There are places where you can get lost, there are those where the loss would be desirable, but there are places, where it is necessary to get lost… The rock formation of the Apennines, that is situated just 100 km from the capital of Italy, is a “Lost World”, a kind of Jurassic Park: unusual scenic views, mountain rivers, glaciers, flowering valleys, ski resorts, canyons, mountain monasteries and hermits’ caves… The rock formation 1350 km long stretches from the northern borders of the country to the toe of Italy penetrating almost all the Italian regions. We will visit the most exotic places of the Apennines located in several regions: Abruzzo, Marche, Umbria and Lazio. That is not unusual, at all; it is our unique Italy just for you, travelers and discoverers, ready to dive into another dimension of the country.
- Arrival, transfer to the region of Umbria – the hills of Sibillini National Park.
- A walk around Norcia, local dishes degustation. The city is located right at the foot of the Sibillini National Park. It is said to be the “sausage and truffle capital” of Italy, in addition, Norcia is the birthplace of the country’s patron saint St. Benedict. You will be able to taste local delicacies walking through the picturesque streets of the historic center. It is also possible to visit the Basilica of St. Monk.
- Then we will move to the plateau in the town Castelluccio. Along the way you can admire the unusual attraction of the park which is an Italy map created of shrubs and trees. The best time to visit the park is the period of flowering daffodils, scarlet poppies, yellow dandelions, purple violets, which turn the mountain plateau in a colorful rainbow.
- Check-in at the hotel on the plateau
- Free day at the plateau. You can combine the visit to the mountain with sport activities that are quite wide-spread in the region.
- Hang-gliding over the Vettori Peak. If you were dreaming of height from the childhood, you would be happy make the plunge and feel the blasts taking you up to the sky. You will hover like a bird almost 500 m above the mountains and then land in the valley. Full security is provided.
- Lunch (OPTIONAL)
- Horse-riding on the plateau. Trips of varying levels of complexity: starting from simple walks up to mountain horse-riding.
- Trekking to Pilate lake (4 hours, medium gravity). According to the legend, the waves drove the dead body of Pontius Pilate to this lake. We will go up the mountain through flowering valleys and small glaciers. Finally we will reward ourselves with an unforgettable, almost surreal view of a small lake surrounded by rocks with millions of yellow flowers around. Unfortunately, it is impossible to swim in the lake, because it is almost the only habitat of the red-bellied piranha which is protected by the state. After a picnic by the lake we will go down to the Castro town to take our bus.
- Relaxation in the Acquasanta Terme. We suggest you enjoying the mountain peaks from the hot tubes. The thermal water of natural origin recovers the skin, tired muscles and the nervous system.
- Shuttle bus to the Emperor plateau.
- Climbing the Calderone glacier which is one of the highest tops of the Apennines with breathtaking views. Several hiking trails are offered on the Emperor plateau at an altitude of 2000 m. Among them there is a trail to the southernmost glacier of Europe. You need to hurry up (as, according to the scientists, the glacier is supposed to disappear by 2020!)
- Lunch on the glacier or on a local farm with fresh lamb meat and sausages cooked in the mountain air. Traditional dishes will be accompanied with different cheeses and local wine. (OPTIONAL)
- Visit to the medieval fortress Rocca Calascio.
- Night in Tirino
- Canoe sailing along Tirino – the most transparent river in Italy. It is so transparent that sometimes it seems that the canoe is floating in the air instead of gliding along the river among the reeds and sedges. Specific minerals attach turquoise and green shadows to the water.
- Lunch (OPTIONAL)
- Visit to the centre of wolves in Civitella Alfedena, Popoli or Busse. In a special reservation we will be able to observe the symbol of the park.
- The unique karst canyon of the Ofrenda river will remind you the Jurassic Park movie due to its unique ecosystem, ferns, numerous cascades and waterfalls.
- Drive through the pass of San Leonardo. On the sunset we will go through the pass of St. Leonardo which looks lonely, desolate and mysterious at the same time.
- Visit to the Bears Centre in Villa Valle Verde. In the national park you will be able to get acquainted with another inhabitant of the local forests – the bear from Marcici.
- Lunch (OPTIONAL)
- The Stiff Caves. You will experience the unique underground natural phenomenon, full of light and water cascades.
- Searching for truffles with the dogs in Sora. We will be looking for truffles (the Italian black gold) with the support of specially trained dogs. We will walk through the woods watching how the dogs determine the location of the mushrooms and then we will return to the city with the crop. Then we suggest you visiting the places of truffle delicacies production of different kinds from pates to chocolate. The visit will be accompanied with a lecture and degustation.
- Lunch in Isola del Liri (OPTIONAL).
- Cyclopean walls of Alatri. Some specialists consider that those walls were built during the Trojan war; while others just cannot guess when these giant structures appeared.
- (OPTIONAL) VISIT TO THE THERMAE. The most popular Italian thermal resort, famous for its SPA, in particular for diuretic water for kidney flushing. The name of the resort was even given to its special healing water.
- Night in Fiuggi
- Visit the mountain monastery of Vallepietra. It is a hermits’ monastery which is hidden deep in the mountains, however, it attracts a lot of pilgrims.
- Lunch (OPTIONAL)
- Transfer to Rome airport or back to the city, to continue vacation in “ more civilized” manner
Included into the price:
- Residence in the hotel
- Meals: half-board (breakfast & dinner)
- Transfer on the arrival date + during the tour
- Excursions as per the program
- Guide assistance during the whole trip
- Bus for the whole group
Not included into the price:
- Additional excursions (indicated as “optional” in the above program)
- Flight tickets
- Visa service (if required)
- Medical Insurance
- Transfer to the airport on the last day
- Additional nights to be spent in Rome