Italy, Sicily - Coast to Coast
An exciting adventure from Sicily's north coast all the way to the south! This fascinating trail connects the two famous and ancient cities of Cefalu and Agrigento by crossing the Sicilian hinterland between them.
The first exploratory ride was carried out in November 2014 after months of planning and since then, many riders around the world have had the opportunity to experience this beautiful ride. Alex and his team have improved and perfected the ride and reinstate it for their customers in 2018.
Preliminary day-by-day program
Day 1: Arrival. Guests will arrive to Cefalu for dinner and overnight at Villa Magara, a beautiful panoramic property which faces the Tyrrhenian Sea and has a swimming pool. If you arrive earlier in the day then you have a chance to visit the wonderful old town.
Day 2: Cefalu - Piano Battaglia After breakfast you will be assigned your horse for the trail, then departing from Villa Magara at approximately 8am. The ride begins with a climb through dense Mediterranean vegetation and breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian Coast and the Gulf of Cefalu. After a few hours of riding you will reach the famous sanctuary of Gibilmanna, an ancient place of worship where 'Our Lady' is venerated. There will be a short stop here with time to visit the sanctuary. You will mount again and ride in the direction of Isnello, a small medieval mountain village, crossing the northern slope of the Carbonara Massif which is Sicily's second highest mountain (1979m). There will be a picnic stop in the woods before you ride on through oak, holm and beech trees to Piano Battaglia, a mountain location in the heart of Madonie Park. Here you will dine on typical products and spend the night. Approximate riding hours: 7-8.
Day 3: Piano Battaglia - Sciaritelle Breakfast and departure at around 08:30am. Today you begin with a high mountain path through the middle of Madonie Park - you will need to dismount and lead your horse for a few hundred metres where the terrain is stony and steep. You will pass Portella Mele and you begin to finally see the inner Sicily and, in the case of clear days, can see more than half of this special island. Today's picnic will be near Nociazzi, in the region of Castellana Sicula, and the afternoon ride continues on trazzere (old routes used for livestock) up to the river Imera Meridionale. This waterway crosses and climbs in the direction of the Sciaritelle farm, a renovated 19th century farmhouse with pool where you will enjoy another local dinner and spend the night. Approximate riding hours: 6 - 7.
Day 4: Sciaritelle - Mappa Breakfast and departure at around 08.30am. The route begins to head deep into agricultural lands, Sicily being well-known for its production of grain since early history, following along the 'trazzere' established by the Bourbon government in the 18th and 19th centuries to ensure free movement of people and livestock across the island. You will pass by the Madonna del Bilici which lies at Sicily's geographical centre and then by Marianopoli railway station, a eucalyptus forest and into a private hunting reserve. You will arrive at Agriturismo Mappa, the former residence of Prince Spadadora, which has also has a swimming pool. There will be a sumptuous dinner before bed. Approximate riding hours: 5-6.
Day 5: Mappa - Aragona Breakfast and departure from Mappa at approximately 8am. Your trail starts with walking through the fields towards the picturesque and ancient village of Sutera, considered one of the oldest known in mankind's history and featuring several examples of prehistoric living. The route crosses and stops in the village before taking you to the Platani river valley, one of western Sicily's major watercourses, and through Monte Conca nature reserve. You will eat your picnic and ride on through the valley until your next stop at the farm Principe di Aragona, another old restored property with pool. Dinner and overnight. Approximate riding hours: 7-8.
Day 6: Aragona - Agrigento Breakfast and departure at around 08.30am in the direction of Agrigento, the ancient Akragas of the Greeks, founded in 580 BC by the people of Rhodes and Crete. After crossing the agricultural area near Aragona you will arrive at the Macalube, a fascinating methane gas outcrop which has created small craters by carrying clay up from the depths of the earth. You will ride on, making a short stop in the typical village of Monte Aperto where you will enjoy a picnic in the shade. In the afternoon you will ride in the direction of the temples, taking a guided tour of the key sights (the temples of Hera, Concordia, Hercules, Zeus, Castor & Polux) before heading to your overnight stop at the farm Passo dei Briganti. Dinner and overnight. Approximate riding hours: 4-5.
Day 7: Agrigento - Torre Salsa Breakfast and departure at around 08:30am. Today is an impressive route through the countryside of Agrigento with sweeping views of the Mediterranean coast. You will arrive in the Torre Salsa coastal reserve, one of the most beautiful and best-preserved coastlines in Sicily, where the adventure ends. Dinner and overnight at Agriturismo Torre Salsa, inside the reserve itself. Approximate riding hours: 6-7.
Day 8: Departure After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport.