The Mountains of Sicily with Cefalù

From the Madonie uplands to the coast
This self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking holiday (with luggage transfers) reveals two very different sides to Sicily: the remote-feeling uplands of the Madonie Natural Park, and the vibrant coastal town of Cefalù. Great walking, unspoiled hill-top towns, accommodation of character, and inspirational views of Mount Etna make for a thrilling Sicilian experience.
The Mountains of Sicily with Cefalù. 10 nights
The Mountains of Sicily with Cefalù. 10 nights

Holiday information


A walking holiday in Sicily's mountains

Rugged and peaceful, the little-visited Madonie Mountains in the north of the island represent the authentic face of rural Sicily, very different to the chic resorts on the Tyrrhenian Coast. Instead, the area is dotted with extraordinary hill-top villages of narrow, winding streets, between which stretch untamed uplands and ancient forests below craggy limestone peaks. The wildlife includes golden and Bonelli’s eagles, plus a wealth of endemic flora, while the spellbinding views often stretch northwards towards the Aeolian Islands, and eastwards to glowering Mount Etna. But it is not just these that make the holiday so special – there is also a real sense of getting away from it all that is enhanced by the traditional accommodation where you can enjoy fresh, local produce in recipes handed down through generations.
After this, arrival at the coast, in Cefalù, comes as an enormous contrast – much greater than the changes in scenery that you witness earlier in the holiday as you progress from the gentler terrain of the foothills to the more demanding trails in the nucleus of the mountains – but one which serves to reveal a second, equally appealing side to this captivating island.


The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
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    mm 67 50 57 55 26 19 10 16 51 63 61 70
  • Arrival in Gangi
    Night 1: at Villa Rainò (the first of two nights here)
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Circular walk from Gangi: 10km, 4hrs; ascent 360m/descent 700m
    A short transfer takes you to a quiet lane where you begin your walk back towards Gangi. Views of this extraordinary hill town mesmerise as you head towards the dense mass of stone-faced houses crowded around the summit. After leisurely exploring its fascinating medieval centro storico (centre), your eyes constantly drawn to the view of Mount Etna dominating its eastern horizon, and perhaps enjoying lunch, you descend into the valley north of the town and back to your accommodation.
    Walking towards Gangi
    Circular walk from Gangi: 10km
  • Gangi to Geraci Siculo: 11.5km, 5hrs; ascent 750m/descent 335m
    Setting out from the door of your hotel, you cross open rolling farmland before joining quiet paths through a wooded valley. Ascending to the perched medieval town of Geraci Siculo on the edge of the Madonie Natural Park, you stay for one night in the delightful Notti O’Tunn. You arrive in plenty of time to explore the labyrinthine alleys, plethora of richly decorated churches and the glass balcony viewpoint of Salto dei Ventimiglia which juts out over the precipice at the point where, in 1337, the Count of Geraci threw himself and his horse into the abyss to evade capture.
    Exploring hill-top Geraci Siculo
    Gangi to Geraci Siculo: 11.5km
  • Geraci Siculo to Petralia Sottana: 15km, 6hrs; ascent 485m/descent 555m
    Today’s epic route takes you into the heart of the Madonie Natural Park. Ascending gradually west across remote pastoral uplands, you reach Portella Mandarini, gateway to the central Madonie, which is set amid limestone mountains and forested slopes. From Portella your path turns south and descends slowly all the way to Petralia Sottana and the Albergo II Castello where you stay for two nights.
    Geraci Siculo to Petralia Sottana
    Geraci Siculo to Petralia Sottana: 15km
  • Choice of routes from Petralia Sottana: 8km or 14km

    Circular walk via Pizzo di Covo: 14km, 6hrs; ascent / descent 695m
    This demanding walk ascends the flanks of Pizzo di Covo, the tracks becoming less distinct as you gain height, to reach a high plateau where your efforts are recompensed with panoramic views as far as Etna in the east. The return to Petralia Sottana is initially steep but soon becomes a long gentle descent on wider, easier tracks.

    Circular walk via Petralia Soprana: 8km, 3hrs; ascent / descent 305m
    As well as exploring the lower slopes of the Madonie Park, following scenic lanes across open countryside with views of the mountains, this easy walk gives you the opportunity to explore historic Petralia Sottana and its sister town of Petralia Soprana, with its striking church. Both have a maze of narrow streets with tiny shops and pretty piazzas.
    Circular walk via Pizzo di Covo: 14km
    Circular walk via Petralia Soprana: 8km
  • Petralia (Pomieri) to Castelbuono: 16km, 6hrs; ascent 420m/descent 1375m
    This standout route is the most demanding of the holiday, with a long descent, but your efforts are richly rewarded. After a short transfer back into the central Madonie, you begin by traversing a wide, limestone valley surrounded by some of the park’s highest peaks as you progress towards the green pastures of Piano Pomo. Here, a forest of 300-year-old giant holly trees creates a natural cathedral, their branches reaching to 20 metres in height and intertwining to form a dense canopy. Beyond this enchanted forest, you walk beneath enormous chestnut and oak trees before leaving the tranquil idyll of the central park, descending inexorably all the way to Castelbuono for some well-deserved refreshment before the short transfer to Agriturismo Bergi on the outskirts of town.
    Petralia (Pomieri) towards Castelbuono
    Petralia (Pomieri) to Castelbuono: 16km
  • Choice of routes around Castelbuono: 8-15km

    Day in Castelbuono: 8km, 2.5hrs
    With the Madonie Natural Park now behind you, you may choose to spend the day simply relaxing by the panoramic swimming pool and meandering through the gardens and orchards of Agriturismo Bergi, dragging yourself away just long enough to walk the 4km to Castelbuono’s castle and then visit the village’s renowned cake shops and perhaps enjoy lunch. You return by the same route.

    Castelbuono to Isnello: 11km, 5hrs; ascent 540m/descent 340m
    Wander down to Castelbuono, then follow an easy-going route west across the hills, sometimes on traffic-free lanes, to reach the quaint village of Isnello. There’s time to stroll through the medieval streets and admire the ruins of the Byzantine castle before catching the bus back. 

    Castelbuono to Isnello: 11km
  • Castelbouno to Cefalù: 6.5km, 3hrs; ascent 410m/descent 380m
    A taxi will collect you after breakfast for the 40-minute drive to the coast. Before continuing with your luggage to Hotel Alberi del Paradiso, where you spend your last three nights, the taxi will drop you near the lighthouse, where our town trail begins.
    The first port of call on the trail is the Norman cathedral, the interior of which is decorated with impressive mosaics. A steep climb then takes you to the summit of La Rocca, the rocky promontory dominating the town. It’s worth lingering here not only to explore the castle ruins, but also to enjoy the views, which stretch across the sea towards the Aeolian Islands. Descending back to the town, you pass the Temple of Diana, and finish the trail with a pleasant section along the seafront promenade.
    The view over Cefalú from La Rocca
    Castelbouno to Cefalú: 6.5km
  • In & around Cefalù
    You could simply spend your last two days enjoying the hotel facilities or relaxing by the sea – Cefalù boasts a wonderful golden beach, while its seafront promenade is lined with cafés and restaurants where you can sit and watch the world go by.
    If you want to explore further afield, it is usually possible to join a boat trip along the coast, or you could take the train to Sicily’s vibrant capital, Palermo. (Pay locally in both cases.)
    Cefalú's old town


The accommodation on this holiday is as varied and appealing as the monumental landscapes that surround it. You finish in style in a 4-star hotel near the coast.

Extend your stay

Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 10 nights: 15 April 2023 - 30 June 2023, 22 August 2023 - 31 October 2023, 15 April 2024 - 30 June 2024 & 22 August 2024 - 31 October 2024

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    15 Apr - 22 May 2023 £1355 £330
    23 May - 20 Jun 2023 £1515 £395
    22 Aug - 8 Sep 2023 £1645 £460
    9 - 30 Sep 2023 £1515 £395
    1 - 21 Oct 2023 £1380 £335
    15 Apr - 22 May 2024 £1495 £365
    23 May - 20 Jun 2024 £1670 £435
    22 Aug - 8 Sep 2024 £1810 £510
    9 - 30 Sep 2024 £1670 £435
    1 - 21 Oct 2024 £1520 £370
    3rd & 4th person discount -£75 to -£83
    Single traveller supplement £75 to £83

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Alberi del Paradiso, Cefalù
    Deluxe with balcony & side sea view: 15 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £18
    Deluxe with balcony & side sea view: 22 Aug - 31 Oct 2023 £18
    Deluxe with balcony & side sea view: 15 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £20
    Deluxe with balcony & side sea view: 22 Aug - 31 Oct 2024 £20
    'Prestige' with terrace & sea view: 15 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £40
    'Prestige' with terrace & sea view: 22 Aug - 31 Oct 2023 £40
    'Prestige' with terrace & sea view: 15 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £44
    'Prestige' with terrace & sea view: 22 Aug - 31 Oct 2024 £44
    Suite (2 bedrooms) with balcony & sea view: 15 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £80
    Suite (2 bedrooms) with balcony & sea view: 22 Aug - 31 Oct 2023 £80
    Suite (2 bedrooms) with balcony & sea view: 15 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £88
    Suite (2 bedrooms) with balcony & sea view: 22 Aug - 31 Oct 2024 £88

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Albergo Il Castello, Petralia Sottana (with dinner) Double room Single room
    15 Apr - 30 Jun 2023 £86 £107
    22 Aug - 31 Oct 2023 £86 £107
    15 Apr - 30 Jun 2024 £95 £118
    22 Aug - 31 Oct 2024 £95 £118
    Hotel Alberi del Paradiso, Cefalù (B&B) Double room Single room
    15 Apr - 31 May 2023 £95 £145
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2023 £130 £195
    22 Aug - 16 Sep 2023 £165 £250
    17 Sep - 08 Oct 2023 £130 £195
    09 Oct - 31 Oct 2023 £95 £145
    15 Apr - 31 May 2024 £105 £160
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2024 £145 £217
    22 Aug - 16 Sep 2024 £185 £279
    17 Sep - 08 Oct 2024 £145 £217
    09 Oct - 31 Oct 2024 £105 £160
    Catania or Palermo
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly via an airport not listed here. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Catania (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Catania jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Catania easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Catania easyJet 
    Edinburgh - Palermo Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Palermo (via Barcelona) Vueling 
    Edinburgh - Palermo (via Zurich) Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Catania jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Palermo easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Catania British Airways,  easyJet 
    Gatwick - Palermo easyJet,  Wizz Air 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Catania British Airways 
    Heathrow - Palermo British Airways 
    Heathrow - Palermo (via Rome Fiumicino) Alitalia 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Catania easyJet 
    Luton - Palermo easyJet,  Wizz Air 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Catania Air Malta 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Catania Ryanair 
    Stansted - Palermo Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Catania easyJet,  jet2 
    Manchester - Catania (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Palermo Ryanair 
    Manchester - Palermo (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Palermo (via Milan Malpensa) easyJet 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly via an airport not listed here. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Catania

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    bus Catania airport to Nicosia (1h30, pay locally), transfer Nicosia to hotel (0h30) £24-£26 1700 (1100 Sun)
    direct taxi Catania airport to hotel (2h) £89-£98 flexible
    Homeward route
    not recommended in this direction

    Connecting travel options - flying via Palermo

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    bus Palermo centre to Gangi (2h20, pay locally), transfer Gangi to hotel (0h10) £8-£9 1630 (1500 Sun)
    direct taxi Palermo airport to hotel (2h) £98-£108 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Palermo airport (1h45) £74-£81 flexible
    walk (0h15) or taxi (0h10, pay locally) hotel to Cefalu station, rail Cefalu to Palermo Centrale (1h) £7-£8 1130
What is included
  • 10 nights
  • 8 dinners
    10 breakfasts
    3 picnics
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >



If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact us to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Italy, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The principal official language is Italian, though some regions have a second official language, such as South Tyrol, where German is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro. Italian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
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