Italy, Sicily - Mysterious Sicily
On this magnificent trail you will discover a mysterious and unknown Sicily, between the Peloritani and Nebrodi mountains, places of myths and legends, countries whose origins are lost in the farthest history, amazing rocks that stand in the landscape, mysterious forests and steep mountains, breathtaking landscapes ranging from the Ionian Sea to the Tyrrhenian Sea, from Etna to the Aeolian Archipelago.
Preliminary day-by-day program
Arrival at Castiglione di Sicilia, on the north side of Etna. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2 Castiglione di Sicilia-Agriturismo Buongiorno
After breakfast, we start to ride through chestnut woods to the level of the Alcantara river. We then passe around Castiglione di Sicilia, one of the oldest towns of the island and follows an abandoned ferry line that allows us to pass the river over a bridge, just before entering Francavilla di Sicilia, another village of remote origins, and from here we enter the wide bed of the San Paolo torrent, almost dry for most of the year, before starting to climb the meridian hilltops of Montagna Grande, the highest peak of the Peloritan Mountains. After we pass under impressive windmills, we start the descent from the other side, in the direction of the Agrò valley, where our accommodation is located, Agriturismo Buongiorno, in the territory of Antillo. Dinner and overnight stay. Approx. 7 h riding
Day 3 Agriturismo Buongiorno-Novara di Sicilia
From our farmhouse, we start climbing to the top of a hill where there is the Bell of Peace, dedicated to the scattered of all the wars, which can also be played, and continue the path following the highly scenic dorsal, before going down in bed of Patrì stream, which welcomes the village of Fondachelli-Fantina, where the picnic is made. In the afternoon we pass under the Rocca di Novara (also called Savatesta), an imposing 1340-meter-high rocky lace wrapped in a legendary alliance before we descend in the direction of Novara di Sicilia, the ancient Noa, of ancient times origin , where we stay in a historic hotel and eat in the nearby restaurant La Pineta. Approx. 7 h riding.
Day 4 Novara of Sicily-Montalbano Elicona
In this passage we pass from one historic country to another, from Novara di Sicilia to Montalbano Elicona. We also pass from the Peloritan Mountains to the Nebrodi Mountains.
After crossing Novara, head west, cross the village of San Basilio and climb back to a line of wind turbines before entering a mixed forest that has the particularity of welcoming the beech, in Sicily only at high elevations, and we get to the megalithic site of Argimusco, where picnic is done, just under the rocks of very suggestive shapes of this very enigmatic site.
In the afternoon we descend towards Montalbano Elicona, of which we visit the historical center on horseback, then overnight in holiday homes in the oldest part of the town and dine at Il Focolare restaurant. Approx. 6 h riding.
Day 5 Montalbano Elicona-Hotel Nebrodi
Leave Montalbano, descend to the west valley and head towards Floresta, the highest commune of Sicily (almost 1300 in height) that crosses and where the picnic is done. In the afternoon we enter the Nebrodi Park and walk along one of the most beautiful and scenic itineraries of all the trail, leading us to the northern slope of Monte Colla, where our accommodation is located, the summer residence of the Vagliasindi barons, in a frame natural and landscape excellence. Dinner and overnight stay. Approx. 6 h riding.
Day 6 Hotel Nebrodi-Feudo Vagliasindi
After leaving our accommodation, we begin to descend through the woods of the Park to the source of the famous Alcantara river, pass from the sanctuary of Santa Maria del Bosco and arrive near Randazzo, another ancient village, where the picnic is done. In the afternoon we continue to follow the valley of Alcantara and arrive at our sumptuous lodging, Feudo Vagliassindi, one of the country residences of the barons Vagliasindi (which had the main residence at the palace of Randazzo) where one of the best DOC wines Etna is produced. We walk along the vineyards on horseback and visit the ancient cellar where you can taste the fine wines of the farm. Dinner and overnight stay. Approx. 5 h riding.
Day 7 Feudo Vagliasindi-Castiglione di Sicilia
This day takes place almost entirely within the Alcantara Fluvial Park, famous for its basaltic formations, formed by ancient lava flows of Etna that followed the course of the river and have been shaped by its waters over the centuries. After leaving the Feudo, head down the river bed to the agricultural village of Moio Alcantara, resting on its fertile plain and dominated by its vanished volcano, to arrive after the Gorges of Malvagna, where it is carried out picnic.
In the afternoon, we continue the Fluvial Park, passing through the Gorges of Castiglione, by the Byzantine church called "Cuba" because of its square plant, and back to Castiglione di Sicilia, where everything started six days earlier. Dinner and overnight stay. Approx. 5 h riding.
Day 8: Breakfast and transfer to Catania airport or to other places on the island.