Sicily Horse riding adventure

Sicily horse riding adventure 
Cefalu to Agrigento

8d/7n

Dates:
26 Oct - 2 Nov 2019


for other dates please ask












During the ride you are immersed in the real Sicily; an island with a rich history based first and foremost on an agricultural heritage and surrounded by legend. The landscapes offer rolling hills and endless fields of wheat and flourishing crops in addition to wild trails, interesting historical villages and ancient farms. The farms bear witness to Sicily's distant past when the island drew its wealth from its natural resources; the earth, rivers, streams, olive and almond groves and other Mediterranean riches. 

This is fascinating adventure is for experienced riders who wish to learn more about this stunning island from knowledgeable guides. You can expect comfortable accommodation, delicious Sicilian food and, of course, the company of a trustworthy horse who will be your partner all the way from one coast to the next!



Route: Cefalu - San Mauro Castelverde  - Gangi - Marianopoli - Sutera - Tower of Anjou - Aragona -  Principe di Aragona - Agrigento

The group is limited to 12 partecipants. 

Riders must have a secure seat at all paces and must be able to walk beside their horse at times due to steep terrain. 




Itinerary

Day 1 - 26 Oct
You will be met upon your arrival and transferred to "Luogo Marchese", where you will enjoy a delicious Sicilian dinner and your first overnight stay. If you arrive in good time it may be possible to arrange a guided tour of the local town of Cefalu.

Day 2
After breakfast the group will be assigned horses before you depart at around 08:30. This mornings ride will take you to the historical town of Castelbuono. This town has been the administrative headquarters of Ventimiglia for several centuries. These barons were feudal aristocrats among the most powerful of the island, mainly through cultivated fields with olives and manna ash. You will follow the river Pollina and its tributary Raino, in the territories of San Mauro Castelverde and Geraci Sicul; an area covered with bush and scrub, alternating semi-abandoned fields of ancient olive trees. The region was notorious between the late 800s and early 900s for the legendary exploits of bandits and outlaws who resided the area. You will enjoy a picnic lunch en route made with local produce. In the late afternoon you will arrive at ""Casalvecchio Geraci", a restored farmhouse dating back to the IXX century. 
Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3 
After breakfast you will depart at around 08:00. You will ride through an old "trazzera" to reach the medieval village of Gangi, among the most beautiful in Italy (awarded in 2014) at approximately 1000m above sea level. The ride will then take you to the territory of Blufi, where there is an outcrop of oil, for centuries considered miraculous. Here you will enjoy a picnic lunch. In the afternoon you will continue towards Resuttano, crossing the river Imera, passing through ancient semi-abandoned farms, fields and pastures. Late afternoon you will arrive at Feudo Tudia, a restored farmhouse located in an agricultural village almost completely uninhabited. 
Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4
You will depart at around 08:30 this morning, riding through organic vineyards of the farm and ancient Sicilian crops. You will ride along the "royal trazzere" routes, established by the Bourbon government of the island during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to allow free movement of herds and people across the island. You will stop for a picnic lunch en route. You will continue on from the sanctuary of 'Our Lady of Bilici', the train station of Marianopoli, and on through a eucalyptus forest which today makes up part of a private nature reserve. You will arrive in 'Mappa', the ancient residence of Prince Spadafora. 
Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 5 
After breakfast you will depart around 08:00, riding across fields to the charming old town of Sutera, considered one of the oldest of the known history of humanity, where you will find several prehistoric remains. After a short break you will continue to the valley of the river Plantani, one of the major rivers of western Sicily, after passing through the picturesque nature reserve of Monte Conca. After a picnic lunch you will continue through the valley to your next stop, Duca di Pietra Tagliata, another restored farmhouse. 
Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 6 
You will depart around 08:30 in the direction of Sant'Angelo Muxaro, another little ancient town that would have been the seat of Kokalos, King of Sicans, mysterious indigenous people that inhabited the island before the Greeks and Sicules. You will ride along the prehistoric tombs carved into the rock at the base of the town, some of which have been turned into stables over the years. There will be a tour inside the town and you will stop for a demonstration of ricotta tasting along with a tasting session. Once back on the trail you will stop for a picnic among eucalyptus trees. In the afternoon you will stop at the Tower of Anjou, an ancient aristocratic mansion from the thirteenth century. Following this you will visit an old abandoned sulphur mine before arriving at Principe di Aragona. 
Dinner and overnight.

Day 7
After breakfast you will depart around 08:00. You will ride though an agricultural area near to the town of Aragona before reaching 'Macalube' where the curious resurfacing of methane gas has caused small, cold craters. You will ride on in the direction of Agrigento, the ancient Agrakas, which was founded by people originating from Crete and Rhodes around 580BC. Today's picnic lunch will be in the village of Monte Aperto. In the afternoon you will ride in the direction of the temples where you will enjoy a guided tour of these monuments. The area is considered one of great importance by UNESCO and includes the temples of Hera, Concordia, Hercules, Zeus and Castor. You will then continue towards the seaside village of SanLeone where you will spend your final night in the B&B L'Approdo. A delicious seafood dinner will be enjoyed in a prestigious local restaurant.

Day 8 - 2 Nov
After a final breakfast there may be an opportunity to arrange a guided visit to the archaeological museum and/or free time for shopping in the city's medieval centre (depending on your flight time).

NB - Please note that the itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather or volcanic conditions.
















Additional information
Horses & Riding
There are 12 horses available for guests ranging in height from 15hh to 16hh. They are local Sicilian breeds or Sicilian/Arab and very surefooted, forward going and responsive. Riders have the choice of English or Western saddles. The riding is of a varied pace due to the terrain but there will be opportunities for some faster canters.
Rider requirements
Riders must have a secure seat at all paces and must be able to walk beside their horse at times due to steep terrain. 

There is a minimum age limit of 16 years old and riders must be physically fit as some days may involve 8 hours+ in the saddle. 

Your horses will be prepared for you each morning but you must be willing to assist with untacking, feeding and watering your horse along the trail.
Weight Limit
The weight limit for this ride is 15 st/209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.














Prices:
 1990 per person - last minute prices payed in last 2 weeks before the tour
 1850 per person - standard prices
 1750 per person - early bird prices for payments at least 90 days before the tour


Includesall accommodations (single room), transfers, horses, guides, transfer of luggage, meals during the horse trip

Not included: plane tickets, insurance, getting to airport and from Cefalu/Agrigento.

Notes:
*5% discount if offered for 2nd person when booking together a sharing a  room











How to get there:
flights to Catania (CTA) or Palermo (PMO)
At the start and end of the trail, transfers are included from Cefalu or Castelbuono. You can reach either by bus/train.
You can also be collected from Palermo Airport (€100 per vehicle) or Catania airport (€150 per vehicle).

At the end of the trail, transfers are €150 to Catania or Palermo airport.

Transfers are to be paid in cash locally.

Bookings and contact:
Lynn
signmeup4itnow@gmail.com
Whatsapp: +30.6974575898

Private retreats are available by special arrangement for groups of 4 or more.


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Cancellation/changes/no show policy:
1) Once you book your place / pay there are no refunds. It is a serious commitment to take part in the retreat. You should honor that and so will we.
2) If you can't make it to a selected retreat you can:
a) find somebody else until 7 days before the start date, no extra fee required
b) no shows with no notice equals in 100% fee loss.
3) if we cancel the retreat for any reason you will receive a full refund - normally within 2 to 8 weeks