Near the CaramanicoTerme there is a beautiful valley not to be missed: the Orfento Valley. The river that flows along the centre gives it its name and over millions of years has created a dense vegetation that boasts a rich heritage of biodiversity, so much so that it is recommended by the journal "Nature" (among the most important in science) .
Today in the valley there are several paths allowing you to visit it in peace and experience a pleasant walk in a unique landscape. Do not worry about the difficulty, the Valle dell'Orfento offers trails for all levels and for all ages, lasting from 2 to 8 hours.
The first trail that we propose is also the easiest one. It lasts about two hours and is equipped with bridges and fences to help you along the way. Follow the course of the river and explore the deep gorge carved by the watercourse over millions of years.
It starts from the Visitor Centre of Caramanico Terme and follows the route marked B6. First goal is the magical vantage point, just above the gorge carved by the river. Then a series of steps will take you to an intersection where you will take the road on the left towards Ponte Caramanico. Here the surrounding environment is particularly impressive: lush vegetation, overhanging walls and light that plays on the leaves of plants.
Continuing on some wooden bridges, you will pass by a waterfall and then reach the end of the path to the Caramanico Bridge.
RING OF THE VALLONE BRIDGE
A trail of about 3 hours of average difficulty starts from the Santa Croce hamlet. You immediately reach a panoramic point where you can see the whole valley and admire a dense coniferous forest. Re-energised by the fantastic view, we continue the climb coming to a bridge from which you can see some pools of water with different species of frogs. It then continues through an artificial rift in the rock that leads to a path leading to the valley floor and to the river. After having cooled off again, head towards Ponte di Caramanico, the last stop on the itinerary.
STONE BRIDGE RING
The last trail is the most challenging and difficult, in fact it lasts 8 hours. The departure is still from Santa Croce and the same trail as described previously until the descent to the river. Here we continue to Ponte San Benedetto up to the Ponte della Pietra, immersed in a beech forest. We continue the ascent through a fascinating landscape and surrounded by animals typical of these areas such as butterflies and sparrow hawks, until reaching the Nature Reserve at 1213 metres.
From here the descent through the Colle della Coccia begins, from which you can enjoy a view over the entire valley. After a long stretch, take the road back to Santa Croce.
The various trails can be done independently or with the help of a guide, but trying the experience of the Valle dell'Orfento is an must-have if you are passing through here.
Try the Terme di Popoli, a modern structure located in a magical position between the Majella National Park and the Gran Sasso Park.
In Caramanico Terme nature, history and health come together, giving life to a unique spa, in the heart of the Majella National Park.