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On our small group walking and hiking tour of Abruzzo we go off the beaten path. Abruzzo region is a wild, traditional and spectacular part of Italy. The landscape, defined by the Apennine mountains, is breathtaking. The towns, perched on hillsides and mountain tops, are charming and untouched by mass tourism. The food and the people are real and full of character.
Join us as we explore on foot the Majella and the Gran Sasso National Parks, taste the local cuisine and get to know some of the most charming towns in Italy; Rocca Calascio, Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Scanno, and Villetta Barrea.
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DURATION: 10 days
PICK UP & DROP OFF: Rome Fiumicino Airport
On our Small Group Walking Tour of Abruzzo we explore the Majella and the Gran Sasso National Parks, as well as the chamois and bear reserves in the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park. Here, other than wild animals, we will discover hidden hermitages like the one of San Bartolomeo in Legio and the one of Sant’Onofrio al Morrone.
The local culinary tradition is unique, from pasta alla chitarra, to arrosticini, scrippelle, fresh cheeses and delicious soups. Never forget that there is no such thing as Italian cuisine, each region of Italy has it’s unique and different culinary heritage.
Our journey through Abruzzo takes us through lake side towns like Villetta Barrea, charming villages perched on hilltops like Pescasseroli, Opi, Scanno and Pacentro. Many of which happen to have inspired greatly the artist M. C. Escher.
The city of Sulmona itself it like stepping back into the middle ages. Home of the Roman poet Ovid, today it is a bustling city, full of character and filled with locals going about their daily life.
The area surrounding the Gran Sasso and Campo Imperatore needs no eulogy, it is well known worldwide for it’s breathtaking beauty and stunning landscape. The towns which surround it and equally charming and interesting. Castel del Monte, Santo Steffano di Sessanio, Rocca Calascio.
Suffice to day Abruzzo will blow your mind away. Great hikes, wonderful towns, incredible cuisine and all the fun and comforts you can expect to find on a Caspin Journeys tour to Italy!
If you would like to speak with us to know more about our Abruzzo Walking Tour, please write us an email. We would be happy to hear from you and help you plan your next adventure!
We meet at Rome Fiumicino airport at 13.00 to start our Abruzzo walking tour.
From here we drive to the town of Villetta Barrea, a traditional lakeside village in the Abruzzo National Park, located close to the border with Lazio.
After checking into our accommodation – an Agriturismo horse ranch on the edge of the forest – we head out to stretch our legs with an easy walk along the lakeside to the village of Barrea.
Dinner will be prepared by our hosts in the cozy Agriturismo.
Meals: Dinner Walk: easy stroll
After breakfast, we head a short distance to the village of Civitella Alfedena, from where we start our walk in the Val di Rose through an ancient beach forest with spectacular mountain views. This is the heart of the park famous for the large number of wild animals. Here we are very likely to see the Abruzzi Chamois and deer.
After our picnic lunch we will make an afternoon excursion to Pescasseroli where we will explore the town, visit the castle and learn about the native bears in the bear center.
Dinner tonight will be in the town of Villetta Barrea.
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Walk: 8km / + 300m
Today we leave Villetta Barrea and drive to the historical mountain village of Scanno. We will then take a scenic walk into Scanno, followed by a tour of the village and a visit to one of the traditional jewellery shops.
We then continue north on a scenic drive that follows an amazing road that clings to the side of a gorge and leads us to the spectacularly situated village of Anversa.
In Anversa we will have a traditional Abruzzese lunch at the artisan farm “La Porta Dei Parchi” and learn how they make traditional Abruzzese sheep’s cheese.
Then we continue our drive north to the famed city of Sulmona.
We check in to a small typical family run accommodation in the historical center of the city.
Dinner will be privately cooked for us at our villa.
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Walk: 5km / + 200m
Today we will take a short minibus transfer to Badia where we will visit the archaeological site of the Roman temple of Ercole Curino.
We will then walk to the hermitage of Sant’Onofrio, built into the side of a rocky mountainside. The hermitage is where Pietro da Morrone resided, who later went on to become Pope Celestino V, in 1294. At the hermitage we will have a picnic lunch, with stunning views across the Peligna valley.
In the afternoon we will take a short tour of the city and visit the most highly revered, family run, ancient and award-winning producer of Confetti – “Rapone”, with a tasting. Sulmona is famous for its Confetti (sugared almonds), which are used in weddings all over Italy.
Overnight in Sulmona.
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch Walk: 4km / + 250m
Today we will take a scenic drive up into the Majella National Park stopping at the fortified village of Pacentro and visit its towers.
We continue our drive to our accommodation in Decontra, a wonderful mountain hideaway where our host not only cooks excellent food but entertains her guests and involves them with singing local folklore. After checking in, we walk from the door of the Agriturismo to the hermitage of San Bartolomeo, spectacularly hidden in the rock in a secret valley. We continue our circular walk stopping for a picnic lunch at the reconstructed hamlet of Tholos buildings (conical shepherds huts).
In the evening, the owner of the Agriturismo – Marisa will involve guests in a casual cooking class, as she prepares dinner.
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Walk: 7km / +/- 300
We will start early to reach the starting point of our walk at 1900m. This spectacular high altitude walk to the summit of Monte Focalone at an altitude of 2676 mts will give stunning views to the wide Majella massif and to the nearby Adriatic coast. On the way to the top we will stop by the “Tavola dei Briganti” (historic rocks carved with Briganti inscriptions).
After today’s long walk you will have the evening to relax in our Agritursimo where we will be having dinner once again.
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Walk: 9km / + 700m
This morning we leave the Majella National Park and head towards the Gran Sasso National Park. On route, we will stop for a short visit to the Abbey of San Clemente. Its style represents today one of the most important examples of Romanic architecture in all of Abruzzo.
After the visit to the Abbey we will take a short drive towards the organic winery of Valle Reale and walk to the Cantina, where the oenologist will take us for a visit, followed by a wine tasting of their various wines, accompanied by lunch.
In the afternoon we will drive on to Bominaco for a guided visit to the spectacularly frescoed interior of the Oratory of San Pellegrino, which dates back to the 12th century and is known as the “Sistine Chapel of Abruzzo.”
We then continue climbing in altitude as we drive to the stunning and magical restored medieval “Borgo” of Rocca Calascio, and check into our accommodation at the Rifugio della Rocca, just under the highest medieval castle in Europe.
Dinner will be in the Rifugio’s exceptional restaurant.
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Walk: 4km / + 250
The mountains of the Gran Sasso National Park are the highest peaks in the Apennines.
Today we will walk from Rocca Calascio to the Campo Imperatore plateau, the widest and highest plateau in all of Europe. We will then have a barbecued lunch at a rustic mountain restaurant on the plateau.
In the evening we will visit Castel Del Monte and have a guided tour of the town and pop our heads into some of the old preserved house, which left untouched, show how life used to be lived in them over a century ago.
Tonight we will be having pizza for dinner!
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Walk: 7km / Elev + 300m
Today we climb even higher on the Campo Imperatore and park at the local ski station.
We then follow a high-altitude path that leads up onto the ridge and then on to the summit of Monte Aquila at 2499mts which gives you a spectacular view of the highest mountain in central Italy, the Corno Grande.
Lunch will be back at the exceptional Ski Station restaurant.
After lunch we will drive down to the village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio and visit it’s medieval Borgo which in the past few years has sprung back to life and is being beautifully restored.
Our final dinner tonight will be at the Rifugio in Rocca Calascio.
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Walk: 7km / + 300m
Departure from our hotel at 9.00 to transfer to Rome Fiumicino Airport.
We recommend you book flights departing after 14.00; allow about 2.30 h to reach the airport. If you wish, we can help you to extend your stay or make other independent departure arrangements such as early taxis to the airport.
A nice hotel and a good night’s sleep are an important part of your overall travel experience!
When considering a hotel, we look at more than just the rooms. We look for hotels or bed and breakfasts which are committed to ensuring their guests are well looked after and pay attention to detail, for example offering locally sourced breakfast produce, or a special selection of toiletries, or tea and coffee making facilities in the room. Wherever possible your hotel* will be perfectly positioned for exploring and will have a historical charm or maybe a new and innovative design. We choose the best possible places to stay ensuring that each night you are comfortably settled in a place that is welcoming and full of authentic local charm. We are on a mission to find the ingredients you need to wake up feeling rested and looking forward to each day of your Caspin Journeys tour!
Take a closer look at some of the places we have chosen for you…
*Hotels may vary
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We love our jobs and personally lead all our small group tours. Italy, Spain and England are our homes and our passion. We bring that excitement with us on all our tours so that you too share our favourite places.
We are very experienced and handle all the logistics while you relax and become immersed in the local culture, history and traditions.
We know the locals on all our trips and they love meeting our groups. We are small enough to get into private homes, chat to villagers, fit in small restaurants and enjoy all kinds of unexpected events that aren’t accessible to large groups of tourists following a red umbrella.
Our customer reviews say that Caspin Journeys takes the best care of you. We are a sustainable travel company and the only thing we leave behind is our footprints!
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We believe that where you sleep is an important part of your overall travel experience. So we put a lot of effort into carefully choosing the hotels for each tour.
We always look for attractive, clean and quiet rooms with private bathrooms. But, our priority is also to find the best possible accommodations to make sure that each night you are comfortably settled in a place that is welcoming and full of authentic local charm.
The result is a fabulous selection of delightful hotels, medieval palaces, family-run hotels, country residences, manor houses, historic inns, luxurious alpine hotels – sometimes with a spa, sauna or swimming pool facilities – and all with character, good food and a friendly atmosphere.
You will have to keep coming back to experience them all! Sweet Dreams!
Getting out and about on foot is a wonderful way to slow down the pace, relax and get some healthy exercise.
When we walk we see so much more – grapevines, wildflowers, ancient oaks, wheat fields, avenues of cypresses and pine, time resistant hills and valleys.
As we stroll through historic towns we learn about the culture of the people; as we stand in the splendour of the countryside, beneath the soaring columns of ancient temples, abbey walls and turrets of medieval castles we marvel at man’s ability to conceive of and construct such monuments.
Food is an all important part of each and every one of our journeys. We are foodies, we love to savour the authentic flavours of each destination we visit. And let’s not forget the wine “the drink of the gods” which will accompany every meal, even picnics!
Picture yourself eating Buffalo mozzarella from a farm in Amalfi, tasting a Sicilian cannolo with fresh ricotta cheese, home-made pasta, organic vegetables, fresh fish and so on.
Or why not consider a Gourmet Cooking Holiday in Tuscany, where you will learn directly from the locals?
If all this sounds mouthwatering then look no further, you are in the right place 😉
On our small group tours we use a combination of gourmet restaurants, local trattorias, traditional pubs, tapas bars and farmhouse meals, to give you the best overall experience!
Each adventure combines fantastic hikes and authentic cultural experiences which make for a phenomenal and enriching travel experience. – admire Giotto’s frescoes in Assisi – walk in the Castle gardens of Henry VIII – stand at the tomb of St James in Compostela – gaze at and touch the columns of a Greek temple – visit the birthplace of Napoleon Buonaparte – see how a Duke lives at Blenheim Palace – tread the streets of Pompeii – admire mosaics in a Norman cathedral – understand more about the Roman Empire Travel in the richest artistic heritage in the world, many of which are part of UNESCO. What are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on an unforgettable trip.
Our travel style attracts a similar type of people, outgoing, interesting, adventurous, cultured and curious.
You’ll enjoy the company of your fellow travelers on our small group tours. Italy’s food and wine, England’s local pubs, and Spain’s meditative and spiritual pilgrim route are best experienced amidst the camaraderie of the group.
Guests who join our small group tours become our friends. They return again and again to share new adventures as we explore these unforgettable destinations with like-minded travellers and build ever-lasting memories together.