17th – 24th October 2020
Pollino National Park:
Through deep Canyons up to over 2000 m above sea level
With its 192000 hectares the Pollino National Park is the largest national park in Italy and one of the largest protected areas in Europe. An indescribably wild and untouched nature between two seas, which you can see from time to time from the respective edge areas of the park. From sheer endless forests protrude the bare peaks of limestone like bald heads. We hike across infinite high pastures with Bosnian pines, the symbol of the national park, and through deep canyons, where golden eagles find their nesting areas, and come across monasteries and caves, where more than a thousand years ago Greek Orthodox monks found refuge trying to escape the persecution of Christians. All this we want to discover together!
1st day: Buongiorno Calabria
Arrival at Lamezia Terme airport. Transfer to our first accommodation, an agritourism farm near Civita, on the east side of the Pollino massive.
2nd day: Relax, Culture and a diabolic Bridge: From Civita to the Raganello Canyon
We want to take it easy and wear in our shoes. We hike directly from our accommodation to the city of Civita.
The town of Civita was founded in 1476 by Albanian refugees and is still home to the Arbereshe language minority. We want to start our studies on a culinary level and let us spoil with local specialties at a cozy lunch. We then visit the Orthodox Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Ethnographic Museum to get an idea of the history and traditions of the Arbereshe.
After lunch we hike back down to the Devil’s Bridge spanning the Raganello River and follow the riverbed back to our accommodation. (Hike time: 4 hours, elevation gain: 350 m)
3rd day: Towering over the plane of Sibari: Monte Sellaro
Above the town of Cerchiara, at over 1000 meters above sea level the convent of the Madonna delle Armi clings to the rock. This is where we start our panoramic hike to the summit of Monte Sellaro, which offers a wonderful view of the Pollino massif inland and of the Sibari plain on the coast. Here was once the largest and richest metropolis of the Magna Grecia, as the Italians call Great Greece. Today the plains are littered with peach and apricot plantations. (Hike time: 4 hours, elevation gain: 500 m)
4th day: Monte Manfriana – The Ridge of Infinity
Thanks to the short journey, we can now treat ourselves to the long and strenuous hike along the Ridge of Infinity, which is considered one of the most beautiful panoramic hikes in the Pollino National Park. Through a beech forest, we zigzag up to the ridge, at those end are situated the two highest peaks, Monte Pollino and Sella Dolcedorme. We enjoy the breathtaking views and follow the ridge to the first summit, Monte Manfriana with its 1981 meters above sea level, before we turn off and descend to the huge, once intensively used beech forest Fagosa and get back to our starting point . (Hike time: 6,5 hours, elevation gain: 750 m)
5th day: A Detour to the Orsomarso Mountains: Monte Palanuda
It’s time to say goodbye to our hosts and head west. We escape the sun and hike through dense beech and oak forests to the summit of Monte Palanuda (1632 m above sea level), where we enjoy a wonderful view of the Tyrrhenian coast and at the same time on the high peaks of the Pollino Mountains with its endless forests. Then we drive to our second accomodation, an agritourism farm near to the picturesque town of Mormanno. (Hike time: 5 hours, elevation gain: 500 m)
6th day: The queen stage: Monte Pollino (2248 m a.s.l.)
Heute wollen wir hoch hinaus! Wir erwandern den zweithöchsten Gipfel im Herzen des Pollinogebirges. Unser Weg führt uns durch eine atemberaubende Landschaft über Prärien mit uralten, vom Wind gepeitschten Panzerkiefern bis zum Gipfel des Monte Pollino, dem Berg des Apollo. Ganz gross werden wir uns fühlen in dieser unendlich scheinenden Wildnis und gleichzeitig auch ganz klein. (Wanderdauer: ca. 7 Std., Höhenmeter: 700 m) The royal stage: Monte Pollino (2248 meters above sea level)
Today we want to aim high! We hike to the second highest peak in the heart of the Pollino Mountains. Our route takes us through a breathtaking landscape across prairies with ancient windswept Bosnian pines to the summit of Monte Pollino, the mountain of Apollo. We will feel very big in this seemingly endless wilderness and at the same time very small. (Hike time: 7 hours, elevation gain: 700 m)