Monte Fossa delle Felci

The visit to Monte Fossa delle Felci, which with its 962 m above sea level is the highest peak of the Aeolian Islands, is a must for the discovery of the natural heritage of these islands. The hike starts from the saddle of Valdichiesa, taking at the back of the sanctuary of the Madonna del Terzito the path n. 12 that cuts the reforestations to eucalyptus, acacias, Neapolitan alders and maritime pines, until crossing the thick scrub to heather and strawberry tree, certainly more original appearance of the vegetation of Salina. Majestic chestnuts and a thick undergrowth of ferns aquiline offer one of the most unexpected and surprising views of the archipelago and give shelter to numerous species of nesting birds, including the magnanine (Sylvia undata); in spring we can observe some botanical rarities, such as the Asteracea Doronicum orientale and the Labiata Ajuga orientalis, typical of the Mediterranean mountain environments; in autumn, the blooms of the Neapolitan cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium) and the sparrowhawks (Hieracium crinitum)while the same path is a destination for chestnut and mushroom pickers. The ancient crater is occupied by a thick chestnut grove, whose layout probably dates back to the Roman age, where a population of dormouses (Glis glis) lives. The descent from Fossa delle Felci can be made in the direction of Malfa (path n. 7), Santa Marina (path n. 4) or Lingua (path n. 2), or returning to Valdichiesa along the route already made with some variations.

Duration: 5 – 6 hours

Difficulty: medium (path n. 2, 7, 12) or medium-high (path n. 4)

From Pollara to Leni

The path starts from the Semaphore (280 m above sea level) and dominates the crater amphitheater of Pollara, where the last phase of volcanic activity of the island ended 13.000 years ago with a catastrophic explosion, crossing a thick stain of cysts, heathers and strawberry trees.

After the Pizzo del Corvo (ca. 450 m above sea level) you can see the cliffs of Praiola and Filo di Branda, where between July and October a small colony of the Queen’s falcon nests (Falco eleonorae), to continue through the abandoned crops and olive groves of Valle Spina and Piano del Vescovo (S side of Monte dei Porri) and rejoin the road in Leni. One of the most interesting excursions for lovers of birdwatching and nature photography.

Duration: 3 – 4 hours

Difficulty: medium

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