Big Madonie Trek (semi-itinerant)

  • Duration:7 days (5 days hiking)
  • Distance:7km to 14km (average daily)
  • Difficulty level:Medium-high - adapted to people who regularly hike and don't suffer particular health issues
  • Difference in altitude:300m to 900m (average daily)
  • When:May-June, September
  • Semi-itinerantWith main base in Castelbuono

A multi-day trek in the most beautiful mountains of Sicily

This multi-day trek starts near the Tyrrhenian coast and takes you to the top of the Madonie Mountains, at almost 2000 m above sea level. You will hike through woods, meadows and the Mediterranean scrub vegetation, stop at the foot of a thousand-year-old tree, explore caves and villages. You will live a unique experience in a still little-known region of Sicily of exceptional natural and cultural richness.

We will be mostly based in Castelbuono. This small town is located between the coast and the mountains, a perfect place for this semi-itinerant trek. It is easily accessible by bus from Palermo.
Everyday we will have the best of local gastronomy for picnic and dinner. We will stay in comfortable accommodation (small hotels and welcoming mountain refuges).

Day 1 – Arrival in Castelbuono
The hotel is located 10 min by foot from the historical town center.
Meet your guide and the rest of the group for a briefing in the afternoon.

Day 2 – Castelbuono and surroundings
We will start walking from Castelbuono and reach the nearby country. We will get immersed into the Mediterranean scrub vegetation and the Sicilian countryside, in the middle of olive trees and… ashtrees. Indeed, we are in the only place in the world where ashtrees are still cultivated for their sap, the manna. We will stop along the trail to discover and taste this precious nectar full of medicinal properties. Transfer back to Castelbuono in the afternoon, walk in the old streets and tasting of local pastries, including the famous panettone Fiasconaro but not only!
Distance: 7 km
Difference in altitude: 350 m

Day 3 – Castelbuono – Piano Sempria
We will go up through the woods along a trail rich in natural caves, panoramic views and centuries-old trees. Stop at the foot of one of the oldest oaks in Italy (1000 years!). Arrival at the refuge in the afternoon.
Distance: 14 km
Difference in altitude: 900 m

Day 4 – Piano Sempria – Piano Battaglia
We will hike in the heart of the Carbonara Massif. The route offers an incredible variety of environments and landscapes. Stop in a one of a kind wood of monumental hollies and picnic near Pizzo Canna, where golden eagles nest. Arrival at the refuge in Piano Battaglia in the afternoon.
Distance: 12 km
Difference in altitude: 500 m

Day 5 – Pizzo Carbonara
Circular hike to Pizzo Carbonara. With its 1979 m above sea level, it is the highest peak of the Madonie and the second one in Sicily after Mount Etna. The route will be full of surprises, including sea fossils dating back to millions of years, butterflies and rare plants. Transfer to Castelbuono in the afternoon with a stop in the small village of Isnello, at the foot of Monte Grotta Grande.
Distance: 8.5 km
Difference in altitude: 400 m

Day 6 – Cefalù – Rocca
We will spend the day in Cefalù, famous for its Arab-Norman cathedral, a UNESCO heritage site. In the morning, we will climb to the Rocca and then we will explore the streets of the old town. Free afternoon in Cefalù and overnight in Castelbuono.
Distance: 4 km
Height difference: 270 m

Day 7 – Departure

Contact us if you’d like to receive the full programme:


  • Semi-itinerant trekWith main base in Castelbuono
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Incredible variety of biodiversity, habitats and landscapes
  • Gastronomic picnics and dinners
  • Fascinating local traditions
  • Amazing panoramic views
  • Many opportunities to observe the local flora and fauna
  • Picturesque villages


Minimum 6 participants, maximum 12 participants

Guide: 210€ per person
Includes: English-speaking nature guide member of AIGAE (Associazione Italiana Guide Ambientali Escursionistiche), insurance for trekking activities

Other expenses (to be paid directly on the spot: accommodation, meals, transport during the trek, entry fee to the Rocca): 520€ per person
Extra fee for single use of double room: 20€ per day

For more info and bookings, please contact us: