Horse riding in Madonie Regional Natural Park

A horseback vacation in the marvelous nature of Madonie Regional Natural Park, a terrific wildlife sanctuary characterized by a great variety of plant and animal species. The best opportunity to ride through its natural wonders, hidden places and breathtaking views.
You will spend 8 days full of history and tradition in the heart of its mountains, woods and rivers. You will rest in charming accommodations rooted in this amazing land. There is no better way to discover the real Sicily than on horseback.

A natural beauty

Madonie Moutains in the northern part of Sicily encompass the highest peaks of the island, after Etna. The park extends from the hinterland to Cefalù coast and thrives with fascinating bridle paths that cross the park woods. Because of its great extension, this area houses the largest biodiversity heritage in Sicily, and it is one of the richest natural areas in the entire Mediterranean basin.

Info & details

Landscapes and tastes of Sicily on horseback


8 days, 7 nights
Farmhouse or hotel in double room, single room with supplement
Full board from the dinner of the first night to the breakfast of the last day
All meals are based on local products.

Horses and Riders

  • Horse breeds: Siciliano Indigeno variously crossed (thoroughbred Oriental, Arabian, Quarter / Paint horses)
  • Riding style: western riding
  • Equipment: trekking saddles, jointed filet
  • Experience required: confident rider at three gaits, independent in the horse handling
  • Physical fitness requirements: accustomed to spending several hours a day in the saddle for several days
  • Minimum age: 14 years old. Minors may participate only if accompanied by an adult entitled to take on responsibility for them
  • Maximum weight limit: 95 kg (209 lbs)
  • Group size: min. 4, max. 8
  • Guides per group / per participants: 1/8
  • Languages spoken: English
  • Guide presence: always, the guide stays entirely with the group

Itinerary and Ground

  • Terrain: Mainly dirt roads, sheep tracks, mountain paths
  • Gaits: Significant stretches of galloping where possible and safe
  • Average time in the saddle: 5 hours per day

General Program Outline
Day 1 - Arrival and check-in. You will be welcomed at the airport and transferred by van to the farm, a haven of peace surrounded by greenery and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. In summer, the swimming pool is available to guests. The vegetable garden of the farmhouse offers guests the opportunity to taste the freshest farm-to-table products.

Day 2 - After a hearty breakfast, you will be invited by the guides to take part in a briefing, during which you will be introduced to the horses and briefly explained the method of taming and training. The guides will also provide simple advice on how to have a better relationship with your horses. The first ride will take place in the surrounding area. You will then cross pastures and oak woods until you reach Gratteri, a small town that stands on a rock and overlooks the Tyrrhenian coast. Here you will stop for the picnic. Back in the saddle! You will head to Collesano. The ancient road that connects the two villages will lead you through a dense forest, where you can recognize a wide variety of oaks. You will reach your destination for the night. You will sleep in a renovated historical residence where the refined cuisine will cheer your dinner wonderfully.

Day 3 - After breakfast, you will find the horses waiting for you, ready to leave. A small rocky path will lead you to Piano Zucchi, a quiet plateau at about 1,100 meters above sea level.
Here, after crossing woods inhabited by deer and wild boars, you will find the van waiting to take you to lunch. After lunch, you will cross the famous plateau Piano Battaglia. You will descend towards the other side of the valley until you reach Piano Farina. Here you will find a “Pagliaio” (an ancient mountain shelter for shepherds, built with stones, wood and branches to cover the roof). Once the horses have been stabled for the night, a short van transfer will take you to the hotel Residenza Petra in Petralia Soprana. Dinner will take place in a picturesque restaurant in the city center.

Day 4 - AAfter a rich breakfast in the hotel, you will return to Piano Farina. The path that you will follow on horseback will take you to the Sanctuary of Madonna dell'Alto, which stands on Mount Alto, at 1,819 meters above sea level. Here you will stop to enjoy the packed lunch. You will then descend on the other side of Monte Alto, overlooking the town of Castellana Sicula. A forest of holm oaks, beeches and chestnuts, will guide you along the descent. The lodging that will host you was an important riding school, which now houses only two old family horses. It is known in the area for its typical cuisine that is simple yet rich in flavor. Depending on availability and weather conditions, the guests can use the swimming pool. Dinner will be served in the facility.

Day 5 - Today's destination will be Geraci Siculo, an ancient mountain village (1,077 meters above sea level) on the other side of Madonie Park. You will walk along part of the old Roman road that connected Piano Battaglia to Petralia Soprana. From here you will reach the side of the mountains facing the sea. Once you reach the town of Geraci, you will stop for lunch. You will return to Piano Farina following a different path that crosses rocks and pastures. Like the previous time, once the horses have been stabled, you will go to the hotel Residenza Petra in Petralia Soprana. You will have your dinner in a cozy restaurant in the town center.

Day 6 - Today is a special day: the morning will be dedicated to the production of cheese at the haystack of Piano Farina. You will have the chance to watch and take part in this unique and exciting experience. Lunch will take place at the Pagliaio, and will be based on local products and fresh cheeses. After lunch, you will ride to the picturesque village of Castelbuono. The trail will take you downstream, through oak woods and pastures. You will leave the horses in a friend's stables just above the town, and with a short transfer by van you will reach your B&B in the historical center. You will have dinner in a restaurant in the town center of town, so you will have the chance to get to know first-hand the Sicilian local life.

Day 7 - In the morning, you will have some time to visit the ancient castle of Castelbuono. Afterwards you will get back in the saddle heading to Piano delle Fate, a quiet plateau between Castelbuono and Gratteri, surrounded by a magical and relaxing atmosphere. Here you will stop for your last lunch. The afternoon in the saddle will be a little shorter than the previous ones, and the route will take you to the mountain pasture above Gratteri. Once you will arrive, guests will have some time to say goodbye to their horses, a truly emotional moment! A short van transfer will take you to Lascari. Dinner and overnight stay at Le Campanelle.

Day 8 - Goodbyes and transfer by van to the airport.

Travel Tips

Clothing: it should be comfortable and above all not brand new (especially footwear) as new clothes may often hold unpleasant surprises. Please wear comfortable shoes, even for walking, but with rigid soles to allow a good contact of the foot with the stirrup. Avoid boots with smooth soles and too tight clothes. Pants should be comfortable and hard-wearing. Remember to bring a raincoat, a hat for the sun and a bathing suit with you. It is also important to keep in mind that even in the hottest periods, a sweater may be necessary for the evening. The luggage should not be bulky because the space on the van is limited, so avoid hard suitcases.

Pharmacy Kit: Your horse guides carry commonly used medicines and a first aid kit. Any health problems that require special medications must be reported before departure. Allergy sufferers must bring their usual medications, as well as travelers who are allergic to commonly used medications.

Your Fee includes

  • 8 days / 7 nights
  • Farmhouse or hotel in double room, single room with extra charge
  • Full board from dinner on Saturday to breakfast the following Saturday; packed lunch and/or picnic provided by the facility
  • 5 hours per day in the saddle
  • Van transfers (limitations may apply about the times of the round trip)

Your Fee does not include

Personal travel insurance

Landscapes and tastes of Sicily on horseback