The Outdoor Experience Guide
When you ask a tourist to describe Castelsaraceno you will certainly hear about the Tibetan Bridge, the breathtaking view of the Pollino Massif and the Favino Wood, full of wonders. But Castelsaraceno is much more than this: it is a destination for adventurers eager to try their hand at the many outdoor activities that the Land of the Two Parks surrounds itself with.
This article aims, therefore, to guide you on a journey through the dirt roads and over the snow-capped peaks of Monte Raparo and Monte Alpi, to discover which activities can best satisfy your thirst for adrenaline.
Routes and paths through mountain landscapes and spectacular views
The Christmas period is the best time to enjoy the natural landscape around Castelsaraceno. Snow-white flora frames the paths that lead towards Monte Alpi and Monte Raparo.
The hike to the Belvedere on Monte Alpi follows the path of popular religion, a route that has long seen the community gather for the traditional cutting of the ‘Ndenna, an ancient tree ritual. The walk is easy and suitable for walkers of all ages and physical fitness.
With the same level of difficulty, it is possible to cross the western valley of Monte Raparo along the Italia CAI path, a route that allows you to enjoy the immense panorama of the Agri Valley and that tells ancient stories, of the shepherds’ shelters and the surrounding land cultivated with wheat.
Snowshoeing in the woods of Monte Alpi, an unforgettable experience in the company of others
An experience not to be missed at this time of year is snowshoeing in the woods of Monte Alpi, a fun activity that involves the whole group and in which you are guided through the beech forest of Bosco Favino until you reach the car park, from where you have a splendid view of the snow-covered mountain.
A guided route requiring moderate physical effort, ideal for spending the weekend in the company of friends. Along the way, if you are lucky, you may encounter the Southern Black Squirrel (Sciurus meridionalis), a species native to Basilicata that in these periods loves to jump among the trees along the path.
Quad bike excursion to Monte Raparo and Belvedere, a healthy dose of adrenaline
35 kilometres of adrenaline-pumping adventure through the Val d’Agri landscape up to Monte Raparo: this is Castelsaraceno’s recipe for satisfying those who want to visit the landscape with the right energy. The guided quad-bike excursion allows you to explore the Spinoso beech forest and the Punto Panoramico della Croce (Cross Viewpoint), continuing on to the sanctuary of the Santissima Madonna della Rupe, a real gem set at 1265 metres above sea level.
On the return journey, enchanting landscapes accompany visitors to the Bosco Regionale Fieghi Cerreto; an experience of about 3 hours that represents a different way of admiring these wild places, letting oneself be lulled by the beauty of the surrounding nature.
An excellent alternative to this route is the excursion from the centre of Castelsaraceno towards the Favino Wood Refuge (Naturalistic Environmental Museum), surrounded by the splendid setting of the natural landscape resulting from the meeting of the Pollino Park and the Val d’Agri – Lagonegrese Park. The trail follows the traditional “stone itineraries” until it reaches the Belvedere, located at 1700 m above sea level, from which it is possible to admire the Cogliandrino Valley and the slopes of Mount Alpi, on which the famous Loricate pines, typical of the area, climb.
Walking on ice
This year, Christmas in Castelsaraceno is enriched with a new experience: the ice rink located in the area adjacent to the Museum of Shepherding is a wonderful activity for young and old alike. The area will be open until 9 January and is ready to welcome anyone who wants to have fun on the ice.
We look forward to seeing you!