The hilly paths of Laigueglia have been traversed by horses, motorcycles and bicycles. They have seen gliders and paragliders diving into the sky. They were trampled by runners of trail and marked by the rackets of those trekking. They were tested by every modern discipline except one: the Nordic Walking. It is with this purpose that we approached this speciality and we began to know it better.
Nordic Walking was established as an off-season training for cross-country skiing, in the 30s, but in 1997, following the publication of the book “Sauvakävely” by Marko Kantaneva, it was officially recognized as a sport. It is different from trekking where poles are used to help during the most inaccessible rises; on the contrary, in the Nordic Walking, the push is forward, thus activating torso and arms, together with legs. The result is an increased energy consumption at equal distance and time, but not only. The fluid and regular motion avoids injuries caused by running or jogging and can indeed be used as a rehabilitation technique. But the real news, which contributed to make it increasingly popular in recent years, is its anti-stress function. The movement tends to loosen the muscles of shoulders and back, it is carried out outdoors, it facilitates socialization (not being breathless allows a chat), it may be practised for long periods of time even by those who are not in top form, by children and elderly people, and finally it is not competitive.
We know, however, that in purely theoretically we’re all good, so we wanted to see it first-hand. Therefore, we contacted the instructor of Nordic Walking Marina Caramellino of the Refuge Pian dell’Arma, which took us by the hand in the fundamentals of the sport and in the paths of Laigueglia, until we got an answer to our question that surprised even us: not only our village is suitable for Nordic Walking, but it seems to lend itself particularly to both taking the first steps and more advanced users.
The first path, where to set the A.L.F.A. technique, requires a level and soft ground, a pretty long one. The best place is definitely the coast of fine sand, possibly with your feet in the water, which stretches for nearly 7 km from Capo Mele to the Port of Alassio. Once you get familiar with the style, you can deal with some more challenging rises. Our advice is to start from the Saracen Bastion, crossing the Aurelia and to tackle (but always with the calm that characterizes this activity) Via Andrea Doria, with its breathtaking view behind the Church of San Matteo, then to cross the Parco dell’Orso (picnic area) to the Fontana del Lupo parking (for the laziest, it is possible to get there by car); distance: 1.5 km.
From there, you can start the path to the west, which accompanies us, parallel to the sea, to the Mills Bench (Panchina dei Mulini), where to rest, exercise and admire Laigueglia from the above. At this point, we climb again towards the ridge that separates our village from Andora and which allows us to continue until Alassio (at Park Solleone in San Bernardo Region), or to return to the parking by completing a ring of about 5Km.
From the Mulini you also have the possibility to follow the paved road which, after about 1.3km, brings you to the small village of Colla Micheri, in the peace of its stone houses (also accessible by car with parking). A break to fill the water bottles in the fountain and we leave for the mule track that goes around the ruins of the mill of Tagliaferro, under which there is a plaque in memory of the anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl; maybe one of the most beautiful place of the Bay of Sun.
Nordic Walking Laigueglia Park
The Nordic Walking Laigueglia Park was founded this way, thanks to the collaboration of many lovers of this discipline: a set of six routes among the beach, mule tracks and trails surrounding the village, of varying degrees of difficulty, accurately marked with dedicated signs. For more information on courses, trips or to stay updated on our news join the Facebook page Nordic Walking Qui Laigueglia or contact one of the companies of the QuiLaigueglia network from the Home Page.