Walking through the heart of Sicily
Far removed from the busier sites and cities on the coast, this tour takes you through the spectacular natural beauty of central Sicily, following unsealed country roads through rolling wheat fields to the Madonie National Park, staying in some of Italy's most charming villages: a unique experience!
This wonderful tour takes you through the heart of Sicily, an area untouched by tourism where the daily life, traditions and hospitality of the island are alive and well. Following mostly unsealed country lanes you’ll pass through some of the most spectacular countryside on Sicily: rolling farmlands covered in wheat fields overlooked by jagged mountains with the forested peaks of the Madonie National Park in the distance. On a clear day, the conical form of Mt Etna, Europe’s largest and most-active volcano, smoking on the horizon. Along the way you visit some of Italy’s most unspoilt villages, two of which have been winners of ‘Italy’s Most Beautiful Village’, one in 2014 (Day 4) and other in 2018 (Day 6).
To start the tour, a private driver will pick you up from either Palermo or Catania and take you to Nicosia, a bussling farming centre, where you spend the first night. Five days later, the tour finishes at Petralia Soprana. From here you will be driven by private transfer back to either Catania or Palermo. The Sicily 1 walk is a wonderful opportunity to get local, enjoy the famous Sicilian hospitality, its delicious seasonal cuisine as well as enjoying some long country rambles.
This is a continuous walk. There are no shuttles or buses! Just pull on your boots each morning and set out - we'll look after the rest. The walks range from 3 to 4 hours, covering between 12 to 15 kilometres. They generally follow unsealed country lanes passing through rolling farmlands. There are also some short sections following smaller trails with uneven footing. The trails are unmarked but are straight-forward to follow - there is always a farmhouse in sight. This is a Grade 3 walk (click here for details).
The self-guided itineraries are rewalked and the notes updated each year.
You will stay in a variety of accommodation, themselves often part of the area's history, which are always comfortable and welcoming: two family-run 'agriturismos' (one of which was once a baronial residence); a private apartment; a small, family-run hotel; a 15th century convent (hosted by nuns) and finishing in a restored noble residence in the heart of an ancient village.
Sicilian food is completely hybrid, reflecting the island's extraordinary history. From Greece came the the traditional country dishes around Syracuse and Ragusa; the Arabs introduced sweet and sour; the Spanish a Baroque taste for excess; the French introduced the onion, while Swiss chef influenced the their dessterts with cream and stuffing.
Food is one of the highlights of a visit to this prosperous area, all based on delicious seasonal vegetables and fruits and fresh farm produce, including cheeses like fresh ricotta and cacciacavallo; cured hams and salami; an amazing variety of breads; olives, eggplants and wild greens and, of course, those wonderful Sicilian pastries.....
Generous breakfasts are included each day. Given the relative 'isolation' of the small villages and 'agriturismo' you stay on during this wonderful walk, we have included the dinners as well on this tour.
Support on the walk
To guide you through this wonderful walk, you will receive: the Hidden Italy roadbook (an eighty-page A5 booklet that includes comprehensive daily walking notes accompanied by detailed maps, updated and revised each year); access to the exclusive Hidden Italy App to complement the roadbook (the App is downloadable to Apple and Android devices and features information about the routes: maps, GPS tracks, altimetric profiles, etc; GPS navigation on all the routes; an alert function if you stray off the track; and an emergency function); twenty-four-hour phone support from our Florence-based Operations Manager.
To confirm the booking, a deposit of 25% of the total booking cost is required within 7 days of the issue of the invoice. Please note that in the event of customer cancellation, deposits are refunded, less a cancellation fee of $500 per person per tour. Click here for full T&C’s
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This 7 day/6 night walk can be personalised to meet your interests and travel dates.
- Six nights accommodation
- All breakfasts included
- Reading lists and historical and cultural notes
- Maps with gps markers and walking instructions
- Hidden Italy App with GPS to complement the roadbook
- Pick up and drop off in either Catania or Palermo
- Daily transfers of baggage between hotels
- 24 hour backup from local manager
$2650 per person (breakfast + dinners included)
Single supplement - $800
** Please note a high season surcharge may apply in July/August/September
Tour costs quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD)
We had the most delightful week and have no hesitation in fully recommending it. We loved the walking, scenery, countryside, exploring the different towns and immersing ourselves in the culture and history. The whole week exceeded expectations.
– Judy and Bob KView all Testimonials ›
3. Southern Italy: Sicily 1, the central mountains, the heart of Sicily FAQs
Find out a little more about the 3. Southern Italy: Sicily 1, the central mountains, the heart of Sicily tour by reading some of our most frequently asked questions.View all FAQs ›