Along the Magna Via Francigena trail: from Palermo to Agrigento on footSicilyDifficulty path:
She is the daughter of 25 centuries of foreign rule: Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Muslims and Normans have all left their mark in their passage through these lands.
The Sicilian roads have historically been the meeting place between various cultures, the point of contact between peoples, the path to reach a destination.
The Roman road system was created to connect the Empire, but later this system came under the administrative and political control of the Franks.
The Magna Via Francigena connects Palermo to Agrigento and crosses Sicily from north to south, from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
From Palermo you reach the agricultural fiefdom of Corleone nestled in the Sicilian land. The route then climbs up the Monti Sicani Regional Park, and then in the Valley of the Platani River.
From here Sutera, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, and Racalmuto, home of the writer Sciascia, surmounted by the Chiaramontani Castles. From the Aragona Caldare station, formerly frequented by sulfur miners, you will arrive by train in the mythical Agrigento.
Palermo, magical metropolis of a deep south
Corleone, a reborn village
Ancient fortresses and spectacular monasteries
Racalmuto, the birthplace of the writer Sciascia
Routes in the Natural Reserves of Sicily
Agrigento, open air museum
Benvenuti in Sicily! Palermo, Monreale and Santa Cristina Gela
optional 5km, 1,5h, +110m -110m
Private transfer from the center of Palermo or from the airport to Santa Cristina Gela, where you will spend the first night.
In this small village of Albanian origin, which preserves arbëreshë customs, traditions and language, a cannolo break is recommended to ensure a good dose of energy!
Optional: you can stop in Monreale to visit the beautiful cathedral (depending on opening hours).
In addition, you can decide to take your walk along the Magna Via Francigena trail: get off at Piana degli Albanesi and from there reach Santa Cristina on foot (5km, 1,5h, +110m -110m). But before you start walking, don't forget to taste the delicious Iris with ricotta in one of the pastry shops in the center!
If you want to fully enjoy the day, we recommend booking an additional night in Palermo, so you can leave early in the morning after breakfast and also have the opportunity to visit the magnificent Sicilian capital on the day of your arrival.
Walk from Santa Cristina Gela to Corleone
25km, 6h, +600m -750m
After breakfast you will start your first walk along the Magna Via Francigena trail.
A lake that embraces an entire valley, the ancient latifundia once considered the barn of Rome, farms and monasteries: today reveals the charm of the pilgrimage to the Sicilian land.
Natural background of the day will be the Bosco della Ficuzza and Rocca Busambra, one of the Natural Reserves of the Sicily Region. At the picturesque Tagliavìa Monastery, about 13 km from the starting point, you can freshen up and fill your water bottles.
You will follow to Corleone, a town known for mafia facts, but also rich in history and churches: it is renowned the Monastery of the Franciscan Friars Minor Renewed, located on an inaccessible fortress in the center of the country.
The current story speaks of young people who, both in agriculture and in tourist activities, successfully redeem the image of the territory. In this regard, the Legality Laboratory, located in one of the assets confiscated from the boss Bernardo Provenzano, and the CIDMA (International Center for Documentation on the Mafia and the Antimafia) are worth a visit.
Walk from Corleone to Prizzi
19km, 5h, +750m -350m
The Park of the Sicàni Mountains opens to the pilgrim: archaeological sites and pristine forests tell the story of the Sicàni people who gave the island the name Sikània.
The walk along Magna Via Francigena trail from Corleone to Prizzi, was a royal green lane always been crossed by the people who have inhabited this wet and wooded part of Sicily: often the paths of transhumance and main and secondary roads have coincided with the pilgrims' route. When the Greeks arrived in Sicily between the 8th and 7th centuries BC they came into contact with the indigenous peoples who already inhabited this land: Elìmi in the west, Sicàni in the center and Siculi in the east. Cozzo Spoletino and Hippàna are Hellenized indigenous centers and later in the 3rd century BC Romanized on the occasion of the First Punic War.
The route guards and reveals history to travelers who know how to read it.
Walk from Prizzi to Cammarata
19/25km, 4,5/5,5h, +450/550m -550/800m
Leaving Prizzi behind you, today you will cross the Carcaci Mountains Nature Reserve, between wetlands and forests, along a landscape rich in biodiversity.
At the end of your toady walk along the Magna Via Francigena trail you will reach Castronovo di Sicilia. Kars-nubu for the Arabs, this "fortified fortress" has become Castrum for the Normans. The village has a long city wall that protects the city and places of worship. Names and buildings suggest that Castronovo di Sicilia has always been a strategically important stop along the Magna Via Francigena trail between Palermo and Agrigento.
After a visit to the inhabited center, transfer to Cammarata for the night.
On request it is possible to shorten today's stage from 25 to 19km.
Walk from Cammarata to Sutera
20km, 5h, +700m -750m
The Platani River feeds this land, its valley is rich in pastures and fruits of eastern origin such as green pistachios and juicy mountain peaches.
You are about to enter the County of Caltanissetta. Farmhouses and masserias are places for a break along the way. The rabad, "suburb outside the walls", of Sutera awaits you. The Arab district ràbato, full of alleys and huts, comes to life during the Christmas holidays with the living nativity scene.
The Sanctuary of San Paolino on the chalky monolithic fortress of Sutera is definitely worth a visit ... can you see the Etna volcano?
Even today you can request to shorten the walk on the Via Magna Francigena with a short transfer at the beginning of the day.
Walk from Sutera to Racalmuto
22km, 6h, +750m -900m
The story continues to show itself to the wayfarers: the Roman bridge of Campofranco, the Sicilian thòlos tombs of Milena, the Neolithic settlements (5000 BC) of Serra del Palco.
People who often walked on these lands have decided over the centuries to settle in this territory.
Your daily walk along the Magna Via Francigena Trail ends in Racalmuto, the country of sulfur mines and the writer Leonardo Sciascia.
Walk from Racalmuto to Agrigento
13km, 3,5h, +250m -400m
Penultimate day: the steps get slower, partly because of tiredness and partly because of the fear that everything will end too soon!
The earth smells of sulfur around here, and the mines tell you about it. Along the way, the Petra of Calathansuderj, a Byzantine-Arab-Norman stronghold, shows you the direction of Aragon.
At the end of this fantastic walk along the Magna Via Francigena Trail, you will catch a train and reach Agrigento for the last night.
Here is the golden south coast, the Mediterranean Sea, that is the sea of all peoples, the fortress of Agrigento with its cathedral. The journey is over ... or maybe it's just started!
Don't miss the Monastery of Santo Spirito to savor the delicacies of the cloistered nuns and certainly not miss the Valley of the Temples, where the worship of the divine is preserved and revealed from time immemorial.
Tour programme variations
Due to organizational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday.
Along the way you may find temporary deviations (for example road works) which cannot be foreseen; in this case each walker can decide autonomously how to deal with these stretches.
Our offer includes
- 7 nights with breakfast
- Private transfer day 1 and 4
- Luggage transportation hotel to hotel
- Route directions with maps
- Phone assistance 08:00-21:00
- Transfer IN and Transfer OUT
- Other meals and drinks
- Public transport day 7
- Entrance fees and tips
- Hotel tourist taxes
- Insurance and everything not listed as "Included"
Departures and prices
Supplements per person
The tour winds mainly through dirt paths and country lanes, with rare intersections on busy roads and some short passages on water channels.
We recommend to wear comfortable walking shoes, better if trekking boots, and to bring with you a hat, drinking water, sun cream, swimming suite and a waterproof jacket in case of rain.
The itinerary is designed to offer a combination of nature and culture, while providing a good level of comfort.
The morphological conformation of Western Sicily provides considerable differences in level to be tackled daily, so the tour is suitable for anyone with good walking training.
The length of a walking day ranges from a minimum of 13 to a maximum of 25 km, with almost undemanding unevenness and travel times between 3,5 and 6 hours.
This tour offers accommodation in central B&B and 3* hotel.
All rooms are ensuite.
1 night in Santa Cristina Gela, Albergo Belvedere
1 night in Corleone, Hotel Leon d’Oro
1 night in Prizzi, Ospitalità Diffusa La Casa di Kokalo
1 night in Cammarata, Hotel Halykos
1 night in Sutera, B&B Piazza / B&B Poggio Accogliente
1 night in Racalmuto, Regalpietra hotel
1 night in Agrigento, Palazzo del Teatro
Possible extra night in Palermo, Locanda Sette Fate.
In case of non-availability: the accommodations we choose are always within walking distance of the main attractions, shops or restaurants. In case of limited availability we choose an alternative position with similar characteristics. Alternative details will be noted in the updated service list.
7 breakfasts included. All other meals are not included.
We will take care of your luggage while you are walking.
In case of need you can call our emergency number ON from 08:00 to 21:00. Anytime, our staff will be available to make your holiday quiet and serene.
A few days before departure you will receive the Service List.
At the first hotel reception you will receive:
- updated Service List;
- luggage Labels;
- detailed Route directions with maps.
Palermo is easily reachable by train, bus, car and by air.
BY TRAIN. Trenitalia connects the main Italian cities with the capital of Sicily. From Milan it takes from 15 to 20 hours of travel, with 1 or two changes; from Rome about 11/12 hours with direct line.
BY AIR. Palermo Airport Falcone e Borsellino is well connected to the most important Italian and foreign cities.
The airport is about 35km from the city and is well connected with the bus service of the Prestia e Comandè bus lines: the cost of the single route is € 6.00. More information at the following link.
The train service to and from the airport has also been reactivated, for information and timetables refer to the Trenitalia website.
BY BUS. Palermo is also accessible by bus. Here some of the major operating companies: Marinobus, Baltour & Flixbus, Sais autolinee, Buscenter.
BY CAR. To get to Palermo by car, there are convenient maritime connections departing from Naples, Livorno, Genoa, Tunis. Instead, crossing the Strait of Messina, take the A20 Messina-Palermo, a very suggestive but very busy route.
Back to Palermo
From Agrigento, the last stage of the Magna Via Francigena, it is possible to reach Palermo using the regional connections of the State Railways. The train ticket is € 9.00; travel time is approximately 1h50. The runs are reduced during Sunday and public holidays.
If you prefer to travel in total comfort, you can book a private transfer on the days of arrival and departure.