23 Set 100% Sicily: off-road from Catania to Palermo
Trekking in Sicily – a Grand Tour of the region in an intense and complete trip in an island full of history, traditions, and flavors.
Holiday code: XTM
Sicily is obviously an island, but the concept of an island evokes a single place of traditions, costumes, and sceneries, while Sicily is full of many facets. Everything here is disparate, hybrid, and unique. This is the result of hundreds of years of transformation that resulted in Sicily becoming a meeting point between East and West. We have the green carob Sicily, the while salt ponds Sicily, and the purple lava one. There’s the Sicily of the sea and the unexpected Sicily of the mountains. Trekking in Sicily is not just a holiday, it’s thousands of unexpected ones! With our cross-country car, we will reach enchanting and unknown places, where we will make unforgettable memories.
SUNDAY: From Catania Airport, we head right away to Etna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, we will make a high-altitude excursion to discover the volcanic scenery, through lavic caves, extinct craters, and birches woods. After a picnic in Bosco Ragabo, we explore the new places of the 2002 lava coulee. At around 1000 m, we settle down in a refuge and have a typical local dinner. Before going to sleep, we admire the stars in the woods of the Etna. Distance and inclination: 5 km +105 m
MONDAY: After breakfast in the refuge, we head south on our cars. We reach Pantalica Natural Reserve, a wide uncontaminated area where beautiful views are mixed with ancient archeological remains. Here, the Anapo river and the Cava Grande creek have carved the white rocky walls creating deep canyons. The necropolis, recognized in 2005 as a UNESCO Heritage Site, testifies the presence of pre-Greek civilizations. After lunch along the banks of the Anapo, we head towards the sea. We settle in a charming farmhouse a few steps from the beach, where we can rest and take a dip by the sunset. Distance and inclination: 4.8 km +50 m -95 m
TUESDAY: We are headed to the Vendicari Wildlife Reserve. This pleasant excursion lets us observe birds like the pink flamingo and the remains of the Vendicari tuna farm. We then stop by the beautiful beach where we can swim and recharge. After lunch, we go towards Scala dei Turchi, where we can have dinner together with some local dishes. Distance and inclination: 5.6 k +15 m
WEDNESDAY: After breakfast, we go to the Torre Salsa Natural Reserve. Cliffs and dunes decorate the beaches that contain a WWF-protected oasis. Following a light lunch, we head to Marsala. We arrive in the Saline by late afternoon, just in time for drinks and dinner at Mamma Caura. We can even take a midnight dip in the warm and peaceful Saline waters. Distance and inclination: 7km +65 m
THURSDAY: inside the Stagnone di Marsala reserve, we find one of the most important archeological sites in the world: Mozia. The island can be reached by ferry from Marsala in 5 minutes and can be visited in 2 hours on foot. Following a lunch break, we can relax in the Segestane hot springs, also known as Polle del Crimiso: its volcanic waters reach 44/46°. After this “refreshing” experience, we head to our accommodation ready for dinner in the picturesque Borgo di Scopello.
FRIDAY: Early awakening and hearty breakfast to prepare for an excursion to the Zingaro Reserve. Its intact coves and incredible landscapes will leave us speechless. Optionally, you can also go out on a sailboat to admire the crystal-clear waters and the stunning sea-bed (extra excursion). We keep on trying the many Sicilians delicacies, right before visiting the alleys and shops of Palermo. After having reached our B&B, we get ready for one last dinner together. Distance and inclination: 6.5 km +35 m -75 m
SATURDAY: it’s time to head to Palermo airport and say goodbye to a place that offered us culture, flavors, smells, and smiles.
Holiday code: XTM19
Where: Sicily – Catania – Palermo
Accommodation: various, the addresses will be provided after booking.
Guide: one of Jonas’ own, expert in off-road driving.
Individual price: €1200
Includes: accommodation in B&Bs, refuges, farmhouses, and hotels in double/triple rooms, full board (breakfast, light lunch, and dinner), pick-up from Catania Airport, guided tours with car transfers and driver, guide, health, and luggage insurance.
Does not include: flight (to Catania and from Palermo), city tax, drinks, ferry and entrance to Mozia Island (€9), optional sailboat excursion to Scopello, final transfer to Palermo Airport (€6), anything not listed in “includes” section.
Sunday: ring excursion to M. Sartorius – 5 km
Monday: ring excursion to Pantalica – 4.8 km
Tuesday: linear excursion to Vendicari – 5.67 km
Wednesday: ring excursion to Torresalsa – 7 km
Friday: linear excursion to Zingaro – 6.5 km
The excursions are simple and do not require special training. Please note that as the majority of paths will be dirt, we recommend trekking shoes.