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EXPERIENTIAL TRAVEL TOURS / Castelluccio di Norcia / Lago di Fiastra / Monte Bove / Monte Sibilla

Marche: Sibillini Mountains, a legendary walk in the land of the Sybil Sorceress

Price starting from: 750,00 €

A seven-day, full-immersion walk in the places of the Sibyl Sorceress. A discovery journey at the Sibyl cave, where history and fantasy embrace and a whole park sings a fascinating symphony of rugged peaks, vast plateaus and impressive gorges. The Sibillini Mountains National Park is characterized by a portmanteau of different environments going from high peaks, mountain meadows, wooded slopes and wild valleys all the way down to the more fertile and populated countryside. In this north-to-south journey you will discover wild habitats, local lore and peasant’s tradition straddling the two Italian regions of Marche and Umbria. The mix of hiking and throwback to old traditions make this trip a unique experience of one of the Central Apennines’ lesser known places.

Day 1
3.00 pm Spoleto railway station meet-up and private transfer to Fiastra
5.00 pm Meet-up at the accommodation facility in Fiastra 
5.30 pm Meet-and-greet with the guides, presentation and introduction to the journey
6.30 pm A walk in the old town of Fiastra 
08.00 pm Dinner with local products
Fiastra is a small hamlet on the northern side of the Sibillini National Park. Renowned for its namesake lake, in recent years it has become a destination for nature and outdoor tourists. The lake is surrounded by hills covered with woods, ploughed fields and tiny hamlets perched on both sides of the valley that soothe the sight and bring a precious harmony to the landscape. In the background, on the north face of the Sibillini Mountains, the highest peaks of Rotondo and Priora stand out.

Day 2
08.30 am Wake up and in-house breakfast
09.00 am Transfer to Pintura di Bolognola
09.30 am Departure for the first leg of the trail from Pintura to Fiastra 
01:00 pm Packed lunch
03:00 pm Arrival in San Lorenzo al Lago and beach relax. Possibility of lake activities: canoeing, SUP  
06:30 pm Arrival at the accommodation facility
08.00 pm Dinner with local products
The journey starts from Sassotetto, a ski resort close to the Ragnolo Plains. You can enjoy a wide vista on the whole region and, when days are particularly clear, you could even spot the Croatian ranges on the other side of the Adriatic Sea. The best way to have the sea, the hills and the vibrant mountains of the Umbria-Marche Apennines in one go. After crossing the upper plains full of spontaneous spring blooms we will reach San Lorenzo al Lago to chill out on the lake shores.

Trail overview
LENGTH: 11 km approx.
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (ELEVATION): 250 m
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (DROP): 925 m
DIFFICULTY: medium/easy

Day 3 -
08.30 am Wake up and in-house breakfast
09.00 am Departure for the second leg of the trail from Fiastra to Ussita
01:00 pm Packed lunch
03:00 pm Arrival in Macereto and meeting with a local company. In-house visit and tasting of local ricotta and pecorino cheese
05:00 pm Transfer to Ussita
05:30 pm Arrival at the accommodation facility
06.30 pm A walk through the streets of Ussita
08:00 pm Dinner with typical products
From the Fiastrone valley to that of the Ussita, our tour goes full beauty. As we leave behind the heights of Monte Coia and the stunning views of Fiastra Lake, we will set to cross the high altitude meadows towards the plateau of Macereto, a place of spirituality and transhumance. The gorgeous octagonal-shaped sanctuary will stay with us for a while until it leaves room to the dolomite of Monte Bove, one of the most iconic mountains of the Sibillini National Park. 

Trail overview
LENGTH: 20.5 km approx.
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (ELEVATION): 1,000 m
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (DROP): 830 m
DIFFICULTY: medium/hard

Day 4
08.00 am Wake up and in-house breakfast
09.00 am Transfer to Frontignano di Ussita
09.30 am Departure for the third day’s walk: Monte Bove
01:00 pm Packed lunch
03:30 pm Transfer to Ussita and back to hotel
05:30 pm Meeting with the C.A.S.A. Association to learn how the area changed after the 2016 earthquake 
08:00 pm Dinner with typical products
The day is dedicated to the discovery of Monte Bove, an iconic massif on the western side of the Sibillini range. We start from the Frontignano di Ussita hamlet for a long ridge route unveiling a great deal of views before entering a glacial valley dotted with sinkholes and green pastures. This place saw the reintroduction of the Apennine Chamoi - an endemic species of the Central Apennines - thanks to a project funded by the European Community. It is not uncommon to spot packs of chamois grazing or stacking out the rocky cliffs.

Trail overview
LENGTH: 12 km approx.
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (ELEVATION): 845 m
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (DROP): 845 m
DIFFICULTY: medium

Day 5
08.00 am Wake up and in-house breakfast
09.00 am Transfer to Frontignano di Ussita
09.30 am Departure for the fourth day’s walk towards the Castelluccio di Norcia highlands
01:00 pm Packed lunch
05:30 pm Accommodation at the hotel
08:00 pm Dinner with typical products
A small hike across the Sibillini range allows us to pass from the north to the south side of the National Park. From the Frontignano hamlet we will follow an Apennine ridge route to the famous Castelluccio highlands, the true symbol of this protected area. This is the time for wide open spaces and long views, where the gaze sweeps in every direction up to the highest southern Apennine peaks. 

Trail overview
LENGTH: 16 km approx.
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (ELEVATION): 780 m
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (DROP): 995 m
DIFFICULTY: medium

Day 6
08.00 am Wake up and in-house breakfast
09.00 am Departure for the Castelluccio highlands loop trail
01:00 pm Packed lunch
17:00 pm Accommodation at the hotel
07:00 pm Traditional aperitif and local tales
08:00 pm Dinner with typical products
A whole day in the karstic plateau of Castelluccio di Norcia, renowned for its spontaneous blooms and the cultivation of lentils and legumes. A place at the edge of the world that still keeps ancient traditions alive while thriving on livestock and agriculture. A charming place of beauty ... nestled among the highest peaks of the Sibillini range. This route shows the plateau complex from different angles: first from above, along the ridge dividing the Castelluccio basin from that of Norcia, then throughout the sheep tracks carving the Pian Grande (Grand Plain). 

Trail overview
LENGTH: 17 km approx.
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (ELEVATION): 625 m
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (DROP): 625 m
DIFFICULTY: medium/easy

Day 7
08.00 am Wake up and in-house breakfast
09.00 am Departure for massif crossing: Pilato Lake and Valle di Foce§
01:00 pm Packed lunch
04:00 pm Arrival in Foce, transfer and accommodation in Montemonaco
06:30 pm Tales of the Sybil
08:00 pm Dinner with typical products
Another long day of walk to cross the massif: this time we are eastbound to the valley of Foce and the world of the Sybil Queen. After a not-so-hard climb towards the Forca Viola pass, we go on to discover one of the National Park’s most appealing places by going up the glacial valley that leads to Pilato’s Lake, the only natural lake of this region. Shrouded in the mystery of the legends surrounding the lake and struck by the discovery of its peculiar tenant, we continue our journey to Foce di Montemonaco, another small hamlet lost on the edge of the most imposing peaks of the massif.

Trail overview
LENGTH: 17 km approx.
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (ELEVATION): 985 m
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (DROP): 1,400 m
DIFFICULTY: medium/hard

Day 8
08.00 am Wake up and in-house breakfast
08:30 am Transfer to Rubbiano
09.00 am Hike to Gole dell'Infernaccio (Hell’s Gorge)
01:00 pm Lunch in Montemonaco and transfer to Rifugio Sibilla (Sybil’s Hut)
03:30 pm Transfer to Rifugio Sibilla (Sybil’s Hut)
04:30 pm Hike to Monte Sibilla
08:30 pm Transfer to the hotel
09:00 pm Arrival at the hotel
In the last day of walk we will witness the ravine of the Infernaccio, a deep canyon carved by Tenna river, just to reach the Hermitage of San Leonardo on the edge of one of the most beautiful tall beech forests of the whole range. The flowing river shall give way to the afternoon magic of sorceress Sibilla’s mount where - the legend has it - the den of the prophetess yawns. An easy hike with hill views to embrace a world of folklore and wild nature enchanting wayfarers and travellers from all over since the Middle Ages. 

Trail overview
LENGTH: 5.5 km in the morning + 8 km in the afternoon
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (ELEVATION): 370 m in the morning + 550 m in the afternoon
OVERALL HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (DROP): 370 m in the morning + 550 m in the afternoon
DIFFICULTY: medium

Day 9
09.00 am In-house breakfast and adventure’s end. Individual departures. Possibility to arrange on-demand transfers to Ascoli Piceno (not included in the package).

This program may be subject to change, both before and during the trip, based on the weather, travellers’ needs and the needs of hosting facilities. Hiking activity includes the transport of your own luggage by means of transfer service. We recommend bringing a one-piece luggage for transport and a backpack of at least 20 lt for daily hiking activities.

Local contact person 
The trip is fully accompanied by an Environmental Hiking Guide with a good knowledge of English language.

Difficulty level 
Hiking activities take place inside the Sibillini National Park and alternate mid-mountain paths with high-mountain trails. Some gradients may be particularly challenging but there are no exposed sections, hence each tour leg’s length and 7 consecutive days of walking require good physical training and a habit of walking even over long distances. Level: hard

When 
Best travel period are the months from April to June and from September to November

What is sustainable tourism?
It is a tourist approach that pays the greatest attention to the environment and culture of the visited country.
It was created to stem and correct the distortions of mass industrial tourism, devoted to the “looting” of countries, especially those developing, and ends up becoming a travel mode that can be replicated everywhere, even in the territories close to home.

Features of our travels
Travelling with ViaggieMiraggi will take you to meet people and projects of the civil society of the visited country, with particular attention to the field of Fair Trade and Cooperation.
The trips will take place together with local representatives, exponents of the local culture, creators and guides of the itineraries. Stays will take place at small, locally owned accommodation facilities or, when possible, at facilities provided by projects visited or in families.
Meetings are scheduled before and after the trip to explain the characteristics before departure and to guarantee a moment for the return report. The price sheets of our packages are completely transparent: the distribution of economic resources is accessible in every step.

Take part in the change
By choosing a Sustainable Tourism trip you will be able to make a direct contribution to a form of virtuous, equitable and sustainable economy. Traveling with us will guarantee work for the activities of the projects that will be visited, transforming tourism into an instrument of emancipation and justice for the local populations, subtracting energies from a model dedicated to exploitation to put them in one focused on the Person and Nature.

Individual fee
10 travellers 850 €
15 travellers 750 €

FOR INFO ON TRANSPARENT PRICE LIST CONTACT THE AGENCY
Total cost includes:

Brokerage fees
Expenses and fees for a licensed English-speaking hiking guide
All meals and overnight stays as per programme
Luggage transfer
Third-party liability insurance
Transfer by minibus as per programme

Total cost does not include:

Individual and extra expenses and anything not listed in the items above
Packed lunches
Filodiretto Assistance cancellation insurance that can be purchased at the agency within 32 days before departure date cost 
Fees are subject to confirmation at the time of booking
Necessary conditions 
The minimum number of participants required for carrying out the trip is 10 persons;  

Info and booking
send an e-mail to italia@viaggiemiraggi.org