The Umbra Forest

The Foresta Umbra nature reserve is a protected natural area located in the innermost part of the Gargano National Park. It owes its name to the thick vegetation which makes it very shady in many places.
The Umbrian forest has an area of ​​about 10.000 hectares and has a rugged geography with reliefs that reach 800 meters above sea level, with some parts reaching close to the coasts.

Since 2017, its beech forests have become part of the transnational UNESCO site "Primordial beech forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe", thus becoming a World Heritage Site.

The Gargano and the Umbra Forest can be defined as "the kingdom of biodiversity", in fact, even if the Gargano represents only 0,7% of the national territory, it holds 40% of the Italian flora and 70% of the bird species nesting in the our country.
The Umbrian forest is the subject of continuous studies: the vegetation, for example, is characterized by the phenomenon of macrosomatism: the plants are larger than usual. This allows you to come across specimens of Aleppo pines, beeches, holm oaks and yew trees of monumental dimensions.
The Umbra forest boasts over 2.000 plant species and is the largest Italian deciduous forest with beech trees, real botanical monuments, with heights of over 40 meters and diameters greater than one metre.
There are about 4.000 hectares of Cerro beech and oak woods, with the presence of Farnetto, Holm oak, Downy oak and noble species such as Maple or Palo, White Hornbeam, Field Maple, Sycamore Maple, Manna Ash, Yew and many other species, in particular the Aleppo pine in the coastal areas. The low Mediterranean maquis is also rich and is widespread in the territory and in the undergrowth, with Holly, Vitalbe, Lentisk, Juniper and others, wild Orchids with as many as 65 species: a record in the whole Mediterranean basin!

The fauna is also very rich and varied, typical is the Italian roe deer, native to Gargano, the wild cat, the wild boar, the badger, the weasel, the dormouse and the birds: the eagle owl, the long-eared owl, the woodpecker, the 'Allocco, the Barn Owl, the Magpie, the Woodcock and others.

In ancient times the Forest belonged to feudal properties, later it was handed over to the municipalities of Monte Sant'Angelo, Hornbeam, Ischitella, Vico del Gargano, Peschici and Morning. In 1861, after the fall of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, it passed to the State Property of the Kingdom of Italy and, with law 4 March 1896 n. 3713, was declared inalienable and turned over to the State Forestry Administration.

What to see in the Umbra Forest

The Umbrian forest is a territory to be explored by all ages.
Very interesting, especially for children, is the easy path around the artificial lake, full of carp, catfish, turtles and toads that often emerge from the surface to feed on the breadcrumbs thrown by the little ones.

Umbrian forest
Not far away is the Daini area, where you can "Bambi" who, protected by a net, interact with visitors. Near the "Daini area" there is also the visitor center and the "Gio Bosco", a magnificent playground made entirely of wood, completely surrounded by nature.

We recommend following at least one of the 15 existing paths in the Umbra Forest, on foot, by mountain bike or on an ebike.

There are itineraries for beginners and experts, to be followed independently or with a guide, to better enjoy the surrounding beauty.
Daily tours depart from the Forest, always by reservation.

Here is a trail map offered by Mooveng, Ebike Rental and Tour on the Gargano (click here for info)

Practical advice before leaving for the Umbra Forest:

  •  There is not good phone reception, so it is best to organize your experience before entering the Forest
  • Temperatures in the Forest can be up to 10 degrees cooler than on the coast. We recommend appropriate, "onion" clothing so as not to be unprepared for temperature variations.
  • On Tuesdays a trek suitable for children is carried out (always by reservation)
  • It will be possible to rent Ebikes for adults and children, with the possibility of seats and bags for small animals.

Photos of the Umbra Forest

How to get to Umbra Forest

From Vieste you can get to the forest via the Garganica 89 state road and travel for about 9 km, after which turn onto the SP52 Bis (direction Monte Sant'Angelo), or from the Scialmarino Bay take the 52Bis directly which "cuts" through the forest giving us a extraordinary spectacle from the first km, to be covered by bike, car, motorbike or even renting a quad.
In Summer 2024, a bus will be active that connects Vieste with the Umbra Forest every Wednesday, with the possibility of guided excursions. Info on

Follow also on social networks for updates and live coverage. Join the community and share the photos of your holidays in Vieste!


Palme Gemelle Hotel

The 3-star Hotel with swimming pool Palme Gemelle is immersed in the greenery of…

Vico del Gargano

The village of Vico del Gargano, located in the hinterland of the north of the Gargano,… is created by Diego Romano, Tourism Marketing

See also:

Are you looking for accommodation?


Marc Hotel

4-star hotel 150 meters from the sea, near the centre