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Lago di Venere Trail

On foot         Great Interest: Flora Great Interest: Wildlife 
  • Departure: Pantelleria
  • Arrival: Pantelleria
  • Duration: 3 hour/s 30 minutes
  • Difficulty Level: E - Hiking (level)
  • Length: 10 km
  • Difference in height: Uphill 550m - Downhill 550m
  • Involved Municipalities: Pantelleria

Trail No. 972: mountain trail - unpaved road
Hiking difficulty E
Length 6 km
Duration: 2 hours

Trail No. 973: unpaved road
Hiking difficulty E
Length 3,5 km
Duration: 1 hour and a half

The main theme of the itinerary is naturalistic-rural. The starting location is the Lago Specchio di Venere, which represents a unique ecosystem in the world. There are many unique heliphobic biological entities in this area. From a wildlife point of view, the lake is a resting area for many volatile migratory species.

The lake originates from a natural depression, has an altitude just above sea level and an area of ​​about 2 sq km with a maximum depth of 12.5 m, is fed both by rainwater and by the thermal springs located on the southeast side. The Lago Specchio di Venere represents an important biotope to be preserved, being subjected to an intense anthropic disturbance. The vegetation is represented by heliophytes (plants of humid environments that overcome the adverse season with submerged buds) at the edge of the lake area, and by areas physiognomized by the very dense Limonio (Limonium secundirameum, an exclusive endemic entity of this station), at the edges of the external part of the banks.

The path to follow called "Sillume" rises towards the coast of Zinedi and then descends into the Cannachi valley. In this depression, as in the others present on the island, the conditions for the accumulation of substrates and the formation of deep soils rich in organic matter occurred. These edaphic conditions, together with the climatic conditions, typical of the valleys, guarantee the conditions for achieving quality agriculture.

Crossing the Cannachi valley, and passing alongside the ruins of the Second World War, the excursion continues north towards Monte Gelfiser. Once you arrive at the foot of the mountain, you begin your climb along the eastern edge of the old lava flow. Here the path passes under high crevasses and on detrital clusters typical of volcanic eruptions. The series of vegetation found during this stretch is attributable to the scrub-brush formation in holm oak and Phoenician juniper, even if it then moves on to increasingly mesophilic bioclimatic situations and plants such as the Phoenician Juniper (Juniperus Turbinata sudsp. turbinata) and the tree spurge (Euphorbia dendroides) become sporadic; the series of vegetation tends towards the holm oak scrub. Once you reach the top, from the panoramic point, you can have the entire panoramic view of the Gelfiser with its wide crevasses, giving life to a series of small canyons covered by pristine vegetation.

Behind the gelfiser mountain opens the Sibà plain with its characteristic peasant village. The excursion continues eastwards, to reach the tikirriki district, another area with a very high viticultural vocation, where lands are delimited by dry stone walls, giving life to spectacular terraces that support the ground-level lines.

The unpaved road that crosses the terraces arrives at the foot of Cuddia Valletta. At the crossroads you have to continue downhill on the right, this stretch of path is obtained from a road carved out of the tuff. Once you arrive in the town of Bugeber, go up the road that leads to the church and from there continue along the unpaved road that crosses the lava flow of the Kaggiar, until you reach Cala Cinque Denti near the Roman path.

From the Cala Cinque Denti parking lot, take the path on the right that takes you back to the lake, the starting point of the excursion. This path develops over a stretch of the original caldera, suspended between the sea and the mountain, with the scents of the plant essences that combine with the sea breeze. At the end of the long walk, the experiences gathered during the journey are: walking on a Roman path, on the flow, seeing the shapes and colours of the rocks and plants, seeing the different forms of lava cooling, perceiving the force of the waves, and the ability of the farmers to tear off every piece of land useful for cultivation. They will materialize in a greater awareness of the island's geology and botany as well as in a greater knowledge of its past and recent history.

Lake of Venere
Lake of Venere
(photo by Parco Nazionale Isola di Pantelleria)
Lake of Venere
Lake of Venere
(photo by Parco Nazionale Isola di Pantelleria)
Lake of Venere
Lake of Venere
(photo by Parco Nazionale Isola di Pantelleria)
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