Wolves in the Abruzzo Mountains. Photo: GettyImages-961885990
4.8
| 16 reviews

Winter Hiking and Wolf Tracking in Italy

3 nights
Moderate

A rewilding adventure through the Abruzzo Mountains, created in partnership with local wildlife trackers and conservation experts

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with English-speaking, expert wolf tracker and rewilding guide

Guesthouse

3 nights in a boutique, locally owned guesthouse

Meals

All breakfasts and dinners

Transfers

Transfers between Rome airport and the Abruzzo Mountains, and everything in between

Equipment

Snowshoes, poles, binoculars, spotting scopes and use of a thermal camera

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 8 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.8
| 16 reviews
5 stars - amazing trip in a wonderful landscape
April 2024
Louise B.
5 stars - amazing trip in a wonderful landscape
April 2024
Louise B.
5 stars - amazing trip in a wonderful landscape
April 2024
Louise B.
5 stars - amazing trip in a wonderful landscape
April 2024
Louise B.
Awesome trip in an incredible place
March 2024
Victoria P.
Awesome trip in an incredible place
March 2024
Victoria P.
Awesome trip in an incredible place
March 2024
Victoria P.
Awesome trip in an incredible place
March 2024
Victoria P.
Awesome trip in an incredible place
March 2024
Victoria P.
Awesome trip in an incredible place
March 2024
Victoria P.
Great few days hiking and
March 2024
Zoe K.
Beautiful Abruzzo
February 2024
Arthur R.
Beautiful Abruzzo
February 2024
Arthur R.
Beautiful Abruzzo
February 2024
Arthur R.
Beautiful Abruzzo
February 2024
Arthur R.
Amazing trip! Our guide, Valeria, was incre...
January 2023
Caitlin
Amazing trip! Our guide, Valeria, was incre...
January 2023
Caitlin
Amazing trip! Our guide, Valeria, was incre...
January 2023
Caitlin
Amazing trip! Our guide, Valeria, was incre...
January 2023
Caitlin
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip - the Abruzzo...
February 2022
Angela
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip - the Abruzzo...
February 2022
Angela
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip - the Abruzzo...
February 2022
Angela
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip - the Abruzzo...
February 2022
Angela
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip - the Abruzzo...
February 2022
Angela
I can not recommend this trip highly enough...
February 2022
Victoria
I can not recommend this trip highly enough...
February 2022
Victoria
I can not recommend this trip highly enough...
February 2022
Victoria
I can not recommend this trip highly enough...
February 2022
Victoria
I can not recommend this trip highly enough...
February 2022
Victoria
What a gem of an area at just 2.5 hours of...
January 2022
Vincent

Clip on snowshoes to search for the elusive creatures of Italy's Central Apennines Rewilding Area

Eyes peeled for the ultimate apex predator, the wolf: this keystone species is an iconic symbol of rewilding efforts in this part of Europe

Head out on twilight hikes to hear the wolves howl before tucking into classic Italian food in family-run guesthouses

Key Information

Day 1

To the Abruzzo Mountains

Hiking

1-2hrs · 2-3km · 150m up · 150m down

Meet your host at Rome Airport, hop in the van and drive through rural Italy to the town of Pescasseroli – your base for the weekend. Check into your guesthouse and meet up with your guide, who will give you the lowdown on the rewilding efforts in the area and brief you on the adventure to come. Head out for an easy afternoon hike to get your first taste of Abruzzo National Park and catch the sunset, before tucking into an Italian feast for dinner.

Day 2

Wolf tracking

Wildlife Tracking

5-6hrs · 8-10km · 400m up · 400m down

Wake for a sunrise hike along the southern slope of the mountain, through an area frequented by wolves. Whilst you cross your fingers for sightings, your guide will talk you through the history of the wolves in the area and the role they play within the rewilding of ecosystems as a keystone species. Wolves have been making a steady comeback in this part of Italy, thanks in part to the creation and ongoing management of the Central Apennines Rewilding Area. After lunch, you'll take a short drive to Civitella Alfedena to visit the Apennine Wolf Museum, before some afternoon downtime at the guesthouse. Later, you'll head out for a torchlight hike and listen for the unmistakable howling of wolves.

Day 3

Winter hiking in the Apennines

Abruzzo, Italy
Host image - Wildlife Adventures

After breakfast you'll head off to explore the magnificent mountain chain of Mainarde – one of the least frequented and wildest areas of the Abruzzo National Park. The landscape here is stunning, especially in winter, with woody slopes giving way to snow-covered rocky hills. Keep your eyes peeled for endemic Apennine chamois and golden eagles soaring overhead. Hike along ridges and valleys overlooking the main mountain ranges of the Apennines – on clear days you can see all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Head out for dinner this evening to a cosy, local pizzeria in the village.

Day 4

The wilderness of Pianoro Le Forme

Wildlife Tracking

4-5hrs · 6-8km · 350m up · 350m down

Begin the day at dawn again, as you set out into the beautiful scenery of Pianoro Le Forme at the foot of Mount Meta – eyes and ears open for deer, chamois, and hopefully wolves, if you're lucky. Hike on through beech forest and mountain pastures to Passo dei Monaci. Warm up with a cup of rich Italian hot chocolate (the best kind) and a final taste of local delicacies, before bidding farewell to the Abruzzos and heading back to Rome.

Day 1

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Breakfast at your accommodation is a classic international affair with cereals, bread, pastries and homemade cakes. Lunches are not included - you will buy packed lunches from the guesthouse or local shops and bakeries each morning to take with you on the wolf tracking excursions. Please budget €10-15 per day for your lunches. Each evening you'll be tucking into traditional Italian dishes including maccheroni alla chitarra (a special type of spaghetti), soup with orapi (wild spinach) and beans, gnocchetti and grilled meat. The wider region outside the rewilding area has a strong sheep-rearing culture, so plenty of local dairy products are available such as pecorino, ricotta, caciocavallo and a rare goat's cheese called Marzolina.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Pescasseroli

Your base for the adventure is in Pescasseroli, a beautiful and atmospheric rural Italian mountain village. You'll stay in one of the village's family-owned hotels and guesthouses, such as The Hotel Iris which offers traditional Italian hospitality surrounded by pine trees and mountain views. You'll stay in twin-share rooms. Depending on availability, you may stay at Hotel Valle dell'Oro, Della Piazza B&B, or the Albergo La Torre in neighbouring Civitella Alfedena.

This trip has been rated as Moderate

This is an easy adventure that can be managed and enjoyed by anyone with basic fitness levels. You'll be hiking and snowshoeing for a few hours each day with mild elevation gains of up to 400m, however, there are plenty of stops as you wait silently with binoculars to view the various wildlife, and hopefully a wolf pack or two. You don't need any snowshoeing experience.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, Rome

13:00

Ends

Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, Rome

17:00

Transfers

Your host will meet you at Rome Airport and transfer you over to Pescasseroli, your base for the adventure, approximately two and a half hours away from Rome. On Day 3, your host will drop you back at the airport in Rome. We suggest you book any onward flights to depart after 18:00.

Travel options

Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Rome is well connected via numerous flights across the UK and Europe. US travellers can fly direct to Rome from various major US airports including New York, Miami and LA.

Train travel to Rome is an easy and enjoyable alternative for those looking to avoid flying on this trip. Rome Termini Railway Station is well connected to various major hubs across Italy and in neighbouring France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. Travellers from the UK can take the Eurostar to Paris, followed by the TGV to Turin and then a Frecciarossa (Italian high-speed train) to Rome, all in a single day or with overnight stays in Turin or Milan.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Snowshoes
  • Poles
  • Binoculars
  • Spotting scopes
  • Thermal camera

What do I need to bring?

BAGS
Soft duffel bag or rucksack
Daypack (20+ litres)

CLOTHES
Waterproof and windproof jacket
Fleece jacket or similar
Down or synthetic jacket
Thick, warm and waterproof gloves
Base layers (merino best)
Buff or beck scarf
T-shirts
Thick hiking socks - multiple pairs
Sunglasses
Warm hat
Something to sleep in
Waterproof hiking boots (worn-in)
Lightweight shoes for evenings

OTHER
Universal travel plug adapter
Power bank or solar charger
Passports (and visas)
Travel Insurance documents
Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
Alcohol hand-gel
Face mask
Headlamp or torch
Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)

OPTIONAL
Earplugs
Energy bars and snacks
Camera
Thermos flask

*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Pre/post trip accommodation in Pescasseroli (single room)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation in Pescasseroli (single room)

Per Night

Pre/post trip accommodation in Pescasseroli (twin/double room)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation in Pescasseroli (twin/double room)

Per Night

Optional Private Room Upgrade (Dec 2023-March 2024)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (Dec 2023-March 2024)

Per Person

Optional Private Room Upgrade (Dec 2024-March 2025)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (Dec 2024-March 2025)

Per Person

Private airport transfer - each way (1-4 people)

Payable Before Departure

Private airport transfer - each way (1-4 people)

Louise B.(April 2024)
5 stars - amazing trip in a wonderful landscape
5 stars - amazing trip in a wonderful landscape
5 stars - amazing trip in a wonderful landscape
5 stars - amazing trip in a wonderful landscape
5 stars - amazing trip in a wonderful landscape

What an amazing adventure I had with Valeria! The trip was perfectly organised from airport pick up to drop off, the accommodation was well located and comfortable and Valeria's knowledge of the Abruzzo mountains and its special wildlife was exceptional. We were lucky enough to see an Apennine wolf, along with a lot of other wildlife. Tracking was fun and finding evidence of wolves and other wildlife all around made it wonderful to know they are about, even if we cant see them. The landscape and scenery is stunning and the daily hikes were at a great pace to allow for enjoyment and relaxation but also cover a lot of ground. Highly recommend this tour for anyone wanting something a little different and connection with nature.

Tori E.(March 2024)
Really fab trip to an undiscovered part of Italy

A great trip - wonderful to discover this part of Italy with such a great guide in Valeria. We were really lucky and saw the Apennine wolves, as well as Golden Eagles, Chamoix, Wild Boar, Vultures. The hikes were also great and really rewarding - stunning views! The pace was also well judged - a 'good tired' feeling afterwards. And the advantage of Italy - the food was delicious. :)

Victoria P.(March 2024)
Awesome trip in an incredible place
Awesome trip in an incredible place
Awesome trip in an incredible place
Awesome trip in an incredible place
Awesome trip in an incredible place
Awesome trip in an incredible place
Awesome trip in an incredible place

I had the best time on this trip! It was so well planned and thought out, and our guide, Valeria, was just amazing! She has so much knowledge of the local area and animals and was so passionate about sharing this with us. The hikes were so fun and through the most beautiful places with incredible views. We were very lucky to see wolves on two occasions, as well as their footprints and scat! We also got to see evidence of bears in the area, as well as saw wild boar, deer, and red foxes. The hotel and transport were great and we all enjoyed the yummy food! As my first solo adventure, I cannot wait to book another one, and would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to experience the amazing Italian mountains.

Zoe K.(March 2024)
Great few days hiking and
Great few days hiking and

Great few days hiking and wildlife spotting. Our guide Valeria was great and super knowledgeable (turns out you can get a lot of information from wolf poo!). Lovely bit of the world and all the food was great.

Anna L.(March 2024)
Excellent trip with amazing guide,

Excellent trip with amazing guide, Valeria, passionate, knowledgeable and kind- even made us cake to eat up the mountain. No snow shoe-ing as not enough snow but saw beautiful wolves, wild boar and chamois and stunning views from the various walks. Definitely need layers and good gloves and hat for wildlife watching and good boots for walking above the snow line. Hotel Iris was comfortable and clean, delicious food, huge breakfast, cosy fire and friendly staff.

Arthur R.(February 2024)
Beautiful Abruzzo
Beautiful Abruzzo
Beautiful Abruzzo
Beautiful Abruzzo
Beautiful Abruzzo

We had a wonderful experience. The weather was great, even though there was no snow, clear sunny skies made up for that. Sunrise high in the mountains, beautiful hikes through the woods to a wonderful valley where we saw Chamois and deer. What a wonderful area Abruzzo! Sadly we did not see any wolves but our wonderful guide Andrea tought us alot about them and the surroundings and the national park, and it was exciting to see the wolf-scats and traces to show that they are really there!

deryn v.(February 2024)
Great guide, some lovely animals,

Great guide, some lovely animals, great group, a pity about the lack of snow (and wolves). I was looking forward to snowshoeing, but the hiking through beautiful scenery was good.

christopher c.(January 2024)
Very luck to have two

Very luck to have two hours of ‘ wolf watching on first morning’. Also to see two golden eagles on day three. Valeria was an excellent guide.

Sophie(February 2023)

I had a great weekend looking for wolves, we were lucky enough to see a few, and hiking into the mountains using the snow shoes. Our guide, Andrea, was brilliant, so much knowledge and enthusiasm, I could easily have spent an extra week learning from him. Definitely take lots of layers, it gets cold sitting looking through binoculars early in the morning but we'd all stripped down to t-shirts when hiking the mountain! You do need to be quite fit and determined but if you're in two minds, I'd say go for it, you'll love it even if you don't manage to spot a wolf.

Caitlin(January 2023)
Amazing trip! Our guide, Valeria, was incre...
Amazing trip! Our guide, Valeria, was incre...
Amazing trip! Our guide, Valeria, was incre...
Amazing trip! Our guide, Valeria, was incre...

Amazing trip! Our guide, Valeria, was incredibly kind as well as being informative and passionate about the rewilding efforts in Abruzzo National Park. We didn't see wolves on our hikes, though we did see loads of tracks thanks to a heavy snowfall on our arrival day. We did manage to see four wolves in the town we stayed in, and even heard them howl (spectacular!). The area is gorgeous, and we had stunning views as we hunkered down to spot wildlife (highlights were a golden eagle, red deer, buzzards, and white-backed woodpeckers). I was also lucky enough to have a great group of people on the trip, so debriefing on the day over dinner and drinks was as fun as being out on the hikes. Overall, a fantastic trip with fantastic people--highly recommend!

Tim(January 2023)

Overall a great trip. The hikes were quite challenging in the snow, but rewarded with the stunning landscape and scenery. Would have been nice to have had an extra day or so to explore the area further. Valeria, our local guide, was excellent. Would recommend this trip to others - be sure to pack extra layers and especially extra socks!

Angela(February 2022)