Tiny circular waves laid the water of the lake on the shore, as if they have been sent from afar.
Occhito Lake, divided between Molise and Puglia, is a water mass of 210 million cubic metres that represents, on capacity, the second largest artificial reservoir in Europe. There are dozens of roads and paths that intersect through cultivated land and small forests all around the lake’s perimeter, spontaneously building exciting trails for horseback travelling.
And so, this precious water basin becomes the beating heart of thesaddle adventure that I Viaggidell’Origano wants to present to you. Three days spent in nature, riding a horse, discovering the rich wildlife heritage of the lake’s reserve, passing through manyhidden corners that seem untouched, right on the border of two regions. Of course, there will be a special consideration for food, which is another pivot point of this experience. In fact, there will always be meals based on traditional products and local raw materials which will be prepared at two historicstructures serving today as holiday farmhouses. There will also be diverse possibilities for the overnight stays, with options either in rooms, tents and/or sleeping bags, or a combination of these. An interesting holiday idea for equestrian lovers, for newbies or for the merely curious, all in the name of love for horses and a profound respect for nature. Discover details and peculiarities in this special occasion andseize itat gallop!
The tratturi roads, the backstage of I Viaggi del Origano’s horseback holiday, offer within a rather small area a multitude of peculiar natural scenarios and characteristics. This is the reason why Molise is so unique: it is a minute, ultra-diverse territory going from the sea to the mountains within a range of a few kilometres, passing across hills, artificial or natural lakes, and hidden streams feeding wide water courses such as the Biferno river. Indeed, during our horseback riding strolls, the camera roll is deluged with unexpected and varying photographs: areas filled with shrubs and trees become expanses of cereal and olive grove fields; pastures with yellow broom trees and rosehip bushes make way to huge and imponent rock formations; lush forests where truffles grow abundantly are transformed into real portraits of the high Apennine mountains. There are infinite panoramas that vary in every glimpse of the eye and that always manage to amaze the observer, producing sensations that are difficult to describe. That is why this land has to be experienced personally!
Bonefro (CB), Italy . Transfer from Rome, Napoli, Campobasso on request
In the early afternoon
The journey will start from the Fortore Valley, The local surrounding environment is definitely that of rural nature: cultivated fields, small orchards, forests and hills that sweetly fold themselves into the valley. Within a few steps, we meet the silent, imposing Occhito Lake: thirteen square kilometres of water completely surrounded by nature. Guests will take possession of their accommodations and will meet their faithful travel companion: the horse. In the evening, dinner will be served in harmony with the local environment.
At 9:00 a delicious breakfast will be served. The typical morning mist that hovers around the valley, will gradually thin out and it will be time to part! The horses will be readied while those who are beginners will receive proper riding instructions – taking care of our guests is more of a pleasure than a duty. The excursion will move for a few hours through the numerous paths of the area. The guests will be able to appreciate the remarkable variety of flora and fauna that exists around the lake. Perhaps there could be the sighting of a family of wild pigs, or even a wolf or a small otter. Also, aerial acrobatics of birds of prey such as red kites and buzzards will surely not be missed. At 13:30 a picnic style lunch will be served right on the shore of the lake, followed by a small break to relax. Afterwards, the journey will continue towards an antique fortified manor that will welcome guests for dinner and for the stay overnight.
Another beautiful morning where after breakfast, guests will smoothly get hold of their horses and prepare for the second adventure on the saddle. This time, a new side of the lake will be discovered by intercepting roads and small paths that branch off in the surroundings. In the silence, the sounds of our companions can be felt; calm but constant pattering of hooves in the grass or on the gravel. After a long excursion, it will be the moment to eat lunch, once again picnic style with local, genuine products. We will refresh together under a cool shade before we head to our final destination: Horse’s Ranch. Another historic structure of the Fortore valley, this holiday farmhouse will host guests for the night, offering an exquisite traditional dinner that will precede the well-deserved rest.
We are almost at the end of this adventure. After breakfast, we part again on horseback. In this stretch, guests can continue to learn about the simple, sincere and beautiful nature found at the Occhito basin, further appreciating this small rural universe – the last few hours of enjoyment in the company of our splendid travel companions! Once back at the village, it will be the moment for our final lunch, which will certainly be abundant and delicious.