Le Marche is simply an wonderful, unspoilt region, where you will feel at home right away. With the Sibillini Mountains to the west and the Adriatic coast to the east, and lying half way down the boot, our stunning area offers a wide range of activities to suit all ages and abilities. Have a look at just some of our favourite things to do.
For the most wonderful experience for all the family, why not come and have a day out with the beautiful donkeys and knowledgeable Marco in Smerillo. Here you will explore the forest and get to find out all about the fossils hidden away. You will bond with your donkeys, learn how to look after them and become immersed in nature for the day. Great fun for children and adults alike (but if you are small you get to ride the donkeys!).
There are 3 different trips -
EXCURSION BASE: Walk through the woods and medieval village, you will learn the basics on donkeys, we discover the fossils of the Pleistocene, we explore some trails of the forest and you can learn a bit 'of history of the area.
ONE DAY TOGETHER: Hike from Smerillo to Montefalcone and return, through the woods and the various environments that make it up, with the possibility to spend a whole day with our friends donkeys for a deeper mutual understanding. Stop at a nice picnic area. Packed lunch on request.
SUNSET HIKE: Easy tour, with a stop in one of the most scenic terraces on the Sibillini to admire a dazzling sunset behind the magical mountains, in the companyof the donkeys, peaceful grazing. Return in the dark.
Just click on the donkey on the left, below for more information and prices.
The ski slopes of Maddalena and Sassotetto are really excellent for beginners and the larger run provides fun for the more proficient skier.
There is a carpet lift for children and beginners which is lots of fun for all the family.
Prices are very reasonable too:
For a morning during the week €10.00 or at the weekend €20.00
For an afternoon from 12.30pm €8.00 during the week or at the weekend €18.00
For a full day during the week €15.00 or at the weekend €23.50 And there are reductions for children too!
The carpet lift for beginners is just €5 per day, so perfect if you have never skied before and just want to give it a go!
Ski’s and boots can be hired up at Maddalena or in Sarnano before you go up the mountain. Have a sneaky prieveiw at the live webcam here For more information check out the Sarnanoneve website. For accommodation in the area just ask us here.
Hope to see you soon on the slopes!
Hiking in the Sibillini Mountains
Luckily enough in Amandola, we are very close to The Sibillini National Park and the start of many amazing walks to suit all levels. From 2 hour circular walks, to hiking up Hell's Gorge, to climbing over 1000 meters to Pilate's Lake, there are so many interesting hikes. Afterwards relax in Amandola with a gelato or coffee, watching the world go by and reflecting on the day.
Some of our favourites walks include:
Gola dell'Infernaccio - a stunning walk suitable for most levels which is especially great during the summer as you are walking by the river Tenna, waterfalls and through shaded beech woods. Slicing through limestone cliffs, you can take a side path up to the San Leonardo Church, the perfect place for your lunch stop. Originally the church was built by a group of Camaldolesi monks in the 9th centuary, before it was abandonned in the 1500's. Then in 1960, Padre Pietro a Cappuccian monk made this his hermitage and started building his own gothic church once more. The church is beautiful but simple and surrounded by nature, this has been his mission for over 40 years and you may even be lucky enough to meet him working on the shurch or growing his own veggies.
Lago di Pilato - slightly more difficult (and you might just ache a little the next day, but it is certainly worth it!) amazing views all round and the most rewarding part of the 1000 meter climb is when Pilates Lake comes in to view. You will pass through beech woods and plateus and make sure you make an early start in summer as it can get quite hot up there. However, be careful you are not tempted to take a dip in the waters though as they are protected, being the only home in the world where the tiny fairy shrimp Chirocephalus Marchesonii live. The coral coloured shrimp swims tummy up and you may just be able to spot them. In the middle ages there were rumours that devils and ghastly spirits lived up here.
Dogana Loop - a long (15.5 kms) but easy walk with stunning views over Castelluccio, Monte della Laga and the Piano Grande. Halfway along the walk is the rifugio Colle Le Cese, where you can be refreshed or eat your lunch. Part of the walk is on the Grande Anello dei Sibillini and you will be rewarded at every turn with a new vista. A really beautiful walk with only one slightly steep climb just near the end.
Lama Rosse or Red Blades - take a hike up to these wonderful creations being eroded by the elements into cliffs and pinnacles. You will walk through thick shady woodland and may be mistaken for thinking you have wondered into the Middle East. The walk starts by the beautiful blue Fiastra Lake where you can bathe in the designated swimming areas. Dammed in the 1950's the lake provides hydro-electric power. From the Lama Rosse, you can also continue to the Grotta dei Frati, a small cave hidden away in the rocks.
Our favourite publication is Italy's Sibillini National Park by Gillian Price, a very well written book which is clear and easy to follow and in English!