7 nights starting from
En-route picnics and trattoria lunches will keep you fortified and dinner is included each evening at your comfortable hotel, the Ristorante-Hotel Antica Filanda, ideally located for the walks. NB: that walking boots are essential and clients should be in good health. Guided walks will be covering 4 to 15 kilometres a day with one free day.
|18 - October - 2017||£ 1599.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/WES/18 October 2017/|
Departing: 18th October 2017 at 06:40
Returning: 25th October 2017 at 20:35
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Catania.
On arrival transfer to the three-star Antica Filanda Hotel in Capri Leone. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 2: The Pilgrimage trail and the Sicilian Lake District (approx. 15km/5 hours walking).
Transfer by minibus to the starting point of the walk (approx. 45 minutes). Today we follow the route used for centuries by traders, farmers and locals on their pilgrimage to the Chapel of Three Virgins, a reminder of feudal life which lasted here until the end of World War II and described on the Chapel Pilgrims 'prayer book' by an English visitor as “a most curious place in the world”. Then we continue towards Sicily’s very own Lake District, with Lake Trearie (at 1435m above sea level), home to a plethora of birdlife, both permanent and migrant. The day also includes a typical Nebrodi barbecue lunch with wine by the lake. Return to hotel by minibus. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 3: Castania “the abandoned town” (approx. 8km/3 hours walking).
Transfer by minibus to the starting point of the walk (approx. 30 minutes). Today we walk along the Trazzera Regia (Kings Road) with astonishing views over the Fitalia River Valley, which links the Tyrrenian Sea on the North Coast of Sicily with the Ionic Sea at Catania. En-route we will be stopping in a local private country house to sample the traditional farmer’s breakfast with Etna wine, ‘the local red coffee!’. We then continue to reach the ancient settlement of Castania whose inhabitants were persuaded to move to the new town of Castell’Umberto a century ago, after a series of landslides. We explore the narrow, cobled streets of this abandoned town where there appear to be as many churches as homes, as well as enjoying a typical lunch with wine at a family run trattoria. We return back to the hotel by minibus. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 4: Woodland, lake and mountain trail (approx. 12km/5 hours walking).
Transfer by minibus to the starting point of the walk (approx. 30 minutes). Today’s scenic and peaceful walk takes us through the natural woodland and mountain streams of the Bosco Mangalaviti – an area of extraordinary beauty with wonderful flora and fauna from oaks and beech trees to typical plants and flowers, to Lake Biviere (1278m) which offers spectacular vantage points. Here we will enjoy a picnic lunch with wine by the nearby spring fountain before descending to the hillside medieval town of Alcara Li Fusi with its splendid churches with marzipan pink and orange plasterwork and silent squares, home of 'The Muzzuni', the oldest pagan feast in Italy, which our June departure is scheduled to coincide with on the 24th. Back to the hotel by minibus. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 5: Free day.
A free day with the possibility to join an optional visit to the weekly open market in the town of Randazzo, the closest town to the main crater of Mount Etna, followed by a visit to Lord Nelson Castle in the town of Maniace: a former Benedictine Abbey of Norman origin (1174). Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 6: The trail of Silence (approx. 12km/5 hours walking).
Transfer by minibus to the starting point of the walk (approx. 30 minutes). Today’s walk takes us to the “Rocche del Crasto” (Goat Peaks) region “where eagles dare”. We will walk along the route used by monks and nuns for centuries to reach the several abbeys, convents and monasteries set up by the Normans in the Nebrodi area and whose Abbots and Abbesses were put in charge of all aspects of daily life, as well as religious. The area offers wonderful views from Mount Etna to the Aeolian Islands. A traditional picnic lunch with wine en-route will fortify you before continuing along paths only accessible to walkers to reach the Abbey of San Filippo di Fragalà, one of the greatest in Sicily founded in 595 A.D. and rebuilt, as we admire today, by the Normans in 1090. One can still see the monks’ cells, kitchen, dining areas, and the striking fresco of Christ, Madonna and Saints, which predates similar images in the mosaics at Palermo, Cefalù and Monreal. Time at leisure in the nearby town of Frazzanò before returning by minibus to the hotel for dinner.
Day 7: Mount Etna (approx. 4km/3 hours walking).
Transfer by minibus to the starting point of the walk (approx. 2 and a half hours). Saving the most famous natural landmark in Sicily until last, we hike through the wine land of Etna to the north side of Mount Etna, with its barren, eerie black lava landscape of Monti Sartorius (1666 -1806) whose craters were formed during the 1865 eruptions, then through the “Bosco delle Betulle” (wood of birches) to the “Grotta dei Ladroni”, a tunnel made by the lava flows centuries ago, where in 1776 the locals built a cave to use as an ice house. A typical Etna lunch with wine in a local restaurant is followed by a wine tasting in the nearby town of Linguaglossa, before returning to the hotel for dinner.
Day 8: Morning flight back to London Gatwick from Catania.
NB: The itinerary may vary according to local conditions and guide's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 15 passengers.
Please note: Walking boots are essential and clients should be in good health. Guided walks will be covering 4 to 15 kilometres a day with one free day.
Ristorante-Hotel Antica Filanda
A small 16-room hotel in a beautiful rural location, just outside the village of Capri Leone, on a hill with lovely views over the Tyrenian Sea and the Aeolian Islands, close to the Abbey San Filippo di Fragalà. Facilities here include an excellent restaurant, bar and comfortable bedrooms with private bathroom with hydro-massage shower, air-conditioning, safe, TV, mini-bar, free wifi and telephone. The hotel also has an outdoor swimming pool which is open during the summer months.
Antica Filanda Website
OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
We chose this hotel over several cheaper options as its small size, rural location close to the start of the walks and excellent food make it the best choice in the area. Tullio has stayed at the hotel with small groups many times and rates it extremely highly for its comfort, service and cuisine.
We love to receive feedback from our customers. Their views help us to keep improving the ours we offer. If you have been on this tour and would like to submit a review, please log in to our client area here and fill in the short form.
The tour did not live up to moderate walking - it was challenging with the walks much longer than written in the schedule. Tullio is a lovely guide and looked after our every need. However he did not tell the truth about the length of the walks when asked after the first day was almost twice as long as described. Having had a truly great holiday in Western Crete, I now want to book another holiday in 2017 but am nervous about the accuracy of the walk descriptions
Review by Mr PM Guter who travelled 19-October-2016
We had a 3 hour delay with our internal flight from gatwick to Inverness due to fog. The 7 course evening meals proved too generous at our hotel after some terrific lunches!
Review by Mr Alan Brown who travelled 19-October-2016
Overall excellent. In particular the hotel and food throughout the stay including lunches was outstanding. The guide was great. The complaint is that the walk on the first two days was too long. 20k each day. This was not advertised in the brochure. I would not have chosen this tour if i would have know i would be walking that distance on the first two days. It became an endurance test. I was expecting a challenging walk of 12/15 k. My toes are still bruised from this combined with the steep descent which resulted in extremely painful shins for the remainder of the week.
Review by Mrs Janet Adams who travelled 19-October-2016
The distances especially on the 1st day were longer than specified in the itinerary. Overall the quality of the food was excellent however the quantity was a bit excessive especially at lunch time whilst.walking
Review by Mr Christopher Milton who travelled 19-October-2016
Review by Mr julian burgess who travelled 19-October-2016
7 nights starting from £1299View Details
7 nights starting from £1195View Details