Hiking in the shadow of the cork oak grove, searching for angels’ food in the Tardare Forest

Description

An alternative to a day on the beach? A picnic and a hike in the shadow of an imposing cork oak grove to reach the scenic area where you can enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree view from the Madonie Mountains to the coast.

This itinerary merges with a portion of the S. Felice trail that stretches over 60 km up to the municipality of Nicosia and which every year, in July, is filled with pilgrims, on foot and on horseback.
For this reason, signage here is thorough.
You can practically park your car by the sea and then climb up to 450 m, crossing a dense and beautiful cork oak grove. But cork oaks are not the only botanical beauty you can find along this trail.
Have you ever heard of angels’ food? It is the manna, a sugary substance used for medicinal purposes and extracted from ash trees, which abound in the forest. Flowering ash or manna trees also give the forest its name. In fact, the Arabic name of this tree is “dardar”, hence the Sicilian dardar and, by extension, the Tardara Forest.

In the APP WAYPOINTS along the trail you can find interesting information about these majestic trees, including nice anecdotes and legends.

Along the way, there are several visible signs of traditional pastoral life, like animal enclosures and many troughs.
Even encounters with animals of various species are not difficult: from small hedgehogs to large cows, which often can briefly join you along your hike!
The trail stretches all the way to the not-to-miss lookout point from which you can admire an impressive 360-degree view, from the imposing cork oak grove to the Madonie Park, up to the sea of Cefalù.
You will see the village of Pollina clinging to its top and be mesmerized by the blue sea that blends with the green of slopes around you, in the coastal stretch that extends from Cefalù to Santo Stefano di Camastra.

Did we manage to convince you to start your vacation yet?

Difficulty level:  moderate


Average time: 2,5 hours (one way)


Length: 5 km (one way)


Elevation gain: 450 m


Trek stroller: no


Departure point on foot: Tus’Hotel, Castel di Tusa


All the details and curiosities about this itinerary can be found in single waypoints through a dedicated  APP