Top Spots to Go Walking in the Italian Countryside
June 14, 2013
0

Italy is a wonderful country for a walking holiday, as there’s just so much variety in terms of the landscapes and difficulty of the trekking trails. Although there are excellent hiking routes in almost every part of the country, we’ve narrowed it down to three areas that we think really stand out.

The Dolomites
The Dolomites

The Dolomites

First up is the Dolomites – a stunning mountain range in the north-east of Italy. This particular set of peaks also has the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the organisation stating that it boasts “some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere” – quite an endorsement!

So, you can obviously expect spectacular scenery when you choose to go walking in this part of Italy. The Tre Cime – three striking rock towers that are almost 3,000 m high – are among the highlights, although it’s worth noting that the hike up to this famous landmark is strenuous (or challenging, depending on how you look at it!).

Other sights that will stick in your memory after your walking holiday include the Croda Rosa Pizora cliffs and Lake Braies – a beautiful body of water surrounded by sheer limestone cliffs and forest. The Dolomites is a great option if you want to have the choice of tackling some tougher walks (like the trek to Tre Cime), while also having plenty of gentler paths to stroll along if you’d prefer.

Sardinia

Italy’s islands can easily be forgotten when you’re thinking of somewhere to go walking as there are so many great places on the mainland, but they have a lot to offer. Sardinia is an especially good spot to pick if you’re looking for variety during your hiking break.

As you’d expect from an island, there are some stunning coastal stretches to explore on foot, but there are also mountains in the interior, allowing you to enjoy a wonderful mix of seaside and mountain trekking. You’ll start your trip off with a gentle coastal walk that leads through part of the Gennargentu National Park before moving on to see some of Sardinia’s top natural attractions during the course of your week-long holiday.

One memorable moment will come when you scale Monte Corrasi – the highest summit in the Supramonte range at 1,463 m high. You’ll have amazing views from the top but as you walk you’ll pass some fascinating sights, including caves, deep valleys and towering ridges.

The walk through the Gola di Gorropu Gorge is another highlight, as this is one of the deepest gorges in Europe. The vast cliffs tower some 350 m overhead, while the canyon floor is scattered with boulders and small pools, making it incredibly picturesque.

Chianti region (Tuscany)

The Tuscan countryside is well known for its rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves and peaceful atmosphere. If you only have time to explore one part of this province, make it the area surrounding Chianti. This is, incidentally, an excellent choice if you like fine food and wine, as the vintage of the same name is produced here and there is no shortage of wineries where you can stop off for a little taste!

This is probably the gentlest option we’ve selected, as much of the walking is between towns and you’ll have nothing more strenuous than a few steep hills to tackle during your trip. Simply hiking among the rows of vines and well-kept fields is a delight, with the historical villages and towns you’ll visit on the way adding another dimension to your holiday.

San Gimignano is a must-visit, as it’s a wonderful example of a medieval Tuscan town, with its tall defensive towers making it easy to recognise from miles away. Take the time to explore its delightful streets once you arrive – visit the town hall for the chance to climb the highest of the towers and stop by the Vernaccia Wine Museum to learn about San Gimignano’s wine producing history.

If any of these trips take your fancy, or you’d like to find out more about walking holidays in Italy, click here.