Timeless paths, natural products and many other reasons to take the road in the hinterland

With over 10,000 hectares and 98 paths counted, the Aveto Regional Nature Park is one of the biggest in Liguria. Easily attainable from the coast, the park is rich in animal and plant species.
But it is also famous for its lakes, some of which are of glacial origin. In summer it is the ideal place to enjoy an “alpine” climate a few kilometres as the crow flies from the beaches.
In winter it is true mountain, with some skiing pistes and langlauf, and runs to go down using snow shoes. Unspoilt nature and natural products have to “go hand in hand.” So it is no surprise that in the area holiday farms and other farms abound, where you can enjoy delicious dishes prepared with great care.

Here they produce San Stè cheese, which is savoury and natural. In the valleys of the Park some old varieties of local products still exist, wisely preserved or rediscovered by farmers: the red Zerli onion, the "tapparona" hazelnut and quarantine potatoes. There are so many festivals and village feasts held in summer, affording one more reason for a trip into the hinterland.
A must is the village of Santo Stefano d’Aveto: a unique place, against which there emerge the rocky peaks of the tallest mountains of the Ligurian Apennine: Maggiorasca, Groppo Rosso and Penna. The headquarters of the park is at Borzonasca, where you can get detailed information; among places to visit there are also the Gambatesa Mines, currently being set out to make it possible for the public to visit them.