Discovering Italy’s most beautiful “Bike to Coast” bike route in Abruzzo
05 September 2022
Cycling in Abruzzo, between the sea and medieval villages
The first section of the Bike To Coast route will take you from Martinsicuro across kilometres of beautiful coastline, passing through Alba Adriatica, one of the region’s most renowned seaside resorts, Tortoreto and Giulianova. If you want to make a stop, you can immerse yourself in the art of the historic centre, rich in unexpected treasures, including the Basilica of Saint Flavian and the Santuario della Madonna dello Splendore.
Onwards to Roseto degli Abruzzi and Pineto. If you are open to suggestions, we recommend stopping by the medieval village of Silvi Alta to enjoy a unique panorama, with the peaks of Gran Sasso d'Italia, the Conero promontory and, in the distance, the Tremiti Islands.
Along the way, you can stop at the Tower of Cerrano, one of the ancient coastal towers of the Kingdom of Naples, built around 1568 on the site of the ancient port of Atri. The Tower is located in a protected marine area between the sea, sand dunes and pine forest. Between April and May, you can spot the Kentish plover, a small, rare bird, of which there are only 1,600-2,000 pairs in Italy, nesting.
Back on the road, you will cycle through Marina di Città Sant'Angelo, Montesilvano and Pescara - we recommend spending a few hours in this “city of the two bridges”, tasting the local delicacies and taking a dip in the sea before continuing on to Francavilla al Mare and the Porto di Ortona. Before leaving the city, however, don't forget to cross the Bridge of the Sea, Italy's largest cycle-pedestrian bridge at 466 metres long.
Cycling in Abruzzo through the Costa dei Trabocchi
Get ready for a change of scenery: instead of sandy shores, you will be treated to inlets, bays, cliffs and headlands overlooking the sea, and flourishing Mediterranean vegetation. The so-called “Costa dei Trabocchi” (“coast of the stilt fishing huts”) starts right here.
The oldest of these historic stilt fishing huts awaits you in San Vito Chietino: Trabocco Turchino, which once charmed Gabriele D'Annunzio. In the summer of 1889, this poet from Abruzzo stayed near Trabocco, in a hermitage perched on the promontory in the Portelle district.
The cycle path then takes you to Fossacesia and Torino di Sangro, where you can spend a few hours relaxing in the Lecceta Regional Natural Reserve of Torino di Sangro, with its 175 hectares full of nature and hiking trails. Lucky visitors will spot a few weasels, beech martens and skunks. In recent years, the area has also become repopulated with roe deer, but sightings are still quite rare.
A few kilometres further south lies Lido di Casalbordino, a traditional medieval town with a spacious sandy shore. Before reaching Vasto, we recommend visiting the Regional Nature Reserve of Punta Aderci, one of the most spectacular stretches of the Abruzzo coastline with alternating sandy beaches and natural cliffs. After taking photos, you can get back on the saddle and make your way to Vasto Marina and finally San Salvo, the final town on the Abruzzo coast before Molise. Treat yourself to a rest in the historic medieval centre, take a walk through the Quadrilatero archaeological park and explore the Abbey of Santi Vito e Salvo, built between the 9th and 11th centuries.
Everything you need to know before setting off on a bike tour of Abruzzo
You don’t need special training to take on the Bike To Coast route. If you plan to travel it from start to finish, however, we recommend planning the route across several days, so you have time to truly appreciate Abruzzo’s colours and flavours.