TREKKING ROUTES

At Verdura Resort, we have created breathtaking trekking routes, uniting fitness with both culture and nature. Our trekking routes vary in length and terrain to accommodate all levels of fitness and experience. Our fitness team will guide you through these treks and provide you with water at break points, as well as Rocco Forte Nourish healthy snacks. Some treks require hiking boots and others require water shoes to walk in the river; we have this equipment available to rent or buy at the Spa Shop. Other treks can be done in regular trainers.


VERDURA DISCOVERY TREK 
This 6.3 km on-property trek will help you discover Verdura Resort.

Start the trek by Reception and walk down to Verdura’s coastline. Along the coastline, pass our historic Torre, which was built between in the late 1500s.

Just beneath the tower, hidden under the sea, there’s an old port that dates back to the ancient roman times. With the port, there was also an important town of commerce called Alava that once covered the surrounding area of the Torre at Verdura. In 365AD a Tsunami destroyed the town, but some remnants can still be found today.

In the late 1500s the area was transformed into a sugar plantation by the Duke of Verdura to produce sugar cane. A mill was built for the sugar cane production, part of which still stands today next to the Tower. The tower was built by the Duke to protect the plantation from pirate invasions from North Africa. At the time, sugar was very costly and something reserved to the rich.

In the mid 1600s a crisis hit sugar production and the Verdura River flooded much of the surrounding land. As a result, by the end of the 1600s Verdura’s land was used to cultivate rice. The mill that we still see today was changed from a horizontal mill to a vertical one to produce rice. Rice was cultivated there until the 1800s. The land was bought by a family in the 1800s and then sold on to individual landowners. And since 2009, it’s been Verdura Resort.

Trek past the tower and up the hill to our special viewing, where you can see the whole resort. Continue the trek through Verdura’s vegetable garden and its orange, lemon, olive and almond trees, picking ingredients as you go. Learn about the organic and zero mileage food we serve at the resort, as well as our Societa’ Agricola.

On your way back to the starting point, pass the Verdura Stazione, which was built in 1930. The station connected Agrigento with Castelvetrano, passing through Sciacca, and was largely used to transport produce to other parts of Sicily.

Level of difficulty: easy 
Time: 1.5-2 hours 
Equipment: regular trainers; sports gear

 

There’s also a longer version of this trek, which covers 7.6 km. You’ll reach a fork in the road where instead of turning right to return back to the starting point, you’ll turn left towards the Verdura River. This extra part involves walking down the river bank until you reach the mouth of the river. Then, walk down the wild coastline, passing an air raid shelter dating back to the Second World War, until you reach Amare Restaurant.

Level of difficulty: medium 
Time: 2-2.5 hours 
Equipment: regular trainers; sports gear

Both these treks can also be done without an instructor by following our trekking route signs.


VALLE DEL LUPO VENTURE

Our Valle del Lupo venture begins a 10-minute drive from the resort. It’s 4km and covers a variety of terrains. Discover the magical medieval Castello di Poggiodiana, along with the Valle del Lupo and the Verdura River that surround it. The castle was owned by Count Luna, who was married to Diana Moncada, whom the castle was named after. To protect them from pirates at sea, there was an escape route which will be uncovered during the trek. Our very own Verdura Torre would signal to the Poggiodiana Torre if pirates were indeed coming.

Start the trek at the top of the valley. Find a house built into the rock face near the beginning of the trek, dating back to September 1877, as engraved in the stone. You’ll also come across shells buried in the rock face. Continue walking down the valley until you reach the Verdura River, where you’ll find the end of the Luna family’s escape route with a secret staircase.

Start walking through the river, spotting crabs, fish and herons along the way. You’ll even find pieces of stone from what was once Daedalus’s dam. Daedalus, one of the famed architects of his time, created this ancient Kolymbethra dam. He also created several other architectural works in the area, having fled Crete and King Minos, and arriving at the court of King Cocalo in nearby Caltabellotta.

Continue walking through the river until you reach the water bridge. Water treading was one of Kneipp’s therapies. Walking through the cold river water up to your calves improves lymph flow and circulation. It’s also more challenging to walk through making it effective exercise for the legs and gluteus.

End the trek up at the castle, learning about the grandeur of how the Count and Countess lived. From the castle, you can see Verdura Resort, and you might even spot a wild goat.

Level of difficulty: difficult 
Time: 3 hours 
Equipment: walking boots; long trousers that can be rolled up for river walk; water shoes

There is also an even longer version of this trek, covering approximately 6km. The extra part involves a steep climb back up to the top of the valley, which is extremely effective exercise for the lower body.

Level of difficulty: extra difficult 
Time: 4 hours 
Equipment: walking boots; long trousers that can be rolled up for river walk; water shoes

MOUNTING MONTALLEGRO

The Mounting Montallegro trek is a 20-minute drive from the resort. Today, Montallegro is the town at the bottom of Mount Suso. However, the town once stood on top of the mountain. The town was built high up as protection against pirates from North Africa; there was also a protective wall around the town, which in part still stands today. Torre Verdura and Torre Poggiadiana were also built for the same protective reasons.

The town was abandoned and moved below due to an earthquake that struck in 1820. This earthquake hit much of Sicily, and in fact, it was this earthquake that killed the last Duke of Verdura (our namesake) at home in Palermo. Despite the earthquake, beautiful ruins of the town still remain today on top of Mount Suso.

 

The trek begins at the bottom of the mountain. Not only is it an archaeological site, but walking uphill is great exercise to tone the legs and the gluteus. As you walk up the mountain, you’ll find pieces of ceramics that date back to the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s. There are no ceramics that date past the 1800s due to the earthquake. Holes in some of the rocks highlight that there are caves and possibly escape routes underneath the mountain that are yet to be discovered.

 

The first notable archaeological site that you'll reach is the Church of the Madonna Di Catena. It was recently excavated by a local priest and some builders. However, this was not done properly, so much of the floor and other elements were ruined in the process. Following this, you’ll walk to the top of the mountain where there’s a second church - the Chiesa del Purgatorio. Next to it, there’s a well-preserved house. This is because in 1980 a Franciscan Monk decided to hermit there for four years.

 

Walk back down to the bottom of the mountain and finish the trek by going to see the Antica Fabbrica Di Gesso opposite- the old chalk factory, where selenitico clay was made. It's beautifully surrounded by opuntia plants.  

Level of difficulty: easy 
Time: 1-1.5 hours 
Equipment: regular trainers; long trousers


THE TORRE SALSA TRAIL

Torre Salsa is located next to Montallegro, also a 20-minute drive from the resort. It’s a WWF nature reserve that extends along a stretch of coastline, where the chalk cliffs alternate with long sandy beaches. The name originates from a tower that stands on the top of one of the chalk cliffs, which was also built for protective reasons.

Walk along a trail to visit the orchid garden, as well as the juniper valley, where you can see the last traces of the Phoenician juniper on the slopes. At the top of the valley, you come to an area with abandoned quarries and where you can enjoy panoramic views of the coast. You can then follow a path along the coastline. You’ll eventually arrive on the beach, with its pristine white sand.

The next part involves walking up and down the beach. Here, we recommend you take off your shoes to reap the full benefits. Beside it being a simple treat for the senses, a brisk beach walk massages the soles of your feet, activating venous and lymphatic circulation. This is promoted further by intermittently water treading, one of Kneipp’s therapies. In addition, walking on the beach and through water is great exercise to strengthen and tone leg muscles and the gluteus.

You’ll encounter lots of wildlife during your trek. Birds can include ravens, raptors, seagulls, peregreine falcons, kestrels and red kites. The golden sands are also inhabited by small Caretta turtles- you might spot some if you’re lucky.

Level of difficulty: easy 
Time: 2.5-3 hours 
Equipment: regular trainers; sports gear


CALTABELLOTTA CLIMB

Caltabellotta emerges in the middle of rocky cliffs; it has breathtaking views and is full of ancient ruins. With this exciting climb, you’ll eventually reach this historic hill-town. Start this 4km trek by challenging your legs with a climb up the first peak. Once you reach the top, you’ll be able to see views of inland Sicily on one side and views towards Africa on the other. You’ll also find a cave built into the rock.

Make your way down the first peak before climbing up the next peak. This next stage is beautifully shaded by pine trees. After a hard trek, you’ll reach the top part of Caltabellotta. Here, you’ll see what still stands of the Norman Castle, with its Torre Normanna. The castle is of Arab origin, probably dating back to the second half of the 11th century, and it was subsequently modified by the Normans. In 1302, it was in the castle of Caltabellotta that the Treaty of Caltabellotta was signed between Frederick II of Aragon and Charles of Valois, which ended the War of the Vespers.

Once you pass the castle you’ll reach the Cathedral. This was originally a mosque built in 890AD. However, it was later transformed by the Normans into a Cathedral. For this reason, it’s an Arab-Norman style Cathedral. To the right side of it there’s a bell tower. This was originally part of the mosque, and the bells were added later. Further up, you can visit the sacrificial altars, before finishing the trek.

Level of difficulty: very difficult 
Time: 2-2.5 hours 
Equipment: walking boots; long trousers