Trekking by Molise lakes

Next departure: 15 April 2023

“Trekking by Molise lakes” will explore the two principal lakes of the Molise Region, the Occhito and Guardialfiera Lakes, and the hills that surround them. It connects the pre-Apennine environments of the two lakes with the luxuriant rural environments, with the architecture of some small villages and coenobiums in the open countryside, with the excellent culinary tradition of Molise, as well as with the uniquenes of the Croatian-Molise community. In addition, it allows you to be introduced to the phenomenon of transhumance, getting to know three Regi Tratturi (the sheep tracks): from Castel di Sangro-Lucera to Ateleta-Biferno, passing through Celano-Foggia.

Duration: 4 walking days, 5 nights, 6 days overall.
Destination: from Gambatesa to Acquaviva Collecroce.

Typology: hill path.
Features: itinerant, cultural and historical; experiential; natural; food and wine.

Accommodation: guesthouses, agriturismi (farmhouses) and bed-and-breakfasts.
Where to eat: restaurant, farmhouses and trattoria.
Group size: 8-12 people.

Easy Difficulty
The trail contains numerous flat trails and only a few uphill and downhill walks. Altitude differentials average 500 meters per day, both uphill or downhill, but do not have steep slopes. This itinerary is suitable to everybody, however mountain-walking training is desirable. The trails do not pose major challenges. The majority of the itinerary involves walking, except for brief segments by motorized vehicle. The overnight stays are comfortable.

Length of the itinerary: 82 km.
Total height difference, uphill: +3130 m.
Total height difference, downhill: -2845 m.

Suggestive atmospheres in the medieval historical centers of Gambatesa, Ripabottoni, Guardialfiera, Acquaviva Collecroce and Termoli, with their examples of artistic beauty with palaces, churches, fountains, crossroads, gardens and more.

The ancient ways of horizontal transhumance: Regi Tratturi Castel di Sangro-Lucera, Celano-Foggia and Ateleta-Biferno. Historical and cultural heritage that shows architectural, religious and cultural statements of the itinerant pastoral culture.

The castle di Capua in Gambatesa is one of the most beautiful fortresses in Molise. In addition to its elegant appearance, the manor is characterised by a cycle of Renaissance frescoes that are unique in the south of Italy. The remarkable works belong to the painter Donato Decumbertino, who worked for and with one of the major Renaissance artists: Giorgio Vasari.

The trip allows you to know the environments of the Lake of Occhito and the water mirror of Guardialfiera. Both give life to Sites of Community Importance (SCIs), of The Natura 2000 network, and are set in pre-Apennine environments, among hills covered with woods and cultivated fields.

The journey is enriched by the excellent traditional cuisine of Molise and its excellent drinks. Typical products and traditional dishes, often handmade and old-fashioned, cheer up the evenings of walkers. You can taste cheeses such as caciocavallo, pecorino, burrata, manteca and others; cured meats like soppressata, ventricina, capicollo, rolled up ventresca, etc.; local and seasonal vegetables and legumes. You can drink Moscato white wine and Tintilia red wine.

During the rest, you can attend significant people. They storytell histories and traditions of the rural and pastoral Molise’s culture. Then, you can visit a dairy and an artisan salumi factory.

The hills that divide the two lakes are characterized by a marked rurality. We will be often walking on paths that run alongside vineyards, small olive groves and divide cultivated fields. The silence and the feeling of peace that you have along this segment of Molise are stunning.

Guardialfiera lake ruin campobasso


Day 1

Arrival at Campobasso and meeting with Professional Nature and Interpretative Guide.
Transfer to Gambatesa by motorized vehicle.
Accommodation and explanation of the journey.
Dinner at restaurant.
Night in different guest houses, in twin rooms with shared bathroom.

Day 2

After the breakfast, starting of walking day from Gambatesa to La Foresta district (Macchia Valfortore).
Packed lunch.
Dinner in a farmhouse.
Night in farmhouses, in twin rooms with private bathroom.

We visit the castle di Capua and the historic center of Gambatesa, then descend into the valley of the Tappino stream and meet what remains of the Regio Tratturo Castel di Sangro-Lucera. After crossed the stream, we walk at the base of the pinewood of Macchia della Terra. Then we get on Colle della Putina and then go down to lake of Occhito. Arrived at the large reservoir, we take the long white trail that leads up to the farmhouse. Along the way we can enjoy the shade of different woods, meet cultivated fields, olive groves and vineyards and admire the many panoramic balconies overlooking the lake.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5.5 hours (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 22 km.
Total difference in height (up): +730 m.
Total difference in height (down): -940 m.
Difficulty: easy.

Day 3

After the breakfast, starting of walking day from La Foresta district (Macchia Valfortore) to Ripabottoni.
Packed lunch.
Dinner at home restuarant.
Night in bed-and-breakfasts, in twin rooms and private bathroom.

From the farmhouse, we continue walking along the lake of Occhito until going up the valley of the Cigno stream and meet the Regio Tratturo Celano-Foggia. We follow it until crossing the hill of Monte Castello and turn right onto Colle Guardiola, from which we can admire the hills that slope down to the coast, the Adriatic Sea, Matese Apennine and a large slice of central and western Molise.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 6 hours (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 21 km.
Total difference in height (up): +1080 m.
Total difference in height (down): -620 m.
Difficulty: medium.

Day 4

After the breaksfat, starting of walking day from Ripabottoni to Guardialfiera.
Packed lunch.
Dinner in a farmhouse.
Night in farmhouse or in different bed-and-breakfasts, in twin rooms with private bathroom.

From the village of Ripabottoni we descend on Regio Tratturo Celano-Foggia. Then we climb a hill close the village of Morrone del Sannio. From here, we descend an ‘interpoderale’ road next to the wonderful convent of San Nazario and the fascinating abbey of Santa Maria in Casalpiano, which goes back to what was once the link between the Roman cities of Bovianum and Geronium. Once left the monastic complex, we keep going down to the bed of the river Biferno, and then run along the first shores of Lake Guardialfiera.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5 hours (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 20 km.
Total difference in height (up): +500 m.
Total difference in height (down): -725 m.
Difficulty: easy.

Day 5

After the breakfast, starting of walking day from Guardialfiera to Acquaviva Collecroce.
Packed lunch.
At the end of walking day, transfer by motorized vehicle to farmhouse for the rest.
Dinner in a farmhouse.
Night in a farmhouse, in twin rooms with private bathroom.

From farmhouse, we run a large slice of Lake Guardialfiera, almost to the dam, and then climb up a hill, among cultivated fields, olive groves and farms. Once climbed up Colle Coppere, we go down to Scorciabove valley and climb up the opposite side of the valley. Crossed the Regio Tratturo Ateleta-Biferno, we follow it up until to Acquaviva Collecroce, where you get to know the largest historical minority community of the Croatian-Molise.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5 hours (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 19 km.
Total difference in height (up): +820 m.
Total difference in height (down): -560 m.
Difficulty: moderate.

Day 6

Time to say goodbye and go back.
After the breakfast, transfer by motorized vehicle from farmhouse to Termoli.

Visit of the historical center and transfer to the railway or bus station of Termoli.
Otherwise, transfer by motorized vehicle to Campobasso for departure from the main city.

Write to to have infos about price and booking.

For group from 8 to 12 people.

Start Finish Availability
15/04/23 20/04/23 Available
30/09/23 05/10/23 Available
14/10/23 19/10/23 Available
What’s included
  • travel planning;
  • professional nature and interpretive AIGAE guide;
  • all breakfasts and dinners;
  • insurance and contract with tour operator;
  • all nights in twin rooms with private bathroom (excpeted the first day – guesthouses with shared bathroom);
  • luggage transport during the six (6) days in Molise;
  • private transport by motorized vehicle, where necessary and according to the program.
What’s not included:
  • airfare;
  • transfer from Italian airport to Molise and back;
  • Single accommodation (available on request);
  • packed lunches (filled roll, fruit, and half liter water bottle);
  • wine and other beverages with alcohol;
  • and anything not specifically included above.

Last tips before departure…

Notice: This program may be to change, before and during the journey. Changes are based on the climate, the needs of travelers and the people that host the group of travelers.

More info about this travel!


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