A long loop trail to do in Spring
Stefano and I have been together for the past two and a half years. We explored the mountains of Friuli and wandered in Alto Adige, we visited mountain huts and bivouacs, we almost slipped in front of the Marmolada and hiked with ibex.
We, therefore, would never have imagined completing our longest hike in terms of kilometers and the difference in altitude between the hamlets of Attimis and Faedis, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy.
This ring route was created by Stefano and is almost 20 km long for a total elevation gain of 1200 meters. It connects four castles (Attimis Superiore, Partistagno, Cucagna, and Zucco), climbs up to the hamlet of Porzûs, and returns to Attimis. The maximum altitude is 590 meters above sea level.
What you will read in this post:
Why you should hike around the Castles of Attimis and Faedis
I think this hike was very fascinating. Both for the historical side that unites very different centuries, and for the naturalistic side because I love walking in the woods.
I’ll be honest. This is really a tough hike and is not for everyone, at least the way we did it (if you want to try, however, I leave you the link to the GPS track below).
It’s an excellent workout for those who, like me, are starting to do longer hikes with more elevation gain. It is a good way to work on endurance in a less risky environment than in the high mountains.
From the Castle of Attimis to the Castle of Partistagno
We start our hike around 9 from the parking lot behind the church of Attimis, moving away from the town center and immediately plunging into the woods.
In about 20 minutes we reach our first stop: the Upper Castle of Attimis. The castle is in ruin but among those stones, one can still read the stories of those who lived there.
It takes us about an hour to cover the distance between the two castles. The trail, which is well-marked by the signs installed by the local associations of Attimis, runs in the undergrowth with continuous ups and downs.
The only stretch to which I recommend you pay attention is the one immediately near the Castel of Partistagno, where the path skirts the hamlet of Faris. Once out of the woods, in fact, you descend slightly towards the hamlet with a concrete road only to re-enter the bush and go up to the castle. Finding your way around is however simple as it is the castle itself that guides us.
The Castle of Partistagno has been recently renovated and is the one that best-looking castles of the four we’re visiting today. Nonetheless, the first settlements on the fortress dating back to Roman times. The view sweeps over the plain, and the strategic function of the place is immediately clear. This manor was created to control the underlying road that connects Gemona to Cividale.
From the Castle of Partistagno to the Castles of Faedis (Zucco and Cucagna)
After admiring the view, we are ready to tackle the longest stretch of the hike. Seven kilometers in the woods that will take us from Partistagno to the nearness of Faedis. We move away from the castle with a slightly downhill road that starts from the base. After a few meters, on the left, we come across a detour that goes back into the woods and we take it.
We walk about five kilometers surrounded by butcher’s broom and wild garlic, to finally come out of the woods on a forest road near Faedis. Here we cross the first signs for the castles of Zucco and Cucagna.
Detour to Cjondar des Paganis (only for expert hikers)
On that same road, we decide to visit the Cja des Paganis cave, taking up a well-marked trail on the left (there are signs warning against danger). We thus challenge the most difficult part of the entire route, since to reach the cave, it is necessary to climb rocks and an assisted section. Personally, with hindsight, I believe that this detour is not worth making as part of such a long hike.
It’s better to visit it during a shorter itinerary (without children).
The Castles of Zucco and Cucagna
When we return to the main road, it is almost one o’clock and we still have a few kilometers to go. We once again dive into the woods and reach a crossroads that will take us to the second to last stop of our tour.
In ten minutes, we reach Zucco’s castle where we treat ourselves with a longer stop. Although the altitude is the same as at the start, due to the continuous ups and downs, our legs have already faced 700 meters of positive difference in altitude.
The Castle of Zucco dates to 1200. All in all well preserved but we observe it from a distance, sitting on the bench of the nearby church of the Vergine del Rosario from which, moreover, you can admire a beautiful view of the plain.
Sitting there, with the breeze tickling my face, I wonder who made me choose such a grind. Fortunately, Stefano gets tired more slowly than me and I’m very stubborn. We don’t give up and move on.
We set off again towards the aforementioned crossroads, and we say goodbye to the last castle of the tour, Cucagna. Even if the manor is too dilapidated to be visited well, we still take some photos between the holes in the fence and continue.
From the Castles of Faedis to Porzûs
In the course of the last 400 meters elevation gain, which will take us to Porzûs, our pace becomes slower and the breath shorter. The sun is now hot and creeps between the branches of the trees. I’m starting to feel really tired.
Even if the climb seems interminable, in the end, the path flattens out and after one last stretch in the woods, we arrive to Porzûs.
From the town cemetery, you can enjoy a wonderful view, but we are too tired and thirsty to really appreciate it. With a last effort, we drag to the hamlet’s center where we’re greeted by a kiosk.
Beer today is a must.
The last stretch from Porzûs to Attimis
Beer makes us dizzy and we almost forget that we still have some kilometers awaiting us and the descent towards Attimis.
If nothing else, after hiking for so long, the legs are now moving by inertia so … Stefano insists on making one last detour.
We reach a nearby vantage point from which the paragliders that have been flying over us for a few hours take off.
It looks like it’s really time to get back to the car. The return trail is pleasant and in about an hour we finally see our car again.
Some final thoughts on this hike around Attimis, Faedis and Porzûs
As I said, this hike is only suitable for hikers who are used to hike for a long period of time. The good news is that in this area there are countless trails for all levels of difficulty.
You can think of visiting the castles in groups, Attimis / Partistagno, and Cucagna / Zucco. You can avoid the climb to Porzûs. Or approach the area with two cars, leaving one in Attimis and the other near the castle of Zucco. Or even keep yourself in the Porzûs area alone.
There are many choices, it is up to you to choose the one that suits you best. If you want more inspiration, I suggest you follow the Facebook page of the Pro Loco Amici di Porzûs.
I hope you enjoy this walk. If so, remember to share the article.
See you on the trails.
- Length: 19 km
- Elevation Gain: +1200
- Duration: 7 h
- CAI trail: No CAI trail
- Difficulty: For Expert hikers
- Suitable for children?: No
- Restaurants along the way ?: No
How to reach Attimis:
From Udine: proceed towards Reana del Rojale until Remugnano. A couple of hundred meters before the hamlet of Zompitta, turn right toward Savorgnano del Torre then follow directions to Attimis.