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Italy Outdoor Pursuits

With its mountains, lakes, coasts and islands Italy has plenty to offer those who love nature and the outdoors. Keen walkers should head to the mountains to one of the many National Parks or nature reserves with their marked walking trails (sentieri) such as Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso in Valle D’Aosta. Here you can enjoy the Alpine scenery and plant life and if you are lucky you might get to see the rare ibex (deer) and chamois (mountain goat). Holidayloop.co.uk offers Italy holiday rental and Villa rentals. You can rent a private apartment in Abruzzo directly from your local home owner. The national parks of Abruzzo are some of the least explored and home to the shy Marsican brown bear and Apennine wolf.  Bird lovers should contact the Italian League for Bird Protection for a list of species you can expect to see, the best places to watch birds and details of organised bird-watching trips.
 
Italy has some of the best ski resorts in Europe such as the glamorous Sestriere in Valle d’Aostaand Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites. The season runs from December to late March. Madonna di Campiglio in Trentino and Breuil-Cervinia in Valle D’Aosta are the best places for snowboarding. Holidayloop.co.uk brings together a great collection of Italy holiday accommodation, Italy holiday apartments, Italy holiday villas and Apartments. Holidayloop.co.uk is unique in providing Italy holiday lettings because we are the only site that allows you to find someone local to you who may have advertised their Italy home.
 
The mountains also provide plenty of challenges for rock climbers of all levels. The really adventurous can combine rock climbing with high-level hiking in the Brenta Dolomites where you canclip onto the via ferrate (trails with permanent steel cords).
 
If mountain scenery and water sports are your thing then head to the Italian Lakes in the north or Nemi in the southeast. Lago (Lake) di Garda in the north enjoys excellent wind conditions and is very popular with windsurfers. The rapids of the Sesia River in northern Piedmont offer excellent white-water sports opportunities whilst you can combine canoeing and canyoning on the Lao river in Calabria.
 
Cycling is popular in the Po Delta with its scenic flatlands and in Tuscany’s rolling countryside. Spring is the best time of year for cycling when it is cooler and the fields are full of wild flowers. Mountain bikers will enjoy the strenuous peaks around Lago di Garda and the Dolomites. For a slower pace summer horse riding is popular in Piedmont and the Brenta Dolomites.
 
There are plenty of golf courses to choose from throughout Italy including Europe’s highest golf course at Sestriere.
 
Finally for something really different why not take a hike up to the top of one of Italy’s active volcanoes – there are four to choose from; Vesuvius near Napoli (Naples), Etna in Sicilia (Sicily) or Stromboli or Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands. Don't forget, a holiday in Lake Garda or Como, Italy, staying in self catering accommodation makes an ideal family holiday.

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