Sicilian Trails - Italy

Wild Sicily Trail

5 star rating   20 May 2023

Philip who has been on 4 In The Saddle rides. An amazing journey into the wildest parts of Sicily | The horses were absolutely amazing - real endurance athletes. I was put on a young horse on the first day, who was fine, but appeared to getting tired towards the end of the day. I then moved to a slightly older mare for the rest of the week. She had some character, but I really enjoyed riding her, and we had some amazing canters / gallops. There are long days in the saddle (sometimes up to 8 hours) so you need to be fit.

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
5 star rating
How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
5 star rating
How would you rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables?
4 star rating

The Accommodation

How would you rate your room(s) for comfort and facilities?
4 star rating
How would you rate the standard of the food?
5 star rating

Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

The standard of accommodation varied enormously. In most cases the rooms were very nice and appeared to be recently decorated / renovated. There was one place in the middle of the week that was very basic, and was a bit dirty/smelly/cold. However, I did get the best night's sleep there, so maybe it has something for it.
The food is amazing - very generous 4 courses every night with plenty of wine. I'm a vegetarian and they catered for me well, with lots of cheese and on several occasions omelette.

Before Your Holiday

Did you have all of the information you needed to:

Plan and prepare for your holiday?
4 star rating
Feel comfortable about your transfers and what to expect?
4 star rating

How could we improve the quality of pre-holiday information that we send?

The information did tell me to check the weather before going, and to wear layers. However, the weather forecasts for places like Palermo and Catania are very different to what goes on in the mountains where the riding is. While I did take some warm clothes and waterproofs, and wasn't expecting it to be quite so wet and cold in May. I ended up wearing 7 layers, but could really have done with my winter riding gear. However, I survived, and there was a hot shower at the end of each day.

Do you have any other feedback for us?

Despite the weather, the route was amazing. For most of it we saw virtually no one, except when we rode through a town, in which case all the locals would wave a say buongiorno to us. The landscape was constantly changing - it was so varied and interesting. The guides (Alex and Lizzie) were fantastic, and answered all the questions we had. It would have been a great trail ride without the final day. But the final day (riding up Etna) was something else again. We rode high up the mountain (to around 2000metres) to a recent crater. It felt like such an alien environment, but the horses were amazing, even with the strong winds which made it hard for us and them to stand up. It will be an experience that none of us will ever forget. It felt quite emotional saying goodbye to my horse at the end of it.
[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you so much for your incredible feedback. We are so pleased to hear how much you enjoyed the ride.]