The wildlife of Gargano
Not wheelchair accessible
From 20 to 50
This tour is recommended for nature lovers. There will be hiking in wooded and mountainous areas. It is advised to bring suitable trekking equipment such as shoes, backpack, trekking poles, hat, sunglasses as well as camera and light food (dried fruit, snacks). Note that although the excursions are included in the tour, they are not mandatory and you can still spend your day on the farm where you can enjoy alternative activities such as wine tastings, cooking classes and relax.
Day 1: arrival
Arrival at the airport. Departure by bus to the Gargano where you will be accommodated in a farmhouse close to the sea in the area of Mattinata. Accommodation in double rooms finely arranged. In the evening you will be offered a wine tasting and a selection of typical products.
Day 2: Monte Sacro
Breakfast at the farmhouse. Morning departure to Monte Sacro, located a few kilometres north of the town of Mattinata. Monte Sacro is one of the highest peaks of the Gargano (874 meters above the sea). Almost on top of it, hidden in the thick holm oak that covers its slopes, you will spot the majestic and extensive remains of SS. Trinity Abbey, built between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, whose economic and territorial influence during medieval times spread in various municipalities of the area and Bari.
The footpath begins in a meadow crossed by a field of outcropping rocks, remnants of a shallow karst process. Passed this field, we start climbing along a footpath that goes on the western side of the mount. At the end of the footpath, the effort is rewarded by the view of the majestic remains of S.S. Trinity Abbey. Finally return to the farmhouse for lunch and free evening.Path length: 1.5 km Vertical drop: 350 meters
Day 3: Vignanotica
Breakfast at the farmhouse. Morning departure to Vignanotica. The coastal stretch of the southern Gargano, which goes from Manfredonia to Vieste has a great natural and landscape interest, and has attracted tourists from all over Europe since the early 60s. It is characterised by an extended coverage of Aleppo pine. The beaches may be wide and pebbly or small and sandy or can be surmounted by white and imposing cliffs overlooking the sea. There are also many sea caves with various shapes and sizes that fascinate and enchant an ever increasing number of tourists.
This excursion in particular, is a landscape route among the most beautiful and characteristic excursions of Gargano. At the beginning of the footpath on the right side, you can admire the spectacular view of Baia dei Mergoli with its famous stacks. The footpath, quite easy, continues through a Mediterranean vegetation and the beautiful forest of Aleppo pine where the trees with twisted trunks seem to dive into the blue sea. The footpath ends with a slope in the pine forest surrounding the Vignanotica Bay, with its lovely beach surmounted by high white cliffs, final destination of this excursion. Finally return to the farmhouse for lunch and free evening.Path length: 2 km Vertical drop: 150 meters
Day 4: Forest of Farajama
Breakfast at the farmhouse. In the morning departure to the forest of Fajarama (San Marco in Lamis) a World Heritage Site. The footpath is located inside the wood of Defense, in the territory of San Marco in Lamis, therefore in the south western part of Gargano. The forest of Fajarama is a beautiful mesophilic forest, with a large variety of tree species, mushrooms and ferns. In this forest, as in any western spot of Gargano, are evident karst manifestations both superficial and deep like: sinkholes, caves, wells, furrowed fields.
The footpath is circular and begins near the convent of San Matteo, a short distance from the village of Borgo Celano - San Marco in Lamis. The footpath is well marked with wooden stakes, signs with naturalistic details and goes through a wooded valley with beautiful hazelnut trees with bend stem, maples, beeches, oaks and aspens. Once on the summit we follow a footpath surrounded by holm oak, sinkholes and karst rocks. After passing an old barracks of the guards, then a cottage where often Boy Scouts carry out their activities and a large graze, we continue down the valley up to the starting point. Finally return to the farmhouse for lunch and free evening.Path length: 6 km Vertical drop: 200 meters
Day 5: Monte Pulsano
Breakfast at the farmhouse. Morning departure to Monte Sant'Angelo. The Abbey of Santa Maria of Pulsano is located about 9 kilometres west of the town of Monte S. Angelo, on a terrace surrounded by rocky and arid valleys where perched caves are used by hermits (24 in total) and pilgrims as a shelter and place to isolate themselves and pray, but also to work and cultivate the surrounding land. The footpath is marked by red paint patches on the rocks and spread among terraces and dry stone walls nowadays almost all abandoned, typical of the valleys surrounding the town of Monte S. Angelo.Once down in the Campanile valley, we climb the slope on your right which leads to the hermitage "Studio" and hundred meters further south we climb on the footpath carved into the rock to reach the hermitage Mill, one of the largest in the valley. Instead on the slope on your left, it will be possible to visit the hermitage Mandre. Finally return to the farmhouse for lunch and free evening.Path length: 6 km Vertical drop: 300 meters
Day 6: forest Umbra
Breakfast at the farmhouse. Morning departure for the forest Umbra (a World Heritage Site). The Umbra Forest is among the largest and intact forests in Europe (about 12,000 hectares). It is located on the north east of Gargano, between the towns of Monte S. Angelo, Vico del Gargano, Vieste and Carpino. There are various species of trees and shrubs; among these is the beech, which here reaches heights of considerable size and can grow at altitudes quite unusual (300 m, depressed beech), but also the hornbeams, the oaks, the Turkey oaks, maples, and millennial yews. The fauna is well represented too, with many species of birds (woodpeckers, goshawks, buzzards, blackbirds, jays) and mammals (wild boars, wolves, deer, wild cats, martens, weasels). Also amphibians (frogs, tree frogs, toads, newts), reptiles and numerous species of insects can be found here. The footpath is among the most beautiful in the Umbra Forest. It begins near the provincial road 528 which is directed to Vico del Gargano at the Sfilzi Barracks. It starts on the right of the valley of Carpinosa in a scenario characterized by giant beech trees and a shady forest floor covered only by holly. In the valley of Carpinosa we find the Natural Reserve Sfilzi inside which is worth visiting its fountain: it is a big rectangular large basin full of water topped by a thick vegetation of ferns. Inside it live the newt and the crested newt. This area is also visited by wild boars, foxes, deer and woodpeckers. The footpath ends at the Caritate Barracks near the main road to Vieste. Finally return to the farmhouse for lunch and free evening.Path length: 8,2 km Vertical drop: 400 meters
Day 7: Lake Salso
Breakfast at the farmhouse. Morning departure to Manfredonia. The Lake Salso is a reservoir of the Gargano National Park, a wetland which is about 9 km south of Manfredonia. It is one of the most important wetlands in Italy for its high biodiversity of species, especially avifauna: predatory birds, waders, ducks, flamingos stop here during the breeding season. The footpath passes through extended dry grazes and areas flooded by winter rain where you can observe these animals while feeding and resting.Path length: 2 km Vertical drop: none
Day 8: departure
Breakfast at the farmhouse. In the morning departure to the airport for the return home.
- Bus trip including transfer from/to airport
- hiking guide for all excursions
- tourist guide in English for 8 days
- double room for 7 nights with FB
- 1 wine tasting
TOUR DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Anything not specifically mentioned in "the tour includes"
- Extra trips
Hermitages of Pulsano
- Monte Sacro
- Fajarama’s Forest
- Hermitages of Pulsano
- Umbra Forest
- Salso Lake