Pollino National Park: wildlife tour in Southern Italy

  • Upcoming dates On request
  • Duration5 days (5 nights)
  • Sites of interestPollino National Park, Sibari plain, Historical villages
  • Pricefrom

The north-western area of ​​Calabria, where our trip will take place, has in its strengths an extremely interesting naturalness, a millenary history and a food and wine culture with deep roots. Our explorations in search of wildlife will take place between the coastal area of ​​Sibaritide and the mountainous reliefs of the Calabrian side of the Pollino National Park.

We will explore mountain areas, rural areas, river gorges, wetlands, and many other environments with the aim of maximizing the chances of observe and photograph the highest number of species. Among these (see the “Target Species” for a more complete overview): the Italian Wolf (Canis lupus italicus), the Calabrian Black Squirrel (Sciurus meridionalis) the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), the Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus), the Eurasian Roller (Coracia garrulus), the Common Rock Trush (Monticola saxatilis), the Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) the Apennine Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina variegata pachypus), the Southern Spectacled Salamander (Salamandrina terdigitata), the Southern Italian Asp (Vipera aspis hugyi), the European Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis).

The trip is mainly designed for wildlife watching enthusiasts but also to meet the needs of all nature lovers. The activities that we will carry out will very varied: birdwatching sessions, trekking, e-bike walks and visits to the historical villages will make this adventure complete from every point of view.

Particular attention will be paid to the typical products of the place and to the authenticity of the local cuisine which can boast elements of absolute pride such as, for example, the famous “Cerchiara bread”.

  • Pollino National Park:
    The Pollino National Park, which lies between Basilicata and Calabria, represents the largest protected area in Italy and is considered, for good reason, one of the wildest areas of western Europe. Thanks to its geological history, the diversity of habitats and the very limited anthropic impact, it represents one of the most interesting naturalistic areas of our country (known, for example, for having covered the role of “stronghold” for the recovery of the populations of Italian Roe Deer, Italian Wolf and Eurasian Otter). The Calabrian side of the Park, which extends for more than half of the park itself, includes an extremely sparsely populated area, mainly characterized by mountains, with the highest peak exceeding 2200 meters in height. Specifically, during our tour, we will explore the area of ​​the park between Cerchiara di Calabria, Frascineto, Civita and San Lorenzo Bellizzi.
  • Sibari plain:
    The Sibari plain – formerly known by the name of Sibaritide – is an area of ​​great naturalistic and, at the same time, historical and landscape value. Precisely for what concerns the landscape, peculiar to this area is the river system that characterizes it. We will explore these particular large river beds, mainly dry in the summer season, of the Raganello torrent and the Ferro torrent, very particular ecosystems that host species of conservation interest. We will dedicate to birdwatching, also and particularly, at the mouth of the Crati river and in the surrounding wetlands. These areas, particularly rich in birdlife during each period of the year, are mainly interesting during the migration phase.
  • Historical villages:
    Calabria has been a crossroads of cultures since ancient times and a meeting point for the different peoples of the Mediterranean. The area we will visit is dotted with small historical centers harmoniously inserted into the landscape. Specifically, we will visit the villages of Civita, known for its arbëreshë culture (Albanian ethno-linguistic minority that settled in Italy in the 16th century), Cerchiara di Calabria, where we will base, San Lorenzo Bellizzi and Oriolo.
  • Mammals:
    Italian Wolf (Canis lupus italicus), Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra), Calabrian Black Squirrel (Sciurus meridionalis), European Badger (Meles meles), Italian Hare (Lepus corsicanus), Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata).
  • Birds:
    Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leuorodia), Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) , Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni), Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), Audouiin’s Gull (Ichthyaetus audouinii), Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia), European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster), Eurasian Roller (Coracia garrulus) Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocoptes medius), Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica), Common Rock Trush (Monticola saxatilis), Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla), Calandra Lark (Melanocoryphala calandra), Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix), Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca), Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio), Red-billed Chough (Phyrrocorax phyrrocorax), Eurasian Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus), Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala), Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia).
  • Reptiles:
    Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo hermanni), European Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis), Four-lined Snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata), Italian Aesculapian Snake (Zamenis lineatus), Southern Italian Viper (Vipera aspis hugyi).
  • Amphibians:
    Southern Spectacled Salamander (Salamandrina terdigitata), Italian Crested Newt (Triturus carnifex), Italian Newt (Lissotriton italicus), Apennine Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina variegata pachypus).
  • Day 1: Appointment in Cerchiara di Calabria in the early afternoon. Visit of the historical city centre and its surroundings. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
  • Day 2: Birdwatching at dawn at the mouth of the Crati river and surrounding wetlands. Transfer to the Roseto area for a refreshing swim. Packed lunch. Visit of the Oriolo village and exploration of the Ferro torrent. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
  • Day 3: Trekking in one of the most suggestive areas of the Park, close to Basilicata and Calabria border. Lunch and visit of the village of San Lorenzo Bellizzi. E-bike walk in the hills with departure from Cerchiara di Calabria. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
  • Day 4: Exploration of the Raganello river (no gorges) and visit to the village of Civita. Exploration of the beech forest of the Fagosa. Lark observation in the steppe areas of the park. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
  • Day 5: Trekking in the early morning to reach the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Armi and visit of the Sanctuary. Return to the hotel, greetings and departure.

Total fee depends on the total number of participants.

For more information contact the organizers.

What is included:

  • Overnight stays.
  • Meals (4 breakfasts, 4 packed lunch, 4 dinners) drinks not included.
  • From/to Naples and internal transfers, including fuel, tolls and parking (depending on the rate).
  • Scientific accompaniment by zoologist for the duration of the trip, with support material for wildlife observations (binoculars, spotting scope, field guides, etc.).
  • Local guides.
  • E-bike walk.
  • Travel insurance.

What’s not included:

  • Tips for local guides.
  • Everything not mentioned in the previous item.

Possibility to request a quote, with any additional nights, depending on personal needs.

The rate includes basic travel insurance.
For further information regarding the possibility of taking out additional insurance policies, contact the organizers.

Penalties in the event of cancellation: In the event of unmotivated withdrawal of the contract by the consumer, the penalties are equal to 100% of the entire participation fee, in addition to non-refundable insurance premiums.

Information regarding rates and payment methods will be communicated by email after completing the request form.

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