Parco del Conero

Monte Conero (Mount Conero, 572m) is the highest peak along the long Italian Adriatic coast between Trieste and Gargano massif in Puglia. It is also known as Monte d’Ancona – Ancona, the capital of the Marche region, lies just a few kilometres to the north. To the south of Monte Conero there are popular beach resorts Sirolo and Numana.

The name Conero has Greek origin and relates to the strawberry trees frequent in the area. The whole area around the mountain, situated immediately at the coast and overlooking the Adriatic Sea from the height of several hundred metres, is a protected state park known as Parco del Conero.

Visiting Parco del Conero

There are hiking trails and many attractions in the park. Archaeological sites and historic ruins can be found along the trails. The park is home to many species of animals (such as badger, weasel, or marten) which you can see here if you are lucky. You may even see a falcon or a much smaller but very colourful bird, kingfisher.

There are also many places where a great view of the surroundings suddenly appears between the trees (mostly oaks or pines). Especially the views of the Adriatic Sea in the depth between the rocks below you will make a visit to Monte Conero worth it.

Hiking Trails in Parco del Conero

There are 18 hiking trails available. Although the terrain is hilly, the difficulty of the trails is mostly light to medium. Good shoes are recommended in any case. On sunny days the trees provide shadow on many sections of the trails, but make sure you also bring sun protection and water. Besides walking, 12 of the total 18 trails are also open for mountain bikers and horseback riders.

Most trails are accessible from the regional road between Ancona and Sirolo (strada provinciale del Conero). Several trails can be accessed immediately from one of the nearby towns (Sirolo, Portonovo, Poggio di Ancona, or Varano).

Trail 1: Traversata del Conero
Easy, 4 hours
Part of the trail available also on mountain bike or horse
The longest trail in Parco del Conero, taking you through the central parts of the park
The trail has 3 deviations (marked 1A, 1B, 1C)

Trail 2: Sentiero delle due Sorelle
Hard (the hardest trail in the Monte Conero Park), 2 hours
Walking only
Most of the trail goes along the steep and rocky coast

Trail 3: Sentiero dei Sassi neri
Easy, 1 hour
Available also on mountain bike or horse
Short trail immediately accessible from the northern part of Sirolo

Trail 4: Sentiero di San Michele
Easy, 30 minutes
Available also on mountain bike or horse
Short trail immediately accessible from the centre of Sirolo

Trail 5: Stradone di San Lorenzo
Easy, 1 hour
Available also on mountain bike or horse
Accessible from strada provinciale del Conero, going to the central parts of the park

Trail 6: Stradone di Sant’Andrea
Easy, 1 hour
Available also on mountain bike or horse
Accessible from strada provinciale del Conero, going to the central parts of the park

Trail 7: Anello Grotte Romane e Cava Nascosta
Medium, 1 hour 30 minutes
Walking only
Accessible from strada provinciale del Conero, going to the central parts of the park

Trail 8: Sentiero dei Gigli
Easy, 1 hour
Walking only
Accessible from strada provinciale del Conero, going to the central parts of the park

Trail 9: Baia di Portonovo
Easy, 1 hour
Available also on mountain bike or horse
Round trail around the town of Portonovo (about half way between Ancona and Sirolo)

Trail 10: Sentiero del Trave
Easy, 30 minutes
Walking only
Close to Portonovo, going from strada provinciale del Conero to the coast

Trail 11: Sentiero della Sardella
Medium, 1 hour
Walking only
Close to Ancona, going from strada provinciale del Conero to the coast

Trail 12: Sentiero della Vedova
Medium, 1 hour
Walking only
Close to Ancona, going from strada provinciale del Conero to the coast

Trail 13: Sentiero della Scalaccia
Medium, 30 minutes
Walking only
The trail that is closest to Ancona, going from strada provinciale del Conero to the coast

Trail 14: Percorso dalla Fonte di Capo d’Acqua
Easy, 1 hour
Available also on mountain bike or horse
Accessible from the northern part of Sirolo

Trail 15: Anello della Pecorara
Easy, 2 hours
Available also on mountain bike or horse
Accessible from strada provinciale del Conero, going from the road to the western parts of the Monte Conero area
The trail has one deviation (marked 15A)

Trail 16: Percorso del Betelico
Easy, 1 hour 45 minutes
Available also on mountain bike or horse
Accessible from strada provinciale del Conero, going from the road to the western parts of the Monte Conero area

Trail 17: Percorso del Boranico
Easy, 1 hour 45 minutes
Available also on mountain bike or horse
Accessible from the town of Varano

Trail 18: Anello della Gradina
Easy, 2 hours
Available also on mountain bike or horse
Round trail covering the north-western part of the Monte Conero area
Accessible from the town of Poggio di Ancona (about halfway between Ancona and Sirolo on the strada provinciale del Conero)

Navigation in the park is relatively easy thanks to the frequent maps and signs placed in the park. Entrance to Parco del Conero is free.

Getting to Parco del Conero

By car, the park is best accessible from the highway A14 (Autostrada Adriatica). It is less than 10 km south of Ancona. When arriving from the north, you can exit the A14 at Ancona Sud-Osimo. From the south you can take the exit for Loreto / Porto Recanati and drive along the coast via Numana and Sirolo. There is a service station named Conero on the A14 between these two exits.

From the resorts Numana and Sirolo you can get to Parco del Conero even on foot. These two towns are a good base if you want to visit the park over multiple days, or if you want to combine the hiking with a few days on the beach (there is also a golf course near the park). The nearest to the park is Sirolo, then Numana Alta, then Numana Bassa (but they are all merged into one long town along the coast).