A natural wonderland in northern Sicily will leave you breathless with its wide open spaces and undeveloped mountain landscapes. Located near Cefalu' and Campofelice di Roccella, it takes in a vast territory that holds several towns within the park confines. It is between the Imera and Pollina Rivers, so there are waterways and sports, cascades and places to soak in cool fresh water, and soars to a peak of 1900 meters above sea level.

The park is a gem with half of all the plant species in Sicily present in this one place, and a plethora of birds and mammals. There are abbeys, cave churches and sanctuaries scattered throughout the mountains; the most renowned is the church of Madonna dell'Alto (the Madonna on High), named for its location on the highest peak at 1819 meters above sea level. Faithful pilgrims walk here from surrounding towns, many of them barefoot, in solemn devotion. There are stunning views from here that sweep over all of Sicily, making it worth the hike.

Another jewel worth exploring in the park is the Gola del Tiberio a deep gorge in a wood valley, the rocks sculpted by fluvial erosion. There are quiet places to swim in the river below naturally-made artistic formations.

The Parco delle Madonie offers all kinds of outdoor activities, including abundant trails for hiking, biking and horse riding. There is skiing in winter, picnic areas for summer enjoyment, rock climbing, archery and archeological seminars. There are guides with a variety of offerings if you want to go with a group and a knowledgeable local. Explore the towns that fall within the park, as many are beautiful timeless places ensconced in their natural setting with architectural and artistic features waiting to be discovered.

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