Medieval towns of the Madonie Mountains
The full day guided tour allows you to immerse yourself in the history, folklore and traditions of the places en-route. We stop to a chat with locals to learn more about their everyday life.
The tour starts at 09.00 from the village of Sant'Ambrogio or Cefalù.
We drive to Pollina, a picturesque medieval village, which sits perched on the top of the mountain. Our visit takes us through the narrow streets towards the open air amphitheatre of Pietrarossa, where we can enjoy the sensational views towards the Madonie Mountains.
As we leave Pollina we drive through countryside which is known for the production of Manna, a substance produced from the Ash trees and collected by local farmers in July and August, which is then sold as a natural remedy for many ailments.
Our next stop is Castelbuono, the traditional Sicilian town in the foothills of the Madonie Mountains. The Ventimiglia family built a castle here in the 14th century which was called Castello delle Buone Arie (Castle of Good Air) The present day town grew around it and adapted its current name from the original.
We walk through the town stopping to taste local products, visit a traditional oil press and also the castle if there is time.
Continuing our drive into the higher Madonie mountains, a stop will be made at the fountain just below the town of Geraci. People from surrounding areas come to get water from the fountain renowned for its diuretic properties. They say it is very good for flushing out kidney stones! The water is now bottled and sold commercially under the label of "Geraci."
Our lunch stop is at a small family-run trattoria in the quaint and beautiful medieval town of Petralia Soprana. After lunch we stroll around the village to a look out point behind the Chiesa Madonna di Loreto where on a clear day views of Mt Etna are spectacular.
The drive back to Cefalù is through the grain growing area of Sicily, which in Roman times was known as the bread basket of the empire. We will also pass the ski resort of Piano Battaglia on our way down to Isnello and back to Cefalù/Sant’Ambrogio.
Tour ends around 17.00
“Madonie Village tour- a trip highlight”
Reviewed 30 September 2013
We hired Marian as our guide for a full day tour of the villages of te Madonie Mountains/park. It was a day for the memory books, I wouldn't change a thing! We started in Pollina, a small picturesque village where we could view our destinations, and learn a little about the area. Marian had a former student, Viviana, join us to explain and tour her small town . Absolutely charming. We went to Castelbuono, saw the castle and the garbage toting donkeys, enjoyed some pre lunch wonderful gelato, sampled pannetone and manna, and continued our trip through the lovely mountains. The lunch in Petralia Soprano at Salvatores was out of ths world. 12 plates of assorted vegetables, cheese, salami, bruschetta and on. Don't even consider needing an entree! More scenery, a stop at a shepherd's hut for cheese unfortunately found him closed for the day. We fid a wick tour through Isnello, but we had unfortunately run out of time for Gibalmanna. Wonfergul huide and your, I can''t recommend it enough.
Visited September 2013