Walking in Tuscany

The great thing about walking vacations in Tuscany is that you can explore at your own pace with endless hillsides, woods and coastlines from where to settle down for an impromptu pat of Pecorino, pot of olives or cheeky drop of Chianti. Steeped fields bedecked in sunflowers and plump grapes on the vine make for a delicious accompaniment to any stroll and going on an organised walking tour allows you to combine the relaxation of the countryside with the region's rich cultural heritage.
Paolo Bonato, from our partner Exodus, shares his recommendations for walking in Tuscany:
The Garfagnana region, in the north of Tuscany is very mountainous, quiet and green with several moderate walking trails just a short transfer from our recommended agriturismo property. Walking poles are always worth bringing on a walking trip and if the weather is too unkind then there will always be a worthwhile substitute, such as visiting local caves or an interesting museum, to ensure groups make the most of their time away.

Walking with wine tasting

Some of the best walking vacations in Tuscany are rather leisurely affairs with wine tasting and local restaurants offering the sustenance to push on through forests and vineyards before retiring to soak up the scenery from a sun lounger by the pool. One such eight-day trekking trail leads you from the medieval market places of Greve in Chianti to the towers of San Gimignano via circular walks around Castellina and wine tasting at a school in Siena. Suggested cooking classes and wine tasting tours invite just a couple of things to do away from the walking trail with a whole day spent exploring in Florence always complemented with a glass of Chianti as the Tuscan sun begins to set. This is an ideal walking itinerary for those who prefer reclines to inclines and incorporates a balance of cultural sightseeing and gentle walking with afternoon wine tasting and time spent in the company of a local guide adding to the laid back ambience.

Make the most of the mountains

Head to the north of Tuscany and walking vacations take on a far more mountainous backdrop with the Garfagnana region, bordering the Apuan Alps and Apennines, conjuring up moderate trekking trails within relatively easy reach of Lucca and Cinque Terre. The beech woods of Orechiella National Park, in particular, provide a superb choice of seasonal scenery with a steady ascent to Pania di Corfino rewarded with exceptional panoramas prior to making the descent to the village of Corfino by way of a well-used mule track. More beech forest trails and unbridled vistas extend throughout Apuane National Park with an optional ascent to the summit of Monte Sumbra taking Tuscany walking vacations to the dizzying heights of well above 1,500m. The pilgrimage route from Vagli Sotto, near the submerged town within Lago di Vagli, is another excellent option with San Viviano's hermitage providing just one of many points of interest alongside less-frequently used footpaths and stunning views over the valleys beyond.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Italy walking or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Coastal tracks

Situated north of the seaside town of Talamone, in the Parco Naturale della Maremma, you’ll find some of the best-kept beaches in Tuscany with the ever-popular Marina di Alberese restricting access to visitors throughout the summer. Outside of July and August, the sand dunes and dense Mediterranean forests stretching south from Marina di Alberese car park are virtually deserted with ramshackle beachcomber shacks the only nod to civilization as you stroll to the sound of lapping waves and the scent of pungent pines.

Essentially Etruscan

Walking vacations in Maremma Regional Park give travelers a chance to tackle ten different sign-posted trails ranging from 4km to 16km with restricted access allowing for fewer crowds in one of southwest Tuscany’s best-preserved natural regions. Further walks in the area include a couple of circular routes from San Quirico d'Orcia via the ruins of Vitozza and the precariously placed town of Sorano, as well as the Roman road that leads through the Fiora Valley en-route to the ancient Etruscan tombs of Vulci.
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: daspunkt] [Topbox: Giovanni] [Making the most of the mountains: NH53] [Essentially Etruscan: Yosika (happyvacation.travel)]