Hiking Week: Pollino National Park
31st August - 7th September 2014
With its 19200
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!
Sunday: Buongiorno Calabria
Arrival at the Lamezia Terme Airport. Transfer to our first accomodation, an agritourism farm near to Cerchiara on the east side of the Pollino massive, not far from the sea.
Monday: Relax, culture and a diabolical bridge: From Civita to Raganello Canyon
We want to take
it easy and test the shoes a little. We hike from the town of
Civita situated on a rocky plateau to the Devil's Bridge
overarching the Raganello Canyon and down to the river bed.
Depending on the water levels, we can now wade in the water into
the canyon, as far as we want. On a winding path we gain
altitude again and still catch another view of the impressive
rock walls of the canyon. (Duration: about 2 hours, altitude:
Tuesday: Towering over the plane of Sibari: From Cerchiara to Monte Sellaro
Today we remain very near. From the town of Cerchiara we hike on easy paths to the summit of Monte Sellaro (1439 m above sea level) and enjoy the view of the once largest and riches metropolis of Magna Grecia. Today the plane of Sibari is covered by peach and apricot plantations. On the way we visit the Monastery of the Madonna delle armi and meet once again on the trail of Basilian monks. (Duration: about 5,5 hours, altitude: 700 m)
Wednesday: The Grotto of the Nymphs
Even th ancient Greeks came from the antique Sybaris to bath in the warm waters of the sulfur source of the Grotto of the Nymphs. For here, an old cobbled path leads up to Cerchiara. After a tour of the picturesque town we return in a big bow along the foothills of the Pollino and also relax in the warm water. (Duration: about 3 hours, altitude: 440 m)
Thursday: A detour to the Orsomarso Mountains: Monte Palanuda
It's time to say goodbye to our hosts and to break up westwards. We escape the sun and hike through dense beech forests to the summit of Monte Palanuda (1632 m asl), from where we can enjoy a magnificent view of the Thyrrenian coast and at the same time on the high peaks of the Pollino massive with its endless forests. Afterwards we drive to our second accomodation, an agritourism farm near the picturesque town of Mormanno. (Duration: about 5 hours, altitude: 500 m)
Friday: The queen stage: Monte Pollino (2248 m asl)
Ganz gross werden wir uns fühlen in dieser unendlich scheinenden Wildnis und gleichzeitig auch ganz klein. (Wanderdauer: ca. 7 Std., Höhenmeter: 700 m) Today we are aiming high! We hike to the second highest summit in the heart of the Pollino Massive. Our route takes us through breathtaking scenery across prairies with ancient, windswept Bosnian pines to the summit of Monte Pollino, the Mount of Apollo. We will feel very big in this seemingly endless wilderness and at the same time also quite little. (Duration: about 7 hours, altitude: 700 m
Saturday: The beginning of history (of art) in Calabria: From Papasidero to Grotta del Romito
Today's hike combines history and unique landscape in a miraculous way. From the village of Papasidero, where time seems to have stopped, we hike passing by the Church of Santa Maria di Costantinopoli, which seems wedged between the rocks, and over the canyon of the river Lao, through a forest with century-old oaks to the Grotta del Romito, where we can find the oldest testimony of Calabrian history of art: the around 12000-year-old graffiti of two primitive bulls, carved into the rock. (Duration: about 5 hours, altitude: 450 m)
Transfer to the Lamezia Terme Airport and flight home.
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