Walking & Trekking
Trekking in the Vallo di Diano. The Valley of the Orchids
of Sassano: a paradise in bloom!
- National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano -
The Valley of the Orchids of Sassano in the
National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano is a popular
destination for lovers of botany, as well as a source of
great pride for the residents of the Vallo di Diano area.
It's a real natural open-air museum of 47 sq km, and over
a distance of approx. 13 km you can see many different species
of wild orchids: about 180 (to be precise: 68 species, 57
subspecies, 35 varieties, 24 hybrids). A real concentration
of orchids, if we consider that in the National Park of Cilento
and Vallo di Diano there are in total 254 species of wild
orchids, and throughout Europe and the Mediterranean Basin
319! The town of Sassano therefore retains a huge natural
heritage, to be protected and defended.
The orchids of Sassano bloom from April to June, and even
some varieties keep flowering until July. In the month of
May, it takes places the traditional Festival of the Orchids
with free guided tours, tastings of local products, and folk
music shows organized by town of Sassano and open to everybody.
The trekking route that leads to this beautiful valley starts
from the fountain with three stone masks in the center of
Sassano: it begins from an altitude of 501 meters and ends
at an altitude of 1175 m after going through five stations
of observations of orchids. From the fountain, take the road
uphill towards the church of S. Michael and past the medieval
bridge of Peglio at the village of the same name, continue
up to 'Campo di Gravola' and continue through the various
stations (Affunnaturo, Coddate di Filano, Valtasso and Pietralieddo)
in the area 'Campi di Filano', in order to reach the last
stop 'Piscina del Brigante'.
This walking tour takes place in an extraordinary natural
landscape, among flora and fauna, namely orchids, flowers,
shrubs and trees, in particular beeches and white birch trees
of the Southern Apennines, the latter survived the last glaciation,
and among animals in the wild state.
We recommend you to not collect orchids in the Cilento National
Park: it is strictly prohibited, and be careful to not step
on them during the trekking tour. Take a camera with you
to capture the best moments spent in the Valley of the Orchids
of Sassano, and also to allow yourself to bring home at least
a 'virtual' orchid...