Walking Holidays in Tuscany
Imagine staying in a villa or apartment on a working winery in the hills while on walking holidays in Tuscany.
You get up in the morning and look out seeing the workers in the vineyards As part of your walk you go for a wine tasting as the wines of Chianti will definitely be on your dinner table. For me I was not a dream as I was actually there although I had to pinch myself to be sure.
There are two areas for you self guided walking holidays in Tuscany
In the Chianti region we stayed in the town of Greve, located about mid say between Florence and Siena with frequent bus service to both. Your walks will take you along country roads passing vineyards, olive groves and stone villages such as Montefioralle and Radda. The small quaint village of Radda, in particular has some great cafes for a lunch or dinner stop and some hikers along base themselves here.
There are walks available in both directions from Greve. There are a number of trails and country roads, not always with signs so a map or guidebook is a must. Local bus service will transport you to the start of your hiking each day if you do not have a rental car.
You are sure to pass a number of wineries along the way. At dinner time head into Greve and the Coop grocery store to stock up and cook you dinner in your villa. There are many restaurants surrounding the town square as well to sample the Italian cuisine.
San Gimignano Region
Another fun area for walking holidays in Tuscany is nearby and just to the west in the village of San Gimignano, often used by hiking groups. This is a pedestrian friendly (no cars permitted) mountaintop town with 13 towers remaining from the medieval times which is busy with shoppers during the day, however, at night you have the town to yourself. As you explore the town visit the old walls, the cathedral and weekly market. While you stayed for a week in Greve we also spent 4 nights in this delightful town.
From San Gimignano you can start you walks by heading downhill (it is always downhill from this town) to the village of Certaldo in one direction or towards the Roman town of Volterra in the other direction. The walks in this area will take you 3-4 days. Use the local bus service to get to the start.
There is a third popular region for hiking located just north of the town of Lucca. I did visit this walled town for a few days but did not have the opportunity to test the trails in the hills to the north. Friends of mine however highly recommend this area as well.
Avoid the hot summer months with the best time for your walking holidays in Tuscany in May/June or September/October. Want a guided walking holiday, no problem, there are plenty available from most major operators.
An Umbria hiking holiday located in the neighbouring state was on another trip and I have a number of reports and on this site about that trip.
Great routes, wonderful food, the Chianti wines, stone villages and the wonderful scenic hills make walking holidays in Tuscany the best vacation ever!