Mt Etna and Surrounding area Day Excursions
Alcantara Gorges (full day)
AN ENCHANTING TRAIL ALONG THE ALCANTARA RIVER, WHICH FOLLOWS THE VALLEY FO THE FAMOUS ALCANTARA GORGES
This is an enchanting trail along the Alcantara River, which follows the river valley to the famous Alcantara Gorges, formed thousands of years ago, most probably as a result of a lava flow which was following the route of the river, and which fractured, allowing the river water to penetrate it with a rapidly cooling effect, giving rise to these unique rock formations which are now the most visited natural site in Sicily. In spring and summer months it is possible to swim here. The trail continues to the Gurne di Francavilla, small circular lakes, where we will stop for a short break, and where you can also take a dip during the warmer months.
Hours of riding: full day (5 hours in the saddle)
Price: €110 (including a sandwich and fruit)
Excursion to Mt Etna (full day)
A FANTASTIC AND BREATH-TAKING ADVENTURE ON HORSEBACK EXPLORING ETNA'S CRATERS
A fantastic adventure which takes you up Etna's northern side (the wildest of Etna's slopes), passing through the majestic forests of Etna's larch pines and beech trees, to the Monte Nero area, the site of the most recent great lateral eruptions, where you can admire the impressive "bottoniera" craters, formed during the last great eruption of October 2002.
Hours of riding: full day (about 7 hours in the saddle)
Price: €130 (including a sandwich and fruit)
Vineyard and Wine Tasting of Etna DOC Wine
A TRAIL DEDICATED TO HORSE AND WINE LOVERS
This trail is dedicated to those who are both horse and wine lovers, who will have the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful ride along the Alcantara Valley, on Etna's northern slopes, as well as tasting some of the best Sicilian wines, all produced using local grapes in the Etna area: the red wines, nerellomascalese and nerello cappuccio, and the white wines, carricanteand cattarrato.
Riding through olive groves, hazel trees and of course, vines, we will arrive at the vineyard of Cavanera Etnea or Tornatore, where we will be accompanied by an expert guide on a tour of the old cellars, before enjoying a tasting of at least five different Etna DOC wines, from among the vineyard's best labels. The tasting will be accompanied by a delicious selection of antipasti, including cured meats and cheeses from the area. We will return along a different path, passing through some of the wildest parts of the Alcantara Natural Park.
Hours of riding: approximately 7 hours (5 hours in the saddle)
Price: €120 (including vineyard visit and tasting)
Wild Alcantara 2 to 4 hours
These excursions, which are based entirely within the Alcantara Natural Park, passing through areas of wild and extremely interesting natural beauty, offer the opportunity to discover a corner of paradise that has very fortunately been preserved. You will ride along exclusive trails, which, thanks to our equine friends, will take you across the river at various points. You will have the chance to admire striking lava flows, which follow the route of the river bed and over the centuries have been carved and smoothed by the river's flow to create forms and colours of unparalleled beauty.
These excursions include a visit to the famous Cuba Bizantina and a little break at the Gorges of Castiglione, where in the warmer months you can take a refreshing dip in the river.
- The first excursion, which is also available for beginners, lasts 2 hours and costs €50 per person.
- The second excursion, which is both for more experienced riders and beginners, lasts 3 hours and costs €70 per person.
- The third excursion, which is mainly for experienced riders, last 4 hours and costs 80€ per person.
At the end of the excursion, for an additional cost of only €10, you can enjoy a refreshment and a tasting of seasonal fruit and vegetables straight from the field, grown by the farm. On request, you can also make use of the picnic and barbeque area.
Level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced. The terrain is very varied. Short trots and canters are possible, and riders should be physically fit.
Age restrictions: Riders must be 10 years old and above
Number of riders: Maximum of 10 people
Clothing: Long trousers and closed shoes (swimming costume if you would like to swim in the river). Leggings and helmet provided.
Weight: Maximum of 95kg
Themes: River, mountains, forests, flora, fauna, lava, history, mythology, agriculture, views
Refreshments: Seasonal fruit and vegetables (for an extra cost)
Languages spoken: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Sicilian
Horses: 14 horses of Sicilian breeding, well-trained, accustomed to the terrain, who live at pasture. The guide cleans, grooms and saddles the horses
Saddles: Comfortable English saddles, with a sheepskin seat-saver, or Western saddles on request, with a martingale and a crupper
Nearby towns and places of interest: Etna Natural Park, Alcantara Natural Park, Nebrodi Natural Park, Castiglione di Sicilia, Francavilla, Randazzo, Bronte, Catania, Taormina
Nearest airport: Catania
Transfers: Available at an additional cost from Catania, Taormina or other locations on the island. Free from Castiglione or Francavilla di Sicilia (accessible by bus from Catania or Taormina/Giardini Naxos)
Departure point: Le Terre di Castel Leone.
Insurance: ENGEA insurance included in excursion price.