Walking vacations in Italy Overview
Passionate, food-loving, fiery, elegant, and beautiful. Clichés, yet perfectly suited to walking vacations in Italy. For passionate, the Amalfi Coast has inspired artists for centuries, sometimes described as the place where poets go to die. For foodies, hiking in Tuscany is interspersed with one trattoria treat after another. For fiery, walk Sicily’s volcanic trails or traipse through the Umbrian countryside in autumn when wild boar are rustling through golden leaves. Elegance has to be Lake Como or Capri. And for beautiful? Well, la via è bella in Italy. Get the most from your adventure with our walking vacations in Italy travel guide.
Our top Hiking vacations in Italy
From US $1549 to US $21798 days ex flights
Walk in lemon groves and hillside villages
Small group2021: 4 Sep, 11 Sep, 18 Sep, 25 Sep, 2 Oct, 9 Oct, 16 Oct, 23 Oct, 30 Oct, 6 Nov, 13 Nov, 20 Nov, 23 Dec, 30 Dec, 2022: 12 Feb, 19 Feb, 26 Feb, 5 Mar, 12 Mar, 19 Mar, 26 Mar, 2 Apr, 9 Apr, 16 Apr, 23 Apr, 30 Apr, 7 May, 14 May, 21 May, 28 May, 4 Jun, 11 Jun, 18 Jun, 25 Jun, 2 Jul, 9 Jul, 16 Jul, 23 Jul, 30 Jul, 6 Aug, 13 Aug, 20 Aug, 27 Aug, 3 Sep, 10 Sep, 17 Sep, 24 Sep, 1 Oct, 8 Oct, 15 Oct, 22 Oct, 29 Oct, 5 Nov, 12 Nov ...
From US $1949 to US $20798 days ex flights
Walking and wine tasting in Tuscany
Small group2021: 11 Sep, 18 Sep, 2 Oct, 9 Oct, 16 Oct, 2022: 9 Apr, 16 Apr, 23 Apr, 30 Apr, 7 May, 14 May, 21 May, 28 May, 11 Jun, 18 Jun, 20 Aug, 27 Aug, 3 Sep, 10 Sep, 17 Sep, 24 Sep, 1 Oct, 8 Oct, 15 Oct
Map & highlightsStep inland from the chic Amalfi Coast to find rural tranquillity that’s just as beautiful as the coast, but with a fraction of the footfall. Much the same argument goes for walking between the iconic Cinque Terre, but in this case head upwards to lesser-known paths. Few mountain ranges can rival the Dolomites for their drama and pinkish beauty – heavenly walking terrain. For mountain scenery with less of a challenge, Lake Como is sublime, especially for families. You can follow ancient mule trails between beaches on wild Sardinia, and summit-seekers will find the enchanting landscape of Tuscany perhaps surprisingly satisfying.
1. Amalfi Coast
A 50km stretch of coastline dominating Italy’s Sorrentine peninsula. It is glamorous and chic, but just step metres off the red carpet to discover a world of orchid- filled meadows, ancient lemon groves, tiny fishing villages and remote shepherds’ paths. Which is why hiking is the best way to discover it. From the Path of the Gods to the island of Capri, Amalfi is just stupidly beautiful.
Cinque Terre National Park
2. Cinque Terre National Park
A coastal gem that is up there with Amalfi but not as well known internationally. Although Italians have it sussed in summer, so it gets crowded. With five (cinque) clifftop villages, hiking its coastal “Via dell'Amore” allows you dip in and out of coves. There are also trails into the rocky foothills of the Ligurian Maritime Alps. The Spezia-Levanto rail line that follows the coast is great way to get around.
There are higher, remoter and more pyrotechnic ranges but few rival the sheer beauty of the jagged rose-tinted Dolomites – peaks that dazzle poets and hikers alike. Several national parks highlight stunning wilderness, alpine meadows and bucolic valleys dotted by wooden houses and vineyards. And feel the vibrant cultural mix of Italy and Austria in charming Bolzano and Merano.
4. Lake Como
A family walking favourite with the drama of the Alps as a background, but without the extremities. Take on the sub-Alpine peaks of the Triangolo Lariano, or aim for the region’s highest at San Primo enjoying rural ‘Rifugi’ mountain inns for rambles that are replete. And bask in luxurious lakeside towns such as Bellagio or the city of Como itself, with its walled center, dramatic duomo and people watching on lakeside passeggiata.
Famous for its beaches, with one at the end of many a hike, this is also one of Europe’s wildest walking islands. Base yourself in one of its maritime mountain mecca’s small hotels, and explore ancient mule trails up to the likes of Monte Tului, or routes such as the Gorroppu Gorge , with river pools to dip into en route. Ancient culture such as Bronze Age ruins and cave villages abound too.
Forget the rolling hills of Tuscan period dramas; enter the drama unfolding between the Alpi Apuane and Apennine mountain ranges: a summit seeker’s delight. In Orechiella Park, walk up mule trails through ancient villages to Pania di Corfino summit. Or trek high in the Alpi Apuane all the way to the imposing face of Monte Sumbra. For less challenging, enjoy the "Enchanted Forest" of Garfagnana.
Self guided or small group?
Many people, especially those new to walking vacations or traveling solo, prefer the ease and sociability that comes with joining a small group tour. You’ll be accompanied by up to around 14 other hikers, and follow carefully designed routes led by an expert guide. No need for a map. No need for anything, in fact, except to enjoy the exercise, views and fun of making new friends. There are plenty of self guided Italy walking vacations too. These not only give you the flexibility of choosing your own travel dates and accommodation, but let you make routes more or less challenging.
The Amalfi Coast – as chic as it is beautiful – stretches 50km along the Sorrentine peninsula. Come summer, crowds flock here like paparazzi in search of a red carpet event. But step just a little inland, and you’ll find rural tranquillity, with trails linking tiny mountain villages past waterfalls, lemon groves and meadows of wildflowers. The Path of the Gods is one of the world’s most beautiful walking routes, but Monti Lattari Regional Park and Valle delle Ferrier Nature Reserve are both showstoppers in their own right. Capri, too, has many lovely hiking routes taking you beyond the glitz.
Tuscany needs little introduction, but it may surprise you how varied walking vacations here can be. It’s not simply a choice between joining a small group or plotting your own self guided route. You might mix walking with wine tasting or beachcombing on stretches of sand that are virtually deserted outside summer. Well-marked trails in Maremma Regional Park have restricted access, letting you explore Etruscan beauty without the crowds. For those wanting a little more rigour, head to Northern Tuscany and more mountainous terrain. Even here the trekking is mostly moderate, and regular hikers will take the ascents in their stride.
More vacation ideas
From US $2179 to US $27498 days ex flights
Sandwiched between the spectacular peaks of the Dolomites
Small group2021: 11 Sep, 18 Sep, 25 Sep, 2 Oct, 9 Oct, 2022: 21 May, 28 May, 4 Jun, 11 Jun, 18 Jun, 25 Jun, 2 Jul, 9 Jul, 16 Jul, 23 Jul, 30 Jul, 27 Aug, 3 Sep, 10 Sep, 17 Sep, 24 Sep, 1 Oct, 8 Oct
From US $1999 to US $23498 days ex flights
Discover Mt Etna and the beautiful volcanic achipelago
Small group2021: 12 Sep, 19 Sep, 10 Oct, 2022: 10 Apr, 24 Apr, 8 May, 15 May, 22 May, 5 Jun, 19 Jun, 10 Jul, 4 Sep, 11 Sep, 18 Sep, 25 Sep, 2 Oct, 9 Oct
From €1300 to €25007 days ex flights
Along Saint Francis trails through the Green Heart of Italy
More about walking vacations in Italy
Swathed in vineyards, the Prosecco Hills in Italy’s Veneto region are as pleasant to walk as the fizz is to drink. Close to the Dolomites, and under an hour from Venice, the hills and valleys are criss-crossed with easy-going trails that allow plenty of time to explore the area’s gastronomy, culture and history. You’re never far from a little village where you can refuel with a wild mushroom risotto or a plate of gnocchi. Walking vacations run from spring through to autumn, with September and October the time to come for lower temperatures and to watch the grape harvest.
A via ferrata is a network of ladders and metal cables clamped securely to the rocks, enabling walkers to access routes and viewpoints that would previously have been available only to mountaineers. Expert guides escort small groups on what are often physically demanding and precarious routes, with the Dolomites being one of the most popular destinations. You will need to be in good physical condition – upper body strength is key for pulling yourself up some sections and walking days are long. If you don’t have a head for heights, a via ferrata walking vacation is not for you.
Top 10 walking vacations in Italy
We could quite easily list 50, but after much hard work and debating we’ve narrowed down our top 10 walking vacations in Italy. From gentle hikes between vineyards in the Prosecco Hills and peaceful rural trails around the Amalfi Coast, to otherworldly landscapes on volcanic Sicily and the jagged Dolomites that take on a beguiling pinkish hue at sunset – you’ll find plenty of inspiration here. We take you through what to expect from the Italian Lakes, classic Mont Blanc route and foodie paradise of Piedmont, as well as letting you know the best time to go walking in Italy.