Abruzzo - The Gran Sasso National Park

Walking among the High Appenine Peaks

The Abruzzo is an unspoilt rural region, dotted with medieval villages, only just a couple of hours from Rome and 50 km from the Adriatic coast. 

The tour starts from a village not far from L'Aquila and takes you through unique scenery known as “Little Tibet” and ancient villages to the highest plateau in all of Italy, at between 1500 and 2100 metres altitude. The tour ends with the chance to walk to the highest peak of all, the Corno Grande at 2912 m.

At just a couple of hours fromthe noise and traffic of Rome, you couldn't find a better contrast anywhere.

We can also arrange guided walks in this unique area - guided by an experienced local guide who speaks fluent English. The guided walks are based at a comfortable Hotel in one of the local villages, with full board included. You will be led on a different walk each day, with additional visits to local producers of wine and cheese, with the chance to gain some expert local knowledge from your guide. Please enquire for further details.


What's Included

  • 6 nights Hotel and B&B accommodation with breakfast
  • Luggage transferred each day
  • Route notes and maps
  • Local representative
  • Tours start every Saturday from June 9 to July 21, and from Sept 1 to Oct 13 inclusive. Other dates on request. Avoid Sunday departures because of infrequent bus services.

Not Included

  • Evening meals and packed lunches (readily available locally)
  • Transport to and from Santo Stefano (see "Getting There")

Price - from £675.00 per person

For 2 people sharing a room in a group of 4 or more.

To Book - Click Here

Getting There

The nearest airports are Rome and Pescara. From Rome there are direct buses to L'Aquila (90 minutes), then local bus to Santo Stefano (1 hour).

We can also arrange transfers on request.

Clifftop House
Local Wildlife   


Itinerary (6 nights)

Total Distance (Max) - 40 miles, 65k
Longest Day - 10 miles, 16k
Average Day - 7 miles, 11k
Available from April to end of September

Day 1 - Arrive Barisciano (L'Aquila)

Direct buses from Roma Stazione Tiburtina to L'Aquila (1h 30'). Then local bus to Barisciano (1 hour). Overnight in Hotel Monte Selva

Day 2 - Barisciano – Calascio (11 k, 7 miles - ascend 600m, descend 350m - approx 5 hours)

Cross the village and walk up towards Santo Stefano di Sessanio across open meadows.  Just outside Barisciano you can see the hills that climb up towards the Campo Imperatore.  Great open spaces give you a taste of the area.  Walk through the medieval village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio and walk to Calascio, another medieval hill village.

Dinner and overnight in Calascio

Day 3 - Calascio - Rocca Calascio - Santo Stefano - Castelvecchio - Calascio (7k k, 5 miles - ascend 400m, descend 400m. - approx 5 hours)

A day through medieval villages, castle and lentil fields.  From Calascio climb to the little village and castle of Rocca Calascio (1460m). A stunning view from the top to all the mountains of Abruzzo. Continue down and up through unique scenery between hills and high pastures. This is the land of sheperds and sheep where animals graze all summer long in the vast open spaces.

Dinner and overnight in Calascio

Day 4 - Calascio to Castel del Monte (10k k, 6.5 miles - ascend 400m, descend 200m. - approx 4 hours)

From Calascio you walk through the unique scenery of the Abruzzo, to Castle del Monte.

Dinner and overnight Castel del Monte

Day 4 - Castel del Monte to Rifugio Lago Racollo (8k, 5 miles - Ascend 260m, Descend 40 m - approx 4 hours)

From Castel del Monte, the mountain part of the tour begins. Climb to Campo Imperatore, a 20 km long treeless plateau, very reminiscent of Tibet, with views of all the highest mountains of the Gran Sasso chain. Continue to the little Racollo lake and the Rifugio hut in the middle of nowhere. At the end of the walk, a car will take you back to Calascio to overnight accommodation and the day after back to Lago Racollo (included in price)

Overnight Calascio

Day 5 - Rifugio Lago Racollo to Campo Imperatore (13k, 8 miles - Ascen 720 m, Descend 210m - approx 6 hours)

Across Campo Imperatore to Monte Scindarella and to the Ostello Campo Imperatore at 2100m. This is the land of sheep, where the great spaces are occupied by grazing animals all summer long. 

Overnight Calascio

Day 6 - Corno Grande(8k, 5 miles - Ascend 810 m, Descend 810m - approx 6 hours)

A day dedicated to climbing the tallest mountain of Appennines: Corno Grande 2912m. The hiking path “via normale” is the easy way to reach the top without any technical support. One might think that only mountaineers can reach the top, but there is a route up from Campo Imperatore that is possible for moderately fit walkers thanks to a high altitude start point. The view is unforgettable. At the end of the walk you will be collected and returned to the hotel in Santo Stefano.

Overnight Santo Stefano

Day 7 Depart Santo Stefano

Depart after breakfast