Italy ~ Sicily

These rides take place in the north eastern corner of Sicily, with the stables based on the edge of the Madonie National Park. The Madonie is about an hour and a half or so drive east of Palermo, known as the “Dolomites of Sicily”. Several itineraries are offered from set dates throughout the season; the Madonie Winter Ride is a progressive circular route through the National Park, starting and ending at the stables with other nights spent in hotels and guesthouses en-route. The Transiciliana Ride takes you from the stables, through the Madonie and Nebrodi National Parks and to Mount Etna National Park, traversing the slopes of the volcano. Once a year a ride co-incides with the Canella pilgrimage which many locals make on horseback; and in summer months rides are based at accommodation with swimming pools (one or two locations during the week), riding out in the cool of morning and evening.

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SUMMARY

Riding: 4-6 hours a day.

Horses: Sicilian homebreds, Arab crosses

Pace: moderate overall, varied due to terrain

Riding ability: intermediate to experienced riders.

Weight limit: 90kg (14st 2lbs).

Accommodation: comfortable hotels & guesthouses

Group size: max 12

Season: February to November.


HORSES & RIDING

Horses: The horses used for the rides are mostly locally bred Sicilian breeds and Arab crosses, around 14.2hh to 16hh and 6 to 9 years old. They are sure footed, at home in the mountainous terrain and trained using a natural horsemanship technique developed by American Ed Dabney. Comfortable trekking saddles are used with both cruppers and breastplates for the mountains and saddlebags are provided. Rides are run for a maximum of 10 or 12 guests.

Hours: There is between 4 and 6 hours riding a day riding, with breaks for rests and lunch.

Pace and experience required: These rides are for intermediate riders and above. You must be able to walk, trot, long canter and short gallop on a well schooled horse in open country. You should also be used to riding at these paces outside, with a group of horses, in an open environment. The pace of the rides is moderate overall, there are usually plenty of chances to move on though some days in the mountains are slower going.

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation is in good quality village or country hotels and guesthouses of 3* to 4* standard. Several are family run inns, high up in the hills, most have en-suite rooms and some have a swimming pool. Other nights are in small hotels though one night on the Transiciliana Ride is in a forest guard hut where camp beds are used. 

RATES & DATES

Rates 2019

Transiciliana Ride (7 nights) - Euros 1825 per person
Canella Pilgrimage Ride (7 nights) - Euros 1825 per person
Madonie Rides (7 nights) - Euros 1505 per person
Madonie Short Break Rides (5 nights) - Euros 1075 per person

Rates include - all riding, 7 (or 5) nights twin accommodation, meals, red wine with dinner and transfers from / to Palermo or Catania airport at set times with the group.

Rates exclude -
international flights, single supplements, personal medical insurance (compulsory), extra drinks (eg beer & spirits), any visa fees, personal items at hotels and any tips.

Prices are quoted in Euros. Payments to us can of course be made in pounds sterling if you wish and we can give you a sterling rate at the time of booking.

Dates 2019

Transicilliana Rides  (7 nights)
6th to 13th April
20th to 27th April
4th to 11th May
18th to 25th May
1st to 8th June
15th to 22nd June
14th to 21st September
28th September to 5th October
12th to 19th October
26th October 2nd November
9th to 16th November

Cannella Pilgrimage Ride  (7 nights)
31st August to 7th September

Madonie Rides  (7 nights)
23rd to 30th March
29th June to 6th July
6th to 13th July
13th to 20th July
20th to 27th July
27th July to 3rd August
3rd to 10th August
10th to 17th August
17th to 24th August

Madonie Short Break Rides (5 nights)
14th to 19th April
28th April to 3rd May
12th to 17th May
26th to 31st May
9th to 14th June
8th to 13th September
22nd to 27th September
6th to 11th October
20th to 25th October
3rd to 8th November
17th to 22nd November
 

Other dates can be arranged on request for private groups. Please call us to discuss.

 

ITINERARY

Itinerary in brief - Madonie Ride. Please enquire for other itineraries.

Day 1 You will be met at Palermo airport and driven about 1 ½ hours to Le Campanelle, the first nights accommodation. Time to relax by the pool before dinnner.
Day 2
Breakfast and a short briefing before a morning ride with a picnic lunch out in the countryside. After a short siesta return to Le Campanelle by a different route. Dinner and night Le Campanelle.
Day 3
Follow a winding trail through the forests leading you up the slopes of Mt Gratteri. Stop for a picnic at a clearing in the oak forest. After a siesta ride down the valley towards Catelbuono. The horses remain just outside the town and a short drive takes guests to their accommodation. The night is spent at a nice B&B in the historical centre. Dinner at a local restauant and night Castelbuono.
Day 4
Breakfast and a short tour of Castelbuono before re-joining the horses. The ride takes you through the village then into the woods. Stop for a picnic lunch then continue through chestnut forests to Masseria di Gonato, a country guesthouse high in the hills. Time to relax by the pool before dinner. Night Masseria Rocca di Gonato.
Day 5
Today's ride takes you into the heart of the National Park, climbing through oak and beech forests. A picnic lunch and continue to the village of Petralia Sottana. Leave the horses and a short drive to your hotel, built in the ruins of a Roman castle.
Day 6
Breakfast and, weather permitting, set off riding to Madonna dell’Alto Mount and Monastery (1870 m). Picnic lunch then ride on to Piano Battalagia where you leave the horses. The night is spent in Rifugio Marini.
Day 7
The ride today takes you down towards the coast. Stop for a light lunch at Piano Zucchi, where there are good views of the sea. The lanscape becmes less wild as you continue to descend, finally reaching your accommodation near the town of Collesano. Dinner and the night at Casale Drinzi. 
Day 8
Breakfast and transfer to Palermo airport for your flight home.
  Contact us at info@rideworldwide.com or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.

 

TRAVEL

The meeting point for the Transiciliana Ride, and also the Etna & Canella Pilgrimage Ride is Catania airport.
The meeting point for both Madonie Rides is Palermo airport.
In both cases you should aim to arrive at the respective airport before 16.15 on the first day to make use of the group transfer.
On the return one group transfer will be arranged back to the respective airport in time for the first flight of the group (usually mid morning).
Transfers outside the set times can be arranged for an extra charge.

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