Le Marche offers holidaymakers a wonderful variety of walks and hikes, set in beautiful countryside.
One of the most beautiful parts of the region is the Monti Sibillini. It’s snow capped peaks offer superb walking and hiking territory. The Sibillini National Park plus many other tourist offices organise tours and treks throughout the Spring, Summer and Autumn months and have numerous pre-defined itineries available. There are also 10 marked circular routes from Sarnano for walkers of all abilities and the local tourist board organises guided hikes throughout the summer.
Another area worth exploring on foot is the Furlo Gorge, now a wildlife reserve. This is a spectacular ravine cutting through the Apennine Mountain range. Visitors will be immersed in nature with the chance to spot some amazing wildlife including golden eagles, peregrine falcons and sparrow hawks to name but a few. The gorge was actually a favourite place of the dictator, Mussolini. He had an enormous profile of his face built on the towering clifftop of the gorge’s Northern side. Partisans have since tried to destroy it but visitors can still make it out. Hikers can explore the wooded slopes above the gorge and can even stop for a picnic en route on top of Mussolini’s broken nose!
On the Eastern coastline of Le Marche hikers will find the Conero Peninsula. The Parco del Conero is a stunning section of semi-wild coastline, coves, beaches and small resorts. There are plenty of easy strolls along unmarked paths to the small beaches and coves on the waters edge. Or for those looking for a more strenuous walk, there are more serious hikes across the hills to be enjoyed. At the Northern end of the park is Portonovo, where walkers will find plenty of walking routes on information boards in the village. There is a very pleasant 90 minute walk to be enjoyed from the village around the natural saltwater lake, Lago Grande.
Another perfect destination in Le Marche for hikers is the Natural Park Gola della Rossa and Frasassi! Known as ‘the green heart of Le Marche’, this Natural Park is the biggest protected natural area in the region and is a true paradise for those who love wildlife, trekking and breathtaking views. The park expands over 10 thousands hectares and offers a great variety of paths such as the ones in Valle Scappuccia both for trekking and for other activities like birdwatching: this natural area is famous for being rich in flora and fauna and it is the home of 105 different bird species!
If you are interested not just in wildlife but also in physical activity, then the Frasassi Avventura park will not disappoint. It is a wide area along the river Sentino where both adults and children can climb and have some real fun on five different trails. Don’t miss the chance to try the slackline during the Fasassi Climbing Festival which takes place every September! Will you be brave enough to face the height and try to walk on a rope from one side of the mountain to the other?
The real gem of the National Park though is the Frasassi Caves, a complex cave system where visitors can discover a fascinating underground world made of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as caves so big that the Milan Cathedral could easily fit in! Do not miss the chance to see them and make a trip to Genga, famous for its castle and the Roman abbey San Vittore delle Chiuse, as well as to Tempio del Valadier, a small church built inside a cave on one side of the mountains.