Explore Abruzzo by mountain bike, see glimpses of uncontaminated nature between sea and mountains by riding a handful of kilometres through small villages, rich in history and culture. So here are 5 travelling routes along the Terre dei Trabocchi. For technical details and maps, please visit the site www.leterredeitrabocchi.it/outdoor.
1. A ride in the Frentano hills
The route (26 km) unfolds between the paths of the hills of Castel Frentano and Frisa, the background is that of the imposing and beautiful Majella, Abruzzo’s “Mother Mountain.” The itinerary, varied from a scenic as well as technical point of view, is distinguished from classic country dirt tracks, divided by various inclines and declines that constantly engage the biker. The path starts from the walls of the Montanare Towers in Lanciano, from here, by means of a dirty road, it goes into the territory of Castel Frentano, village of ancient origins, as confirmed by recent finds of the Neolithic era. The country, thanks to its particular altimetric position, offers a breathtaking view of most of the municipalities of Sangro, lying at the foot of Majella, including Frisa the “wine city,” through the neighboring rural sites. For info: Iron Bikers Association, tel. 338 1395212.
2. On the wings of Fratino: Discovering Punta Aderci
A 32 km-long ride from the city centre of Vasto leads straight in the green heart of the Punta Aderci Regional Nature Reserve, through pristine scenery of sinuous hills covered with olive groves and vineyards. From the historic centre of Vasto, continuing along the Lebba cycle track which runs alongside a stream, in a peaceful rural atmosphere animated by spontaneous vegetation, is the Punta Aderci Reserve, revealing to the eyes Mottagrossa Beach, with its long pebble beach; Punta Aderci, a small bay next to the homonymous promontory, and Punta Penna, a stretch of sand characterized by an important dune system, where the symbol of the reserve, the Snowy Plover (Fratino) nests, a small bird protected by the reserve. For info: “Amici Punta Aderci” Association, tel. 3389675721.
3. Among the expanses of the plateau “Quarto Santa Chiara”
A 13 km route which crosses the scenic fourth St. Clare plateau, of evident Karst origins and surrounded by mountains. The flat expanse extends about four kilometers from the southern part of the Pizzalto mountain chain and the western slope of the Pizi Mountains, within the Majella National Park. The plateau is the remains of an ancient lake basin shaped by a karst phenomenon; the La Vera creek runs through a series of characteristic meanderings and then ends up in the cavity of the sinkhole of La Vera to the north, where the plains end, close to the border crossing of Valico della Forchetta. Not far away stands the charming renaissance town of Pescocostanzo, centre of excellence of artistic craftsmanship of Abruzzo. For info: medium mountain guide – hiking master Raphael Madonna (College Guides Abruzzo), tel. 3391397870.
4. Discovering the agrarian landscape of Abruzzo
A 14 km route between the gentle slopes of the Vastese hills that slowly decline towards the sea. The departure is from Scerni, a small village nestled in a rural landscape marked by the presence of centuries-old olive groves and vineyards. The ancient tracks with green oak stains offer the rider the pleasure of a nice ride. Along the river Sinello it’s then possible to reach the Adriatic Sea and the beaches of Casalbordino, Mottagrossa and the “Punta Aderci” Regional Nature Reserve, coasting through boundless expanses of wheat and sunflowers. For info: Mountain biking Scerni, tel. 3086378-0873 914173 339.
5. “Monte Pallano” Path
Don’t be fooled by the low mileage; even though this route is only 10 miles long, is physically and technically challenging. The path, punctuated by several trails, passes through fascinating places rich in history. The Pallano Mountain is an important archaeological site of Italic-Sabellican era dating from the 4th-5th centuries b.C., consisting of a medium-sized settlement, perhaps the ancient city of Pallanum, and surrounded by an impressive defensive wall. The surrounding vegetation is varied with species typical of the hills, but also mountains, normally found in higher altitudes. For info: bike guides Eugenio Iachini, tel. 3383280814 – Raffaele Angelucci, tel. 393381301441.
Within our portal dedicated to active vacation www.leterredeitrabocchi.it/outdoor, you can find all the detailed descriptions, technical data, maps and gps locations for each path.
Translated by Alan Glenn Embree
[Credits: leterredeitrabocchi.it/outdoor | Photography Flickr: Cincinnato – copertina, Martin Moore – Castel Frentano, Nicola D’Annunzio – Punta Aderci, Pierpaolo Bi – Quarto Santa Chiara, Dominique Silvestri – Scerni, VinLuc83 – Monte Pallano]