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pollino national park



The cycle route starts out from Morano Calabro (680 m) and reaches Castrovillari, the most densely populated town in the Pollino area and home to the park's service centre, along the charming cycle path that runs along the former route of the Calabro-Lucane railways. Continuing along the SP263, we enter the Orsomarso area, characterised by the presence of historic Arbëreshe communities, and first reach San Basile (540 m) and then Saracena (606 m), the village made famous by its Moscato wine. From here the Ciclovia descends rapidly, through cultivated countryside, towards Firmo (344 m) and then climbs again to Lungro (590 m), the seat of the Byzantine Eparchy that hosts all the Albanian communities of Italy. The route climbs again to Acquaformosa (785 m), where there is a splendid Chiesa Matrice (Matrix Church), and then descends again on the adrenaline-fuelled switchbacks that follow one after the other over the Esaro Valley. Finally, a last uphill climb closes the stage with the arrival at the magnificent fortified village of San Donato di Ninea (658 m).

55,6 km
4:10 hours
1200 m
Difficulty: advanced
Nature & adventure holidays
Your journey starts here


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Places you must visit

Pollino National Park Service Centre

The Castrovillari Service Centre is located in the historic Palazzo Gallo. Its location makes it even more prestigious, with its immersive room in which you can admire the spectacle of Park images and descriptions of everything you will find here, from nature, history and culture to sports, food and wine.

Lungro - the mountain and its inhabitants

The mountainous area of Lungro is on the slope of the so-called “Monti dell’Orsomarso” and is covered by extensive beech woods. At elevation of 1000 meters and above the beech trees are joined by black pines or even the more rare pino loricato. Amongst the rich fauna that lives here we find the indigenous roe deer, which still live in this strip of southern Italy thanks to the conformation of the land and the extensive and intricate forests.

The Church of St. John the Baptist

The Church of St. John the Baptist in Acquaformosa, was built at the beginning of the 16th century by the first Albanian refugees. The building has three naves inside and they are almost entirely covered by stunning gold mosaics, whose value goes far beyond that of the precious materials of which they are made. The church also has an iconostasis, a decorated wall that divides the altar from the rest of the church.

Useful information



A stage for all seasons, although in winter the climate between Acquaformosa and San Donato di Ninea can be quite harsh and snowfall cannot be ruled out. In summer, it is preferable to avoid travelling it during the hottest hours of the day, especially in the stretch from Castrovillari to Acquaformosa.

Food, drink and accommodation

Farmhouses, B&Bs and hotels can be found along the entire route. In the many villages along this stage, where it is possible to fill up with water at public fountains, there is no shortage of restaurants and trattorias offering local products and typical cuisine.


L'équipement varie beaucoup en fonction de la saison. À la fin de l'automne et en hiver, il est préférable de bien se couvrir car les températures aux points les plus élevés peuvent chuter considérablement, tandis qu'au printemps, vous pouvez laisser de côté votre chemise thermique et toujours avoir une veste imperméable à portée de main. En été, vous pouvez également rouler en T-shirt et en short, avec une veste de pluie à portée de main.

  • It is recommended to use a bike suitable for long distances, a gravel or mountain bike, also with pedal assistance. It may be appropriate to fit off-road (or mixed) tyres in the case of gravel. Although the route is on asphalt, it is a good idea to provide a set-up that allows you to safely tackle sections in the woods that may have mud and gravel in bad weather.

  • If you want to travel with a tent, you can stay in tent camping sites or campsites, agritourism and bivouac areas. To learn more please visit the Parks’ websites.

Informazioni utili
Hospitality and service

Accommodations facilities


    Hospitality and service
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