Coast to Coast Trail

Sicily Italy: (IT-ITSIC02)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/italy_coast_to_coast_trail_in_sicily.aspx

Introduction
Sicily Italy
The island of Sicily embodies the best of Italy; glorious landscapes, quaint coastal towns plus exquisite food and wine, all surrounded by centuries of history. Riding is an amazing way to explore places both near and far - it allows you to travel places no car can ever reach. The horse will  take you anywhere from the snowy peaks of the Nebrodi to the sunny beaches of Sicily’s coast. This magnificent trail explores the island from North to South and to immerse yourself in its real essence.

We take you on an evocative ride through an island characterized by a diverse history; a unique blend of cultures and traditions that have been evolving continuously since the Ancient times.  Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans all have had their influence on the towns and villages in this distinctive region of Italy. The landscapes are mainly made of hills covered with endless fields of wheat and fodder, but there are also many "wild" traits and we also cross several villages of the interior whose origins are lost in history and legends, ancient farms abandoned witness of a not too distant past when Sicily drew its wealth from the earth, rivers and streams, olive and almond groves, and many amazing curiosity. Steeped in a distinguished history, here in Sicily you will find landscapes, castles and monasteries, and people that are individual in character in respect to the rest of the country.  Come discover the exclusive flavor and flare of the Mediterranean’s largest island.

The diversity and beauty of Sicily is such that German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote:
"To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is to not have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything."

The Coast to Coast Trail in Sicily offers the chance to explore a diverse area on horseback while discovering all the charms of the region’s culture, food, and wine while resting in villas, B&Bs, hotels and farms.

Accomodation


Accommodations
This is a progressive ride so nights will be spent in different accommodations.

Description
Accommodations along trail are in comfortable hotels, Agriturismo farms and B&B guesthouses.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Day 1: Agriturismo Tenuta Luogo Marchese
Day 2:  Agriturismo Casalvecchio Geraci
Day 3:  Feudo Tudia in Tudia
Day 4:  Agriturismo Mappa in Mappa
Day 5:  Duca di Pietra Tagliata
Day 6:  Principe di Aragona near Aragona
Day 7:  B&B Villa Maiolica in San Leone

Agriturismo Tenuta Luogo Marchese
This traditional Italian farmhouse was recently renovated in order to provide comfortable accommodation to its guests. However, it has kept some of its original features such as exposed stones and beams. Rooms are decorated in Sicilian style and all come with ensuite bathroom and heating. There are common areas where guest can relax and access the free Wi-Fi. There is also a beautiful outdoor swimming pool with panoramic view of the surroundings.

Casalvecchio Geraci
This stonewall farmhouse was built in the 19th century and now provides guests with 7 well-equipped bedrooms. All rooms have private facilities, free Wi-Fi access and a TV. Guests can share about their adventure around the fireplace, in the house’s living room. The property benefits from incredible views over the hilly landscape.

Feudo Tudia in Tudia
The building was built in the traditional Sicilian style with stones, terracotta floors and beamed ceilings.
There are 6 guestrooms, all located in the main building and furnished with antiques.

Agriturismo Mappa in Mappa
This country house was built during the second half of the 18th century and has been well-maintained. It can accommodate up to 24 guests in comfortable rooms with private facilities that are furnished with taste and refinement. There is free Wi-Fi access.

Duca di Pietra Tagliata
This beautiful stonehouse has a terrace with splendid views of the surroundings. The bedrooms are spacious and simply decorated. They all feature air conditioning, a TV, free Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom.

Principe di Aragona near Aragona
Tonight’s accommodation is an old farmhouse that was restored in order to accommodate guests. It is surrounded by a beautiful 2-hectare park with olive trees, Indian figs and other fruit trees. From the large terrace, you can admire the panoramic view. You can also go for a swim in the outdoor swimming pool. The rooms are simply decorated and well equipped (private facilities, heating/AC, TV and free Wi-Fi).

B&B Villa Maiolica in San Leone
The B&B is only a short walk away from the beach and has a lovely garden and patio where guests can relax. The 4 bedrooms all have their own décor and feature air conditioning, free Wi-Fi access, a TV and private bathrooms.

Room Occupancy
If we are unable to find another rider to share the room with you, a single supplement fee applies.
Single room accommodations are subject to availability.




Meals
All meals are provided during the riding tour from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8.

You will have the opportunity to taste typical Sicilian dishes made with local products. All the dinners are at the accommodations and include 4 courses: starter, first dish, second dish, fruit, wine and water.

Wine is included with dinner and you can bring your own bottle(s) if you wish.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to all dietary restrictions with advance 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

Day 1: Arrival
Pickup and transfer to farm.

Day 2: Tenuta Luogo Marchese- Casalvecchio Geraci
Breakfast. Assignment of the horses and departure from Luogo Marchese around 8:30am.
Step around the historical town of Castelbuono that have been for several centuries the administrative headquarters of Ventimiglia barons, who were feudal aristocrats among the most powerful of the island, mainly through cultivated fields with olives and manna ash. Ascent of the river Pollina and its tributary Rainò, in the territories of San Mauro Castelverde and Geraci Siculo covered with bush and scrub alternating semi-abandoned fields of ancient olive trees, notorious in the years between the late 800 and early 900 to the legendary exploits of bandits and outlaws who infested the area. Picnic with local products along the way. Arrival in the late afternoon in "Casalvecchio Geraci", a farm of IXX century restored. Dinner with local organic products made in the farm and overnight stay.

Day 3: Casalvecchio Geraci- Feudo Tudia
Breakfast and departure from Casalvecchio at around 8:00am.
Through an old "trazzera" we reach Gangi, a typical medieval village among the most beautiful in Italy (awarded in 2014) at about 1000 meters above sea level, proceed to the territory of Petralia, crossing characteristics villages until the arrival at the Shrine of Our Lady of the oil, in the territory of Blufi, where there is an outcrop of oil, for centuries considered miraculous, where it is eaten lunch / picnic. In the afternoon continuation towards Resuttano, crossing the river Imera, passing through ancient farms semi-abandoned, fields and pastures and late afternoon arrival at "Feudo Tudia", an old farmhouse restored within an agricultural village now almost completely uninhabited.
Dinner based on local products and overnight stay.

Day 4: Feudo Tudia- Agriturismo Mappa
Breakfast and departure from Tudia at around 8:30am.
Step through organic vineyards of the farm and then deep immersion in the granary that is Sicily since ancient times, that is traversed along the "royal trazzere", routes established by the Bourbon government in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to ensure the free movement of herds and people across the island. Passage from the sanctuary of Our Lady of Bilici, the Train Station of Marianopoli, a eucalyptus forest today private game reserve and arrival in "Mappa" the ancient residence of Spadafora Prince.
Sumptuous dinner and overnight stay

Day 5: Agriturismo Mappa- Duca di Pietra Tagliata
Breakfast and departure from Mappa at around 8:00am.
Walkway across fields to the charming and really old town of Sutera, considered one of the oldest of the known history of humanity, with several prehistorical remains. Crossing and short stop in the village and continuation to the valley of the river Platani, one of the major rivers of western Sicily, after passing through the picturesque nature reserve of Monte Conca. Picnic and continuation through the valley up to our next stop: the farmhouse "Duca di Pietra Tagliata" an other old farmhouse restored.
Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 6: Duca di Pietra Tagliata- Principe di Aragona
Breakfast and departure around 8:30am in the direction of Sant'Angelo Muxaro, another little town of earliest origins that would have been the seat of Kokalos, king of Sicans, mysterious indigenous people that inhabited the island before the Greeks and Sicules.
Walk along the prehistoric tombs carved into the rock at the base of the town, some of which turned into stables during centuries. Tour inside the quaint town and stop for a tasting and demonstration of ricotta production, fresh typical Sicilian cheese. Continuation and picnic in a wooded area of eucalyptus. In the afternoon stop at the Tower of Anjou, ancient aristocratic mansion of the thirteenth century, then in an old abandoned sulfur mine, and arrival at our farm "Principe di Aragona". Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 7: Principe di Aragona- San Leone
Breakfast and departure around 8:00am.
After going through an agricultural area near the town of Aragona, arriving at "Macalube" curious resurfacing of methane gas which in its ascent from the depths of the earth carries with it the clay mud, leaving small cold craters. Continue in the direction of Agrigento, the ancient Agrakas, founded by people originating in the islands of Crete and Rhodes around 580 BC. Short stop in the typical village of Monte Aperto and picnic near by the city under the shade of a little wood. In the afternoon ride in the direction of the temples, guided tour of the monuments of greater importance in the list of Unesco (temples of Hera, Concordia,Hercules, Zeus, Castor) and then continuation in the direction of the animated seaside village of SanLeone, where is spent the last night of our journey, in the B&B "L'Approdo".
Dinner of fish in a prestigious local restaurant and overnight stay.

Day 8: Departure
Breakfast then transfer back to the train station (optional transfer to the airport--please inquire).

--Subject to changes--


Rates and Dates for Coast to Coast Trail

Rates include:

7 nights accommodation (hotels, agritourismo farms, B&B guesthouse), all meals, support vehicle, 6 riding days.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20208 day trip, AP€1600$1840
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.15

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2020 Single supplement 190 $220
2020 Pick-up from Palermo airport, per car, one way (1-4 pax) 125 $145
2020 Pick-up/drop-off from Catania airport, per car, one way (1-4 pax) 190 $220
2020 Pick-up from Cefalù railway station -- free of charge 0 $0
2020 Drop-off to Palermo, per car, one way (1-4 pax) 190 $220

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 05/23 - 05/30 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 /12 Reserve
A 2020 06/27 - 07/04 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 /12 Reserve
A 2020 09/19 - 09/26 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 /12 Reserve
A 2020 10/24 - 10/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 /12 Reserve

Dates Note:
Dates run Saturday to Saturday. Additional dates are available on request for groups of 4+ riders!

Rates do not include:

Alcoholic beverages

Other Info
Meeting: Cefalu - ends in Etna
Airport: Palermo, Catania
Transfer: Cefalu - drop off Catania

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