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Brown bear, Abruzzo, Italy

Wildlife Conservation – The Apennines

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

5 Days

Prices Start from

£1,695pp (ex. flights)

Two hours east of Rome lies the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, the jewel in the crown of Italy’s park system, where around 60 Marsican brown bears (lightweight cousins of the Kodiak bear) still exist. Upon arrival to the picturesque town of Pescasseroli, check into the family-run Albergo Villino Quintiliani, your fully inclusive base for three nights; here you will meet your guides and the bear foundation, Salviamo l’Orso.

Together you will have the opportunity to explore the park’s 500 sq kilometres by vehicle, on foot and even electric mountain bike. Whilst traversing some of Europe’s oldest remaining beech forest, be on the lookout for the Marsican bear and the largest red deer and wild boar in Europe. There is also the opportunity to spend a night in a comfortable mountain cabin and try your luck howling to the local wolf pack. The trip price includes a £500 donation to Salviamo L’orso to support their work.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Brown bear 1

Track Marsican brown bears

Walk through forests full of beautiful beech trees, with mosses and lichens, and explore the wild valley where you may observe bears passing along the plateau on which they live.

Roe deer 2

Support Local Conservation

Guided by passionate and enthusiastic conservation experts from Salviamo L’Orso. The trip price includes a £500 donation to Salviamo L’orso to support their work.

Mountain view Abruzzo, Italy 3

Spend the Night in the Wilderness

Spend the night in a spectacular wildlife refuge, tucked away high in the mountains. Relax in peace and quiet and look out for bears, wolves, boar, cattle and deer.

Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican, Rome, Italy 4

Wine Tasting and Culture

Enjoy the delights of this historic wine region famous for the world-renowned Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Extend the trip for a day or two and explore Rome, just two hour’s drive away.

Why we like it

Spring is the best season for travelling to Abruzzo and for observing the Marsican brown bear. Roe deer, woodpeckers and owls peek out from the margins of the beech forest. The most colourful and rare orchids are at their best. Also in the villages, you can sense the feeling of reawakening after a long and cold winter sleep. It’s an enchanting time.

Encounters with Italy’s endangered carnivores are by no means guaranteed but by trekking in the mountains with researchers from Salviamo L’orso, you’ll be sure to have the best chances of seeing this regions megafauna. This trip is not for those who want wildlife experiences delivered on a plate but is for anybody with a love of wild, remote places and the wildlife that lives there.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1
    Arrive Rome - Pescasseroli
  • Day 2
    Bear Watching
  • Day 3
    To the Mountain Cabin
  • Day 4
    Hiking in the Apennines
  • Day 5
    Pescasseroli - Rome

Now for the details

Abruzzo National Park, Italy
Abruzzo National Park, Italy
Brown bear, Abruzzo, Italy
Brown bear, Italy, Umberto Esposito
Brown bear
Italy

Saving the Marsican Brown Bear

Italy’s Abruzzo National Park sits at the heart of the stunning Apennine mountain range and has been labelled as an area of exceptional biodiversity with around one hundred indigenous species. Amongst these are the Italian wolf, golden eagle and the Marsican brown bear.

As a result of poaching, poisoning and land fragmentation, the bear numbers have dwindled from their hundreds to around 50 remaining today. It is down to the projects being carried out by Salviamo l’Orso that awareness around this issue is growing, and large efforts are being taken to protect the subspecies.

Created in 2012, Salviamo l’Orso is striving to grow Marsican brown bear numbers within the Abruzzo National Park. Their projects involve raising awareness of the presence of the bears and educating local communities with the hopes of improving human-wildlife relationships. The ultimate goal of Salviamo l’Orso is to expand the area in which the bears can roam securely and without threat, ensuring peaceful coexistence with members of the surrounding villages and towns.

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A note on price

This Itinerary
Price
From £1,695 Per person

When to travel

Italy in January

The promise of winter sunshine and milder temperatures make Italy an enticing destination in January. Some attractions will be closed as it is the offseason, but the south of Italy and Sicily will be quiet and very pleasant. The wintertime generally brings the lowest rates and fewest visitors along with chilly temperatures, rain, and often snow in the north. In the south, winter temperatures average around 10°C. There is an exception to winter being low season- in and around any of the mountain ski resorts it is the high season as these areas draw many skiers, snowboarders and other snow sports enthusiasts.

Italy in February

February is generally low season, other than Carnival which falls in the period before Lent, generally during the month of February. Except in beach and island locations, many restaurants, shops and family-run hotels shut down. You can enjoy the major cities without the crowds, and hotels often offer significant discounts. The wintertime generally brings the lowest rates and fewest visitors along with chilly temperatures, rain, and often snow in the north. In the south, winter temperatures average around 10°C. There is an exception to winter being low season- in and around any of the mountain ski resorts it is the high season as these areas draw many skiers, snowboarders and other snow sports enthusiasts.

Italy in March

March is considered shoulder season in Italy and is arguably the best time to visit. Temperatures are typically very comfortable. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in April

April is considered shoulder season in Italy and is arguably the best time to visit. Temperatures are typically very comfortable, and in the spring you can hike through the lush, green meadows of the Italian Alps. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in May

Early May is considered shoulder season in Italy and is arguably the best time to visit. Temperatures are typically very comfortable, and in the spring you can hike through the lush, green meadows of the Italian Alps. From mid-May through July and again in September, the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect very warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in June

In June the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in July

In July the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in August

August is generally very hot in Italy and considered low season, with practically the entire country going on holiday, especially during the second half. Head for the mountains for cooler climes for exceptional walking and hiking opportunities.

Italy in September

In September the country will be teeming with visitors, and rates will be at their highest. Expect warm temperatures throughout the country, with the most extreme heat in the south and just about anywhere inland. If you visit during this season, you can beat the biggest crowds by venturing to smaller villages and lesser-known places, avoiding the big cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Italy in October

Shoulder season is arguably the best time to visit Italy. Temperatures are typically very comfortable. In the autumn, you’ll have food festivals galore to choose from, as well as the grape harvest in October and the olive harvest in November. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in November

Shoulder season is arguably the best time to visit Italy. Temperatures are typically very comfortable. In the autumn, you’ll have food festivals galore to choose from like the olive harvest. While you won’t enjoy the lowest rates or the fewest crowds of the year, the shoulder season is an ideal compromise between the low and high seasons.

Italy in December

The promise of winter sunshine and milder temperatures make Italy an enticing destination in December. Some attractions will be closed as it is the offseason, but the south of Italy and Sicily will be quiet and very pleasant. The wintertime generally brings the lowest rates and fewest visitors along with chilly temperatures, rain, and often snow in the north. In the south, winter temperatures average around 10°C. There is an exception to winter being low season- in and around any of the mountain ski resorts it is the high season as these areas draw many skiers, snowboarders and other snow sports enthusiasts.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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