pacentro a town nestled in majella national park by night
pacentro a town nestled in majella national park by night

MAJELLA NATIONAL PARK: IN THE LAND OF WOLVES AND BEARS

Level
3
Distance
64 km
Duration
7 days | 6 nights
period
May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 760
CO2 footprint
96 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSW175

Not far from Rome and the Adriatic coast, this untamedly beautiful place offers limpid streams and Alpine meadows filled with flocks of sheep, endless beech forests, ancient hamlets, Roman monasteries and solitary hermitages. It’s the Majella National Park, in the Abruzzo region, the perfect place for nature lovers and their families. 

Here animals - even the wild ones, among the rarest in Europe - still feel safe: in few others places you’d be able to spot otters playing in the water, Apennine chemises, red and roe deers running through the trees, golden eagles flying on top of your head. Some are even more rare, more cautious - black bears, wolves, lynxes - but their presence is well perceptible, part of the soul of this place, wild and free. 

Nature here is queen: it is rigorously and passionately protected, she imposes her rhythm and rules. The park hosts the 22% of the whole European flora, more than 2100 plant species of which 140 are endemic - coloring this place of all the shades of green you may (or may not) be able to imagine and turning in endless tones of gold and red in fall.

Highlights

The 74.095ha Majella National Park, located in the Italian Abruzzo region, is an impressive limestone massif with over 25.500ha of wilderness; it is a little unknown area not far from Rome and the Adriatic coast suitable for nature lovers and families alike.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Pretoro

Arrive in Pretoro

Arrive in Pescara or Roma airports and take a train to Chieti. If you arrive early, take a stroll in the tiny streets of this nice medieval village, located at 600m altitude on the slopes of the Majella Massif. Enjoy having a glass of wine sitting on the bench of the panoramic terrace in front of the accommodation.

Day 2

From Pretoro to Passo Lanciano, 14 km

From Pretoro to Passo Lanciano, 14 km

A morning transfer to the start of the walk near Pretoro (near Colle Faggio). The route is well marked but the trail is sometimes hard to see. Along the walk you will encounter several dry stone “tholos” hut. You come out on an open level with great views of the Maielletta Mountains. In the higher section of the itinerary you walk through beeches and coniferous forests. If you are lucky you can spot deer, foxes and wolves You stay in a good hotel in Passo Lanciano, a small ski hamlet in the beech woods.

Distance: 14 km

Elevation gain: +1081/-349 m

Day 3

From Majelletta to Decontra, 11 km

From Majelletta to Decontra, 11 km

Today’s destination is the hamlet of Decontra a charming and magical place that seems unaffected by time. You will walk along the ridge enjoying spectacular views over the Majella mountains and the surrounding valleys.

Distance: 11 km

Elevation gain: +590/-1028 m

Day 4

Orfento Valley loop, 10 km

Orfento Valley loop, 10 km

Soon after leaving Decontra you walk along an old panoramic mule track that plunge into the deep and narrow Orfento Valley formed by the erosive action of the river through the millennia, that has contributed to the creation of one of the most singular and spectacular areas in the Apennines, both from an aesthetic and naturalistic point of view. Because of its natural characteristics, the valley is a protected and restricted area.

Distance: 10 km

Elevation gain: +403/-403 m

Day 5

Giumentina valley loop, 14 km

Giumentina valley loop, 14 km

The day’s route runs along the Giumentina Valley's on dirt roads through wide pastures and fields with breath-taking views. It is possible to make a detour to visit the charming S.Bartolomeo Hermitage; it is also possible to visit the ancient graves named "Tholos" which have been recently recovered.

Distance: 14 km

Elevation gain: +427/-427 m

Day 6

From Sant'Eufemia to Pacentro, 17,5 km

From Sant'Eufemia to Pacentro, 17,5 km

A short transfer takes you to Sant’Eufemia where the day’s walk to Pacentro starts. The walk is a gradual climb predominated by the spectacular views of and from the Morrone Mountain that sits majestically behind Caramanico Terme. All along the walk, on beautiful mature beech forests and high altitude pastures, you have great views of the soaring peaks of the Majella massif, the Gran Sasso (2800m), the highest mountain outside the Italian Alps and the Monti della Laga. Once over the San Leonardo Pass, a steep descent down to the tower of the magnificent medieval village of Pacentro that offers great views on the mountains of the Abruzzo National Park and the town of Sulmona.

Distance: 17,5 km

Elevation gain: +727/-879 m

Day 7

Arrivederci Pacentro!

Arrivederci Pacentro!

The trip and our services end after breakfast. Make your own way to the airport by public transports unless you have pre-booked a private transfer with us. 

Details

Is this for me?


This trip is perfect if you love the great outdoors, untamed nature, animals and forests. It's an enchanting landscape of remote places and wild animals that, with any luck, you may be able to spot. It's the right trip for you if it's not your first walking holiday - the excursions are quite challenging and the landscape beautiful but remote. 

Included


What is included

  • 6 Nights in double room in *** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • 4 dinners
  • 1 packed lunch
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • Map of the Majella National Park
  • Transfers as described in the program
  • maps and detailed description of the itinerary in digital form, app
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance

What is not included 

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
  • visits and entrance fees - tips
  • personal expense
  • possible sojourn taxes
  • everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services

These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.
  • travel documentation in printed form (maps and detailed description of the itinerary), shipped to the first hotel

Accommodation


B&B Casa Milà Pretoro
B&B Casa Milà - Pretoro

B&B Casa Milà is located in Majella National Park at 602 meters above sea level. Rooms are clean, well-furnished and welcoming with private bathroom, free Wifi and TV. Breakfast is very good both savoury and sweet. Owners are kind and courteous. 

www.bebmila.it

Hotel La Maielletta Pretoro
Hotel La Maielletta - Pretoro

Hotel La Maielletta is centrally located in Majella National Park in Passolanciano area and 100 meters from the Panoramic ski slopes. Rooms have a mountain style with a simple furniture. These aren't spacious. Breakfast is good. The Hotel has a SPA too. Staff is courteous. 

lamaielletta.it

Agriturismo Pietrantica Decontra di Caramanico
Agriturismo Pietrantica - Decontra di Caramanico

Agriturismo Pietrantica is an organic farmhouse since 2000 promotes a local development project with sustainability in the Majella National Park. Rooms are spacious, bright and relaxing. The cuisine proposes dishes from Abruzzo and breakfast offers natural products. Staff is welcoming and kind. 

www.agripietrantica.com

B&B In Centro a Pacentro Pacentro
B&B In Centro a Pacentro - Pacentro

This B&B is centrally located in Pacentro. It offers clean, quiet and comfortable rooms with TV, free Wifi. Owners are very welcoming and helpful. Breakfast is served on panoramic terrace on warmer months and it's rich and various.

www.incentroapacentro.it

When to travel


Throughout  Central-South  Italy   you   can expect temperatures between 10° and 25°C in spring and autumn and up to 35°C in July and August. Mornings can be chilly but they quickly warm up as the day goes by. Showers are   common   in   early   spring   and   from September  on  and  throughout  the  autumn, although not every day, and they tend to be either  short  and  intense  or  prolonged  but light.  Because  you  are  by  the  sea,  the  sea breeze tends to make the long summer days less hot.The  weather  can  change  very  quickly and you must be prepared for rain, mist, wind, fog   (and   even   hail   or   snow   at   higher elevations) –especially   in   spring   and autumn. When windy or walking at altitude, temperatures  can   be   much  cooler.   You should always carry a fleece/warm clothing in  addition  to  a  wind  breaker  and/or  rain jacket  and,  when  cool,  gloves  and  a  warm hat.

What to bring


Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Practical info

How to arrive


Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Rome Ciampino (CIA) airports are 240km from Pretoro. If you fly to Rome (Fiumicino FCO or Ciampino CIA), take a train to Rome Termini train station and then a train to Chieti Scalo. In Chieti get on the bus to Pretoro.

Pescara airport (PSR) is 40km from Pretoro and 70km from Sulmona. If you fly to Pescara Airport (PSR), take a bus to Pescara train station and then a train to Chieti Scalo. In Chieti get the bus to Pretoro.

From Pacentro take a taxi or a public bus to Sulmona and from Sulmona you can travel by train or public bus to Pescara or Rome airports. For more information please visit www.trenitalia.com.

Mobile App


Use the SloWays APP for iOS and Android smart phones in combination with the written documentation provided.

The App has the detailed tracks and maps that you can use offline and without roaming. Thanks to the phone’s internal GPS, you can check your exact position on the map, so you always know exactly where you are. It also helps you self-navigate you way while travelling. More information on how to use the App inside the roadbook documents.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track.
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background

Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Wanderlust
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Touroperating
S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

 
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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
VAT Nr 05227330486
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