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Bikepacking the Wolf's Lair – through Abruzzo in southern Italy

Tristan Bogaard

Bikepacking the Wolf's Lair – through Abruzzo in southern Italy

Bike Touring Collection by tristanbogaard



32:46 h

233 mi

26,700 ft

Our summer was full of bikepacking trips across Europe. We couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to visit one area in particular. In September 2021, Belén and I headed to the Wolf’s Lair in the region of Abruzzo in southern Italy. I had the chance to explore this mountainous region in late 2020, but I returned to cycle the route with Belén.

Before you dive into all the Tours in this Collection, there are a few things you should know about this route. First, the Wolf's Lair is one of my favorite routes I've ever ridden. This Tour is so varied, that you constantly see the landscape change, along with the surfaces under your wheels, as you traverse the Abruzzo. The route explores the history and tranquility of these southern Italian mountains.

The Wolf’s Lair showcases Italian culture more than any other route I’ve ridden in the country. You feel it in every village and town you cycle through. If you ride outside of the touristy summer months, you’ll notice the Italian flair even more.

The original route was created by Montanus (instagram.com/montanus_thewildside) and can also be found on bikepacking.com. This route, as I said before, is great and I wholeheartedly encourage you to explore it. In this Collection, we added a few detours and shortcuts which (for us at least) made the route even better. For example, this route starts in Cansano, which you can easily reach by train from Sulmona. We also take you through the old centre of L'Aquila (instead of around it), so you can start or end your Tour here as well.

To help you further on your way, Belén has written down a lot of useful information in her route report: komoot.nl/tour/501695578.

Finally, feel free to check out the videos I made of this ride. The first of these can be found in the description of the first Tour. Have fun and I hope you love the Wolf's Lair as much as I did.

On The Map


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The Wolf's Lair: Bikepacking Abruzzo

236 mi

26,875 ft

26,875 ft

Last updated: July 27, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Cycling the Wolf's Lair - Day 1

    13.8 mi
    6.5 mph
    2,200 ft
    500 ft

    Day one of our Wolf's Lair adventure! As mentioned in the intro of this collection, we started the Wolf's Lair route from Cansano, a small village northeast of Sulmona, where we arrived by train from Pescara. We cycled up into this little town, set up by the main square and started our ride there!



    by tristanbogaard

  • 04:43
    39.9 mi
    8.4 mph
    3,400 ft
    4,025 ft

    Day 2 of our Wolf's Lair adventure! After a morning coffee in Pescocostanzo we continued the route westward, quickly finding ourselves in the hills ahead of a climb up to 1700m. This section of the route hadn't been explored by either of us (during my solo ride in 2020 I had to divert to Sulmona for

    by tristanbogaard

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  • 04:24
    30.1 mi
    6.8 mph
    3,400 ft
    3,425 ft

    The third day of our Wolf's Lair adventure! We woke up with a wet tent and quickly cycled up to a nearby pass for some much needed sun exposure and to cook breakfast. We were back on the part of the Wolf's Lair route that I cycled in 2020, so it was nice to show Belén the place I'd chosen as camp spot

    by tristanbogaard

  • 04:56
    32.7 mi
    6.6 mph
    4,375 ft
    3,150 ft

    Day four of our Wolf's Lair adventure! Starting out from a really nice camp spot, we descended into the little village of Gagliano Aterno below, to have breakfast and start climbing afterwards. The original Wolf's Lair route makes you take a path up a few hundred meters, but we preferred to take the

    by tristanbogaard

  • 03:27
    26.7 mi
    7.7 mph
    2,500 ft
    4,475 ft

    Day five of our Wolf's Lair adventure! Having had a wonderful sleep in our tent at Campo Felice made the difference in descending down to L'Aquila–a pretty treacherous descend on loose, chunky gravel and little pathways along busy highways. Belén and I decided to make a big change to the original route

    by tristanbogaard

  • 04:38
    25.8 mi
    5.6 mph
    4,225 ft
    2,225 ft

    Day six of our Wolf's Lair adventure.... and also the most amazing one. I was particularly excited for this part of the ride as I hadn't been able to follow it in 2020, due to a shortage of food and a detour to Castel del Monte. The route that curves around this town, the upper part near the end of the

    by tristanbogaard

  • 04:52
    37.1 mi
    7.6 mph
    3,225 ft
    6,975 ft

    Day seven of our Wolf's Lair adventure! Waking up on the high Gran Sasso plateau right underneath the mountains, we finally saw its peak under blue skies. We had a pass to scale this morning, after which we got back on gravel to ascend further towards the big descend of the day. Or so we thought.



    by tristanbogaard

  • 03:38
    27.0 mi
    7.4 mph
    3,400 ft
    2,125 ft

    Day eight of our Wolf's Lair adventure! A fresh start, having camped out just after Tocco da Casauria, and with a hot breakfast in the sunshine while drying our tent out, it couldn't have been a better day to finish the trip. The entire morning was taken up by our ascend up to Passo San Leonardo, which

    by tristanbogaard

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    233 mi
  • Duration
    32:46 h
  • Elevation
    26,700 ft

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