Hiking has become one of the most popular outdoor pastimes of 2020 and now, hikers can indulge their active selves with a new trail that's been opened in Italy. The Kalabria Coast to Coast Trail is nothing short of a masterpiece, effectively bridging the distance between the Ionian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The best of the region's landscapes can be experienced on foot with the addition of the 34-mile trail, which is far shorter than many other long-distance European treks. Similar to Spain's most recent hiking trail, the Calabria Trail was created to evoke an 'emotional and sensorial' experience, according to Lonely Planet.


So, what's the nitty-gritty on the trail itself? The terrain is not overly rugged and this was done intentionally as the trail is well-suited for all skill levels, and along the way, hikers will be able to experience all of Calabria's off-the-beaten-path beauty for themselves, first-hand. That's not all this trail has to offer, however, as it's rooted deeply in Calabria's history as well as its traditional customs, meaning there are even more authentic experiences that hikers can look forward to when they start out on this trail.

What It's Like To Make This New Trek

The experience of hikers who complete the Kalabria Coast to Coast Trail will be like none other as it's a new way to experience Italy outside of its usual tourist hot spots. The trail traverses 34 miles of terrain from the town of Soverato before ending in the town of Pizzo, with stunning scenery the entire distance that spans between. Along with gorgeous mountainscapes, hikers will have the chance to experience not one, but two, beautiful seascapes as well, as they start at one seaside town and end in the other.

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A large part of this trail's history extends from the Magna Graecia, of which Calabria was once part. The entire thing took several years for the Kalabria Trekking Association to complete and now, the world can now experience and appreciate Calabria's ancient history. The trek itself is divided into three separate sections and the entire time, hikers will be able to contact the Kalabria Trekking Association in the event of an emergency. Similar to many other pilgrimage-based treks, visitors will obtain a passport that can be stamped in each town they stop in along the way. This will also provide helpful discounts in certain restaurants and hotels along the way, making the trip more affordable and ensuring that hikers have a chance to learn about local culture and customs.

The countryside will be experienced in a whole new way as the landscape has been virtually unchanged for centuries, allowing bits of the past to seep through along the trail as hikers venture even further into its history. Famed woods filled with chestnut trees, meadows, and rows of olive trees, and the picturesque Angtigola Lake are all vistas one can expect to see along the way. Hikers can even book guided tours if they so choose but, of course, these must be done in advance.

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This route is the shortest route between the two seas and while a traveler could easily rent a car or take public transportation from one side to the other, seeing this landscape on foot takes a traveler back to a time when things were far more different and far simpler than they are now. This is all part of the intent and purpose of the trail - to encourage travelers to view things from a different perspective and, rather than rushing to the nearest resort or hotel, to perhaps just for a minute, considering Calabria from a more authentic point of view. For those who aren't keen on hiking, a bike trip might be more their speed - in which case, Italy's Lake Garda is now also home to an 87-mile bike route. While its work is still ongoing, bikers can look forward to being able to take in all the natural beauty of this pristine lake from a well-maintained path. Additionally, if a 34-mile hike isn't enough for the adventurous few, Italy's national parks are working hard to open a route that will connect all 25 parks. In terms of new exploration and adventurous vacations, Italy is leading the world as far as appreciating Mother Nature goes. The future of travel might just look more like this, with more travelers opting to take to the natural world rather than indulge in luxe hotels (not that there's anything wrong with either option).

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