Walkers in Montefioralle

Chianti Walking & Wine Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Italy
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TDC
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Ages: 18+

Trip Overview

With its Renaissance cities, mediaeval villages and cypress-lined avenues snaking through vineyards, southern Tuscany is the perfect place for a relaxing guided walking holiday. Based at the tranquil Villa Casalta, on our tour we visit beautiful San Gimignano, the market town of Greve in Chianti, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Siena and the magnificent city of Florence. During the week we sample several varieties of the world-renowned local Chianti and have the opportunity to learn more about Italian wine at the Wine School of Siena.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights renovated farmhouse with panoramic swimming pool
  • 5 days gentle walking and sightseeing
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Centre-based holiday

Trip Highlights

  • Walk the classic rolling hills of Tuscany
  • Stay in a converted farmhouse
  • Enjoy the fabulous Chianti wines

Is This Trip for You?

This trip offers a good mix of city and countryside walks. During the days with walking included, the terrain and type of path will vary from manmade paved tracks, tarmac, forest trails to gravel. The walks are not technically difficult although some ascents and descents should be expected, so a reasonable amount of fitness is required. Please be aware that the Radda walk, on day 3 can be challenging due to the length and the hilliness of the walk.
The area is quite hilly and the majority of drives, although short, follow twisty mountain roads through wooden areas. 

Summer months

Tuscany can be very hot during summer months, especially from June to August but heatwaves can happen also in April and May. During summer months temperatures can possibly reach high 30s (degC). We will try and start our walks earlier to avoid the hottest hours of the day but please be aware that temperatures and humidity will be high. You should feel comfortable and be used to walk in the heat. Agriturismo type of accommodations, as based in the countryside, are not normally equipped with air conditioning therefore rooms can be quite warm at times. Presence of mosquitos in summer may increase (significantly), we recommend taking mosquito repellent with you.

Please note that at times, especially during summer months, the inbound flight can be late in the evening. In this instance you will have additional time to spend in Pisa. Leader will take care of all arrangements in terms of transport from/to the airport and the city centre and luggage storage. It may also happen that, for logistical reasons, on return we will have to be at the airport earlier than normally scheduled. This will mean a longer waiting time before checking in. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

The leader will accompany the group on all programmed activities, with the exception of your free day and your walk on day 4, which will be led by a local guide.

Adult min age:
18
Min group size:
5
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Castellina in Chianti

    Start at Villa Casalta, our beautiful villa 2km from Castellina in Chianti. In the evening our guide will hold a welcome meeting to discuss the week ahead, give advice on the local area and answer any questions.

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Visit mediaeval market town of Greve in Chianti and the hilltop village of Montefioralle; afternoon wine tasting in Castellina

    Today we head to the mediaeval market town of Greve in Chianti walking through a magnificent setting of olive groves and vineyards. On the way, we will stop in the fortified hilltop village of Montefioralle, considered the most ancient 'borgo' in Chianti. After lunch we enjoy a wine tasting in a local winery before heading back to our farmhouse for dinner.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 9 km / 5 miles
  • Day 3

    Walk to Radda in Chianti, the heart of the Chianti area

    This morning we will set out for a local history walk to the heart of the Chianti area, covering the route from Villa Casalta to Radda in Chianti. We will take a walk through local woodlands where we can admire the so famous emerald vineyards valleys. In the afternoon we will have the chance to taste the much acclaimed Chianti Classico wine at a local winery.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7 miles
  • Day 4

    Travel to Siena and explore the stunning historic centre; learn about Tuscan and Italian wines at the Wine School

    After breakfast we make our way to the centre of Siena for a day exploring this fascinating city. We have time to visit the numerous museums and stunning Duomo and to relax in one of the many outdoor cafés in Piazza del Campo, home of the world famous Palio horse race. Please note that shoulders should be covered for entering the Duomo. You may also like to visit the many boutiques specializing in local products and cutting edge Italian fashion. In the afternoon we also have the opportunity to learn about Tuscan wines on a 1-hour fun interactive course at the Tuscan Wine School.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 8 km / 4 miles
  • Day 5

    Free day to visit other Chianti villages or relax by the pool

    Today is free to rest any tired legs at the poolside. Alternatively, your leader can advise on local Chianti wine tasting tours and cooking classes or offer assistance for unguided walks or daytrips.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Discover the magnificent city of Florence, considered the birthplace of the Renaissance

    Our destination today is the magnificent city of Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance with an enormous wealth of historical sites, museums, galleries, churches and architectural delights. Most of the great artists, thinkers and builders from Renaissance history passed through or lived in Florence when it was under the rule of the Medici family, the most famous patrons of the 16th century. But Florence is not just a Renaissance showpiece: once you have had your fill of the historical trail there are many other things to see and do. The city has not ceased to be a centre of learning, and there is a university, many art and language schools and a large student population to liven up the café-bars, restaurants and nightclubs. There are also some great markets and chic boutiques. From April to July, Florence also holds one of Europe's major cultural events, a festival of opera and classical music called the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

    There are no guided tours organised for the day but there's an option to join one of the free walking tours in the morning. This will then leave you enough time to visit the Uffizi galleries. If you wish to do so we recommend that you prebook your ticket online to avoid lengthy queues. An ideal slot time would be around 2 pm. it can be earlier if you're not interested in joining the morning free walking tour. Tickets can be purchased through https://webshop.b-ticket.com/webshop/webticket/eventlist?production=1

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 4 km / 3 miles
  • Day 7

    Walk to picturesque San Gimignano with free time to explore Palazzo Comunale, Pinacoteca and Torre Grossa

    After a  transfer to the quaint hamlet of San Donato, we walk through the farm grounds following the pathway to Montauto and on up to the picturesque mediaeval town of San Gimignano. The walk is not long and should take approximately 3 hours. The afternoon is spent exploring this beautiful town including visits to the Palazzo Comunale, Pinacoteca and Torre Grossa and there is some free time to wander and soak up the atmosphere. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles
  • Day 8

    End Castellina in Chianti

    Trip ends at Villa Casalta.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Villa Casalta

You will spend 7 nights at Villa Casalta, a renovated farmhouse with swimming pool and en suite facilities. The villa is family-run and known for the fine home-made food prepared with traditional ingredients and locally produced wines and olive oil. Free Wi-Fi available. 

Please note that on some of the earliest departures (in April) and latest departures in October, we may use an alternative accommodation: Albergo Il Colombaio - located within a short walking distance to the town of Castellina in Chianti and it offers the same facilities and standards as Villa Casalta. We have used this property on previous trips and received very positive feedback. 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from CHF 344.50

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 dinners and 3 wine tastings are included.

Breakfast is usually a continental-style buffet. The five included dinners are taken at Villa Casalta (drinks not included). Vegetarian choices are available - please advise us of dietary requirements on booking.

Transportation

We use a private minibus for airport transfers and the majority of excursions plus the local train/bus services on certain days. Transfers are no longer than 45 minutes and road conditions are good.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

April and May departures can expect warm days and although rain is possible, it seldom lasts long. Nights may still be rather cool. We strongly recommend a fleece-lined jacket or warm sweater in these months. June sees the start of summer and July and August can become quite hot by mid afternoon, so this time is kept free for lunch. Although rain is unusual, torrential cloudbursts are not unknown. September and October are cooler and wetter, yet visibility is often better. Swimming is usually still possible at this time.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Castellina

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Castellina in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Please note that due to parking restrictions at Pisa airport, the group transfer includes a 5-minute journey on the Pisamover from the airport to the railway station, where the vehicle will be waiting. The guide will meet you at the airport on arrival and accompany you on the Pisamover.

It is possible to reach Villa Casalta from Pisa airport by public transport but it can be very time consuming. Firstly you catch the train from Pisa airport to Siena. You will have to change in Empoli and sometimes in Pisa Centrale. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach Siena. The cost will vary between €10 and €15. Please visit the following website for more information: http://www.trenitalia.com. Once in Siena, exit the station and find the stop for bus no. 125 Siena-Castellina - Radda Lucarelli, going in the direction of Castellina Chianti. For more information about prices and timetables, please visit http://www.sienamobilita.it/EN/index.html. The hotel can offer a pick-up service from Castellina.

Alternatively, you can pre-order a taxi through Exodus. This will take you from Pisa airport directly to Villa Casalta. It will take 1.5 - 2 hours to reach the accommodation and the cost will be approximately €200, paid locally.

Location start:
Castellina
Location end:
Castellina

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Light walking boots (a pair of good walking trainers will suffice)
Small daypack for camera
Refillable water bottle (1-2 litres capacity at least)
Sun Cream
Swimwear
Hat
Sunglasses
Waterproofs and warm clothes

Electrolyte sachets (to put in water during summer months) 

Insects repellent (in summer months there might be lots of mosquitoes, horse fly and wasps).

Long trousers for some walks as ticks may be present in the woodland.

Please note that tap water is safe to drink in the area which means all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill at the hotel. Please add this to your packing list as this will save on wasteful plastic bottles.

Optional Equipment

Small umbrella in case of unexpected showers
Torch (useful for walking to the village in the evening)
Walking poles

Tuscany

Practical Information

Passport

Italy

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Passports: check if you need to renew

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling from 1 January 2021.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Italy

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Ticks are known to be present in this region and can carry Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Encephalitis and other diseases. Please take care to protect yourself. You can read more about ticks here.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still valid and offer the same cover as GHICs in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, you’ll be able to replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Italy's Timezone:
Europe/Rome CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Italy's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins.

Money

Italy's Currency

The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

 

ATM Availability

Should you wish to take out extra money locally, there are ATMs in Castellina and in all major towns. Credit cards are accepted in most places.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

For the dinner not included allow €20 for a good meal and extra for wine. Lunches are not included but there is always somewhere to buy lunch (a café lunch costs approx €10) or provisions to make a picnic if this is preferred. You will also need to allow for tips at restaurants.

LOCAL TAXES: many Italian cities have recently introduced a tourist tax for non-residents. The local administration is in charge of the tax, which will be collected by the accommodation provider at check-in or check-out. This fee varies depending on the hotel category, the season and number of days of stay. It is usually between €2.00 and €3.00 per person per night. For this trip, please allow between €10 and €15, depending on the season, for the week. In some cities, children and people aged 75 or over are exempt from this tax.

Optional activities and excursions

Optional wine tasting: €5-10 depending on the number of wines tested.
The Boboli Gardens in Florence: €10
Uffizi Gallery in Florence: €24 (including €4.00 booking fee)
Accademia Gallery in Florence: €18 (including €6.50 booking fee)

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus. Most of our clients wish to give a tip to their guides in appreciation of their help and friendliness. This, of course, is in no way compulsory and depends on the service received. For this trip we recommend to allow approx. €15 - 20 per leader per week.

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we spend the nights in Villa Casalta, a family run farmhouse in the heart of Chianti. Where meals are provided, ingredients used are locally sourced and follows local traditional recipes wherever possible. This ensures that our visit is benefitting the local communities. The owners are conscious of their environmental impact and tries their best to minimise it as much as possible through efforts to recycle and conserve energy within the property. 

The wine tasting sessions arranged are a great opportunity to support local producers and promote the traditional methods of local wine production. Walking trips have very little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as it is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.