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Three wolves walking up snow covered, rocky mountainside.

Winter Wolf Tracking – The Apennines

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

7 Days

Prices Start from

$2,584pp (ex. flights)

Suitable for

Couples Adventure Traveller Photographers

This seven-day winter itinerary to Italy explores the extraordinary social life of wolves, along the paths and valleys of national parks. Against a backdrop of remarkable mountain scenery, gain an understanding of the complex coexistence of these carnivores with experts in the field. Spend time in charming villages and feast on sublime local food before finishing with a day’s skiing through the forests of St Antonio or snow-covered slopes of Roccaraso.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Lone wolf curled up in snow. 1

Wolf Howling

Spend time in secret hides listening for the eerily melodic howls of these elusive animals.

Snowy Mountains, Italy, © Umberto Esposito - Wildlife Adventures 2

Apennine Villages

Explore traditional Opi and Pescocostanzo with their leafy squares and arty atmosphere.

Side view of cross country skier in yellow coat, skiing up snow covered slope. 3

Mountain Skiing

Ski amongst the magical valleys of St Antonio Forest or at Roccaraso, with over 100 miles of slopes.

A collage with different stuffed pasta, Italy 4

Local Food

Feast along the way at local agritourismos, charming osterias and on countryside picnics

Why we like it

With snow-covered landscapes, the howling of wolves, warm fires and delicious food, this winter trip to Italy’s Abruzzo region brings alive a fairy tale landscape. And don’t forget your holiday will support the conservation of wolves via a donation given to Lo Non Ho Paura del Lupo (I’m Not Afraid of the Wolf), a local NGO working to protect this keystone species.

This is not an off-the-shelf itinerary. It has been careful curated by the wildlife travel team at Steppes, in conjunction with wildlife and conservation experts at The European Nature Trust. The itinerary can easily be changed to meet with your individual needs while still keeping the essential ingredients of privileged access and insight into the work of The European Nature Trust.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Pescasseroli

  • Day 2

    Pescasseroli

  • Day 3

    Pescasseroli

  • Day 4

    Pescasseroli - Pescocostanzo

  • Day 5

    Pescocostanzo

  • Day 6

    Pescocosanzo

  • Day 7

    Pescocosanzo

Day 1

Pescasseroli

Snow and Sun, Italy, © Umberto Esposito - Wildlife Adventures

Check into your charming family run Albergo Villino Quintiliani and meet with Umberto and Valeria, your expert guides for the week. Before enjoying a wonderful home cooked dinner, head out for a walk around Pesasseroli to get your bearings.

Day 2

Pescasseroli

Mountain Goat, Italy, © Umberto Esposito - Wildlife Adventures

Wake at dawn for some early wildlife spotting. After breakfast walk to a beautiful plateau to learn more about the forest inhabitants and wolves who make this landscape their home. Spot for deer and boar and set up essential camera traps, which help to monitor wolf numbers.

Day 3

Pescasseroli

Four wolves on snow covered hillside.

After a leisurely breakfast take to your skis under the snow filled skies. A gentle journey through this rugged landscape passes local shepherds who live within this alpine terrain. Travel to Scanno for a lunch at the charming Agriturismo Valle Scannese and meet with local experts from the COEX Project. Later this evening join your guides to understand wolf howling before dinner bursting with local products.

 

Day 4

Pescasseroli - Pescocostanzo

Lone wolf curled up in snow.

At dawn visit the Mainarde mountain range, characterised by rugged and wild peaks. Hike to Passo dei Monaci in search of wolves and chamois – the local goat-antelope. Later this afternoon return to the valley and drive onto Pescocostanzo for dinner and the night.

 

Day 5

Pescocostanzo

View of snowy mountains against picky, orange sky.

After breakfast explore the charming village of Pescocostanzo, a pleasant walking town with a lovely central square. In the Middle Ages Pescocostanzo was as a wealthy wool town and a rich centre for arts, evidence of which can be seen in the facades of the towns Renaissance homes and church interiors. Following a local lunch, time will be spent in a comfortable, warm hide, the best place for spotting the elusive wolves. Picnic dinner in the wild before returning to the hotel.

Day 6

Pescocosanzo

Side view of cross country skier in yellow coat, skiing up snow covered slope.

Today a choice of activities – embark on some cross country skiing through the magical St Antonio Forest, an area known for its candelabra shaped trees stretching over 1000 acres. Alternatively head to the ski resort of Roccaraso for some winter sports.

Day 7

Pescocosanzo

After breakfast depart for your onward journey.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Four wolves on snow covered hillside.
Wolves by Umberto Esposito

Wolf Conservation

Spend time with local conservationists from the NGO literally known as ‘I’m not afraid of the wolf’, monitoring numbers and helping to mitigate the conflict that exists between wolves and local farmers. Set up camera traps and discover mountainous wildlife at sunrise and dusk. The wolves are an integral part of rural life in the Apennine region, living side-by-side with the shepherds who guard their flocks. This wolf is an adaptable predator, which survives in hostile environs but they will not survive without greater tolerance and conservation initiatives.

Horned black and cream chamois (goat) stood on rocky, snowy mountainside .
Apennine chamois by Umberto Esposito

Abruzzo National Park

Two hours east of Rome lie the National Parks of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, the jewel in the crown of Italy’s park system. These parks are key rewilding regions and biodiversity hotspots, comprising of ancient beech forest, high altitude prairies and soaring mountains. This spectacular landscape provides a home to species including the grey wolf, Marsican brown bears, red and roe deer, golden eagle, wild boars and the endemic Apennine chamois.

Deer, Italy, © Umberto Esposito - Wildlife Adventures
Red deer by Umberto Esposito

Wildlife Experts

Expert nature guides will be on hand to ensure the best possible wildlife sightings. Our partners have an intimate knowledge of this region and an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time. Umberto Esposito – a mountain guide and passionate wilderness campaigner was inspired following his first encounter with the wolves and bears of Abruzzo during the nineties. Pending availability, meet with professional photographer and local wildlife expert Bruno D’Amicis for a slide show of his work documenting the wildlife of the area.

View of snowy mountains against picky, orange sky.
Apennine Mountains by Umberto Esposito

Accommodation

Traditional style accommodation where the home-made meals are a highlight of this itinerary. Well located, charming and intimate, these properties are chosen to showcase local hospitality at its Italian best.

We're waiting to help you

It all starts here

Let’s put that once-in-a-lifetime trip in your hands. Get in touch with the team and we will work with you at every step to make sure that it’s extraordinary.

01285 601 784

Get in touch with our travel experts to start<br> creating your tailor-made holiday.

Start planning your trip

A note on price

The below price range is dependent on the number of people travelling (2-6)
Low Season
From $2,584 Per person
High Season
From $3,879 Per person
This Itinerary
Price
From $2,584 Per person

When to travel

February – March is the best time to take advantage of the snow in the Italian Apennines. Wolves are at their most active during the winter months and their tracks more visible in the snow.

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?


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