CILENTO BIKEPACKING

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12-19 September

TOUR OVERVIEW

Cilento, the land that enchanted Ulysses.

Cilento is a sub region of Campania’s and the largest national park in Italy. In this land  where time has seemed to have stopped running, nature shines green for 365 days a year. This is the land that gave birth to Parmenides, and inspired poets. Even Catone talks about it in his stories. Here you will find the ruins of Velia, an iconic Magna Grecia town at the time Elea. The Romans chose this land because of the unique weather conditions and the many sources of thermal waters. In fact, the coastal area between Ascea and Palinuro offer a specific micro-climate offering mild temperatures all year round. Cilento is so full of attractions, to see them all would take a lifetime!

Pa-Cycling has designed a journey to this spectacular region between sea and mountains to reveal the most magical, uncontaminated, wild, primitive and authentic experience that a territory can offer. A journey that will fascinate, and an overwhelming beauty to tire the eyes. It will will be hard not to stop every kilometre to spoil yourself with the wonderful beauty of the Earth.

The journey starts from Agropoli, the northern gate of Cilento, a city of ancient origins that saw the succession of different civilizations from the Greeks, to the Romans and Saracens. Here begins our journey – in the land of the sirens. The going will be tough and the climbing considerable every day given the topographical nature of Cilento, but the effort will be strongly rewarded for the beauty revealed with every stroke of the pedals. The journey begins on the coast then moves inland after the third stage to the countryside mountains before culminating on the highest mountain in Campania, the Monte Cervati. In six days you will have had the opportunity to see much of this land and  its little villages where time has flown down.

Refund and cancellation
Where, for whatever reason, one person is obliged to withdraw, the person must give written notice to Project Adventure Cycling.
Refund will be calculated with this penalty:

Within 45 days from date of departure the penalty fare is 10% of the total cost of the trip.
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Within 30 days from departure the penalty fare is 30% of the total cost of the trip.
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Within 21 days from departure the penalty fare is 60% of the total cost of the trip.
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Within 14 days from departure the penalty fare is 75 % of the total cost of the trip.
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After this date no refund will be given.

No refunds for those who will not show at the start or withdraw during the course of the tour.
No refunds for those who could not make the tour due to lack or inaccuracy of the personal travel documents (i.e Visa or Passport).

Traveler understands that some destinations pose more risk than other destinations due to weather conditions, political conditions and the geography of the region. Traveler acknowledges that factors such as, but not limited to, weather conditions, landslides, floods, flight cancelations or delays, strikes, labor troubles, failure of power, restrictive governmental laws or regulations, riots, insurrection, war or other reason of a like nature not the fault of Project Adventure Cycling (hereinafter “Force Majeure Event”) can hinder, delay or even prevent the Traveler’s ability to make or complete the trip. Traveler acknowledges that the Project Adventure Cycling shall not be liable to Traveler for any delay or cancelation of the trip due to a Force Majeure Event. Traveler shall not be entitled to a refund or any other payment for damages from the Project Adventure Cycling in the event that the trip is cancelled or delayed due to a Force Majeure Event. Please note that we are never responsible for any airfare ticket expenses.

THE PRICE INCLUDE

  • Two PA-Cycling guides riding with the group.
  • Grill end stage 4.
  • Hotel day 12 with welcome dinner.
  • Hotel day 16 with goodbye dinner.
  • Group travel insurance.
  • All the spots where we will camp (Private Property)

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel.
  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport.
  • Food during the stages.
  • Flight ticket and overbaggage
  • Everything not present in “The price include”
  • Dates
    12-19 September 2020
  • Duration
    7 days
  • Stages
    6
  • Length
    430 km
  • Elevation
    15.450 m
  • Difficulty
    High
  • Price
    1.350 €

THE TRACK

THE STAGES

STAGE 01 – 60 km – 1.216 m – Agropoli – Pioppi

The first stage, entirely along the coast, is continuously up and down. After leaving Agropoli we approach the bay of Trentova and then head straight to Punta Licosa.  Legend says that the little island in front of Punta Licosa was the home to the sirens, the very same Ulysses met during his epic journey. In fact, the island was once connected with the land, which one can witness whilst swimming to the island from the mainland and, viewing the bottom, you can easily see the ruins of a Roman villa and its beautiful mosaic floor. Leaving Licosa, the journey continues along the coast passing through many typical villages: Ogliasto Marina, Montecorice, Agnone,Acciaroli and Pioppi for  an obligatory lunch stop. This unknown little village is where the Mediterranean diet was born, thanks to the American doctor Ancel Keys, who studied and codified the currently recognised model of the Mediterranean diet. This diet was born from the indigenous folk who eat mainly vegetables and blue fish. Today in these places the culinary tradition has remained unchanged.

STAGE 02 – 86 km – 1.568 m –  Pioppi – Palinuro

The second day begins by following the coast for the first 10 km, after that, we go inside to enter the first hills close to the coast. After having rolled past the archaeological ruins of Velia, we will take a section of the salt road, used by the Greeks to connect the Mediterranean with the Ionio’s Sea. Unfortunately this is one of the few pieces that still exist on this ancient route from Velia to Sibari. After a few more km on tarmac, the road will be dirt, rocky and sometimes very steep. Be prepared – we will meet many dirt roads where wider tires are necessary. We recommend a minimum of 45mm! The altitude gain of this stage is almost all here between Ascea and Rodio. After that, a beautiful downhill road will bring us  again to the coast to finally arrive to a beautiful panorama at Cape Palinuro where we will camp on the sea of the Molpa promontory. Obviously, we cannot fail to reach the top of the Cape, home to an old lighthouse, still fully working. The lighthouse is the highest lighthouse above sea level in Europe!

STAGE 03 – 64 km – 1.634 m – Palinuro – Rofrano

The stage begins by entering the devil’s gorge, for years the only access gate to Palinuro. A wonderful road on the side of the Mingardo River, dominated by vertical walls that create an amazing natural canyon. Just before the abandoned village of San Severino, our first ascent begins. This road is called Ciglioto, which in the local dialect means “eyelashW. In fact, the road climbs for about ten km on the south wall of the gorge to take us up to the town of Licusati, a small village at the bottom of Monte Bulgheria. From here it’s a nice easy downhill to the village of  Camerota where we continue high on the coast and then definitively leave it after having almost covered the entire base of Monte Bulgheria. The second part of the day will be a succession of very small, traditional rural villages surrounded by greenery. The stage ends in Rofrano where we will camp at the foot of the highest peak in Campania, Monte Cervati.

STAGE 04 – 35 km – 2.046 m – Rofrano – Cervati

Definitely the queen stage of this trip. The day will be tiring, but extremely satisfying! Climbing Monte Cervati will not be easy after the first few kilometers, and the rest of the stage will be entirely on dirt roads. The first slopes will be moderate and then become brutal in the last stretch before reaching the summit. Here you will need good but also suitable tires, we recommend tires of at least 45mm, if not more! There will be sections that will require us to push the bike on foot, but these will be small sections of a few hundred meters. Once you have reached the summit, we will descend to the north side, the descent will be more careful than the climb. It will require good off-road riding skills and the most demanding sections must be done on foot. In the evening we will sleep in a mountain retreat where a wonderful local dinner awaits.

STAGE 05 – 70 km – 2.030 m – Cervati – Monti Alburni

If Stage 5 needed a name it would “Ride into The Wild”. Today we ride between deep nature – think thick forests and lush greenery – and the remains of times and lives from different eras. A long downhill stretch through forestland leads us to the medieval bridge of Piaggine, icon of the Cilento National Park. We continue along quiet, gently undulating roads passing through two “Bhorghi Fantasma” – ghost towns or abandoned villages. The first one we come to is Roscigno – also known as the 20th century Pompeii – followed by Sacco, perched on the slopes of Mount Motola. On the outskirts of Sacco, we come to the Groges of the Sammaro, one of the most important karst phenomena in Europe. We continue on, riding through the small medieval village of Sant’Angelo a Fasanella situated at 520 meters above sea level and on to the Unesco World Heritage site “La Grotta”, the sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo. From the central Piazza, we follow the old “Pescatura” road to the Auso springs and waterfalls where we break for lunch and the optional dip. The second half of the day is the most demanding – we will be riding more off road – but it is all the more exciting for it. We cross one of the most fascinating stretches of the Alburni Mountains, weaving our way between cavities and sinkholes. We traverse large dense forests. We are heading to one of the most beautiful but perhaps less known places in Cilento which is where we will spend the night, near the Panormo refuge at 1,500 meters above sea level. If it’s a clear night, the star-gazers amongst us will be spoiled.

STAGE 06 – 80 km – 1.378 m – Monti Alburni – Mare

Today we set off early, continuing our tour of the Alburni Mountains. We are heading towards Castelcivita. We leave the vast plains behind us heading for the woods again before facing a long and technical descent . It will be difficult not to be distracted by the views of the valleys below. An old disused road takes us all the way to the Calore river. Here we can cool off and fuel up before heading up towards Roccadaspide. We face the most challenging part of the day – a 15 km stretch over which we gain 1,000 meters – but there is a reward for our hard work:  the stunning balcony road of “Monte Vesole” awaits us.  In Trentinara we will find fresh spring water, before continuing on below the ridges of Mount Soprano and Mount Tadduni. As we proceed downhill, the vegetation thins out, views of the entire valley stretch before us. Capaccio is visible in the distance. We end our day at the magnificent Doric temples of Paestum. A sunset, a spot of some unctuous Buffalo Mozzarella and some tomato bruschetta should make sure we get to our destination – the seaside village of ​​Agropoli – with a smile on our face. It would have been an action packed day for sure.

YOUR GUIDE

Willy Mulonia

Willy Mulonia

Founder & President

Willy Mulonia, expert lonely traveler and cyclist for more than 30 years. He made several solo expeditions, but the most important is without a doubt the 28,640 bike trip from Ushuaia (Patagonia) to Prudhoe Bay (Alaska). He raced in the Crocodile Trophy (Australia) in ’98 and the famous IditaBike (Alaska) in 1999, 2000, 2018, 2019 & 2020 as well as many other mountain bike stage races all over the world. In 2003 he founded the bike travel agency Progetto Avventura, now renamed Project Adventure Cycling. In 2010, with the help of all the team of PA-Cycling he created the Mongolia Bike Challenge, one of the most important MTB stage race in the world. Today you can find him guiding most the tour offered by Project Adventure Cycling.

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