Sicily on horseback is a form of slow tourism. You’re in close contact with nature in the region’s most unspoiled locations, places little changed by humanity, amid valleys and hills, woods and prairies, streams and waterfalls.
The relationship between Sicily and horses is very deep, as is also shown by the presence of the indigenous Sicilian horse, bred in the Nebrodi and Madonie mountains, Palermo, Agrigento and the Val di Noto, and the Sanfratellano, a horse found wild in the Nebrodi mountains. This strong, robust breed seems to reflect the harsh character of these lands and it also adapts well to equestrian tourism.
The nature parks of the Nebrodi and the Madonie mountains down to Palermo, plus Etna and the Alcantara river, are perfect settings for trips on horseback. It’s a timeless way to rediscover your links with the lost past. You can also cover great distances, unthinkable on foot.
Riders can enjoy the magical atmosphere offered by Sicily’s most evocative areas, including the Europe’s highest volcano, Etna, with its craters, lava flows old and new, spectacular lava flow caves and fantastic woods. There are also are the Nebrodi mountains, travelling along the river Alcantara and the magical plateau of Argimusco. Alternatively, you could go for a good gallop along the shore around Giardini Naxos.
Exploring hidden corners, passing seamlessly from one type of natural scenery to another on the same day, with views over the whole of Sicily, is an experience you simply can’t put into words.
These areas have many agritourism centres, riding stables and equestrian associations which offer opportunities for saddling up and going for a pleasant ride, accompanied by expert guides and instructors.
From walks of a few hours to treks lasting up to around ten days, these rides are an ideal opportunity for tasting the region’s well-known food and wine specialties: from cured meats such as salumi di maialino nero to cheeses such as provole, from mushrooms to seasonal vegetables fried in batter.
There’s a wide choice of riding stables, equestrian centres and riding associations scattered throughout the island. Riding centres offering a more sport-orientated approach for all the disciplines, from show jumping to dressage, jumping or endurance, and are also scattered throughout the area. The riding schools have courses for all levels, from learning to ride to competition level, for all ages, from ponies for four-year-olds to adults, and for all budgets.
Here are some of the many possible trails in Sicily.
Palazzolo Acreide to ancient Noto Trail
Erean Mountains Trail
Sicani Mountains Trail
Mount Etna Trail