Italy’s Iconic Treks

Your guide to the best of the boot on foot...

Italy is one of our most popular destinations for walkers looking for something special, because in this beautiful country, ‘something special’ waits for you round every corner.

Boasting stunning coastline, fiery volcanoes, ancient towns and a wealth of mouth-watering produce celebrated the world over, every day and every trip offers something new.

And there’s good reason we’re confident that our Italian adventures are the very best. Not only do our travellers come back to us year after year, sharing rave reviews and recommendations of cherished holidays, but our staff know this amazing country like the back of their hands, using their expertise to craft unforgettable adventures.

From the stunning highs of the Dolomites to the azure paradise of Italy’s islands and coastlines, few are as knowledgeable about this nation’s highlights and hidden gems as Product Manager Marta Marinelli. Marta grew up in the Prosecco hills, camping in the rugged Dolomites and learning as she grew up and travelled further around her home country, more about Italy’s distinct regions.

“Italy is still so young, only uniting in 1861, so each area is so different from the other, with its own dialect, culture, architecture and influences,” Marta explains. “It’s one of the most varied countries in Europe, and each trip that you take there offers a unique experience.”

“I left to work in England, so now when I go back I realise more and more how special it is.”

Because there’s so much of Italy to see, Marta and our team have carefully crafted a wealth of walks across this diverse land. Here we’ve highlighted a few of the very best treks in their region, and Marta shares more about why they’re a dream for hikers…

Prosecco Hills

Top trek: The Prosecco Circuit

Just north of Venice in the picturesque Prosecco Hills, we walk through ancient terraced vineyards, seeing where the famous grapes are grown and sampling their delights too. Marta developed this trip in her home region, which stops by the charming medieval villages of Cison, Asolo, Follina and Treviso. She says, “The rolling hills offer exquisite hiking opportunities and downtime is spent sipping the best Prosecco in the world – delicious!”

Walking the Prosecco Hills

The Dolomites

Tre Cime, Dolomites, summer

Top trek: Tre Cime Circuit

The Dolomites are a UNESCO World Heritage Site – an area of true natural beauty. Here we walk through their limestone peaks, from relaxed wanders through fragrant wild flowers in high pastures to a memorable circuit around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, where the challenging climbs yield spectacular views. Marta adds, “There’s lot of history todiscover too, with tunnels from World War I providing open-air museums.”

Classic Dolomites

Cinque Terre

Colours of the Cinque Terre

Top trek: Sentiero Azzuro

On this adventure, we stay in Moneglia – a magical town nestled between the Cinque Terre and Portifino. Our walks between the old seaside villages on the Italian Riviera offer stunning coastal views from beautiful trails. The hills and woodlands of this area are a delight to behold too, and its known as the Gulf of the Poets for good reason – its simply exquisite. Marta says, “For postcard views and coastal walks, this area is idyllic.”

Walks of the Cinque Terre & Portofino

Puglia & Matera

Top trek: Matera’s Rock Churches

In the heel of Italy’s ‘boot’, there is plenty to be explored. Here we walk through whitewashed villages, never-ending olive groves and on spectacular coastal trails. “We learn more about Matera’s cave dwellings, built into the rock canyon on which it lies, crossing the valley and hiking up a ravine that yields stunning views of the Sassi district. This outstanding UNESCO listed troglodyte settlement is the very best of its kind in Europe,” says Marta.

Walking in Puglia & Matera

Sardinia

Gorropu Gorge

Top trek: Gorropu Gorge Trails

“The beaches of Sardinia are stunning, comparable to the Maldives or the Caribbean with its crystal clear waters,” says Marta. We have time to soak in them, but not before exploring inland. We’re based in the Dorgali area on this adventure, walking through the forest-framed coastline of the north and the rugged rocky mountains of the south. Gorropu Gorge seems to split the limestone, and we hike along this ‘Grand Canyon of Europe’, looking hundreds of metres into its depths.

Walking in Sardinia

 

Sicily

Stromboli erupting

Top trek: Stromboli Ascent

There’s no experience quite like exploring volcanic landscapes, feeling rumbles beneath your feet and observing explosive natural light shows. We experience it all on this adventure across the Aeolian Islands. The craters and fumaroles of Vulcano and effervescent Etna offer thrilling tastes of this volcanic archipelago, but exploring Stromboli – the ‘Lighthouse of the Mediterranean’ – is the biggest highlight. “Nothing compares to walking on an active volcano and seeing it explode!” says Marta.

Sicilian Volcanoes

The Amalfi Coast

The Walk of the Gods

Top trek: Path of the Gods

It’s no surprise that more Exodus adventurers join us on our walks of the stunning Amalfi Coast than on any other Exodus itinerary. “It’s the most Italian place in Italy!” says Marta. “We take picture-perfect coastal walks here, following trails along the cliffs. Lemon groves, delicious food, colourful towns and villages are highlights. Along with striking Mount Vesuvius and trips to historical sites, it’s the ideal Italian recipe with all the ingredients for a perfect holiday.”

Walking the Amalfi Coast

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