If you are lovers of the holidays dipped in the nature, in the Gargano you have the embarrassment of the choice. The Gargano National Park, with approximately 120.000 hectares of biodiversity, possesses naturalistic landscapes that make envy. Driving along these itineraries you’ll find yourself stroll among enchanted woods, majestic forests with the seculars trees or along the footpaths of the wonderful native orchids. Open your eyes wide because you are going to discover landscapes of immeasurable beauty.
Will seem strange to you that just 25 km from the coast there is a forest located about 800 meters above sea level, but there it is just so. Of the rest the beauty of the Gargano is precisely this: environments totally different between they cohabit in just 2000 square kilometers of area. Considered the hardwood forest larger of Italy, with its 10.426 hectares of area, already nature reserve from 1891, the Foresta Umbra is found in the heart of the Gargano National Park and offers some of the more evocative pathways of the European naturalistic panorama. With of the adventurous tours you will be able to discover the immense flora of the Foresta Umbra, rich of secular beeches and Turkey Oaks, oaks and hornbeams, maple trees and yews. What is the tallest tree? You will find it near the Laghetto di Cutino d’Umbra: It is a beech that is tall 40 meters. Also the fauna of the Foresta Umbra is impressive, rich of roe deer between which the autochthonous species of the roe deer of Gargano, fallow deers, wild boars, red deers but also of wild cats, vixens, wolves, hedgehogs, numerous reptiles and many others. Around the small lake of the Foresta Umbra then with the green trees that surround it you can admire a romantic scenery even in winter periods, when everything is covered by snow. Within it there are catfishes, red fishes, frogs, toads, wonderful turtles and then ducks of all kinds which squawking dozed off on the water. The National Forestry Corps has realized 14 footpaths, all easy passable on foot, and different areas picnic for living a happy day in harmony with nature of the Foresta Umbra. There are many experiences to do within the Forest Umbra, in some cases preferably with an experienced guide: trekking and orienteering are only some of the activities that you can practice. Do not miss the Visitor Centre of the Forest, with the Naturalistic Museum, the village of the charcoal burners and woodcutters and the fauna reserves of the fallow deers and mouflons. Escort you through the footpath only the melody of the songs of birds among which the shy singing of the wallcreeper.
If you do not want to get lost null the nature of the Gargano, it is worth it to dip itself in the Bosco Quarto. Extended on a surface of approximately 8 thousand hectares, it is situated between Monte Sant’Angelo and San Giovanni Rotondo and, along with the Foresta Umbra, is considered the green lung of the Apulia. The landscape, in fact, is very similar to that of the nearby forest, but actually it is very different. They are different for the typicity of the flora of Bosco Quarto: even though, in fact, it is rich of beeches, here the dominant species is the Turkey oak. And that Turkey oaks! It comes to very ancient specimens of colossal Turkey oaks, with heights that arrive until 30-35 meters, to the point that the present maple trees appear as seedlings modest. This is the expression of the famous characteristic of the “gigantism”, peculiarities of Bosco Quarto. In addition, the trees most ancient are distinguished by the yellow and red fissures that color the cortex, rendering the landscape even more fascinating. Regarding the fauna, here find themselves foxes, wild boars and yews, but also numerous species of birds that find shelter between the thick nets of the tree branches. If you want to practice trekking in the Bosco Quarto, there are of the equipped trails, also of historical relief, that will take you along the ancient cattle tracks of Gargano.
Not everyone knows that the Gargano National Park is the Park of Europe with the highest concentration than native orchids, treasures of the nature that recall in spring botanists and investigators from every place. In the Gargano have been recorded 86 species of native orchids, of which 61 only in Mattinata. Good sign since the orchids are considered a positive pointer of the state of health of the territory. They have the forms and the colors most bizarre. Some species are similar to some insects: the hornet, the bee, the spider, the bumblebee and more. The show starts in spring, when the orchids bloom in greater number. An excursion to the discovery of the native orchids of the Gargano knows how to excite and astonish as few other things in the world.