Hiking is not the only thing you can do; there are so many ideas for fun ways to discover the park. Doing sport provides an opportunity to completely immerse yourself in nature.
You can take canoes from a place called “La Barca” near Alberese, a section of the river which until forty years ago was crossable by ferry. The banks are at first covered with thick vegetation, but as you head down towards the San Mamiliano farm, approaching canoe tie-up point, the vegetation on the bank gradually thins out. Around Spolverino you can see the remains of a Roman bridge, known as the “Devil’s bridge”. On reaching Torre Trappola, which is around 3km from the sea, the river widens. The riverbanks, which are lower by this point, begin to change their vegetation: poplar and willow trees give way to Lentisk bushes, Phillyrea and tamarisk.
Horse trekking is another pleasant and fun way to get to know the park and spend some time surrounded by nature. There are different options which allow experts and beginners alike to go riding in different areas across the protected area. During the treks it is easy to get up close to animals such as deer, wild boars, cows and wild horses of the Maremma.
The two-hour “Romitorio” itinerary consists of a relaxed ride which passes through a cork oak forest and is suitable even for the inexperienced. For people with more time at their disposal, we recommend the three-hour ride, which takes you as far as the San Rabano Abbey.
For able riders, we suggest the whole-day ride, which lasts around six hours and takes you through some of the park’s different environments: the agricultural area, the Mediterranean scrub, the pine groves, the marshland and the River Ombrone.
If you are an expert rider, moreover, and want to discover what the work of cowboys involves, you can ask for information and book rides at the Alberese Farm office.
Having left your car in town, you can take a relaxing ride along the road to the Marina di Alberese. Along this route, which passes through a livestock-rearing area, you can see cattle and horses grazing in the large fields that flank the roadsides. Once you reach a crossroads around five hundred metres from the sea, you can turn to the right, and, following the directions for the route A7, ride down the long avenue which leads to the River Ombrone. On your way back, take the main road and you will soon reach the beach. Those who would rather do a longer ride can take the country road which leaves from Alberese, and runs along the edge of the protected area to reach the southern end of the park and the town of Talamone. If you do not have a mountain bike with you, you can hire them from the rental point, ‘Il Rialto’.
When night falls in Maremma, you will find yourself wrapped in the dim light of the moon and the stars, with the sharp scent of the earth, vegetation, olive and pine groves, meadows, dunes and the beach filling the air. Pair this with the charm of an already-unique landscape, and with the magic created by the sounds, footsteps and rustling of wild animals, busy with their nocturnal pursuits. Accompanied in small groups by expert guides, visitors can discover aspects of the park that are difficult to experience during the day. You might even be able to feel the emotions people would have felt in days (or nights) gone by, in an atmosphere and pocket of nature which recalls times of yore.
Information and Booking: parco-maremma.it