The lake of Conza is an artificial basin built in a natural alluvial plain. It has a surface of about 800 hectares and a maximum depth of 25 meters. It has been generated with the building of a dam wanted to collect water for irrigation use for Region Apulia, which has barred the course of the river Ofanto, one of the most important rivers of the South of Italy. The oasis is recognized Site of Community Importance and Special Protection Area and is managed by WWF Italy in agreement with the Irrigation Institution of Apulia, Lucania and Irpinia. Around the basin, there are some modest and sweet elevations with wheat fields, woods of downy oak, oak and manna ash.
The WWF oasis of the Lake of Conza has activated a path for mountain bikes that will allow the visitors to use the Oasis comfortably wandering by bike and, crossing parts of hygrophilous wood, ruins of ancient farms and wide grazing and meadow zones, to enjoy an extremely suggestive landscape and to observe the wild fauna that lives the air.
The path that retraces an ancient route that until the 70s joint among them the numerous farms that rose up on the fertile lands flown by the river Ofanto, is indicated with red signs and is nearly flat, with short climbs not excessively tiring making possible the walk also for groups of families.
The visitor will be able to walk on the wonderful natural meadow of the Oasis and remains fascinated observing the wonderful landscape drawn by the blue of the lake and the sweet hills of Irpinia and observing seabirds, cormorants and herons, predators like kites and sea hawks and also larks, starlings, crested larks and stonechats.
The path starts from the Visit Center of the Oasis of Conza, which is a welcoming structure, made with attention to the details, and winds along the southern bank and is walkable only after prior booking and only in summer/autumn when the level of the water lowers considerably. The bike can be rented directly in the Oasis.
For the visitors who choose ‘the walks’, the fruition of the Oasis of Conza is concentrated in the area near the visitors center from where two paths begin: the nature path and the white stork path. The nature path completely develops on a wood walkway, raised of some centimeters with respect to the land to allow the access to the disabled but also to the inexpert visitors in rainy days. Along the path, there are boards and descriptive panels about habitat, flora and fauna of the Oasis. Instead, the path of the white stork develops on a walkway made of stone chippings that surrounds the faunal area of the stork and allows the entrance to a hide from where it is possible to observe some exemplars of White Stork.
The Oasis of Conza organizes didactic laboratories too for the schools about several topics: the birds’ migration, the production of honey and the medical plants.
It is useful the binocular, comfortable shoes and for a break you can use the tables of the equipped area.