Sicily Explorer Ride

Sicily Italy: (IT-ITSIC01S)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/italy_sicily_explorer_ride.aspx

Introduction
Sicily Italy
This is an unforgettable experience that combines the pleasure to ride a horse with the discovery of an area surprisingly rich in natural, historical, cultural and culinary wealth. You will be staying in a seventeenth century farmhouse that once belonged to the baronial family of Ventimiglia. The farmhouse has been restored in transformed into one of the most scenic lodgings of Sicily. It boasts a restaurant, swimming pool, and a large space for outdoor activity, so you all you need are close by. Both lands and villages blend into a timeless artwork that will take your breath away.

Come enjoy a relaxing week riding through Sicily's untouched  and diverse lands. This trip promises a wondrous look into one of Italy's most beautiful regions. Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, this island hosts lush landscapes, old historic cities, quiet coastal town, and amazing wines and foods. Explore the island on horseback through olive groves and cork trees to castles and villages. Really enjoy nature as you travel along paths no car could reach. Sicily houses a wide variety of plant an animal species such as deer and wild boar, as well as endemic species such as giant holly trees.

Many villages still practice old craft traditions and are happy to enlighten you about their work. Be sure to try our local products such as our manna, cheese, and traditional desserts. If you are looking to see the best and most varied parts of Italy, then look no further than Sicily.

Accomodation


Accommodation
This is a stationary ride where all nights are spent at the same location (possibility of 1 overnight in a mountain lodge).

Description
Tenuta Luogo Marchese a farm with about 15 rooms, a restaurant, a swimming pool and a large surrounding space where you can perform any outdoor activity. It is a farmhouse dating back to the 17th century that once belonged to the baronial family of Ventimiglia. It was later abandoned and used by local shepherds until the early 80s when it was restored and transformed into one of the most beautiful and scenic farmhouses of Sicily.



The rooms are divided into double, triple and quadruple rooms, some of which are available with a private terrace and others with views of the Madonie mountains. They are all equipped with en-suite bathroom with shower and heating. Not all the rooms have a TV.
The rooms are all furnished in Sicilian style to maintain the memory of the places, but equipped with every comfort to make the stay as relaxing as possible.

There is free Wi-Fi in the common areas and a beautiful swimming pool where guest can relax.

Room Occupancy
If we are unable to find another rider to share the room with you, a single supplement fee applied.



Meals
All meals are included with this trip.
The restaurant serves typical meat-based madonita cuisine with an excellent selection of Sicilian and local wines, own production of cheeses, local vegetables and fruit.

Breakfast, with typical local products , is served at the restaurant from 07:30 to 10:00 am.
All the dinners are eaten in the farmhouse and include 4 courses: starter, first dish, second dish, fruit, wine (included with dinner only) and water.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to all dietary restrictions with prior notice.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Riding Experience
You need to have a strong intermediate riding level. You must be able to control the horse on every paces, in difficult situations (ex. crossing rivers, walking on rocky tracks) and able to lead the horse on foot for short parts of the ride, if the ground is not the best.
You should be able to sit on horseback for up to 8/9 hours, with a considerable physical effort.

Horses
The horses are bred by us. They are Sicilian-native (indigenous), Arabs, Arab mixed, Andalusians and Sanfratellani. They are trained with a good attitude for long distance rides. They are safe, proud and happy to go everywhere you ask them to go.

Staff
Luciano is a breeder of indigenous Sicilian thoroughbred horses and has extensive knowledge of the paths and bridleways of the Nebrodi and Madonie mountain range. In addition, he is an expert guide of all the trails and speaks fluently French, Italian, Sicilian as well as basic English.
Sergio has been an expert in the field of tourism in Sicily for many years. His passion for promoting tourism in Sicily is second to his passion for horses. He speaks fluently English, French, Italian and Sicilian.

Itinerary


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Note: itinerary might change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Day 1- Arrival
Transfer to Tenuta Luogo Marchese and dinner.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Tenuta Luogo Marchese

Day 2- Castelbuono
8:30 Meet at the stables with the participants. The journey will begin with an interesting ride along trails surrounded by the Mediterranean olive groves and cork trees. After crossing the river bed, which is almost always dry in summer, you get in Castelbuono, in front of the Castle of Ventimiglia. The city is a medieval town known as the residence of the barons Ventimiglia and still keep the old craft traditions. Once in the town, you will have some free time to relax to taste typical local products, such as our manna, cheese and traditional desserts. Guests may also participate in a guided tour of the Castle (entrance 4 € per person). We enjoy a picnic lunch and make our way back to the Agriturismo in the afternoon.
Riding: 6-8 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Tenuta Luogo Marchese


Day 3- Gorges of Tiberius
Today we partake on an adventure that takes us to the wild and rugged shores of the river Pollina in the territory of San Mauro Castelverde, notorious for their stories of bandits that in the past infested the area. We ride up to the Gorges called in dialect "Miricu", a place highly suggestive where we can descend into the gorges in canoe (10 € per person) or go for a swim.
Riding: 6-8 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Tenuta Luogo Marchese


Day 4- Gibilmanna
Ride through the thick forests of cork oaks and holm oaks until you reach the Sanctuary of Gibilmanna (about 800m above sea level). Visit the Church which houses the famous Madonna of Gagini and free time to rest. The trail continues with many points of interest, nature, and beautiful landscape along the way. After our picnic break, we go back to the Agriturismo.
Riding: 6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Tenuta Luogo Marchese


Day 5- Tour of Madonie Mountains
Depart for a thrilling ride in the woods of the Madonie National Park full of high peaks that reach altitude of almost 2000 meters above sea level. The area hosts a wide variety of plant and animal species such as deer and wild boar, as well as endemic species such as Abies Nebrodensis and giant holly trees.
The ride is of great charm and allows you to enjoy unique landscapes, breathe fresh air, drink water from the springs of the high mountains, and listen to the sound of the forest.
This tour requires that the rider is experienced at riding for some distance, and also has good physical endurance. Taking place mostly on mountain trails, this excursion may be subject to change for reasons related to weather or obstacles along the routes.
Riding: approx. 6-8 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight stay at an excellent mountain hotel in Madonie National Park


Day 6- Piano Battaglia
We descend in the direction of Cefalù through woods and fields and make our way down to Isnello, a small town built on the mountain.
After lunch, we go back to the Agriturismo for dinner and overnight.
Riding: approx. 6-8 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Tenuta Luogo Marchese


Day 7- St.Ambrogio
Meander amid the pastures until you get to Sant'Ambrogio, a coastal and picturesque village. Continue the excursion by following a path almost to the sea, passing through cultivated fields with olive trees, citrus groves and woods of cork, red and holm oaks. Lunch in a restaurant by the sea is an option based on guest preference. During spring and autumn you can sometimes ride on the beach as it's not so busy with tourists then. Swimming in the sea with the horses is also possible but of course this depends on the weather and sea conditions! Months when it could be possible are April, May, June, September, October and the beginning of November. We can't guarantee it but keep your fingers crossed and it might be possible!
Riding: approx. 6-8 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Tenuta Luogo Marchese


Day 8- Departure
Breakfast and transfer to the airport or train station.
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Sicily Explorer Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals including wine with dinner, 6 riding days with support vehicle & Transfers from/to Cefalù railway station or Palermo airport
Helmet and half chaps can be provided

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20208 day trip, AP€1400$1585
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.13

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2020 Single supplement 190 $215
2020 Transfers from/to Palermo airport -- free of charge 0 $0
2020 Transfers from/to Cefalù railway station -- free of charge 0 $0
2020 Transfers from/to Catania per car, each way (1-4 pax) 190 $215

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 01/01 - 12/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /12 Reserve

Dates Note:
Dates run Saturday to Saturday.

Rates do not include:

Alcoholic beverages, Transfers from/to Catania & Gratuities

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Sicily Explorer Ride (IT-ITSIC01S):
At the moment facial masks are obligated in closed places such as shops etc.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Stationary ride-except 5 & 6 nights in the mountains. Departure from the ranch
Airport: Palermo, Catania
Transfer: Palermo or Catania airports

Climate:
                                                Palermo area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

59

59

62

67

75

82

87

88

82

76

68

61

Average Low Temperature (°F)

50

49

51

55

62

69

74

75

70

64

58

52

Average High Temperature (°C)

15

15

17

19

24

28

30

31

28

24

20

16

Average Low Temperature (°C)

10

9

11

13

17

21

23

24

21

18

14

11

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

8

7

7

6

2

1

0

1

4

6

7

9

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Palermo has a sunny Mediterranean climate. Apr–Oct is warm and peak travel time. Nov–Mar is mild.

Spring (March to May)
On the coast the winter is truly over, with wild flowers starting in abundance, the days lengthening and the average temperatures making warm clothes decidedly uncomfortable. Inland the farmers start preparing the land, tending the vines and planting the grain. If you’re lucky, you might get to witness the “mattanza” or tuna harvest in the fishing towns all over the western part of the island, in May.

Summer (June to September)
The first smells of summer waft through the island and the strong colors on the coast and the lower plains succumb to the bleaching rays of the sun. The temperatures everywhere are generally agreeable, though the Sirocco wind can send them soaring for a few days. The sea is warm. The fruit trees are laden with cherries, plums and the local specialty "gelsi". Towards the end of August begins the spectacle of the salt harvest in the salt pans around Trapani and the grape harvest or “vendemmia” all over the islands.
The summer is often interrupted by coastal storms, which can be accompanied by high winds.

Autumn (October to November)
The abandoned vines turn to reds and oranges giving the vast areas of vineyards a spectacular range of hues and making this one of the most beautiful periods to visit. Seasonal rainfalls help develop an astonishing variety of mushrooms. The temperatures can stay in the high twenties during the day to produce a surprisingly balmy Sicilian “Indian summer”. November is generally the month with the highest rainfall, though the big storms that often sweep the Italian peninsula generally pass safely to the north of Sicily.

Winter (December to February)
One can still have extremely agreeable temperatures during the days, though the sunlight hours are clearly at their lowest of the year. In the deep midwinter the average temperatures on the coast should still be hovering around the 10°C (50°F) mark, though on sunny days it can be warm enough in the sun to walk around in a tee-shirt. It is cooler at night and much cooler in the higher mountains. Come February, the days are starting to get warmer, although conditions in the mountains are still very wintery.

What To Bring:
This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Normal riding gear or comfortable, yet sturdy pants. No leggings please.
Riding boots or shoes with flat soles that cover the ankles. We recommend mini chaps.
Long sleeved cotton shirts (for sun protection)
Riding helmet  - provided (mandatory)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection
A wind breaker, rain gear that can be pulled over the saddle

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjamas
Light summer jacket
Comfortable shoes/sneakers
Swimsuit
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra batteries
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for postcards)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm