Hailed as one of the “best-kept secrets of walking holidays in Sicily” are the beautiful Madonie Mountains. This prominent mountain range is the highest on Sicily and part of the stunning nature reserve known as the Parco delle Madonie.
The vast natural park covers 35,000 hectares, the majority of which is mountainous. Six of the mountains in the region stand at over 1,500 metres and many others are more than 1,000 metres high. The highest peak in the Parco delle Madonie is the Pizzo Carbonara, which boast an impressive 1,979m zenith.
During winter, skiing is a popular pastime, when the slopes of the Madonie Mountains are carpeted in snow. Walking can be enjoyed all year round in this area of immense natural beauty. As well as admiring the stunning mountainous landscape, walkers can enjoy the diverse range of flora and fauna this part of Sicily is home to. Many of the 2,600 species of plants in the Parco delle Madonie are endemic to the area.
Autumn and springtime can be the best time to witness the vast range of flora and fauna in the regions, when the intensity of the colours is in full bloom.
The higher lands of the park are scattered in dense forests, which in the hotter months, provide some welcoming respite from the sun. The park is well-facilitated for walkers, with a network of paths and routes winding round the mountainous region, of varying lengths and difficulties.
While walking up the slopes of the Madonie Mountains, hikers pass by small, old villages, nestled into the slopes like birds’ nests.
Other ways to witness and explore the beauty of the Madonie Mountains is by horseback or on mountain bikes, both of which are well-facilitated for.
If you do embark on a walking adventure in this exceptionally beautiful part of Sicily just remember to take three things – hiking boots, plenty of water and your camera.