Sicily, Italy - Horse Riding Holidays and Safaris

Sicily, Italy, Italy

7 NightsStrong Intermediate to Advanced

A sublime journey through the wild heart of Sicily, exploring some of the most extraordinary landscapes, fables and flavours that this unique island has to offer.

What could be better than a whole week of travelling across Sicily’s glorious countryside, imbibing small-batch wines, gorging on farm fresh produce, connecting with salt-of-the-earth Sicilians, and learning about their unique history and way of life?

Doing it all on horseback, of course!

Join us as we road test a brand new horse riding holiday that promises to reveal the very essence of this extraordinary island and the people who call it home. Guided by two such legends, Alex and Lizzie, we’ll ride point-to-point across the wild heart of Sicily, crossing rugged mountain ranges, blossom-covered meadows, verdant valleys, medieval townships, sun-speckled forests, wide open farmland and more. Our fit, surefooted horses will take everything in their stride, and put on an exhilarating turn of speed when the terrain allows.

Sicily has a unique history and geography, both shaped by powerful forces over the millennia. From volcanic activity to castles that seem to have grown straight out of the rocks below, our guides will reveal how the tapestry of Sicily’s past is woven into the very ground at our feet. They’ll share stories under the Sicilian sun, and coax more out of the friendly locals who host us each night. And of course, they’ll show us the very best of Sicilian cuisine: fresh seafood, artisanal cheeses, homemade pastas, provincial pastries and countless other delicacies, all with farm fresh ingredients front and centre.

Saddle up with us to explore Sicily in THE most authentic way possible.

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:Sicilian indigenous breeds crossed with Arabs. They are hardy, surefooted, and trained to be forward-going and energetic, yet obedient and well-behaved.
  • Pace:The pace varies from a walk right through to a gallop depending on the terrain.
  • Weight Limit:A maximum of 85kg / 187lbs.
  • Type of tack:Lightweight English saddles with gel seat savers (very comfortable!); bridles with light snaffle bits.
  • Seasons:April.
  • Group size:8 guests, plus 2 Globetrotting guides.
  • Time in Saddle:On average, 7 hours per day.
  • Riding Ability:Strong intermediate to advanced. You MUST be riding regularly, accustomed to spending long hours in the saddle, and able to control a horse at a gallop in open countryside. There will also be times when you’ll need to dismount and lead your horse across challenging terrain.  Not sure what your riding ability is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:The ride begins at your hosts’ base, Casa Il Bosco, a charming restored 19th century country house immersed in the wild countryside of Madonie Regional National Park, with breathtaking views of Sicily’s north coast and the Aeolian Islands. There are six double rooms; four with ensuites, and two with a shared bathroom.
    You will stay in a variety of accommodation throughout the itinerary, including beautiful farmhouses surrounded by lush fields, impeccably restored hamlets dating back hundreds of years, and small rural hotels with views towards hilltop towns in Sicily’s interior. All accommodation is very comfortable, each with its own charm, and offering authentic opportunities to meet local people along the way.
  • Ride Length:8 days, 7 nights (6 riding days).
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes airport transfers on the first and last days; all riding activities outlined in the itinerary; accommodation; all meals (from first day dinner through to last day breakfast); wine with lunch and dinner; luggage transfer via support vehicle each day; and a photo and video package courtesy of Globetrotting.

  • Exclusions:

    The price does not include international or regional flights; travel insurance (compulsory); or other alcoholic beverages and soft drinks.

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

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WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

The price includes airport transfers on the first and last days; all riding activities outlined in the itinerary; accommodation; all meals (from first day dinner through to last day breakfast); wine with lunch and dinner; luggage transfer via support vehicle each day; and a photo and video package courtesy of Globetrotting.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

The price does not include international or regional flights; travel insurance (compulsory); or other alcoholic beverages and soft drinks.

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. Depending on the ride you choose to book and your country of residence, there will be a 1.2% to 2.9% surcharge.

Click HERE to read more about our fees and charges.
Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.
WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN EUR?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

Itinerary

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*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change due to weather and other influencing factors.

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  • Day 1

    Welcome to Sicily, globetrotters! This afternoon, we’ll all fly into Palermo Airport, where a representative of the Sicilian team will be waiting to meet us. A 90-minute vehicle transfer gives us our first taste of the remarkable countryside we’ll be exploring for the next week.

    In the early evening, we’ll reach Casa Il Bosco, our hosts’ home (and ours for the night). This charming, restored 19th century country house is situated in the untamed, mountainous countryside of Madonie Regional Natural Park, with breathtaking views of Sicily’s north coast and the Aeolian Islands. After settling into our rooms, and perhaps saying hello to the horses, we’ll enjoy the first of many four-course Sicilian dinners while our hosts, Alex and Lizzie, talk us through the journey ahead.

  • Day 2

    Hooray, it’s time to hit the trail! After breakfast, we will be matched with our horse for the week and set off from Casa Il Bosco at around 8:30am. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so no doubt we’ll have a strong connection with our steeds by the day’s end.

    Initially, we will be riding through dense mediterranean vegetation, with beautiful views of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north. We will pass close to the medieval town of Castelbuono and stop for a picnic lunch overlooking the cluster of stone buildings crowned by a 14th century castle.

    In the afternoon, our guides will lead us into the valley of the River Pollina, one of the most fascinating, wild, panoramic, and least-known areas of Sicily. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife!

    Finally, on the boundary between the wild territory of Madonie Regional Natural Park and the endless cultivated fields of Sicily’s interior, we’ll reach our destination: Agriturismo Casalvecchio. The lovely family who own this farm will prepare a delicious dinner with produce straight from their fields. After a long day in the saddle, it won’t be long before our beds beckon!

  • Day 3

    Having fuelled up on breakfast, we will mount up at around 8:30am. This morning we’ll ride through pastures and along old pathways with beautiful views towards the centre of Sicily.

    In the early afternoon, we will ride on amidst rolling farmland to the village of Sperlinga, a fascinating place characterised by troglodyte dwellings (cave-like houses), some of which are still in use today, and a unique castle, which is likewise carved into the rock. Here we will stop for a picnic lunch and a spot of sightseeing.

    From Sperlinga, it’s just a short ride to Baglio San Pietro, a restored farmstead dating from the 17th century that sits on the edge of Nicosia, one of the most important and eye-catching towns in the province of Enna. After another sumptuous dinner, and perhaps even a dip in the pool, we’ll retire to our rooms.

  • Day 4

    Now that we know the morning routine, we’ll have a nice flow going between the coffee pot, the breakfast table, our rooms and the horses. Today’s ride begins with a descent into the valley of the Salso Cimarosa River, which we will then follow, immersed in unspoilt nature and surrounded by the impressive peaks of the Erean Mountains. Our usual gourmet picnic lunch (how lucky are we?!) will be enjoyed en route near the small town of Nissoria.

    In the afternoon, we will ride through tranquil eucalyptus forests and rolling, open countryside to reach Agriturismo Dolci Tentazioni, a working farm in the heart of Sicily, where we will have dinner and spend the night.

  • Day 5

    Today we will hit the trail at our customary time of 8:30am and cross rolling hills and endless fields of grain and forage. After several hours, we will reach the breathtaking and little-known Castello di Pietratagliata, a castle perched precariously atop a jagged rock. First documented in the 14th century, its origins are shrouded in mystery and legend. Our guides will tell us the castle’s stories while we chow down on our picnic lunch and gawp at its time-worn, yet still imposing, outline.

    Back in the saddle, we will ride on through more picturesque farmland, climbing higher to take in sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, reaching as far as Mount Etna, Sicily’s famous volcano, on a clear day. We will then continue along sandy tracks through forests of eucalyptus and pine, where we’ll no doubt relish the chance to enjoy a good long canter on the soft ground.

    Come evening, we’ll ride into Agriturismo Borgo Furma, an impeccably restored hamlet of workers’ houses dating back to the mining boom in Sicily several centuries ago. More sumptuous Sicilian food and wine awaits.

  • Day 6

    After a tasty breakfast, we’ll depart our unique accommodation and ride through more eucalyptus forests and forgotten valleys to reach the little known, fascinating archaeological site of Montagna di Marzo. We will take a look at the ruins of this 2,500-year-old village on horseback, then dismount for our picnic lunch nearby.

    The afternoon ride takes us through more open countryside with good opportunities to pick up the pace. Our destination is Agriturismo Il Mandorleto, based in an old agricultural hamlet and famous for its production of almonds, one of the most important ingredients in Sicilian cuisine. Needless to say, our usual four-course culinary feast will reach new heights tonight!

  • Day 7

    Our last day in the saddle promises all the beauty, laughter, immersion and variety that we’ve come to expect from this remarkable island, plus a truly grand finale. In the morning, we’ll walk, trot and canter through rolling fields of wheat and hay, absorb the serenity of more eucalyptus forests, and ride around the shore of Lago Olivo (‘olive tree lake’) before stopping for a picnic lunch in the woods.

    Afterwards, we will descend into a scenic valley and ride for an hour to reach Villa Romana del Casale, one of the most important historical sites in Sicily. Boasting around 3,500 square metres of spectacular 4th century mosaics, it’s an absolute must-see. Hunting, chariot racing, cherubs, athletes, heroes, gods, animals, mythical creatures – it’s got the lot!

    On the final leg of our journey, we’ll ride on to Torre di Renda, a charming hotel which was formerly the local bishop’s residence, in the territory of the famous medieval town of Piazza Armerina. Eat, drink and be merry, globetrotters, for tomorrow we say goodbye (sob!).

  • Day 8

    After one final Sicilian breakfast, we’ll farewell our horses and the wonderful team who’ve made this extraordinary week possible, and be transferred to Catania Airport for our onward travels.

  • Transfer Information

    Airport transfers at the start and end of the ride are included in the price.

    On day 1, we will need to fly into Palermo Airport (about 1.5 hours from the starting point of the ride). Please ensure your flight arrives before 5pm.

    On the final day, we will be returned to Catania Airport (about 1.5 hours from the end point of the ride) in time for flights departing after 12pm.

    Globetrotting is happy to provide a competitive quote on international flights, travel insurance and accommodation before and after your ride.

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