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Sicily: Madonie Mountains Trek

€655 per person

Foreshadowed by the fame of the Mt. Etna volcano, Sicily’s magnificent mountains of the Parco delle Madonie invite you to explore their remarkable natural beauty. Throughout this independent hiking trip, you will admire beautiful 2000 meter-high peaks, climb rugged cliffs in search of stunning views and contemplate the small villages perched on the mountain slopes from above. Enjoy the unmatched taste of the local Sicilian food prepared with home-grown products and soak into the authentic island atmosphere. From the highest mountains to the Cefalu coastline, you will enjoy the largest range of hiking experiences Italy’s most notoriously famous island has to offer.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    7 Days I Difficulty: 2 (of 5)
  • What is included
    Accommodation in en-suite rooms, incl. breakfast, 2x dinners (days 4 & 5), 1x lunchpack (Day 4); Luggage transfers; People transfers on Day 3 (morning & afternoon), Day 4 (Petralia Sottana-Parco Avventura Madonie) and Day 6 (Castelbuono-Castelbuono bus stop); Emergency hotline; Detailed roadbook and maps in English.
  • What is not included
    Public transportation; entrance fees. Possible CITY TAX to be paid in cash on the spot (it varies depending on the city and on the hotel’s category: 1-5 Euro per person per night)
  • Best period
    April, May, June, July, September, October
1
Day 1. Arrival in Petralia Sottana
Arrival day in Sicily. You can pre-arrange a private transfer from the airport to your accommodation in Petralia Sottana, located in the south of the Monti Madonie (check the Rates&Remarks for details and rates). Enjoy a traditional meal in a local restaurant of your choice as you prepare for the hiking trip starting the following day.
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Day 2. Petralia Sottana (16 km, 5hrs, +735m/-715m)
Today’s walk is an easy trail through Petralia's hills from where it is possible to enjoy superb landscapes over the southern side of Sicily, including Mt. Etna. Some stretches of the route are on clayey terrain which can be challenging/slippery in case of rain. The elevation is fairly gradual; there is only one steep stretch. The walk can start in Portella Ferrone with transfer organized by the accommodation where you stay (subject to availability; payable on spot), thus shortening the trail with 2 km and avoiding the steep stage.
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Day 3. Petralia Sottana - Pomieri loop via Monte San Salvatore - Petralia Sottana (15km, 5hrs, +763m/-754m)
A morning transfer will take you to the trailhead in Pomieri. Today’s section of the walking itinerary makes a loop around the captivating Vallone degli Angeli. You start with a steep ascent as astonishing panoramic views begin to unravel before your eyes. You then follow dirt roads with great views of the landscape and well-marked hiking trails on relatively flat terrain. A detour to Scalone is available from Vallone. It offers amazing views of Polizzi Generosa and valleys located to the North of the Madonie Mountains. You can opt to conquer Monte Salvatore, one of the highest peaks of the Madonie Mountains. Needless to say, it offers a phenomenal 360° view of the central part of Sicily. You can also visit the Sanctuary of Madonna dell’Alto, an attractive destination for religious pilgrimages in Italy. Transfer to Petralia Sottana.
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Day 4. Petralia Sottana - Rocca di Gonato - Gonato (13km, 5hrs, +600m/-450m)
A morning transfer will take you to Parco Avventura Madonie. Today you climb to the Piano Battaglia plateau (1700m) named after a famous battle between the Normans and the Arabs in the 11th century. You continue following the self-guided walking route encircling the beautiful Monte Ferro (1900m) and finally descend to a unique farm (or agriturismo as the locals call it) where your overnight will be.
5
Day 5. Gonato - Castelbuono (13km, 5hrs, +206m/-635m)
We bid the charming Madonie Mountains farewell and follow the independent walking route down to the hills surrounding Castelbuono. A gentle descent takes you to Agriturismo Bergi. You can spend a well-deserved relaxing afternoon in the village of Castelbuono exploring the medieval heritage and admiring the charm of Sicily.
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Day 6. Cefalù loop walk (3km, 1,30hrs, +207m/-203m)
After a healthy breakfast, a short transfer will take you to the Castelbuono bus stop where you take the bus to Cefalù with your luggage. Check in at your hotel, leave your luggage and head off to explore the town. It has much to offer - a mesmerizing Norman Cathedral with astonishing Byzantine mosaics, the ancient fortifications of the Rocca, the Mandralisca Museum and many more sites. You can also go for a swim and enjoy some time on the beach contemplating the Mediterranean sea. Don’t miss to try some local specialties in one of the many fine fish restaurants.
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Day 7. Departure day
Take a train to Paleromo or Catania airport or order a private transfer in advance.

TOUR LOCATION

Price
655 Euro per person in twin/dbl room
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement: 145 Euro
Solo Traveler supplement: 290 Euro (incl. sgl. room supplement)
(*triple rooms available for odd number of travelers)
Tips
Daily departures between April and the of October, excl. August (too hot). The walks are moderate to demanding in mountainous terrain. You will climb and descend between 400 and 1000m per day. Although the majority of the walks are not difficult and fairly well marked, you should however have experience in mountain walking and orientation. 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. When the weather is bad the mountains can be wrapped in dense fog, when this occurs, it is not advisable to do the walks. In this case you can ask the accommodation owner to take you together with the luggage to the next hotel on the route. Even if the weather is nice most of the time, you must always be prepared for suddenly developing fog and showers, especially in spring and autumn. This is the wettest region of Sicily. The precipitation is however dependent on the season (summertime is as a rule dry and warm), AND rain clothing must be always part of the basic equipment.
Getting there and away: Fly in to Palermo Punta Raisi Airport. The arrival transfer from Palermo Airport or Palermo down town to the first accommodation in Petralia Sottana is optional, so you could book it with the package if needed. As an alternative, Palermo is connected to Petralia Sottana by public bus transport. From the airport to Palermo train station the service is run by Prestia & Comandè (that runs every 30 minutes until midnight towards Palermo train station and until 22:30 hrs. towards the airport). From Palermo train station (Via Paolo Balsamo) you will find the SAIS buses that bring you directly to Petralia Sottana in 1 hour and 40 minutes (there are just 3 buses for the whole day from Monday to Saturday included: at 12:20 – 14:15 and 18:30 hrs. On Sundays there are just two buses at 8:00 hrs. and at 17:00 hrs.). For more information you can visit the websites www.prestiaecomande.it and www.saistrasporti.it/From Cefalù, at departure, you can book a private transfer to the airport. As an alternative, take a train to Palermo (check the website www.trenitalia.it) and then another one to Punta Raisi airport. You can find more information on www.trenitalia.com.
Accommodation
The accommodation chosen for this tour, are all unique and diverse, ranging from a small-town hotel to a quintessential Sicilian farms (Agriturismo). The rooms in all of the accommodation have private en-suite bathrooms. In Cefalù the hotel is just outside the city center, on the beach promenade and leaves you many wonderful options for dinner in town. All breakfasts are included. 2x dinners (days 4 & 5), 1x lunchpack (Day 4) are included as an addition. You stay 3 nights in Petralia Sottana, 1 night in Gonato, 1 night in Castelbuono and 1 night in Cefalù.
Private transfers (optional; price for a group of up to 3 pax; should be pre-booked in advance)
Cefalù-Palermo airport: 150 Euro; Palermo airport-Petralia Sottana: 220 Euro; (*for larger groups please check price details with us)

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