Top 10 walking holidays in Italy

Hike your way through sun soaked vineyards, up sheer mountains and along coastal paths, enjoying perfectly preserved culture, some of the world’s best local food and a healthy dose of La Dolce Vita – Italy writes the recipe book for the perfect walking holiday. Our favourite walking holidays will take you through Italy’s most scenic areas and deliver you into hands of cosy local guesthouses, where homecooked meals refuel you for the day ahead. Raise your glass and say “Saluti” to our top 10 walking holidays in Italy.

1. The Amalfi Coast

With jaw-dropping panoramas and elegant fishing villages clinging to vertiginous cliffs, it is not difficult to see why tourists flock to the Amalfi Coast. A walking holiday here is one of the best ways to avoid the crowds and explore one of Italy’s most romantic coastlines in peace. Include the ‘Walk of the Gods’ for a truly celestial experience.
When to go: All year round
Our top selling trip: Amalfi Coast walking holiday
See all our trips: Amalfi Coast walking holidays
Read more: Amalfi Coast guide

2. Tuscany

Rolling vineyards bathed in soft sunlight, exquisite medieval villages perched on cypress-lined hilltops, Renaissance art in Florence, glorious Siena... Tuscany’s draws are well-known. But look further and you’ll find a network of gentle walking trails linking each gorgeous highlight. Combine your walks with wine tasting in Chianti and you’ll have ample opportunity to raise a toast to Tuscany’s charms.

When to go: April to October
Our top selling trip: Tuscany tours, walking and wine tasting in Italy
See all our trips: Tuscany walking holidays
Read more: Tuscany travel guide

3. Puglia and Basilicata

Tucked away in the ‘heel’ of Italy’s boot and often overlooked, Puglia and Basilicata offer a beguiling mix of antique villages, dramatic cliffs and distinctive local cuisine. Enjoy leisurely yet dramatic walks in the Matera canyon and to its unique troglodyte churches. Each night you’ll rest weary feet in cave houses and traditional ‘trulli’, conical stone-built houses unique to the area.

When to go: March to November
Our top selling trip: Puglia and Basilicata Walking Holiday

4. Piedmont

They say an army marches on its stomach and on a Piedmont walking holiday you can, too, enjoying world-famous Barolo wine, sweet Moscato and white truffles. Gentle walking routes take you past ancient castles and fortified towns, as well as a plethora of local producers. With luggage transferred between hotels each night you’ll have your hands free to get stuck in.
When to go: May to October
Our top selling trip: Italian Alps walking and cooking holiday
See all our trips: Piedmont walking holidays

5. Sicily

It may only be a short hop from Italy’s mainland, but Sicily and its surrounding islands are a world apart. Dominated by active volcanoes, a walking holiday here takes you through an other-worldly landscape of lava fields, steaming fumaroles and thermal hot springs. Test yourself with a challenging hike to the top of Mount Etna and explore Stromboli’s black beaches.

When to go: April to October
Our top selling trip: Sicily walking holiday, Sicilian volcanoes
Read more: Sicily travel guide

6. The Dolomites

Jagged and dramatic, the towering limestone peaks of the Dolomites form the border between Italy, Switzerland and Austria. While the rest of Italy simmers in the summer heat, take a walking holiday here and you’ll enjoy warm sunshine with a delicious breeze, or come in winter for excellent snowshoeing. Walks between pretty mountain villages range from the easy to the devilishly difficult, but all are spectacular.

When to go: May to October
Our top selling trip: Dolomites walking holiday in Italy
See all our trips: Dolomites walking holidays
Read more: Dolomites travel guide

7. Sardinia

Wander though an ancient mountain range and paddle at some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches, all in the same day. Follow mule trails through Europe’s deepest canyon and up to Bronze Age ruins with magnificent coastal views. While the walks in Sardinia tend towards moderately difficult rather than easy, you’ll have ample opportunity to relax and cool off at delightful swimming spots.
When to go: May to October
Our top selling trip: Sardinia walking holiday, Italy
Read more: Sardinia travel guide

8. Prosecco Hills, Veneto

Tucked just north of Venice is an area of steep terraces and gorgeous valleys, dripping with grapes and medieval villages. Follow man-made tracks through the vineyards tasting the local Prosecco as you go, and wander the streets of pretty Treviso. The trails are leisurely, but some uphill climbs will offer panoramic views to the Dolomites and Venice, just an hour away.

When to go: April to October
Our top selling trip: Prosecco Hills walking holiday, Italy

9. The Italian Lakes

Como and its eponymous lake is the stylish Italian home of the international glitterati, but hike beyond the waterside villas and into the hills and you’ll find gentle summits, panoramic lake views and cosy mountain inns serving tasty homecooked food. With options to make routes easier or more challenging, this is a perfect walking holiday for families, with trails that little legs can tackle.

When to go: mid-April to October
Our top selling trips: Lake Como family walking holiday, Italy
See all our trips: Italian Lakes walking holidays

10. The Tour du Mont Blanc

A cheeky inclusion given France takes the lion’s share of the Tour du Mont Blanc. However, Italy shares in the glory of Europe’s highest mountain and the classic Tour du Mont Blanc route offers some of the country’s most spectacular mountain scenery. Hiking through Val Ferret, near lovely Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley, is one of the Italian highlights of this famous circuit.
When to go: June to August
Our top selling trips: Mont Blanc Circuit walking holiday
See all our trips: Mont Blanc walking holidays
Read more: Mont Blanc travel guide
Written by Sarah Faith
Photo credits: [Page banner: Rostislav Glinsky] [Top ten: Graeme Churchyard] [Amalfi coast: Gregory Smirnov] [Piedmont: Luigi Mengato] [Sardinia: Massimo Virgilio] [Tour du Mont Blanc: Raffaele Sergi]
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