The Aspromonte National Park, characterised by its impressive animal and plant biodiversity, offers tourists charming routes surrounded by unspoilt nature and picturesque historical-cultural routes.
The territory of the Park is located within the province of Reggio Calabria and takes its name from the Aspromonte Massif, which means “pure white” and dates back to when Greek populations, who admired the white mountains of the massif, inhabited the Ionian coast.
The Park is therefore located between the Ionian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea and is only a short distance from them both. From its peaks, Mount Etna and the Aeolian Islands are clearly visible. Steep rock faces enclose narrow, picturesque valleys animated by fast-moving streams that transform into captivating waterfalls during their journey.
The area between the sea and the massif is characterised by a narrow stretch of land which, at various points, is intersected by enchanting promontories overlooking the sea, the most spectacular of which has to be Monte Sant’Elia. Lake Rumia and Lake Costantino offer picture perfect views over the Gambarie and Bonamico valleys, respectively.
Nature is king in the Aspromonte National Park. You will be able to marvel at its tall peaks that reach almost 2000 metres and its huge variety of plant species that, combined with its favourable climatic conditions, have generated a rich biodiversity. You may also encounter oleanders and tamarisks as well as black poplar, willows and black alder thanks to the large numbers of waterways that meander through the park. The park's vast beech forests are wonderful, but its real treasures are the sublime forests of larch pine, which are also the emblem of Aspromonte.
In this area, bergamot is also cultivated. This particularly rare and fragrant citrus fruit is well-known for its essential oil but can only be grown in certain areas of Calabria.
The Park is also the ideal habitat for the many animal species that live there, such as the wolf, the wild cat, the dormouse, the wild boar and the black squirrel. You may also come across foxes, hares, badgers, hedgehogs, beech martens and pine martens.
The Aspromonte National Park benefits from magnificent, picture perfect landscapes equipped with paths that cross expansive yet varied panoramas. As you take in the stunning scenery, at some points the sea and the mountains may appear to be almost touching. Whether you are looking for a gentle stroll or a more challenging hike, there are a variety of different walking routes available to explore the heart of Aspromonte, all of which exist in harmony with nature and the extraordinary surrounding landscape.
You can actually cross the whole of Aspromonte along the paths whilst taking in the stunning views of the surroundings: from waterfalls to narrow valleys as well as historical monuments, small villages and numerous rocky outcrops. Nature-lovers will not be disappointed by the immense forests of centuries-old trees and the rare species of fauna such as the roe deer which, thanks to the Aspromonte Park Authority, has been reintroduced into the park's woods.
In addition to nature trails that are perfect for long relaxing walks, outdoor sports enthusiasts are equally well catered for. Breath-taking viewpoints can be accessed by mountain bike or horseback and there are also numerous pathways that lend themselves well to trekking, all whilst surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. The park is packed with wonderful nature trails, some of which are suitable for cycling, horse riding, skiing or canyoning.
The small villages in the Park Area are also home to many historical, artistic and archaeological treasures that are well worth a visit. The ancient villages preserve all the charm of the past, with the distinctive urban layout characterised by small terraced houses and narrow streets, small squares, ancient churches, stately buildings and stunning panoramic views.
Pentedattilo, a semi-abandoned village, is overlooked by five sandstone pinnacles that resemble five fingers.
The town of Bova offers stunning views and is overlooked by the remains of a castle. Its beautiful historic centre features a cathedral, the Byzantine Church of the Holy Spirit, Palazzo Mesiani and the Basilica of San Leo. Gallicianò is the village that best preserves the Greek language and traditions including its music and gastronomy.
The historic centre of Gerace, a charming town and precious cultural treasure chest, has remained unchanged over the years. It is home to a large number of churches, period buildings and structures that were once houses or shops carved directly into the rock.
The history of Stilo, the stronghold of Byzantine Calabria, began when the Greek colonies settled in southern Italy. Its history became even more fascinating when the “laure” of Eastern monasticism settled in the town, whose main testimony is the Cattolica church. This small square church with three apses is east-facing and has five domes. It was built by Basilian monks who found refuge from persecution in Calabria.
Monasterace, the ancient Greek city of Kaulon, has an immense archaeological park containing artefacts from the ancient city. The present day village was built on the ruins of a medieval castle.
The Grecanica Area still preserves strong characteristics of the Magna Graecian and Byzantine civilizations, particularly thanks to the conservation of the Greek language of Calabria which is classed as a dialect of ancient Greek.
Africo, Antonimina, Bagaladi, Bova, Bruzzano Zeffirio, Canolo, Cardeto, Careri, Ciminà, Cinquefrondi, Cittanova, Condofuri, Cosoleto, Delianuova, Gerace, Mammola, Molochio, Oppido Mamertina, Palizzi, Platì, Reggio Calabria, Roccaforte del Greco, Roghudi, Samo, San Giorgio Morgeto, San Lorenzo, San Luca, San Roberto, Sant'Agata del Bianco, Sant'Eufemia d'Aspromonte, Santa Cristina d'Aspromonte, Santo Stefano in Aspromonte, Scido, Scilla, Sinopoli, Staiti, Varapodio
Via Aurora, 1
89057 Gambarie di S.Stefano in Aspromonte (RC)
Phone number 0965 743 060
Fax 0965 743 026