Abruzzo Winter Walk & Snowshoe

8 days
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£1,099
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5 / 5 from 6 reviews >
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Trip code: 
CAZ
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Winter Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–15

Snowshoe in three national parks

The mountainous region of Abruzzo forms a spine between the beautiful cities of Rome and Pescara in central Italy. East from Rome, the hills gradually rise inland to reach towering peaks of almost 3000m that receive a heavy and lasting snowfall during winter. Boasting three National Parks dotted with remote mediaeval mountain-top villages, Abruzzo is the perfect area to walk among snow-capped jagged peaks while experiencing the culture and the exquisite cuisine of central Italy.

Highlights

  • Snowshoe in three National Parks
  • Visit untouched medieval mountain villages
  • Enjoy delicious home-made food

Key information

  • 4 nights bed and breakfast, 3 nights 3-star hotel
  • Group normally 4 to 15, plus leaders. Min age 16 years
  • 6 days guided snowshoeing and winter walking
  • Snowshoes and poles provided where required

What's included

  • All breakfasts, all dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Snowshoes and poles

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Start in Calascio.

    Start at our hotel in Calascio. This picturesque mediaeval village is home to the impressive Rocca Calascio, the highest fortress in the Appennines, sitting high at 1460m.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Cross dense beech forests and walk along deep canyons to reach the Voltigno High Plateau.

    Today we cross dense beech forests and walk along deep canyons to reach the vast Voltigno High Plateau, offering sweeping views of the lower valleys and of the whole province of Pescara. 

    Afternoon guided visit to the ethnographic museums of Castel del Monte.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    A short drive to Santo Stefano di Sessanio (1250m) and walk to the Campo Imperatore through medieval villages and snow-covered pastures.

    A short drive takes us to the 16th century village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio (1250m). This delightful town, dominated by the imposing Medici Watchtower, is an architectural jewel with its archways and cobbled alleys. Our exploration continues walking through untouched mediaeval villages and snow-covered pastures to Campo Imperatore, Abruzzo's largest high plateau, surrounded by the Appenines' highest peaks. 

    Afternoon guided visit to the mediaeval village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    The ridge of Monte Bolza (1900m) from Castel del Monte.

    From Castel del Monte climb up to the summit of Monte Bolza (1900m) for great views over the Campo Imperatore area and the Gran Sasso mountain range. In the afteroon we will head to Rocca Calascio to visit the medieval tower, one of the oldest fortresses in Italy built in the tenth century and a symbol of the Abruzzo region. In the evening we enjoy a local dinner in a traditional restaurant.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Campo Felice Plateau, excursion in the forest with break in a refuge.

    Today we are transferred by private minibus to the Campo Felice plateau and enjoy spectacular views across great beech forests. We stop in a secluded mountain refuge for a break. From here we can admire a 360° view of the mountains all around us. 

    Afternoon private transfer to Caramanico Terme, our base for the remainder of the tour.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Panoramic walk around Monte Rapina to Barrasso Refuge (1500m).

    This beautiful mountain-top village offers magnificent views over the Majella National Park and boasts a walled medieval centre, thermal baths and the rock-hewn hermitage of San Bartolomeo. Depending on the snow conditions, we will snowshoe around Mt Rapina, which offers great views on the deep and lush gorge of the Orfento Valley and over the snow-capped peaks of the Majella N.P. and all Abruzzo.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Snowshes in the beech forest of Lama Bianca along the slopes of Maiella.

    Today we have a minibus transfer to Passo San Leonardo. From here we start our walk along the western slope of Mt Majella, considered a sacred mountain by the locals, up to the gulley of Monte Amaro. En route we will pass through the forest of Lama Bianca, famous for its beech trees. They are huge and impressive as they can reach the maximum height of 30 meters in this area. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Rome

    Transfer to Rome (approx. 2 hrs); fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and evening meals included. Lunches and snacks can be bought locally before each excursion.
An ample breakfast prepares us for the exertions of the day ahead (including milk, tea, coffee, juices, cakes, fresh fruit, cereals, bread, eggs and local cold meats and cheese).
The excellent evening meals draw on traditions of Abruzzo and are prepared using only fresh and locally produced ingredients, including fresh pasta, delicious cheese and homemade liqueurs.

Weather

Abruzzo’s temperatures are affected by two types of climate: ‘Mediterranean’ along the coast and ‘continental’ in its mountainous interior, where copious amounts of snow fall between December and mid-March. Average daytime temperatures in winter are around 3 degrees with approximately 8 to 10 hours of daylight. At all times of the winter you can hope for periods of clear bright weather and in February and March it can become surprisingly warm in the sun. Equally, at all times you need to be ready for the occasional stormy day.

Is this trip for you?

Activity details 
Due to the unpredictable nature of mountains, each day the leader will carefully assess the situation and choose the route according to current conditions and those forecast, with the over-riding priority being group safety. Our leaders are required not to proceed with any proposed route (including those mentioned in brochure or trip notes) if they believe the risk to be unacceptable.
In case of lack of snow, we will follow the same itinerary as described in the programme without snowshoes.

Snowshoeing is offered at Level 3 - Moderate
Relatively full days, with 4-5 hours of snowshoeing, although occasional longer, harder days may be involved. Previous experience is not necessary, but you should be confident of your fitness level. 
Walking hours stated are given as approximates only. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Snowshoes are adaptable to fit most trekking boot sizes, however if you wear larger than UK size 12 (US13 or EU47) boots please let us know at the time of booking. 

Accommodation

B&B & Hotel

Our base for 4 nights is the welcoming bed & breakfast Acca Lascio, situated in traditional stone buildings authentically renovated in the historic centre of Calascio. All twin-bedded rooms are en suite, while the 2 single rooms share a bathroom. We spend the last 3 nights in the charming 3-star Hotel Ede, where all twin and single rooms are en-suite. Additional facilities include a small wellness centre with sauna and jacuzzi. Both accommodation offer free Wi-fi.

A limited number of single rooms is available on request, please call for details.

 

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  • Reviewed February 2017
    Janet Milne

    Abruzzo Winter Walking and Snowshoeing

    A very interesting and unspoilt area to visit. There was a good variety of snowshoe walks, scenery and medieval villages.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking on top of 2 metres of snow through fabulous beech forests and high alpine plateaux. Having stunning views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Eating homemade, local foods at the local restaurants. Visiting medieval villages, seeing a variety of wildlife and lot of wolf tracks in the snow!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lorenzo was a highly competent and unflappable guide with a great sense of humour. His local knowledge came to the fore when due to heavy snowfall the week before, several of the planned walks were inaccesible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take clothing that you can layer up as when we had wall to wall sunshine it was quite warm walking. However so keep a set of waterproofs in your rucksack as the weather can change very quickly and the wind can be cold.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was fabulous holiday. As a novice to snowshoeing I found the grading and length of the walks to be accurate and comfortable. The flowers in Spring time must be stunning!
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Andrew Grun

    Abruzzo Winter Walk & Snowshoe

    A wonderful holiday amid magnificent mountain scenery and historic villages, led by Lorrenzo, a guide with great local historical knowledge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snowshoeing high into the wilderness of the snow covered peaks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A very caring person who aimed to make the holiday as enjoyable as he could for each person in the group. Great historical knowledge and a desire to explain this history to the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for cold and wind on the high summits if the weather changes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An opportunity to explore a little known area of great beauty in Italy, both for its snow capped mountains and its ancient villages.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Deirdre Oconnor

    Abruzzo Winter Walk and Snowshoe

    An excellent trip in a rural part of Italy with beautiful views, fabulous food and friendly people. The walks and snowshoeing were sufficiently challenging, with a variety of terrain and things to see. On our trip, we had more walking than snowshoeing, due to the warmest winter in living memory, but that didn't spoil the trip. It is also a chance to stay in an old Italian town, steeped in history, but a victim of rural decline.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A beautiful sunset and delicious dinner at Rocco Calascio, seeing a wolf at Campo Imperatore, and finally getting to the top of a red ski run in snowshoes. Seeing the beautiful Majella mountain when the cloud cleared.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lorenzo and Roberta were great company all week, and they worked extremely hard. Because of the lack of snow, they were constantly reviewing the plans, and trying to ensure that we got the most out of our holiday. Lorenzo is a great ambassador for Gran Sassio and Abruzzo, and he wanted to ensure that we got to see as much as possible. I thought that they looked after our enjoyment and safety at all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is no shop in Calascio where you stay for the first few days, so bring what you will need-snacks etc. I brought the wrong adaptor- northern european 2 pins won't work. Try all the food, especially in Calascio, but pace yourself for 4 courses. Avoid the gentian liquer unless you like drinks that taste like plant root.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a busy trip, with lots to do and see, in a gorgeous part of Italy. Highly recommended.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    PHILIP CHAMBERS

    Abruzzo Winter Walk & Snowshoe.

    This was a great trip to a fascinating region. The snowshoeing and walking was quite hard but rewarding, with splendid views. The accommodation was basic but good. The food was exceptional. The guides were the best we have experienced over many group trips. There was little snow but the guides did their best to find snow and provide excellent alternative walks. We are told that this was the first time in 20 years that they had had so little snow.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first day walking in the beech forest and high plateau

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lorenzo is a fantastic guide and assisted by Roberta. They worked so hard to make the trip enjoyable for everyone.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of layers
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Keith Jamieson

    Abruzzo Snowshoeing

    Wonderful variety of scenery.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views from the top of the climb on the transfer day in Sirente-Velino Regional park. Absolutely stunning. Running down the side of a mountain in deep powder snow is fantastic fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lorenzo was an excellent leader, full of local knowledge and with a passion for where he lives. He was very attentive to the needs of the group and we felt very safe. Roberta was also an excellent guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a flask - the B&B and hotel will both fill this for you and you'll be out all day as there are no huts along the way for lunch. As ever with snowshoeing, layers are the key - you can get pretty warm, particularly on the climbs, and the weather was quite warm some days. There's a nice spa pool and sauna at the hotel.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was an excellent trip. There is an interesting contrast in scenery between the wide open spaces of the Gran Sasso for the first few days then the steep, wooded mountains of the Majella for the last couple. You shouldn't go hungry - the food, particularly at the local restaurant used for the first 4 nights, was excellent and plentiful.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Susan Turner

    Abruzzo snow shoeing

    A fabulous holiday. Wonderful scenery. A great group and tour leaders.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a wolf was pretty special, and on the last day an eagle, but I think the 'ice forest' with every tree covered in flags of ice, glittering in the sun was probably the high point in terms of seeing things. Throughout the week the group was great fun too, which made the whole thing special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lorenzo was great. He had a real passion for the area and his enthusiasm was catching. He couldn't have been more helpful and really wanted us all to have a good time. Roberta was great too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Remember - snow shoeing can give you blisters in shoes that previously haven't caused a problem, so need to take extra care.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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