Italy
Discover Majella e Gran Sasso

Six unforgettable days: a crazy mix between adventure, enjoyment, discovery, physical effort and surprise.

 

Enjoy Italy’s rugged and wild nature in Majella National Park and Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park.

Discover the southernmost glacier in Europe, hidden among Corno Grande peaks: its barren and vertical limestone walls offer alpine sceneries. Gran Sasso mountain range is the symbol of Abruzzo mountain, with Campo Imperatore in the southern side, a 20 kilometers long karst plateau. 

Plunge into the most fascinating and spiritual mountain ridge: “mother” Majella. This nature area has been fostering human and nature history for millennia. It's a land of shepherds and hermits, hosted by its rocky walls. 

Participants should be able to walk in the mountains without difficulties. No biking and paddling experience needed.  

A tale of two national parks

DAY TO DAY PROGRAM 

Day 1 – Calascio and his fortress 

Meet your guides in Sextantio Albergo Diffuso, for a presentation and short transfer to Roccacalascio. You will visit the old charming village and the castle, movie set of the famous “Lady Hawke”. Walk past the octagonal churches of S. Maria della Pietà, between lentils and chickpeas fields, we’ll finally reach Santo Stefano di Sessanio. Relax and dinner in the hotel. 

3 h of walk - Elevation gain 150 m  

Day 2 - Cycling in the little Tibet 

After breakfast, meet with your guide and ride up e-bikes towards the Campo Imperatore plateau: we will discover the huge karst highland cycling: what a nice experience! Speed, wind in your face, you feel like flying through the mountain!

Lunch on a pause from cycling on the road with typical arrosticini, sheep meat skewers. Visit to Castel del Monte village and enjoy the surroundings. Relax in the hotel. Typical local dinner 

Length 30/40 km - Elevation gain 400 m 

Day 3 Hiking in Gran Sasso, limestone cathedrals 

After breakfast, short transfer and a long walk to reach the Monte Aquila Saddle and Campo Pericoli, at the base of Corno Grande, (2912 mt). Round trip and packet lunch observing most of Gran Sasso peaks. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon, dinner and relax. 

6h of walk -  Elevation gain 600 m up and down. 

Day 4 Paddling in the clearest river in Europe 

Canoe tour in Tirino one of the clearest and colder rivers in Europe. We will paddle between huge willow trees and small shrubs. Lunch at the Agriturismo Terre di Solina and short transfer to Majella National Park. At sunset easy walk to discover the history and the true spirit of Majella: monks, hermits and shepherds. Dinner and night in B&B.  

5 km paddling - 3h of walk - 150 m elevation gain up and down 

Day 5 Walking on the moon 

After a breakfast with local products,  you’ll have a short transfer to Rifugio Pomilio where our hike starts. Walking through mountain shrubs and tiny pine trees barely surviving in the steep Majella Mountains, we will follow little paths and tracks walking in a fascinating rocky environment that looks like a moon surface. 

We keep walking until we reach the second highest peak, Monte Acquaviva: from there the Adriatic sea is so close! Packed picnic lunch during the hike. Relax and dinner in Agriturismo at the end of the day. 

8h of walk - 800 m elevation gain up and down.   

Day 6 Villages and Hermitages 

After breakfast and check out, short walk in Orfento Valley, a deep carved canyon where the river flows tumultuously under tiny bridges. The river created caves, waterfalls, high limestone walls. Riparian vegetation colors the water with an unusual green.  

Lunch in Agriturismo and afterwards departure. 

2h of walk - Elevation gain 120 m 


TRIP DETAILS

  • Days: 6 days - 5 nights 

  • When: From May to October (excluding August) 

  • Accommodation: 3 nights in the Albergo Sextantio, 2 nights in the Agriturismo Tholos 

  • Guides: UmbertoValeria or Marco or Linda. 

  • Other: Elevation gain 200-800 m up and down per day. Length 8-14km per day 

  • How to get there: Sextantio Albergo Diffuso is the starting point. You can easily reach it by (rental) car from several train stations or airports in Italy. From Rome it is a 2-hour drive. From Rome Fiumicino to L'Aquila there is a direct bus of that company https://www.gasparionline.it/  on weeends with https://www.flixbus.it/  You can be picked up from  L'Aquila. The last day you will be in Majella National Park and can be dropped in Chieti Scalo Terminal Bus or Train from there direct bus or train will take you to Fiumicino Airport. For UK travelers arriving at Pescara Airport a transfer from and to the Airport can be organized.   

PRICES

  • Private tour (starting 2 people) 
    • € 2520,00 per person (6 days / 5 nights) 
  • Group tour (4-6 people) 
    • € 1885,00 per person (6 days / 5 nights) 
  • Group tour (6-8 people) 
    • € 1655,00 per person (6 days / 5 nights) 

The cost includes. Support of official nature guide (6 days) Half-board in double/twin rooms. Binoculars and Nikon spotting scopes rental. Canoe tour in the Tirino river (half days) E-bike tour at Campo Imperatore (half days) 

The cost does not include Lunches or packed lunch and anything not mentioned. Transfer from and to Fiumicino or Pescara Airport. Extra and personal expenses. Travel insurance. Lunches are not included, you can buy packed lunches from the guesthouse or local shops and bakeries each morning to take with you. 


OUR RESPONSIBILITY

Rewilding Europe Levy: 5% of your booking sum goes to the local Rewilding Europe organization.  

In the Central Apennines rewilding area Rewilding Europe is working with local partners to develop large “coexistence corridors” by connecting the local economy with wilder nature in five corridors collectively covering more than 100,000 hectares.  

By reducing the damage caused by such wildlife, and by allowing communities to benefit from it, people living here will become ambassadors for the area’s wild nature. 

Rewilding Europe is working with local partners to reduce bear mortality and conflict by installing traffic accident prevention measures, removing old fencing, restoring and improving signage, and distributing new mobile electric fences. 

By working to establish a vibrant nature-based economy in the Central Apennines rewilding area, Rewilding Europe is providing local communities with an economic incentive to protect such wildlife.  

Read know more about rewilding work in the Central Apennines here 

CONTACT OUR SAFARI EXPERTS


Aukje Van Gerven and

Irene Fernandez

OUR LOCAL PARTNER

Meet Umberto

Umberto Esposito was born in 1982 and took up the interest in photography when he was just a kid. After finishing his studies he started his career as nature guide, working between Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, thus merging two big passions in his profession: nature and photography.

In 2009 he started Wildlife Adventures, a company engaged in spreading the emotions he had as a youngster to those who visit the mountains of the Central Apennines.

He is a hiking instructor registered with the Alpine Guides of the Abruzzo region and also a nature photographer.

He is convinced that the environment has a very important role for people and for society and he works every day on this principles.

He is an author of various education and environmental communication projects and regularly works together with the local authorities and various NGOs.

He is co-author of Forest Beat a multimedia projects of photography, focused on the ancient Apennine beech forests and he has published articles and images on various magazines.

Umberto Esposito
Wildlife Adventures

 

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