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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in 3 star hotels B&B's and Agriturismos
Meals
  • 1 Dinner
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1190USD

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Overview

Trip Code: MFS

Trip highlights


  • Following in the footsteps of pilgrims from centuries ago
  • Discover the rugged beauty of inland Sicily
  • Visiting the charming towns of Prizzi, Racalmuto and Sutera
  • Feasting on culinary delights and tasting superb Sicilian wines
  • Staying in comfortable and welcoming hotels and charming B&Bs

Travel by foot along the 'regie trazzere' or ancient road from Palermo and the Tyrrhenian in the north to Agrigento on the southern Mediterranean coast to discover the rugged beauty of inland Sicily with its archaeological treasures and friendly locals who have been welcoming pilgrims for centuries. The Magna Via Francigena was officially re-opened in 2017 in celebration of its rich historical legacy as a trade route connecting Africa and the Middle East to Europe. It runs through ancient landscapes to extraordinary villages clinging to the cliffs and some suprisingly green hills among lakes and rolling mountains. However what is striking about the Magna Via Francigena is the influence of those who occupied the land over the years, from the Greeks and the Romans, to the people of Byzantium and the Moors, and the legacies they left behind in the form of mozaics and other ancient relics, traditions and culinary influences. On arrival in Agrigento, dip your toes into the sea, receive your Testamonium at the cathedral and revel in the satisfaction of having walked across Sicily.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Arrive in Palermo and check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the city's range of historical attractions, ancient buildings, and dramatic coastlines. We can assist with pre-trip accommodation if you'd like to fully discover this intriguing city.

Meals:  Nil

After breakfast a private transfer (approx. 1 hr) takes you to Santa Cristina di Gela, where your walk will commence. On leaving the small town you will start climbing along the “antica trazzera” (old route) towards the Santuario Maria S.S. del Rosario di Tagliavia: according to legend, in 1800 a rock with the sacred image of Mary was found by two shepherds, and in the same place while they were digging to build a fence for their animals they discovered a miraculous spring of water that healed King Ferdinado I di Borbone. The sanctuary was erected in 1841 and is a must-stop along the pilgrimage route. Continue towards the peaks of Argentaria and Pizzo Nicolosi at the Gorges del Drago, and on to Corleone, sadly infamous for the Mafia, where you stay overnight. Enjoy the town's Spanish baroque influence or visit the Cidma museum, which recounts the history of the Cosa Nostra (allow an hour). Another interesting spot is the waterfall “delle due rocche”, 10 mins out of town. Today's walk can be shortened by approx. 5 km on request to the taxi driver this morning, if you wish to spend more time in Corleone. Distance: 19km/11.8mi (ascent +520m/ 1700ft, descent -720m/2360ft) or 26.5km/16.5mi (ascent +872m/2861ft, descent -769m/2523ft)

Meals:  B

Today you will enjoy a beautiful hike. The path takes you through vineyards and open fields, passing by dry stone Masserie (country farms) where you may encounter a farmer who wants you to try the freshly made ricotta! From the lake of Prizzi a steady climb takes you into town. Time to grab a cannolo with pistachio and candied orange! Distance: 20.6km/13.8mi (ascent +885m/2904ft, descent -466m/1529ft)

Meals:  B

A large part of today’s walk is inside the peaceful Carcaci Natural reserve, home to numerous species of birds of prey and a beautiful piece of forest to discover. Through the trees you can see the abandoned village of Carcaci. Its old world charm remains, along with its unaltered symmetry of its cross-layout, rural structures and small stone church. In the last part inside the Bosco Comuni (Comuni forest) there are the typical “pagliai” farmers. On your arrival at Castronovo there is a transfer (at 4pm, approx 25 mins) to your overnight accommodation, an agristurismo in Cammarata. Dinner is included tonight. Distance: 24.5km/15.3mi (ascent +602m/1975ft, descent -894m/2933ft)

Meals:  B,D

Start your walk along the railway then gradually uphill to Acquaviva Platani. The Platani Valley is in front of you and in the distance the charming villages of Mussomeli and Sutera, today's destination. The last part of the path to Sutera is along a stunning ridge. Enjoy getting lost in the maze of alleys and chalk houses of the Rabato neighbourhood, founded by the Arabs around 860, and visit the rich ethnographic museum. Distance: 15km/9.4mi (ascent +650m/2133ft, descent -700m/2297ft)

Meals:  B

Descend to the bed of the river Platani, which you ford and climb on the other side to Milena. Here the path goes up the hills that surrounds the village and gives you a panoramic overview of all the valleys nearby. Racalmuto, your destination today, is the hometown of the famous writer Leonardo Sciascia. Distance: 23.5km/14.7mi (ascent +896m/2939ft, descent -1096m/3595ft)

Meals:  B

On your walk today you will pass through several charming villages such as Grotte and Comitini, where the pace is slow and you'll find some fabulous arancini (fried rice balls filled with ragu or spinach and ham). The Baroque village of Aragona is below you with the sea just beyond. Descend to Aragona and take the train to Agrigento where your pilgrimage ends. Be sure to explore the old town and the Valley of the Temples. * An optional transfer is available Aragona to Agrigento - must be pre-booked and pre-paid, please ask our consultants. Distance 11.5km/7.2mi (ascent +225m/738ft, descent -332m/1089ft)

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast. We can assist with booking an extra night in Agrigento, please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner
  • 7 nights in 3 star hotels, B&B's and Agriturismo on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes extra, payable locally - allow €5-10)
  • Information pack including roadbook and maps per room booked
  • Navigational app
  • Luggage transfers
  • Transfer from Palermo to Santa Cristina Gela on day 2 and Castronovo to Cammarata on day 4
  • Emergency hotline and SMS alert
  • Credenziale - pilgrim's passport

  • Travel to Palermo and from Agrigento
  • Meals not included - lunches and 6 dinners. Allow EUR15-20 for each dinner and EUR5 for a picnic lunch.
  • Train or optional private transfer from Aragona to Agrigento on day 7
  • Items of a personal nature including drinks, souvenirs, phone calls, internet and laundry etc.
  • Entrance fees (museums, galleries etc.)
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Travel insurance
  • Hotel tax - allow approximately EUR2 per day - payable directly to the hotel

Grading

moderate  

This trip involves 6 days walking, with daily walks between 3 to 6 hours and distance from 11.5 to 26.5km / 7.8 to 16.6mi. The terrain varies from paved secondary roads with little traffic, paths along fields and forests and gravel roads. There are a few streams to cross, some with very little water and some others that can be more difficult in case of rain. When it is possible we provide an alternative route in case of heavy rain and in the case of river Platani (day 7) a transfer can be arranged (locally) if it has been raining on previous days.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Mar to 25 Jul and 1 Sep to 30 Nov

Notes

DN1
High season is 26 May to 25 Jul and 1 to 30 Sep - supplement applies
DN4
Prices valid to 31 December 2021

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1190USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Triple Room Discount (pp)USD$-111
  • Optional transfer Aragona to Agrigento day 7 - ppUSD$60
  • Single supplementUSD$230
  • Single traveller surchargeUSD$750
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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