Day 1. Civita (Pollino National Park)
We meet in Civita, one of the most fascinating villages in Calabria with its Arbëreshe origin where the magic atmosphere of the old houses and cosy b&b welcomes us. We have a wellcome drink and a typical dinner in a restaurant run by a local family.
DAY 2 Timpa del Demanio and Bosco di Santa Venere
After breakfast a short drive takes us up to starting point of our hiking. if you stay in Civita, it is a must to make one of the routes considered among the most scenic of the Pollino National Park. We hike through a path surrounded by the holm oak forest of Santa Venere. A pleasent walk takes us to a terrace overlooking a unique panorama on the Gole del Raganello. We proceed on the path that follows the mountain ridge among woods of oakes and junipers. It easily happens to see Bianconi and peregrine falcons, for this reason this hiking itinerary is considered a must for birdwatchers. At the end of the path we have to pass through some aerial and overhanging passages that lead us to the top of the “Timpa del Demanio”. We eat our picnic lunch in the open air facing on one side the ionic coast and the plan of sibari and on the other the enchanting village of Civita with the majestic mountains of the Pollino National Park
Trekking: Distance to/r 4 km – Difference in altitude: 100 m – Duration: 2 h – ( level easy-medium)
A very emotioning afternoon awaits us , thanks to Roberto, a passionate guide and breeder of raptors we get close to some of his raptors and to the majestic golden Eagle. He transfers us a lot of interesting info about their life and attitudes. He received a lot of encomium for his efforts to spread a naturalitic culture not only about animals but also about the mediterranean vegetation. After this emotioning face to face with some of the most beautiful and fascinating raptors we experience a candlelight pic-nic dinner based on local products surrounded by a wild nature, the scent of baked bread and the song of crickets while observing the constellations and listening to traditional music.
Day 3: Path of Annanza, a suggestive and ancient route from the historical village of Cerchiara di Calabria to the Santuario della Madonna della Armi.
Today an half an hour drive takes us to Cerchiara di Calabria. Our hike starts from this charming mountain village, following an old pilgrim and farmers trail which climbs up to the suggestive perched on the rock sanctuary. The path is called “ of the Annanza” since through it you reach the ridges that overlook the Caldanello gorge and you also have a suggestive view of the village on the rock. Following an old mule track we reach Piano Pedarreto with its stunning view on the Ionian coast. While walking we observe an old abandoned farmhouse which was once a flourishing farming. We continue passing Sant’Andrea valley until we reach the suggestive Sanctuary.We visit the Sanctuary that dates back to the X century, at the beginning was just a recovery for basilian monks, to escape from the persecutions of Pope Leone X , then became a sancturay that preserves inside a stone with the image of Holy Mary. After a delicious pic nic lunch with local products, our shuttle bus takes you back to Civita or ( if the period and weather permits, we have a relaxing bath in the swimming pool of sulphurous water of the Grotta delle Ninfe. The rest of the evening is at leisure.
Trekking: – Distance: 4 km (to) – Difference in altitude: 380 m – Duration: 3 h – Level: medium
Day 4: Timpa di S. Lorenzo (1.652 m. slm.)
After breakfast we drive to a location called S.Anna where we start our hike. The “Timpa” we are going to explore today is called “Timpa di San Lorenzo”, one of the most imposing and wild mountain whose overhanging walls up to 800 meters high ovelooks the Raganello Gorges. We walk through an easy path and ascend on a well-graded rocky north –west side trail. After about 2 hours walking we reach the highest point which affords spectacular views of the Pollino Massif, the Sellaro Mountain and the Jonian sea. After a break we descend by the same route and go back to our cosy village for a relaxing dinner in a typical restaurant,
Trekking: – Distance: km (to/r) – Difference in altitude: 350m – Duration: 4 h – Level: medium
Day 5: To the ruins of the hermitage “La Madonna di Lassù” ( 850 m. slm. )
A magnificent half-day excursion to discover the suggestive small Dolomites of Frascineto up to the fascinating ruins of the Hermitage of the Madonna di Lassù, once inhabited by Basilian monks who left their countries due to the Arab invasions. We begin our last excursion from Frascineto. What awaits us is a path steeped in wild nature, magnificent views, history and religion. We stop for a relaxing pic-nic surrounded by this dolomitic landscape. The trail follows an old mule tracks partly dug into the rock until we see the ruins of the hermitage where it seems to go back in time when the Basilian monks lived and prayed in their small and hidden rooms. After this emotioning trekking we go back to the village for a free evening.
Trekking: – Distance: km (to/r) – Difference in altitude: 496 m – Duration: 2,30 h – Level: medium-high
Day 6: Cows, cheese, constellations and traditional music
We dedicate the day before departure to an exciting experience like grazing and milking the cows. We get up very early in the morning and reach the place where the cows are grazing and we learn how to milk. From that delicious milk we produce a traditional fresh cheese called “ricotta” which we will taste durning our break. The day continues with a soft trekking through a wooded and sometimes panoramic path. After a pic nic lunch we go back for a free afternoon. Farewell dinner in a hospitable restaurant which will leave us the memory of authentic and genuine flavors of Calabria.
Day 7: Departure
We depart after breakfast.