Time of the Bear, a Spring trek in the Abruzzo National Park

A spring trip to Abruzzo, among steep valleys and imposing forests, still home to an amazing nature.

PERIOD
April

DURATION
4 days-3 nights

LOCATION
Pescasseroli, Abruzzo

GROUP SIZE
8 people

ACCOMMODATION
Small hotel

LENGTH
7-10 km per day

ELEVATION GAIN
300-500 m per day

DIFFICULT
Moderate

Participants should be able to walk in the mountain without difficulties however, there are plenty of stops as you wait silently with binoculars to view wildlife.

 

Dates and prices

In the heart of Abruzzo National Park Spring appears to the eyes of the visitor as an unfolding display of colours, expanding day by day from below and gradually encompassing the entire mountain scenery. April’s showers make the vegetation lush so for some herbivores species it is time to nurse the new-borns while Bears linger in the mixed forest either nibbling on hornbeams shoots or digging through the litter for acorns and beechnuts.

Compared to most brown bear habitats on the Planet the limited area of the Abruzzo National Park means that the lives of our Marsican bears are closely linked to the surrounding landscape. We’ll spend four days learning about their habits and territories. 

An exclusive adventure guided by expert wildlife trackers

Bookend long days in the wilderness with classic Italian food and tasty local wines in genuine mountain villages

Itinerary

DAY 1 – The Abruzzo National Park, the last Italian Bear stronghold
Free arrival in Pescasseroli, in the afternoon, settling in at the hotel and presentation of the guide. At 16:00, departure for a first easy hike until sunset. In the evening, return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
2 hours’ walking – 200 m ascent – 200 m descent

DAY 2 – A bear spring landscape
Departure at sunrise for a close-by wildlife watching session. After a hearty breakfast we embark on a delightful excursion through the forests of bear country. Surrounded by the astonishing beauty of the luxuriant mountain scenery, these well-preserved forest habitats closely represent the actual primordial stage of the beech-forest ecosystem in the Apennines. We’ll get to know the inhabitants of our beech woods ecosystem. We may not see any wild animals, but our guide will show you many interesting signs of them: bears, wolves, pine martens… they all live here and we are nothing but the humble visitors in their home. Return to the hotel in the evening for dinner and overnight stay.
5 hours’ walking – 400 m ascent – 400 m descent

DAY 3 – Snow water
Last day’s adventure ended late, but bears usually move very early in the morning! After a good coffee we will set off for a wildlife watching session in the Southern area of the park. Once the sun is high on the horizon we’ll head to the nearest village to pack our equipment and prepare for the next long excursion to the karst area of Lago Vivo, a small natural lake fed by the melting snow water. A long descent will take us to the enchanting springs of the Rio Torto, located in a cave where pure waters flows. We’ll return to the hotel in the late afternoon to relax. Dinner and overnight stay.
6 hours’ walking – 500 m ascent – 500 m descent

DAY 4 – Beyond the park
As a result of improved ecological conditions outside the national Park, our bears stories are no longer confined to the boundaries of the protected area but extend further into the areas that the species is slowly reclaiming. On our last day together, we’ll explore some of the areas on the borders of the National Park to see first-hand the actions and the efforts being made to improve the coexistence between human activities and wildlife in the so-called Bear Smart communities. End of activities in the afternoon, departure of participants.
5 hours’ walking – 300 m ascent – 300 m descent

Costs

Participation fee
€ 360 / per person

What’s included
Guide and organisation
Professional indemnity insurance
Nikon Prostaff 8×42 binoculars
Hotel accommodation
Dinner and breakfast

What is not included
All lunches
Internal transfers
Accident insurance
Extras and personal expenses

Customer reviews

Food and accommodation

Accommodation is offered in double rooms in a characteristic family-run hotel.

Breakfast is both sweet and savoury, with plenty of homemade cakes and good coffee. In the evening we will enjoy traditional Abruzzo cuisine, such as maccheroni alla chitarra, soup with orapi (Good King Henry) and beans or codetti pasta with potatoes and ricotta. Our region has a strong culture of sheep farming, so there will also be an opportunity to taste many other local dairy products, such as pecorino sheep’s cheese from Picinisco, or raw milk caciocavallo cheese from Villetta Barrea.

Lunches are not included, so each morning there will be an opportunity to buy a packed lunch from local shops and bakeries so we can make the most of our days in nature to observe wildlife.

Requests for vegetarian, vegan or special dietary requirements can be accommodated, so please remember to indicate these preferences when booking.

When can i do this?

When the first leaves start to appear on the trees at the beginning of April, the bears slowly begin their annual love rituals. Depending by season a bear can visit a wide variety of habitats. Check availability on our calendar date to see availability.

Kit list

Layered clothing is the smartest way to stay at just the right temperature between the long pauses alternating with more intense hours of walking. Even at low altitudes, you’ll need warm, windproof clothing at dawn and sunset.

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
Soft duffel bag or rucksack
Daypack (25+ litres)
Raincover
Waterproof jacket with hood
Fleece jacket or similar
Warm jacket
Hiking trousers
Technical t-shirts
Hiking boots
Warm hat
Thin gloves
Waterproof overtrousers
Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen)
Water bottles or water bladder

WHAT’S INCLUDED
Binocular
Headlamp

Il nostro team di guide conosce perfettamente il territorio e come farvi sentire sempre al sicuro

Make it private!

Are you looking for an exclusive experience in nature? Are you already in a group or are you simply a hiker looking for unique emotions?

Gift this tour

Exciting and unique experience gifts create memories for years to come. Give. Receive. Experience!

Expert Local Guide

Our local guides know the mountain perfectly, what to do and how to be safe.

Frequently asked question

Can i book on my own?

Sure can! Over 30% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Time of the bear with kids

This activity is especially designed for adults and young 14+ as we need to spend 3 days in the mountains and wait silently a few hours.

Private tour

Ask for a private tour if you need an exclusive experience. Send us an e mail and we’ll answer you back with the quotation.

Bad weather condition

Obviously some day could be cold or rainy: our guides will study alternative propose to offer you the best experience. Be sure to be well equipped for each weather condition.

Need to add a travel insurance

Our guides are registered at the list of Collegio Guide Alpine Abruzzo and subscribed a professional insurance.

We suggest you to book on line travel insurance with World Nomads. They offer insurances designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

How to get there

Pescasseroli is the most important 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. FROM PESCARA (Highway A25 Roma – Pescara): from Pescara highway A25 until Pescina exit, go on towards SR83 or towards SP17 until Pescasseroli. FROM NAPLES (Highway A1 Naples – Rome): from Naples highway A1 until Caianello exit, enter SS85 towards Venafro and then proceed on SR83 until Pescasseroli.

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

Enquiry form

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