Let us take you to one of the best-kept secrets of walking holidays in Sicily, the stunningly beautiful Madonie Mountains. Our walking holiday in Sicily starts not too far from Palermo and is offered as a 7-night self-guided hiking vacation.
The madonie mountains Sicily lie almost in the shadow of one of the most famous and dominant peaks in this part of Europe, Mount Etna. This region, the Parco delle Madonie, is an incredibly beautiful yet unknown mountain area south-east of Palermo. Rugged cliffs and razor-sharp mountain crests almost reaching up to 2000m offer many a panoramic view to greet you.
Whilst walking in the Madonie Mountains you will notice small villages built like eagles nests that lie scattered against the mountain slopes. 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 will enjoy your hiking vacation in Italy a real walk that takes you from the highest mountains to the sea at Cefalú, the famous harbour town with a Norman Cathedral dating back thousands of years.
Come and enjoy the secluded Madonie Mountains on your hiking vacation in Italy.
Sicily – Petralia Sottana
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 signed. You should, however, have some experience in mountain walking and orientation.
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.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Walking that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
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 flavours of the tasty regional cuisine.
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 1500 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.
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.
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.
Today you’ll say goodbye to the Monte Madonie and descend to Castelbuono. This is an easy walk of around 5 hours so you should have time in the late 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.
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 enjoy 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.
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.
You can travel back to Palermo
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. The bus company which arranges the public service at the start is Sais Autolinee (www.saisautolinee.it), Return Cefalu to airport by bus.
NOTE: We advise you book an early flight on your arrival day.
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
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