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Explore Abruzzo

The Land of the Bears!

From£1,349

  • Italy

  • 7 nights
  • Jun

    Sep

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 18220

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 6

Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent.

These walks are in more remote areas such as Andorra or northern Portugal.

Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore the oldest Italian Nature Reserve with the hope of spotting bear and other wildlife.
  • Take in the splendid views over Lake Barrea and Mount Petroso.
  • Stay out on the trail after sunset tracking wolves with a local expert.
  • Visit the traditional and ancient town of Scanno and walk the Path of the Heart.
  • Wander the magnificent Pescasseroli woods where trees take on a fairy tale form.
  • Enjoy breathtaking views from the Meta Peak and hopefully get a snap of the rare Golden Eagle.

If you are looking at this one week holiday why not make your stay two weeks by joining us on Italy's Upland Wilderness.

Thanks to the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park founded in 1922, the oldest Italian nature reserve, Italy’s remote Abruzzo area is one where Europe’s ancient wilderness can still be experienced. Amongst the beech woods, alpine meadows and karst landscapes there are still bear, wolves and golden eagle. In the spring and summer the wild flowers are stunning.  In addition to its fauna and flora, its charm lies in the rugged mountains and the picturesque medieval villages, parts of which appear to have been suspended in time. A holiday in Abruzzo not only allows you to discover a largely untouched territory, but also to appreciate an ancient and strong culinary tradition proudly preserved in the area’s restaurants.

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Rome Fumicino (British Airways)
  • Airport transfers
  • Half board en suite accommodation
  • English speaking local walking guide
  • All local transport costs.
  • Packed Lunches
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Abruzzo!

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

We fly into Rome’s Fiumicino Airport and drive around 2 ½ hours into deepest Italy to the village of Pescassaroli. The last hour of the drive is extremely scenic as we wind our way up into the mountains to over 1000m.

Day 2

Monte Tranquillo

Meals

Breakfast Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    7.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    550m

Our walk from Pescassaroli starts in magnificent woods where trees take on fairy-like forms and we may well encounter foxes and roe deer. Once above the tree line we continue to the summit of Monte Tranquillo (1841m).

Day 3

Passo Cavuto and Jannanghera Valley

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    6 hours

  • Distance

    8.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    950m

Our walk starts by climbing through beech forest from the small village of Civitella Alfedena. There are occasional clearing and the good quality pass makes the ascent less tiring. On reaching Passo Cavuto at 2002m we are rewarded with spectacular views – Monte Amaro to the north, Monte Petroso to the south, and also the wooded wildlife refuge of the Camosciara. Our descent takes us through the Val Risione and the Jannanghera beech forest whose name comes from the local word for a witch. On the way down there are great views over Lake Barrea. On returning to Civitella Alfedena we can have a look around the older parts of the village and visit the museum dedicated to the Apennine wolf.

Day 4

Terra di Pescassaroli

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    7.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    500m

Today we walk close to Pescassaroli in the Terraegna valley including the most ancient parts of the forest. A pleasant hike will bring us to an observation point, from where you can see the main peaks of the Central Apennines and admire the patches of old-growth forest of the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park. We continue downhill to the Terraegna cabin where we will take a relaxing break for lunch, surrounded by large expanses of meadow which are frequented by deer, foxes and wolves. In the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park scientists have found the oldest beech forests of Europe. It is a complex and very rich ecosystem, whose functioning we are just starting to understand. Our local guide will be only to happy to tell you more!


Day 5

Free Day

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    8.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    500m

We'll cross a forest characterised by splendid beech trees today and have the possibility of lunch at a refuge in the park. From the refuge we will be able to observe the Pianoro di Terraegna from above and will wait till sunset to hopefully see the passing of wolves. We are back into the valley in the evening as the stars light up the sky.

On our winter trips to the Abruzzo we have arranged an optional visit to the Abbey at Monte Cassino. We anticipate that a similar excursion will be available through our local guide on this holiday.

Day 6

The Mountain Village of Scanno

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Accommodation

Today consist primarily in a visit to Scanno, the most historical and culturally fascinating town in the Abruzzo, combined with a short walk between the Hermitage of St Egidio and a magnificent viewpoint over Lake Scanno, known as the lake of the heart. Scanno still has palaces and fountains built in a bygone age. Its wealth came from herding lace-making and filigree jewellery, still in evidence today. Scanno’s location surrounded by mountains and its steep streets, archways and buildings huddled together form one of central Italy’s little-known gems.

Day 7

Monte Meta & the Mainarde Mountains

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    6 hours

  • Distance

    9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    950m

This walk offers the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views and observe chamois amidst the rocky ridges and golden eagles in their natural setting. Lower down we may catch a glimpse of deer, and this is also the terrain of the Marsican bear (endangered and restricted to this area) and of course the Apennine wolf.  Departing from Pianoro delle Forme we rise through beech forest, then emerge onto high-altitude plateaux once frequented by shepherds. The ascent from the Passo dei Monaci to the summit of Monte Meta (2241m), the highest point in the Mainarde mountain range, is optional but well worth the effort. From here the view extends over the three sides of the Abruzzo National Park and beyond, towards the Gran Sasso of Italy, the Maiella massif and, in optimal visibility conditions, towards Capri and Ischia. It is said to be the only place in Italy from where the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian seas are visible.

Day 8

Goodbye to Abruzzo

Meals

Breakfast

We leave the wilds of the Abruzzo for our return journey to Rome Fiumicino Airport and our flight back to the UK.                

From (GBP)£1,349

Departure dates for your selected tour

19th Sep 2020 - 26th Sep 2020 (7 Nights)

5th Jun 2021 - 12th Jun 2021 (7 Nights)

19th Jun 2021 - 26th Jun 2021 (7 Nights)

18th Sep 2021 - 25th Sep 2021 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Rome Fumicino (British Airways)
  • Airport transfers by road c.2hrs 45mins
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Hotel Iris

The hotel is located in a quiet spot about 15 minutes’ walk from the centre of town, whilst still being in the heart of the national park of Abruzzo. It is run by the Esposito family.

On the ground floor is the hotel reception, bar, large lounge area with sofas and a fireplace and a dining/breakfast room. The basement has a games room with billiard table.

Rooms have en-suite bathrooms, satellite TVs and some have balconies and great views of the surrounding mountains.

Typical cuisine from the Abruzzo region is served in the restaurant as well as a breakfast buffet each morning.

Free Wi-Fi is available.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 6 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent with walks in remote areas. Paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 900m of ascent and descent. The maximum altitude for this holiday is 3,000 metres.

Please see the Proposed Itinerary section for more information.

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Currency in Italy

The currency in Italy is the Euro.

Tipping

Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Local Guides

All our walks will be joined by local guides who know the mountains intimately. They are experts also on the region’s history – the fortified towns, the hermitages and also the story of transhumance where the sheep move seasonally between the mountains and the plains of Puglia.  Many of the walks are along high grassy ridges, rich in wild flowers, particularly in the early summer, which our guides will be able to not only identify but also explain how and why they grow here.

Your Travel Details

Our flight depart from London Heathrow to Rome Fumicino Airport with British Airways.

Once we land the transfer to our hotel in Pescasseroli which will take around 2 hour 45 minutes. At the end of our week it is back to Rome Fumicino Airport which will again take around 2 hours 45 minutes.

Getting to and from our walks will take differing amounts of time which you will see in the itinerary but all will be by private transportation.

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?

If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.

Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.

Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Brexit Passport Advice

You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.

If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.

You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.

Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance. 

UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.

The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules  which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.

In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit

Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

Footwear As Hand Luggage

We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity in Italy

Electricity in Italy is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for Italy

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Italy.

You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. 

You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.

See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

EHIC Cards

Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance. 

For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Italian Laws & Customs

In some Italian towns and cities you may be fined for dropping litter and in some towns or cities it’s an offence to sit on monument steps or to eat and drink in the immediate vicinity of main churches, historic monuments and public buildings. It’s also an offence to enter or bathe in public fountains.

In May 2019, the Municipality of Capri introduced a law forbidding the use of any disposable plastic objects such as bags, cutlery, plates, cups, food packaging, trays, straws on the island of Capri. Violations can incur a fine of up to 500 euros.

Illegal traders operate on the streets of all major Italian cities, particularly tourist cities like Florence, Venice and Rome. Don’t buy from illegal street traders. You could be stopped by the local police and fined.

It is illegal to remove sand, shells or pebbles from coastal areas in Italy. Doing so may result in heavy fines. It’s also forbidden to collect various species of flowers, plants and herbs from mountain and wooded areas. For more information, check with the regional authorities of the area you’re visiting.

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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Useful Information

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Italy

  • Capital

    Rome

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Language

    Italian

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00

  • Flight duration

    2.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    6°C

    Avg. Rain: 67mm

  • February

    7°C

    Avg. Rain: 62mm

  • March

    9°C

    Avg. Rain: 63mm

  • April

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 61mm

  • May

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 56mm

  • June

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 47mm

  • July

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 35mm

  • August

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 48mm

  • September

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 64mm

  • October

    15°C

    Avg. Rain: 89mm

  • November

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 96mm

  • December

    7°C

    Avg. Rain: 82mm

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