Etna’s northwest slopes, riding through beautiful forests, to reach Randazzo, a famous a historic town, which we will ride through before beginning to climb Monte Colla, the first mountain in the chain of the Nebrodi peaks on the eastern side. In the late afternoon we will arrive at Hotel Nebrodi, the most isolated hotel on the island, housed in an eighteenth century aristocratic home. Here we will enjoy a delicious dinner prepared with local produce and spend the night.

Day 11
We will have breakfast and set off at around 8.30, riding for the full day within the Nebrodi Park. From Monte Colla we will reach the famous “Dorsale” (a pathway following the ridge of the Nebrodi Mountains), which we will follow for almost 40km in the midst of a strikingly beautiful landscape, with lush forests giving way to clearings with panoramic views, glimpsing the Aeolian Islands to the north and the majestic peak of Mount Etna to the south. We will pass the lakes of Cartolari and Biviere, a resting place for migrating birds, and finally Lake Maulazzo, dominated by Monte Soro, the highest peak in the Nebrodi mountain range (at 1847 metres), covered in magnificent beech woods. Finally we will reach Villa Miraglia, a charming hotel in the very heart of the Nebrodi Park, where we will enjoy a rich dinner and spend the night.

Day 12
After breakfast, we will set off at about 8.00 in the morning and continue to follow the Dorsale through forests of beech and oak. In the afternoon, we will begin our descent from the Nebrodi Mountains, following wild and forgotten pathways, with spectacular views towards the centre of the island. In the late afternoon we will reach Monte Soprano, in the territory of Cerami, a large working farm and agriturismo equipped with a swimming pool, where we will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 13
We will set off at 8.30 and leave the Nebrodi Park behind, entering the Sambughetti-Campanito Reserve, in the territory of Nicosia (province of Enna). As we leave the reserve we will stop for a picnic lunch, before riding on beneath the huge turbines of a wind farm, with breathtaking views of the island’s north coast and the Madonie Mountains. In the afternoon we will arrive at the picturesque medieval village of San Mauro Castelverde, where we will have dinner and spend the night in a former Capuchin monastery transformed into a hotel.

Day 14
We will have breakfast and set off at about 8.30, beginning the day by descending into the wild and beautiful valley of the River Pollina. After crossing the river we will stop for a picnic lunch near Castelbuono, before returning to the territory of Cefalù, where our adventure comes to an end where it began, at Casa “Il Bosco”.  Dinner and overnight.

Day 15
Breakfast and transfer to the airport.

DESTINATION MAP top

Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.

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