Horse Trails in Sicily

For those who want to treat themselves a holiday or to have a simple horseback ride at the pace set by this wonderful travel companion, here are few of the many possiibility paths in Sicily.

Enjoying the temporary break from the frenetic rhythms of everyday life to experience Sicilian landscapes beauty is a unique opportunity: a proposal for slow tourism, closely with nature, in the most pristine and less populated spots, among valleys and hills, woods and grasslands, streams and waterfalls.

A tour including  sites of cultural interest, out of the traditional circuits, with a surprising variety of food, wine and artisan products, that have been inherited from the different domination and, over the centuries, have made this island a great mosaic of influences,  ancient traditions and cultures.

The itineraries here suggested, chosen from about 11.000 kilometers of trails in Sicily, selected by thinking at a certain touristic accessibility, provide many facilities, signage, refreshment points, adequate assistance through highly experienced guides and horses used for  equestrian tourism, to offer unforgettable horse rides in total safety.

Most of these trails have no limitations and then suitable for any outdoor sports lover. With the right equipment they can also be suitable for trekking or mountain biking.

itineario a cavallo 1 - Aria

itineario a cavallo 1 – Aria

Annulla

1. ROUTE OF AIR

Starting point: Castellana Sicula (PA)

– altitude  a.s.l .:  from  950m  up to 1800m

– route lenght : about km 22

– travel time : 4 hours  (combined pace)

– technical difficulty:  medium

– required  equipment : gaiters/boots – cap/helmet

– available boxes : 10

– recommended period :  between  20 March  and  15 October


Abbeveratoio

Antico abbeveratoio – ph. Paolo Barone

The Madonie Park is known for its great availability of nature trails for horseriding; we suggest you this route among many: along its compacted earth trail, you’ll cross ancient villages, and old drinking troughs for the cattle, and enjoy a landascape alternating between wooded mountain areas and barren hills, providing amazing views.

Don’t miss a visit to the Sanctuary of Madonna dell’Alto. Located 1600 metres high it’s the highest in Europe and overlooks the Madonie woods and the valleys below. Monte Quacella, located in Quacella area, is considered the botanical garden of the Madonie Mountains. It rises immediately north from Madonna degli Angeli Valley, a famous for hosting many of the 30 unique worldwide specimens of Abies nebrodensis (fir of the Nebrodi Mountains), an endemic species dating back to the ice age.

Among the  hikers favorite destinations hikers there is Piano Cervi, where an easy trail, surrounded by a thick forest vegetation, leads up to wide green spaces.

For more information on the natural areas, visit the Madonie Park website and/or contact the Forest Service –  Reparto Ippomontato Madonie  – phone +39 091 562437 – mobile. +39 331 5702081

FORESTA

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2. ROUTE OF FORESTS

Starting point: Floresta (ME)

Route 1: Floresta – Lake Cartolari

–  altitude a.s.l .:  from 1200 m up to 1400 m

– route lenght : about 30 km

– travel time: 6 hours (combined pace) , 1 hour break

– technical difficulty : medium – high

– required  equipment : gaiters/boots – cap/helmet

– available boxes: fences and houseposting or, as an alternative, public stables

– recommended period :  between  15 April and  20 September

Route 2: Floresta – Mount Colla

 altitude a.s.l.: from 1200 m up to 1500 m

– route lenght : about  15 km

– travel time: 6 hours (combined pace) , 1 hour break

– technical difficulty:  medio / alte

– required  equipment : gaiters/boots – cap/helmet

available boxes: fences and houseposting or, as an alternative, public stables

– recommended period :  between  15 April and  20 September

Route 3: Floresta – Favoscuro

– altitude a.s.l: about 1200 m

– route lenght : about  6,5 km

– travel time: two and a half hours (combined pace)

– technical difficulty:  medie – percorso a margherita

– required  equipment : gaiters/boots – cap/helmet

– available boxes: fences and houseposting only

– recommended period :  between  15 April and  20 September


immagine-021

ph. Paolo Barone

This important village into the Nebrodi Valley provides healty walks along a 1100-400 high path, surrounded by wide pastures where the largest local cattle and goats populations live: outstanding location in producing of fresh/hard and soft cheeses to taste with some cold meats.

The surrounding includes  woods full of beeches, oaks and downy oaks, which for the wide extension should be called forests, where, even in summer, the sun can hardly goes through.

The area provides a wide range of routes; we suggest you to try  those that reach up to the natural lakes Tre Arie and Cartolari.

Along these paths it may happen to spot vultures, endemic to this area, together with wild cats,  black pigs and incredible herds of wild horses, belongin to the Sanfratellana breed, freely running around.

For more information about these natural areas, visit the  Parco dei Nebrodi   website or contact +39 095 697818

fuoco

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3. ROUTE OF FIRE

1st  starting point: Santa Venerina (CT)

2nd  starting point: Nicolosi (CT)

– altitude a.s.l .:  from 330 m up to 2970 m

– route lenght : every possible route is not less than 25 km

– travel time: from 6 hours up to days

– technical difficulty: medium-high

– required  equipment : gaiters/boots – cap/helmet, high mountain outfit

– available boxes: 20 for each starting point

– recommended period :  between 20 Aprile and  30 September


Questa immagine richiede un testo alt, ma campo alt è al momento vuoto. Aggiungere un testo alt o impostare l'immagine come decorativa. ph. Paolo Barone

The rich opportunities offered by Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, included in the  UNESCO  World Heritage list, make it one of the most attractive areas in Sicily.

Its incredible and varied touristic offer satisfies a larg number of hikers with different  skills, who will have to deal with a very particular territory, switched between a rugged nature, made mostly of sand and volcanic formations with their characteristic black color, and wooded areas, mostly beechs and birch trees, which have survided the lava flows throughout millennia.

The possibility to go around on a horseback for three days does performing  a complete tour around Etna, and reaching almost the top at an altitude of 3000 meters a.s.l., does not exclude alternative  routes at lower altitudes, lasting from 2 to 5 hours, with panoramic, breathtaking  views over the whole Ionian coast.

Not to mention the extraordinary faunal and floral biodiversity of the all area around Etna.

For more information about these natural areas, visit the  Parco dell’Etna   website or contact +39 095 821111

sicani

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4. ROUTE OF THE SICANI MOUNTS

Starting point: Prizzi (PA)

Route 1: Source of River Sosio

– altitude  a.s.l .:  from 600 m  up to 750 m 

– route lenght : about  7 km

– travel time :  4 hours (combined pace) , 1 hour break

– technical difficulty:  medium-low

– required  equipment : gaiters/boots – cap/helmet

– available boxes : 6 and, as as an alternative, housepostings and fences

– recommended period :  between  20 March and  30 September

Route 2: Lake Prizzi

– altitude  a.s.l .:   from  600 m  up to 750 m

– route lenght : about 15 km

– t- travel time :  7 hours (combined pace) , 1 hour break

– technical difficulty:  medium-low

– required  equipment : gaiters/boots – cap/helmet

–  available boxes : 6 housepostings and fences

– recommended period :  between  20 March and  30 September


Horses

p. Paolo Barone

Monte Scuro represents an  area of ​​the park particulary rich of historical and naturalistic charm. here the river sosio rises and, crossing the Sicanian area for over over 60 km, reaches the Mediterranean sea, flowing between the villages of Ribera and Sciacca.

The area include an ancient and dense wood, rich in full of oaks, holm oaks and downy oaks which in late 1800s and the early 1900s housed  coal bins and mule tracks, nowadays partially walkable. This nature  and very panoramic excursion goes along a level variance of about 700 meters, and reaches an altitude of about 1200 m a.s.l.

Climbing Monte Indisi, on the border between Prizzi and Palazzo Adriano areas, you can enjoy the wonderful panorama provided by the Reserve of Sosio Valley and a large part of the Sicani Mountains, and, a little further up, Rocca Busambra (Ficuzza), the villages of Giuliana and Chiusa SclafaniMonte Carcaci and Monte Cammarata.

Along the source of the river Sosio, during the warmest months, it is possible to  freshen up into the crystal clear waters, and  explore the tunnels dug into the rock to find  the spring waters. The walking goes on towards Monte Scuro forest on the trails of an ancient mule track, once used by the coal men, that provides a stunning view over a dense forest and then reaches a wide valley with pastures and soils cultivated with cereals.

For more information about these natural areas, visit the Parco dei Monti Sicani website or contact +39 366 6805077

sabbia

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Starting point: : Valguarnera Caropepe (EN)

altitude  a.s.l .:  from 600 m up to 750 m

– route lenght: about km 65

– travel time: 2 days  combined pace, breaks, refreshment and overnight stay

– technical difficulty:  medium – low

– required  equipment: gaiters/boots – cap/helmet

– available boxes: 3 plus 20 houseposting at the starting point, 10 boxes for the night break

recommended period:  between  20 March  and  30 September


sabbia

Diga Olivo – ph. Paolo Barone

The walk in this area goes mostly through a vast forest, rich of non-endemic species such as eucalyptus, planted in the 1950s and 1960s to help  an important paper mill that should have been established  in Piazza Armerina.

This 35 km route crosses the green equipped area of ​​the Ronza Park, that host many species of birds, fallow deers, wild boars, porcupines and Tibetan goats.

The surface, definitely the best in Sicily, 90% consisting just of sand, leads to the shore of the Olivo dam, set in Barrafranca area, passing through the archaeological site of Montagna di Marzo, and then returning to Piazza Armerina in the afternoon.

You can also extend the route until the nearby Villa Romana del Casale, an important archaeological site included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, and admire the enchanting mosaics, still perfectly preserved

Itinerario Acqua

Starting point:  Palazzolo Acreide (SR)

– altitude  a.s.l .:  about 450 m

– route lenght : about km 25

– travel time : 6 hours (combined pace) 1 hour break

– technical difficulty: medium

– required  equipment: gaiters/boots – cap/helmet

– available boxes : 20

– recommended period :  between  20 March  and  15 April


Water Trail

ph. Paolo Barone

This path allows to combine wellness and fun, immersed in a generous landscape full of rivers flowing through a lush Mediterranean scrub, among hidden paths, hills and valleys providing inexpressible  beautiful views.

This area, lying between the valley of the Anapo river and that of the Manghisi river, is rich in historical evidence dating back to the Greek-Roman period and offers the opportunity to visit, on horseback as well, some important sites  representing the richness of Sicilian Baroque Style, included in the Unesco  World Heritage.

The route lenght is about 1 to 2 hours, but it can may last even all day long, including the opportunity of some barbeque or night gatherings, thanks to the accomodation facilities provided with rooms and horseboxes stables.


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Map of the horse trails in Sicily – 2019 Studio Russo, all rights reserved

Download the Map of Horse Trails in Sicily

2021-02-11T10:46:50+01:00

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