MOUNTAIN BIKING in the Amendolea Valley
Municipalities: Roccaforte del Greco, Roghudi
Difficulty: MC/BC (uphill MC: for touring bikes with average technical qualities; downhill BC: for touring bikes with good technical qualities)
Kilometres: 45 kilometres, appoximately
Elevation difference: 2.000 metres both uphill and downhill
Minimum altitude: 510 metres above sea level
Maximum altitude: 1,650 metres above sea leve
Localities and altitudes of the route: Menta Dam (1,425 metres above sea level) – Pesdavoli (1, 450 metres above sea level) – Bivio Africo Vecchio (970 metres above sea level) – Pedimpisu (1,000 metres above sea level) – Rocca del Drago (900 metres above sea level) – Ghorio di Roghudi (700 metres above sea level) – Roghudi Vecchio (540 metres above sea level) – Roccaforte del Greco (900 metres above sea level) –Zumbello Picnic Area (1,330 metres above sea level) –Menta Dam (1,425 metres above sea level).
Time: 5.30 hours approximately
Drining water: at the Menta Torrent, Furria Bridge, Roghudi Vecchio and Roccaforte del Greco
Time of year: April– November
Signposting: None, except for 12 kilometres downhill on the way to Africo Vecchio, indicated in red and white, as part of the N. 102 Bova – Delianova route.
Ordinance survey maps: Scale1: 50.000 F° Motta San Giovanni
Latest update: November 2015
The itineary brings you into contact with the central – upper Valley of the Amendolea, from the thick forests of the Aspromonte massif to the villages overlooking the River.
Arriving by car
From Gambarie d’Aspromonte take the SS 183 in the direction of Bagaladi, after 2 kilometres turn left for Montalto-Polsi, and, 5 kilometres farther on, turn right for the Diga del Menta [Menta Dam]; after 7 more kilometres you reach the Menta catchment basin. Park here in the clearing.
Departure from the Diga del Menta (1,425 metres above sea level) and take the little trail just below it; after 800 metres, cross the Menta Torrent and pedal uphill ; after about 3.5 kilometres , you arrive at a junction (1,530 metres above sea level). Turn right here and ride downhill for about 12 kilometres ; here you come to a turning for the abandoned village of Africo Vecchio (continue right) and then to the Pedimpisu Locality, where the dirt track ends.
Turn right onto the tarmacked road for the Rocca del Drago [The Dragon’s Den] and Caldaie del Latte [Milk Cauldrons], two of the area’s amazing rock formations; continue downhill until you reach the Bridge over the Furria Torrent.
You then ride uphill for about one kilometre until you reach Ghorio di Roghudi. Ride on, and after a further 1.5 kilometres you come to the abandoned hamlet of Roghudi Vecchio.
Follow the course of the Amendolea River, until you reach a big bridge where a steep climb begins, leading you through Ghorio di Roccaforte and into Roccaforte del Greco. From here you begin a difficult uphill stretch, and, after about 8 kilometres, you reach the Zumbello pic-nic area where you may observe the enormous Colella Lanslide. From here you take the dirt track once more and after about 6 kilometres uphill you reach the tarmacked road again which leads, right, to theDiga del Menta , left to Gambarie d’Aspromonte.
Source: Guida Naturalistica della Calabria Greca – Alfonso Picone – Rubbettino Editore – Collana Parco Culturale della Calabria Greca
Text and photos by Pasquale La Cava.