OUTDOOR IN THE POLLINO
Perhaps few people know this, but the Pollino National Park is the largest protected area in Italy. In fact, it covers an impressive 192,565 hectares, stretching between the provinces of Potenza, Matera and Cosenza.The park, named after the mountainous massif of the same name, offers an area of great beauty and richness of the landscape that lends itself perfectly to the active vacation in many of its possible declinations.To its discovery you can go on foot, by mountain bike, with Nordic walking or , in the winter period, with snowshoes. Or engage in high-adrenaline activities such as rafting or canyoning.
Among the many trails available here we want to point out a few.We begin with the Serra di Crispo Ring which unravels in the Lucanian section of the Park. Trekking enthusiasts will wander through forests of loricate pine, fir and white beech trees.This is a circular route, starting and ending at the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Pollino, an oasis of spirituality and tranquility at an altitude of 1,537 meters. From here we travel along Piano Iannace, the old track of the Rueping forestry company (where small tipper cars pulled by small locomotives used to pass through at the beginning of the last century), climb to the entrance of the Great Gate of Pollino and then to Serretta della Porticella. The landscapes are breathtaking.The trail is no joke in terms of beauty either. Murge Timpa located in the wildest area of the Park. This is also circular, starting and ending at the Acquatremola clearing. We dive into the geosite (placed under Unesco auspices), pass by the geological masses of pillow lava among centuries-old beech trees, and also admire the Catusa spring.
ON FAT WHEELS
For bikers, here is the
. The start from the charming alleys of Laino Borgo (a village in the province of Cosenza, with a beautiful historic center), you travel 7 kilometers, skirting the Lao River and plunging into the hills.Barren and rocky landscapes, gorges and canyons characterize, instead, the
Ring of the Timpa Falconara
, a slightly more challenging track than the previous one, winding through tracks and dirt roads, woods and pastures, skirting the Timpa Falconara for 23 km.
These were the lands of the dreaded brigands but also of La Falconara, a rocky outcrop that stands out between Calabria and Basilicata, with its sloping rock layers cut by faults that make it unique.
FOR THRILL SEEKERS HERE ARE CANYONING AND RAFTING
It is really not an activity for everyone, canyoning. Even more so if you take it in the Garavina Gorge , a canyon carved by the Sarmento stream. With its towering rock walls, you explore it with an experienced guide after an approach trek.You stop at natural viewpoints, witness the colorful play of water and rocks. You can even choose to enter the canyon from above, abseiling with a rope from a 40-meter-high waterfall.High on adrenaline is also rafting: with an inflatable raft, you glide along the course of the Lao River. . The river takes its name from the ancient city of Lao, in Magna Graecia: it has its source in Basilicata, right in the Pollino National Park, and then flows for 50 km in Calabria.Thanks to the Laorafting association, you can face the thrills (but always in absolute safety) of its rapids. In short, a little bit of Arizona in Calabria….
NORDIC WALKING: A PROPOSAL IN FLUENCY
The proposed track combines sports and spirituality. In fact, it starts from Terranova di Pollino, and its Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy. It covers 5 km round trip, with a total elevation gain of 200 meters, making the trail suitable for everyone.
WHAT ABOUT IN THE WINTER? DOWN WITH THE SNOWSHOES...
In the cold season, the best way to experience the Pollino National Park is with snowshoes on your feet. We proceed through beech and silver fir forests, surrounded by snow.We cross the Maple Fist forest , in the territory of Terranova del Pollino (Basilicata), and walk for 7 km starting from Lake Duglia and ending at Acquatremola, with its fountain with very cold water. Unforgettable!