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Welcome to Hooked on Walking Holidays and our walking holiday in Sicily. Our walking holiday in Sicily starts not far from Palermo and is based in the Madonie Mountains in this area. This walking holiday in the Madonie Mountains of Sicily is available as a 7 night self guided walking tour.
Almost literally ‘in the shadow of’ the most famous and dominant highest Sicilian peak, the Etna, lays the Parco delle Madonie, an incredibly beautiful yet unknown mountain area south east of Palermo. Rugged cliffs and razor sharp mountain crests almost reaching up to 2000m m that offer great panoramas to the walkers eyes. Small villages built like eagles nests lie scattered against the mountain slopes. The daily life passes away slowly, following the rhythm of the seasons and is strongly influenced by old rituals and traditions. People here still live off what nature has to offer. They work the small fields and grow their own vegetables, maintain the olive groves and vineyards and harvest the figs, almonds and hazelnuts. Through this timeless landscape you’ll make a real walk that takes you from the highest mountains to the sea at Cefalú, the famous harbour town with the thousand years old Norman Cathedral.
Day 1 Arrival in Sicily and transfer to Petralia Sottana
Arrive in Sicily and breathe in the warm island breezes and aroma of the outstanding local flora. By bus from Palermo Airport to the first accommodation in Petralia Sottana. Enjoy your first dinner in a local restaurant of your choice trying the many flavors of the tasty regional cuisine.
Day 2 – Transfer to Portella Ferrone and walk to Pomieri 6.3 miles 10km 600/450m up/down
Today a short transfer in the morning will lead you to Portella Ferrone, where your 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.
Day 3 Pomieri loop walk
Today’s walk starts off fairly steep and rough underfoot 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 and on part of 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.
12 km 878/878 up/down 3.45-4 hours
Day 4 Rocca di Gonato.
A real mountain walk today climbing from Pomieri to the plateau Piano Battaglia at 1700 m. You make a large circular tour around the Monte Ferro at 1900 m, before descending.
4.5 miles 7km 128/564 up/down 2.5-3 hours
Day 5 Castelbuono.
Today you’ll say goodbye to the Monte Madonie and descend to Castelbuono. Since the walk is short (only 3 hours) so you’ll have time in the afternoon to have a stroll through Castelbuono. The ancient castle of the Ventimiglia family, the medieval town centre and the small streets are all worthwhile visiting.
4.7 miles 7.5km 116/637 up/down 2.5-3 hours
Day 6 Rest Day
After 4 days of walking, today you will have the chance of taking your own time, surrounded 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 in the Madonie Park.
Day 7 Cefalù.
After breakfast you’ll be transferred with your luggage to the bus stop of Castelbuono from where you’ll travel by public transport to Cefalú. After checking in at your hotel you’ll have the rest of the day to yourself. The Normans Cathedral, climbing the Rocca or the cool waves of the sea, the choice is yours.
Day 8 After breakfast the tour ends.
You can travel back to Palermo.
Best travel season
The best season for planning this tour is in late spring and early autumn. Not only the weather but also nature is at its best during these months. It rarely happens that you find snow on the highest pass at the beginning of May.
Level of walking
The daily distances fluctuate between 5-10 miles, 8 and 16 km. You’ll climb and descend between the 400 and 1000 m. Although the majority of the walks are not difficult and fairly well signaled you should however have some experience in mountain walking and orientation.
What is Included
Tour Code Sicily1
Price per persons based on 2 persons sharing double room
How to get there
The best airport to use is Palermo Punta Raisi where you can catch a bus to the first accommodation or you can book a private transfer. Bus company which arranges the public service at the start is Sais Autolinee (www.saisautolinee.it), Return Cefalu to airport by bus.
It is possible to book extra nights for you in all the different accommodations. However we especially recommend the estate in Scillato (great place, good food), the agriturismo in Castelbuono (lovely accommodation with garden) or the hotel in Cefalú (nice town).
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Phone: +44 (0) 1506 635 399