Here we are in the heart of a land of authentic and sometimes wild beauty, in one of the most pristine areas of Italy: we are in Majella National Park, established in 1995.
What to do and see in Majella National Park
In Abruzzo, a land of virgin nature, mighty mountains, pristine sea, Romanesque sanctuaries and abbeys, there is so much to see and for us eco-travelers this priceless jewel is definitely a must. Majella National Park still preserves one of the most important biological diversity in Europe. Being here therefore means immersing yourself in the wilderness, discovering the Majella which has always been considered a sacred mountain, exploring caves and canyons, walking along beautiful rivers. But you can also visit Caramanico with its thermal baths, the renaissance and baroque historic center of Pescocostanzo, the Celestinian hermitages of Morrone and Majella and countless other wonders.
The most common activity here is certainly trekking, or alternatively pedaling through the countless MTB routes. The trails are in fact the best way to get to know all the beauty of Majella National Park, for example crossing Orta Valley with its caves and Orfento Valley with its canyons, sighting numerous fauna species, or climbing the slopes of the Majella Mountain, the imposing massif that dominates the entire valley.
If nature reigns supreme, the Park also hides architectural gems in its vast territory. Sulmona is perhaps the most important inhabited center and fascinates anyone who visits its historic center; Roccacaramanico takes you back in time; Guardiagrele enchants with its artisan shops and its characteristic alleys.
The animals you can meet
The uncontaminated nature of Majella National Park is inhabited by a rich and diverse fauna. The Apennine wolf is symbol of the Park. The Marsican bear, the chamois, the roe deer and the otter live among the mountains, the woods and the prairies. Looking towards the sky, you might instead see the eagle owl, the peregrine falcon, slabs and the golden eagle.
Flowers and trees of Majella National Park
Another feature that makes the Park internationally famous is the remarkable richness of the flora. There are about 1800 uncommon species that still grow here, such as columbine and the Apennine edelweiss. The beech woods cover the slopes of the mountain between 1000 and 1800 meters, while on the ridges you can find the rare mountain pine.
If for you, like it is for me, every trip also means discovering new flavors then you cannot miss the typical products of Majella National Park. There are, for example, the different varieties of apples and pears, curly broccoli, hulled wheat and beans. Among the recipes, you must try spaghetti alla trappitara, pallotte cacio e ova and arrosticini.
Where to sleep in Majella National Park
An albergo diffuso in Caramanico Terme, a farmhouse surrounded by nature, or a home in the heart of the Eastern Majella: there are many eco-sustainable accommodations in the Majella National Park. You can find them all here!
The best itineraries of the Park
We have already said it, but we must repeat it: in Majella National Park there are countless itineraries, all wonderful. It is impossible to recommend them all, so I will limit myself to mentioning two that are truly enchanting. The first takes you to discover the Orfento river and its valley, crossing beautiful woods for 14 kilometers. The second is for experts only. This is the one that leads to the Hermitage of San Giovanni all’Orfento. It’s a building completely carved out of the rock and reachable only through a particularly narrow path.
Cover image: photo by Čeština, via Wikimedia