Regarding tourism, Calabria is always underestimated. Nevertheless, it preserves wonderful treasures, often not well known from “foreigners”. Although facilities are always lacking, and sometimes decacy is worrying, it is really worth to visit the “tip of the boot”, both in summer and winter.
A magnificent scenery, dominated by the contours of the Bosnian pine, a tree of stunning beauty, a sort of “plant monument”. The Pollino National Park, halfway between Calabria and Basilicata, is one of the biggest park of all Europe, and maybe, one of the last wilderness area of the continent.
Let’s try to walk across some parts of the National Park, such as some of Calabria, like the valley of the Lao river, the gorges of Raganello, the valley of the Argentino river and that of the Rubbio. It is also worth visiting, for example” Serra di Crispo”, “Serra delle Ciavole” and “Serra Dolcedorme”;then, the Raganello canyon is spectacular: in other countries it would be as famous as some American canyons.
The conformation of the Pollino has led to the development of numerous water-related sports: for example in the gorges of the Lao river is practised rafting, in those of the Raganello river, bank and canyoning. In summer (but also in mid-seasons) it is an exciting experience.
The Pollino park can be reached from many parts of Italy. Coming from the regions overlooking the Adriatic, the best route, after the A14, is the highway 106 Jonica which crosses the entire Ionian coast. Instead, for those coming from the Tyrrhenian ridge, the best way is the A2 Salerno - Reggio Calabria motorway.
Thanks to “Avventurieri del Sud” and “Rafting Lao” we launch ourselves in rafting along a stretch of the Lao River. The descent with suitable rubber dinghies begins in Papasidero, a typical village in Calabria, within the Pollino National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site too.
Here you can find an exotic, mysterious and fascinating landscape, where time seems to have stopped. To better enjoy the adventure, our friends propose us different routes: the Classic Rafting, for a fun day with friends, or family rafting, to share the experience with the whole family.
In addition to the Rafting River Lao, for those who do not want to jump into the rapids, it is possible to do other fun activities such as river trekking, canyoning, paragliding and hilarious Quad rides.
And once back in town, go for the binge-based mushroom, cheese, ricotta and meat, all from local farms.
The following day, Luca takes us to an absolutely magical place: the Raganello gorges. The “Tratto Ato” is the most beautiful place and the wildest too, in the heart of the Park. This area starts from “San Lorenzo Bellizzi”, near the “Scala di Barile”, where the “Timpa di Cassano” and the “Timpa di San Lorenzo” meet, giving rise to a deep rift: the Raganello canyon.
Then we’ll climb up again the stream along small waterfalls, rock tunnels, natural slides and toboggans. Along the way, near a natural spring, the fossils of the rudists are clearly visible, bivalve molluscs extinct millions of years ago.
However, the lower stretch (downstream) of the Raganello starts from the Devil's Bridge in Civita, the shortest but also the most aquatic part. Here the rock walls show off their grandeur, reaching, in some points, a little more than two meters between them, developing vertically for over 400 meters of height.
At the entrance of the canyon we will get through, under the water spray of the "Doccia del Diavolo" and, continuing the ascent, we will go over two crystal clear water pools. Karst and travertine formations will evoke hypogean scenarios.
Calabria never ceases to surprise us, every corner hides treasures and wonders and in this case the wonder has been really irrepressible.
Tour nel Sud Advisor does not collect travel fees, as it does not take care of the entire organization. All the trips we offer are organized by our partners, on-site and reliable, with whom it is possible to interact. For more information on the itinerary, please fill out the "Request Info" format at the top right
It is recommended to bring:
- comfortable mid-season clothing
- trekking shoes
- backpack with water bottles
- clothing replacement