It’s Been a Busy Year!

Hello Sulmona Valley Walkers!

The end of the year is upon us – a perfect time to bring you up to date with what has been a very busy one for Sulmona Valley Walks. Below is news about the walks catalogue, articles we’ve published, using the valley’s public transport, website developments and, hooray, the new edition of “Walking in Abruzzo”!

The Walks Catalogue

We set off in the spring with a shiny new website and a catalogue of walks in the Sulmona valley for you to download – which was empty. But then we got cracking, wandering high and low in all corners of the Val Peligna, re-walking and recording many of our favourite routes and researching and developing lots of new ones too. All through the summer and autumn we continued to explore and write, adding routes to the catalogue every week as we went. Right up to the beginning of December when walk number 25 was published a few days ago. It’s been a lot of effort but a lot of fun too and we are proud of what has been created. We hope you will find it a great resource to help in your enjoyment of our beautiful valley!

So, what’s the score? Well, here is a summary of what is now available across the three grades:

Walk Grade

Number in Catalogue Average Distance (km) Total Distance (km) Average Ascent (m)

Total Ascent (m)

Easy

7

7.4 52 252

1,763

Moderate

12

14.0

168 709

8,510

Difficult

6

18.2

109 1,381

8,288

Totals

25

329

18,561

But we’re not stopping! Another 6 walks are in development and will be published in the spring. These will take us to over 400km of downloadable walks – all described in bang up-to-date detail.

Numbers are one thing but the variety and quality of the routes in the valley is something else. This is an astounding place of magnificent beauty. From tranquil lanes leading alongside gentle rivers to ancient hilltop villages to, far above the forests, the huge views and wildness of the mountain tops. There really are wonderful and memorable days for every taste and ability.

Articles Published

When we haven’t been out for the day, we’ve been writing articles about being out for the day! The posts on the blog have grown steadily through the year; each one, we hope, providing interesting thoughts and useful facts about aspects of walking life in the valley and contributing to your enjoyment of it. Here’s what you will find there:

A few ideas are being considered for further articles and we expect a couple will be written over the winter. One may be about an exciting new route development that has been fermenting for the past few years!

Using Public Transport

Did you know it is entirely possible for walkers staying in Sulmona to have at least a two-week walking holiday in the Valley and not use a private car at all! Get the train or the coach to Sulmona and forget the hire car queues, motorway tolls and adding your bit to air pollution. The valley has a good public transport network and we have particularly designed our routes to make the most of it. Every walk description includes details of how to access it from Sulmona by bus and / or train. In fact, we are proud that all of the walks we have published can be so reached. The User Guide, on the blog, will be invaluable in helping walkers make use of this great resource.

Website Developments

Winter is a great time for walking on those magical days when snow glitters hard beneath the crystal blue sky. But it’s the time for being indoors building things, too. Over the next couple of months, we will add a walk feedback mechanism to the website so that you can share your experiences of doing particular routes with us and with other Sulmona Valley Walkers! And we are going to considerably enlarge the photo gallery by including every picture that has been used in every published walk.

Walking in Abruzzo

The new edition of “Walking in Abruzzo” has been printed and a big pile of copies is sitting in a warehouse ready for the launch on the 15th January! Stuart is very excited about it! In particular he is pleased that the book now has a section dedicated to the Sulmona Valley. The routes in the guidebook add another 4 to those in the Sulmona Valley Walks catalogue – all of them valley classics like the ‘Anversa / Castrovalva Loop’ and ‘Monte Genzana from Pettorano’. These routes are only available in the guidebook so grab yourself a copy from www.cicerone.co.uk/walking-in-abruzzo-1 You’ll be perfectly set up to explore beyond the valley too!

And if you fancy a chance of winning a copy for free, then go over to www.welcometosulmona.com who will be running a competition in association with Cicerone. Details will appear soon!

Now we can see why the Sulmona valley is such a great hiking area and a fantastic destination for a walking holiday! Do make sure Santa brings you a new pair of walking shoes and a sun hat. And as you sit relaxing over the holiday period, dream gently of days coming when you will be out in the valley, enjoying it all on foot!

Happy Christmas and have a lovely New Year!

The Sulmona Valley Walks team

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