The Pantaniello Lake, return to the ice age - Wildlife Adventures
  • Il Lago Pantaniello alimentato dallo scioglimento delle nevi primaverili

The Pantaniello Lake, return to the ice age

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7 h
Availability : from May to October
Min Age : 14+
Max People : 15

This itinerary is carried out entirely in the buffer zone of the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, to the north-west of the Valle del Sangro. Because of its peripheral position compared to the more well-known and central mountains, the impressive massif of the Monte Greco only gets visitors occasionally.The suggested route is long, but not particularly difficult and allows you to pass one of the most beautiful and unusual landscapes of the Park.


This is also the second highest lake of the Apennines. In this barren and seemingly desolate landscape of the grasslands of the summit of the Monti di Chiarano and the Monte Greco, characterised by moraines, glacial cirques and frequent karstic phenomena, the small Lago Pantaniello, with its transparent and shallow waters, looks like a daydream. It is a basin of glacial origin, fed by underground springs. Its flow is impeded by moraine deposits from the surrounding slopes.


Moderate The hike has no technical difficulties but it takes place on mountain trails in wooded areas and meadows with climbs and descents of average slop.

Elevation gain

750 m up and down


18 km roundtrip


What is included

  • Guide and organization

What is escluded

  • Any transports
  • Snack and personal expenses

Day 1The Pantaniello Lake, return to the ice age

Meeting with our guide in Villetta Barrea at 8pm. Short transfer by car to the Passo Godi and at the starting point. After one hour of walk we will the Valico dello Scalone with a magnificient view on the valley. The path lead us in a unusual and desolated landscape and until the karstic area of the lake. The best period to visit this area is in spring, when the thaw starts to release the waters of the lake and the surrounding meadows from the snow blanket, while snow patches soften the outlines of the mountains, vaguely reminiscent of the light and the landscapes of Iceland or Lapland. Packed lunch and first evening return to the valley.

  • Possibility to spot deers, chamois and golden eagle
  • Possibility to spot the Gammarus lacustris is a shrimp that lives only here and in a few other places in the Apennine range
  • Rare wild flowers & orchids of Central Apennines
  • Tales of shepherds from Abruzzo region who lived in this mountains for several centuries
What to bring

We reccomend you to dress in layers. Hiking boots, jacket with waterproof and windproof cap, backpack, water bottle, leggings, sunglasses, long pants and sun protection cream.

How to reach us

Villetta Barrea is one of the village of Abruzzo National Park, the oldest Italian protected area; it has guaranteed a life in harmony with nature for almost a century. You can easily reach it by car through three access points. FROM ROME (Highway A24 Rome – L’Aquila): from Rome highway A24 until Pescina exit, proceed on SR83 or on SP17 until Pescasseroli and Villetta Barrea. FROM PESCARA (Highway A25 Roma – Pescara): from Pescara highway A25 until Cocullo exit, go on towards SR479 until Villetta Barrea. FROM NAPLES (Highway A1 Naples – Rome): from Naples highway A1 until Caianello exit, enter SS85 towards Venafro and then proceed on SR83 until Villetta Barrea.

You can arrive by bus thanks to daily connections from Castel di Sangro and Avezzano. Check the timetable on the the website Connections by train are only until Avezzano station. For those who come from Rome it is possible to check the timetable of Prontobus company that connects Roma and Ciampino airports to Abruzzo.