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Hiking the Orecchiella Natural Reserve in Italy

TUSCANY | Italy
Trip Highlights

Top reasons to go hiking in Orecchiella Natural Reserve

  • Trip Highlight

    Discover luxurious forests and stunning dreamy aquamarine lakes

  • Trip Highlight

    Home to many wild animals, from boars and deer to falcons and wolves

  • Trip Highlight

    Educational trails and an enclosure for rescued wild animals make this a great family destination

This natural reserve is located in the Apennine side of Garfagnana, described as the valley of beauty and the good. The wonders of nature that characterize the territory of northern Tuscany, such as its luxurious forests, gentle slopes, and aquamarine lakes, are only a small part of its appeal. The fantastic Orecchiella Park established in 1980 covers about 12,400 acres of beech and chestnut forests, lakes, and wildflower meadows — home for the many wild animals such as deer, wild boars, bears, and birds of prey. Due to its diverse morphology, the Park has developed diverse environments characterized by varied microclimates and plant life. Today, the Orecchiella Natural Reserve offers several educational trails with a museum and an enclosure for rescued wild animals. The trails are suitable for anyone and some of them lead to the peak overlooking the vast Garfagnana area. Explore the Natural Reserve with a guide and enjoy the fresh air and interesting wildlife along the way!

Season

Year-round, but the best time to visit is from May through October

Nearest city

Pisa, Italy, is just under two hours away

Duration

1 day

Skill level

Beginner to intermediate

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Family Hike With a Private Guide

1 day

Take your family for a walk in the fresh air and make lifelong memories along the way. Follow the family-friendly hiking trail and learn about the fauna and flora of the area. Visit a museum and continue hiking to the enclosures where rescued roe deer, muflones, and bears live — your kids will have a blast! The trail is about 4 hours long and suitable for any skill level, so put on your hiking boots and join your guide for a day of adventure!

Intermediate Hike With a Private Guide

1 day

If you’re up for a day of adventure, join your guide on a trail to the most famous peak of the Orecchiella Natural Reserve called Pania di Corfino (1603m/5260ft). The path is relatively easy, wide, and safe and takes about 5 hours to finish. It crosses lush green forests and reaches the summit through beautiful meadows. Reach the peak that overlooks the entirety of the Garfagnana territory and enjoy the fresh air and marvelous views before returning to the starting point.                 

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Italy

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Italy, please refer to the Italian Ministry of Health website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

  • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
  • A full day of hiking 
  • Packed lunch

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to the Park’s entrance 
  • Accommodations

How fit do I need to be?

The best thing about hiking in the Orecchiella Natural Reserve is that there are incredible options for all skill levels. If you can walk for 5 miles (four to six hours) with some elevation gain, you are good to go! The trails are family-friendly and with elevation gain of +150m, and the trails are well marked, on a dirt road or dirt track. There are no exposed sections or noticeable technical difficulties. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
  • Hiking poles — optional
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Packed lunch and snacks
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Spare clothes for layering
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

  • For the private adventures, the max client to guide ratio is 15:1. 
  • The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to hike with friends and family!

Hiking in Pania della Croce can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

  • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
  • Minors as young as 8 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to the Orecchiella Natural Reserve, most people fly into Pisa International Airport just an hour away. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to the Park’s entrance, where you’ll meet with your guides.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best exact place to meet. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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Wired for a better world

Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
1% for the education and diversity in guiding

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