A short guide to long walks in Italy
A seasoned or a first-time walker will be spoilt for choice with Italy’s stunning mountainous areas towards the north and breathtaking sea views in the south and on the coastlines. Walking or hiking a specific route is a nice way to break up the usual routine of travelling and to travel deeper.
Exploring by foot is also a popular option for solo travel and overall, activity-based trips account for more than 60% of solo trips. It’s a rewarding experience and a great way to make the most of time alone or meet like-minded people along the way. You can choose to join a guided group, typically a good idea for longer treks and hikes or you can do a self-guided route.
Before you go
Planning the perfect Italian walking holiday can involve more research and preparation than a normal holiday (which for some will be part of the fun!) The first steps are to think about the area you want to explore and what type of walk you want to do. The great thing about Italy is that even a steep mountain area like the Dolomites has routes which can be done in a day and that aren’t as strenuous.
Next, decide whether you want to set up a base that you’ll return to after each walk or move from place to place as you go. Each has its pros and cons, if you set up a proper base camp you’ll be able to enjoy more comforts and meet up with friends. But you might not cover as much ground. Whilst moving as you go limits what you can carry and it might be hard to find ideal accommodation at every stop. But you’ll have the freedom to decide what you want to do as you go and you can reach more remote areas.
If you’re ready to start planning your Italian walking adventure, Walkopedia one resource for walks all around the world. They rate each walk according to level of difficulty, the beauty of the area, whether a day walk is possible and other important information.
Get excited about exploring Italy by foot with these travel ideas:
Break away from the crowds on the coast
Arguably the most famous of Italy’s walking options is the Cinque Terre. The five towns that make up the Cinque Terre are connected by trails that are mostly easy to moderate in difficulty. This is a great option if you’re travelling with others who don’t want to hike or can’t do the more difficult sections because there are buses, trains and boats that connect the towns so you can still meet up and enjoy travelling together.
Hit the walking trails and be rewarded with some spectacular views in the Amalfi Coast, there are walks that will take around half a day to complete. The four and a half hour Sentiero degli Dei trail has stunning views over Capri and the Pastena-Lone Circuit takes you through the World Heritage coastline south of Naples.
Experience breathtaking volcanic views
For the more adventurous, Stromboli is an active volcanic island off the north coast of Sicily. The island is a striking experience and will definitely be one to tick off the bucket list. It features black beaches, volcanic rock and of course the volcano itself – with active lava and volcanic bombs to be seen in the evenings. The volcano has an elevation of 900m and varying temperatures between the island and the summit so you’ll need to be prepared for the change in weather. Because of the risk involved with an active volcano, it’s mandatory to join a group of 20 or a private guided tour.
Stroll the Tuscan hills
If you don’t want to go too remote or just like the idea of exploring Tuscany a different way, there are a number of hikes and walks that suit what you’re looking for. You can also follow the wine theme of the area by walking between medieval towns in Chianti. In particular, the Gaiole commune has several looped hiking routes of about 160km that take you through castles, historically significant sites and nature. Walking in Tuscany is best during the cooler months as during summer the heat is simply too strong. Late September is a great time to visit as it’s the start of the harvest and there are number of local festivals to make the most of.