The southernmost region of the Italian peninsula is not only a great destination for beach holidaymakers, but also offers fascinating mountains and paradisiacal nature parks. More than a third of Calabria's total area is mountainous and hilly. And it can be reached from the coast of Calabria in just one hour's drive!

The Pollino Massif and the Monti Orsomarso

The mighty Pollino massif dominates northern Calabria with the region’s highest mountain, Serra Dolcedorme, 2,267 metres above sea level. Together with the Dorsale del Pellgrino – also called Monti Orsomaro – it forms the southernmost part of the Apennine Mountains, which crosses almost the entire Italian peninsula. As a result of erosion, in the Pollino mountain range, which consists mainly of limestone, one encounters rugged karst landscapes with many caves and gorges.

The symbol of Monte Pollino are the pion loricato, the armoured pines, named after their thick, scaly bark. They grow even in the highest areas despite ice and snow and offer a home for the Apennine wolf, roe deer, badgers, stone martens, wild cats, snakes and many wild birds, such as buzzards, wood owls and jays.

To the east, the Pollino massif extends to the coast of the Ionian Sea and to the west to Campotenese, where the Dorsale del Pellegrino rises. Here the wild river valleys of Argentino, Corvino and Lao dominate the mountain landscape. In the Grotta del Romito in the Lao Valley you will find carvings of stones and human skeletons from 15,000 years ago! The valley can be explored wonderfully with the rubber dinghy on a rafting tour.

In the east, on the other hand, the Raganello river valley is characterised by rising rock faces and karst caves. A hike or canyoning tour is a wonderful way to explore this area. At Cerchiara di Calabria in the Grotta del Ninfe sulphur springs bubble up.

The high plains of Sila and the Serre Mountains

The Sila massif, divided into the Sila Greca, Sila Grande and Sila Piccola, rises from crystalline granite in the middle of Calabria. The lovely plateau with its forests, reservoirs and extensive meadows was already called “Hyle” by the Greeks, which means wilderness. Despite thousands of years of agricultural use of the area, the Sila still offers many nature experiences! Foxes, wolves, wild boars, hares, black squirrels and owls live here and trout and eels swim in the waters. The characteristic tree of Sila is the black pine, the pino laricio, which grows up to 50 m high. The area invites to beautiful hikes and mountain bike tours and can also be explored wonderfully during a leisurely walk. In winter the slopes are open for tobogganists and skiers.

The Serre mountain range forms the transition from north to south. The two main mountain ranges are the western Colla del Monaco with up to 1,047 m height, the Colle d’Arena and the Monte Crocco with 1,276 m height. To the east these are Monte Terratrema (1,228 m), Pietra del Caricatore (1,414 m) and Monte Precoraro (1,423 m). In between, the mountain valleys of Serra San Brunno and Mongiana characterize the landscape.

The mountains are crossed by numerous canyons and waterfalls, including one of the highest in Calabria, Cascate Marmarico at 90 metres. In addition to dense beech, fir and holm oak forests, holly and fern, the beautiful cyclamen are particularly striking.

The Aspromonte in southern Calabria

The wild, partly almost untouched nature of the “rough mountain” is only rarely to be found in Europe! The highest mountain of the massif, which consists mainly of granite, is the Montalto with 1,955 m height. The Pietra Cappa, Pietra Lunga and Pietra di Febo with their rocks formed by wind and water between San Luca and Plati give the landscape a curious and interesting picture.

The eastern side of Aspromonte is characterised by long river beds that open out to the sea. Inland, the gorges become narrower and one comes across numerous waterfalls. On the course of the Amendola river lie the 90 m high Maesano waterfalls, which are probably best known in Aspromonte. Nearby are also the picturesque Grecan villages, which are also worth a visit!

Booking and further information

Would you like to discover the variety of the mountain world of Calabria? We will be pleased to provide further detailed information regarding our group tour in Calabria upon your inquiry. We are looking forward to your no-obligation request via our contact form, e-mail or by telephone at +49 611 945879 42.

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