The walks are along footpaths, mule tracks and some strade bianche, (small gravel roads). You will cross a few small hamlets and some larger villages.
Start: Petralia Sottana Finish: Cefalù
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.
A short transfer in the morning will lead you to Portella Ferrone, where today’s walk starts, taking you into the heart of the Madonie Mountains. A sturdy climb through wooded hills leads you up a 1.500 metres high pass to your rustic accommodation at Pomieri. Immersed in the woods, this isolated mountain hotel offers outstanding high elevation panoramas. During springtime walks, look down at the limestone rocks and marvel at the gorgeous assortment of wild orchids.
Challenge: 4 hours, 10 km, 667m ascent, 320m descent
Today’s 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. Today you will walk for 11-13,6 km.
From Vallone you can take a detour to Scalone from which you have a good view of Polizzi Generosa and valleys located to the 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.
Challenge: 5 hours, 15 km, 763m ascent, 754m descent
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.
Challenge: 3 hours, 9 km, 383m ascent, 442m descent
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.
Challenge: 5 hours, 13 km, 206m ascent, 635m descent
After 4 days of walking, today you will have the chance of taking your own time, surronded by the wonderful countryside of Castelbuono. Bask in the sun at poolside or enojy one of the many activities offered by the organic farm where you are staying. You might take a cooking class, learning how to prepare delicious Sicilian food, as well as visit the agriturismo’s laboratories for the production of jams and honey, or just taste home-made wines and oils. If you feel like you still want to be more active, then you can be driven to Castelbuono, starting point for a guided tour of the town or for walks and bike rides
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.
Challenge: 1.5 hours, 3 km, 207m ascent, 203m descent
The tour ends after breakfast, unless you have booked extra services with us. To get to the airport you can go either by train or taxi.
All accomodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. Accommodations range from a simple but friendly small town hotel, to an old monastery to a luxurious estate or agriturismo.
We choose comfortable **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom. All rooms are en-suite.
You can find below the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra overnight: You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.
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.
This Hotel is surrounded by silence and peace. It has dated rooms, but comfortable and well-finished. Breakfast is normale. Cuisine is good.
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.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April 1st and July 25th, and between September 1st and October 31st.
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.
These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:
"The spring flowers, the milking of the cows and cheese making at Rocca Di Gonato, the mists rolling in at Pomieri - a perfect escape from life in the city. Each accommodation had it's own personality and unique charm. We were impressed with the ActiveNav app but consider it as a safety net rather than the primary means of navigation. We preferred the written route notes as they were more descriptive and encourage the visual engagement with ones surroundings.
The email communications with Victoria, Anna and Barbra were excellent and gave us a sense of personal engagement with S-cape "