Hiking in the Sibillini Mountains
Luckily enough at The Hideaway, we are very near to Amandola and therefore we are close to The Sibillini National Park and the start of many amazing walks to suit all levels. From 2 hour circular walks, to hiking up Hell’s Gorge, to climbing over 1000 meters to Pilate’s Lake, there are so many interesting hikes. Afterwards relax in Amandola with a gelato or coffee, watching the world go by and reflecting on the day.
Some of our favourites walks include:
Gola dell’Infernaccio – a stunning walk suitable for most levels which is especially great during the summer as you are walking by the river Tenna, waterfalls and through shaded beech woods. Slicing through limestone cliffs, you can take a side path up to the San Leonardo Church, the perfect place for your lunch stop. Originally the church was built by a group of Camaldolesi monks in the 9th centuary, before it was abandonned in the 1500’s.
Then in 1960, Padre Pietro a Cappuccian monk made this his hermitage and started building his own gothic church once more. The church is beautiful but simple and surrounded by nature, this has been his mission for over 40 years and you may even be lucky enough to meet him working on the shurch or growing his own veggies.
Lago di Pilato – slightly more difficult (and you might just ache a little the next day, but it is certainly worth it!) amazing views all round and the most rewarding part of the 1000 meter climb is when Pilates Lake comes in to view. You will pass through beech woods and plateus and make sure you make an early start in summer as it can get quite hot up there.
However, be careful you are not tempted to take a dip in the waters though as they are protected, being the only home in the world where the tiny fairy shrimp Chirocephalus Marchesonii live. The coral coloured shrimp swims tummy up and you may just be able to spot them. In the middle ages there were rumours that devils and ghastly spirits lived up here.
Dogana Loop – further away but well worth the drive – a long (15.5 kms) but easy walk with stunning views over Castelluccio, Monte della Laga and the Piano Grande. Halfway along the walk is the rifugio Colle Le Cese, where you can be refreshed or eat your lunch. Part of the walk is on the Grande Anello dei Sibillini and you will be rewarded at every turn with a new vista. A really beautiful walk with only one slightly steep climb just near the end.
Lama Rosse or Red Blades – take a hike up to these wonderful creations being eroded by the elements into cliffs and pinnacles. You will walk through thick shady woodland and may be mistaken for thinking you have wondered into the Middle East. The walk starts by the beautiful blue Fiastra Lake where you can bathe in the designated swimming areas. Dammed in the 1950’s the lake provides hydro-electric power.
From the Lama Rosse, you can also continue to the Grotta dei Frati, a small cave hidden away in the rocks.
Our favourite publication is Italy’s Sibillini National Park by Gillian Price, a very well written book which is clear and easy to follow and in English!
Walks can also be completed on showshoes, on mountain bikes or horseback.