The Nebrodi mountains, also known as Caronie, stretch from the northeast coast of Sicily to the park of the vulcan Etna on the south east coast of the island.
The name seems to come from a Greek word meaning “deer” and it may refer to the numerous deer living in the area at the times Greeks lived here.
Deer, little mammals such as squirrels, martens, foxes, wild cats are still shy inhabitants of the Nebrodi and it is not unlikely to admire small birds and some small hawks flying in the bright sky.
It is the perfect place where to go for some trekking if the sports performance is not your main goal and you wish to dwell in the local atmosphere and find out some hidden gems along your way.
Ready to discover the green heart of Sicily?
Follow us up in the Nebrodi mountains and discover three off beaten trails.
1. Sorgente Usignolo and Mulino del Capo in the Nebrodi mountains
Montagnareale is a lovely village nested in the mountains of the Nebrodi.
The terrace in front of the local church of San Sebastiano offers a breathtaking view over the valley.
The little village of Montagnareale is the starting point of a short trail (approx. 2 hours) suitable for all clearly signalled at the turning point of the main street of Montagnareale.
Walking slowly along the trail, you will see chestnuts, nuts and the typical Mediterranean vegetation and feel reinvigorated.
Two highlights along the way: the “sorgente dell’Usignolo”, the “Nightingale source”, a little jet of water spraying directly from the rock and the “Mulino del Capo”, an old 18th century mill where locals used to grin cereals. The mill has been renovated in the 80s. It is the perfect place for a picnic with some typical Sicilian food such as the “mostarda di vino”, a sweet jelly locals make mixing wine and ashes (not joking, ashes!).
Not enticing? Have a try and let us know. It’s incredibly light and delicious.
2. Lago Biviere, the lake trekking path in the Nebrodi mountains
A long trail stretching from the rural centre of Case Mangalaviti up to the Lake Biviere crossing century old woods of beechtrees, maples, ashtrees and wild apple trees.
The water of the lake becomes red due to a specific algae in summer and that is the ideal time to go for some trekking.
The rich vegetation around the lake attracts many birds and it is a great place for birdwatching
Though long (approx 7 hours), the itinerary is suitable for all.
A picnic on the shores is a great idea and we would suggest some sandwisches with the local black pig sausage of Sinagra, a village not far from here.
3. Discover the waterfalls of the giants in the Nebrodi mountains
Are giants living in the Nebrodi mountains?
It looks like they were once upon a time.
They were probably hiding here from human beings and were used to have fun diving from the peak of the Catafurco waterfalls and swimming in the “Marmitta dei Giganti” little pod at the foot of the waterfall.
Jokes aside, the trail walking you from the village of Galati Mamertino (Messina, Sicily) to the waterfalls area runs for approx 4 km through Mediterranean woods and pastures where lazy cows will silently look at you and swinging their long tails.
You could admire small hawks and buzzards flying over you and small mammals such as wild rabbits and squirrels.
Once you reach the “Marmitta dei Giganti” and the waterfalls, you could even decide to take a swim but please remember the water temperature is chilling even in summer time.
Our suggestion: find a lovely place and have some fruit to refresh you like the Sicilian fig called “fico d’India” whose tasty pulp is mouthwatering and rich in vitamins.
Find the one you like, pack your trekking shoes and let yourself be charmed by an uncommon Sicily. You won’t regret it.
Where to stay while in the Nebrodi area?
The Agriturismo S. Margherita offers a peaceful location with a superb view over the Aeolian islands and the blue Mediterranean Sea.