In the shadow of Sicily’s world-famous volcano, Mt. Etna, emerge the incredibly beautiful mountains of the Parco delle Madonie, with peaks reaching up 2.000 metres. During your trip you will climb up rugged cliffs for breath-taking views of small villages perched like eagle’s nests on the steep slopes. Walk this timeless landscape at ease, as daily life passes slowly here, following the endearing rhythm of the seasons. You will enjoy delicious fresh food, prepared by locals who still live off the land, tending their vegetables, olive groves and vineyards and harvesting figs, almonds and hazelnuts. Walking from the high mountains to the emerald sea at Cefalù you will have a first rate hiking experience.
Arrive in Sicily and breathe in the warm island breeze and aroma of the outstanding local flora. If pre-arranged with us, a private transfer takes you from airport to your accommodation in Petralia Sottana, in the south of the Monti Madonie. Enjoy your first dinner in a local restaurant of your choice trying the many flavors of the tasty regional cuisine.
Today’s walk It is a quite easy path through Petralia's hills from where it is possible to enjoy superb landscapes over the southern side of Sicily, inclunding Mt. Etna. Some stretches of the route are on clayey terrain which can be challenging in case of rain. The elevation is fairly gradual; there is only one steep stretch. The walk can start in Portella Ferrone (wp17) with transfer organized by the accomodation; the walk is then shortened of 2 km and the steep stretch to wp14 is avoided.
A morning trasnfer will take you to the start of the walk in Pomieri. The walk starts off on a fairly steep and rough surface but it eases out as you reach the higher lands where views begin to unfold and you follow panoramic dirt roads and well-marked trails, making a loop around the fascinating Vallone degli Angeli.
From Vallone you can take a detour to Scalone from which you have a good view of Polizzi Generosa and valleys located tot he North of the Madonie Mountains. Monte Salvatore is one of the highest peaks of the Madonie Mountains, from the top there is a spectacular 360° view of the central part of Sicily. You can also admire the Sanctuary of Madonna dell’Alto, a regular destination for religious pilgrimages. Part of the route follows the long distance ‘Sentiero Italia’ where you can still find a few examples of the Nebrodi Fir tree, that once covered a vast section of the uplands. At the end of the walk a private transfer will take you back to the accommodation in Petralia Sottana.
A morning transfer will take you to Parco Avventure Madonie from where you will start your walk. Climb from Pomieri to the “Piano Battaglia” plateau (1.700 metres), a well-known area which name derives from a battle which took place here in the 11th century between the Arabs and Normans. Take a large circular tour around the picturesque Monte Ferro (1.900 metres) before walking down to a one-of-a-kind agriturismo (farm) where you will spend the night.
Bid adieu to the lovely Madonie Mountains an descend to the hills around Castelbuono. A short and easy descent brings you to Agriturismo Bergi. Here you can spend the afternoon relaxing into the village of Castelbuono. Do not miss a visit to the nearby medieval village of Castebuono. Stroll along ancient narrow streets and squares for a true taste of small-town Sicily.
After breakfast, a short transfer takes you to the bus stop in Castelbuono where you board the bus with your luggage to Cefalù. Check in at your hotel and explore the town’s breathtaking Norman Cathedral and awe-inspiring Byzantine mosaics. Climb the ancient fortifications of the Rocca or go for a refreshing swim on the long sandy beach in front of the hotel. To end this fabulous walking trip celebrate with a delicious dinner in one of Cefalù’s many fine fish restaurants.
The trip and services end after breakfast. From Cefalù you depart by train to reach Palermo or Catania Airports.
6 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
Hotel Il Castello is housed in ancient Norman Castle dated back to 1062. It offers well-furnished rooms with free Wifi, satellite TV, private bathroom and rustic style. Staff is courteous and helpful. Highly recommended the restaurant. Buffet breakfast with homemade products.
The Masseria Rocca di Gonato is a rural tourism located in the Regional Park of Madonie. Rooms are well-finished, comfortable and essential with private bathroom. Cuisine is good and proposes dishes with local products. Italian breakfast with homemade cakes.
Agriturismo Bergi is a part of the Farm Azienda Agricola Bergi that produces and commercilizes quality biological products by Sicily from years. Rooms are well-finished, elegant and welcoming with private bathroom, air conditioning/heating and TV. The cuisine offers typical dishes from Sicily and the buffet breakfast is both savoury and sweet.
Hotel Riva del Sole is located along the seafront of Cefalù and it offers a panoramic terrace overlooking the sea. Hotel offers spacious rooms, clean and well-finished with free Wifi, TV, private bathroom. International breakfast is rich and various of sweet and savoury products.
From the airport PMO, you first need to reach Palermo train station by bus. From Palermo bus station (located in front of the train station), busses run directly to Petralia Sottana. Check times and prices on www.saistrasporti.it.
From Catania airport (CTA), you can reach the train station by bus. Once there, take a train to Palermo, and then a bus to Petralia Sottana.
On departure from Cefalù, take a train to Palermo Centrale and then a bus connection to Palermo Punta Raisi airport (PMO). Click here for further info.
If flying from Catania (CTA), take a train from Cefalù to Catania Centrale (with change in either Messina or Palermo), and then a bus to the airport.
Train timetables available on www.trenitalia.com.
GPS tracks are available on request.
What is included:
· Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
· Luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
· 2 dinners / 1 packet lunch
· Maps, detailed description of the itinerary, GPS and App
· Medical and luggage travel insurance
· 24h phone assistance
· Transfer Petralia Sottana-Pomieri (and return), Petralia Sottana-Parco Avventura Madonie, Castelbuono-Catelbuono bus stop.
What is not included:
· Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
· lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
· visits and entrance fees - tips
· personal expense
· possible sojourn taxes
· everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.
These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:
· Single room supplement
· Half Board supplement
· Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.