A Taste of Tuscany Self-Guided Walking

8 days
from
$2,079 USD
incl. taxes
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4 / 5 from 1 review
Walking & Trekking
Suitable for:
Age 8+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
W07ST
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Activity:
Self-Guided Walking
Min age:
8

Based in the town of Chianciano Terme, on this single-centre walking holiday you'll experience archetypal Tuscany: stunning timeless landscapes, delicious rustic cuisine, friendly local people and, of course, interesting walking routes.

This is not just a walking holiday it is a full immersion into local Tuscan life, from a guided walk passing the local produce providers to wine-tasting, a cookery class and a chance to bathe in sulphur-rich healing waters. You'll walk through ancient chestnut forests, vineyards and olive groves, passing lakes and freshwater ponds alive with the sounds of frog chorus. Visit medieval, Roman and Etruscan towns and villages, sample the Vino di Nobile of Montepulciano, rich Peccorino cheese in Pienza or take a bath in Roman Bagno Vignoni.

Highlights

  • Fabulous insight into traditional Tuscan life: the food, the wine, the culture
  • Wonderfully varied walking, including the beautiful UNESCO Val d'Orcia
  • Delicious classic Tuscan cuisine 'km 0' cooking (all local food)
  • The wine and cheese towns of Montepulciano and Pienza
  • Warm and welcoming agriturismo with a passionate owner - the best of Italian hospitality

Key information

  • 7 nights single-centre accommodation
  • All buffet breakfasts and 4-course evening meals
  • Management by local hotelier
  • Route directions and maps
  • Wine, olive oil and local produce tasting
  • One spa entrance
  • One cookery class
  • One orientation tour
  • Countries visited: Italy

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All buffet breakfasts and 4-course evening meals
  • Management by local hotelier
  • Route directions and maps
  • Wine and olive oil tasting
  • One spa entrance
  • Cookery class

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival & departure transfers for land only bookings (available on request and at a supplement)
  • Single accommodation (available on request)  - compulsory supplement
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

The walking routes follow a mixture of paths, quiet roads, gravel track and woodland trails.

Day by day breakdown
Day 2 13.0km/8.0miles
Day 3 14.0km/9.0miles
Day 4 9.0km/5.5miles
Day 6 17.0km/10.5miles
Day 7 11.0km/7.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Chianciano Terme
to
Chianciano Terme
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Chianciano Terme

    Arrive at the Agriturismo La Pietriccia and enjoy a stroll to the old town, before your evening briefing by the owner, Stefano, and the first of many home cooked dinners. (Staying at the Agriturismo La Pietriccia for 7 nights, Half Board)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Visit the Farms

    You'll start this morning with a guided walk of a local oil mill, then visiting the Cinta Senese pigs followed by an area set up to allow truffles to grow and finishing off in Chianciano Vecchia, with great views of the Valdichiana valley before enjoying wine and local produce tasting in a charming cantina in the old town.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    A Walk to Lake Chiusi

    As you descend into the Valdichiana, a mix of quiet lanes and gravel tracks provide perfect views of the vineyards and over to Monte Rufeno. Passing pretty farmhouses you make your way to the small town of Montallese, and from here you pick up the Sentiero della Bonifica, a long-distance path between Chiusi and Arezzo. This leads you to the charming Lake Chiusi, where you can enjoy the birdlife and perhaps lunch at the lakeside restaurant. You will be transferred back to the hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Castiglioncello to the Hotel

    A short transfer takes you to the charming village of Castiglioncello; once abandoned it is now restored with a hotel, a cafe and the interesting Etruscan burial site. From the village you follow a trail through the forest to pass wonderful viewpoints of the area, dropping down to Poggio Pietraporciana, a Nazi gun point in the war. Continuing through the Pietraporciana Nature Reserve you pass the Rifugio Pietraporciana, once owned by the Marchesa of Val d'Orcia, Iris Origo, who, during the war, cordoned off this area to create a neutral zone, which the allies, Nazis and partisans all obeyed. From here, a forest track takes you past a charming argiturismo before a trail along a dried up river alongside rocky cliffs and on to the outskirts of Chianchiano stopping at the Dopolavoro La Foce where an optional transfer back to the hotel awaits you. Alternative carry on walking along a narrow trail with wonderful views and past a model of an Etruscan farm, before arriving in Chianchiano Terme and a choice of following the white gravel roads passing farms or through the town to return to the agriturismo.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Afternoon Cookery Course

    This morning you have time to yourself, maybe walk into Chianciano Vecchia and visit the Etruscan Museum of Chianciano Terme, or use your voucher for the Theia Spa and relax in the healing waters or treat yourself to one of their many treatments. In the afternoon you begin your cookery class where you will learn classic Italian techniques and eat the meal you prepare for dinner.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Walk to the Wine Town of Montepulciano

    Today you walk to the wine town of Montepulciano, where you will be rewarded with stunning views across the Valdichiana. Follow a chestnut-laden track to meet the forest road, before following a track around the vines and farmlands up to Montepulciano. You will be picked up here, but before this, take time to explore the town, which is full of wine bars and shops and has plenty of tasting opportunities.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Pienza to Bagno Vignoni

    After a short transfer to Pienza, take time to explore the town, it is one of the cheese capitals of Italy, and a beautiful mediaeval historic centre. Perhaps pick up a sandwich filled with porchetta or a slab of rich and creamy pecorino cheese. The walk takes you downhill from Pienza, crossing the stunning Val d’Orcia. It is an easy walk following a well-marked trail, giving you the chance to take in the views of mediaeval towns, rolling hills and rows of cypress trees. You will reach Bagno Vignoni then follow the river Orcia before climbing up to the town passing the spring baths and the old mill, before arriving in the Roman town, with its large baths in the centre of town. Perhaps treat yourself to the hot waters of the Hotel Posta Marcucci, where the baths come with a view! We transfer you back to the hotel for your final night of Stefano’s lovely food.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Leave Chianciano Terme

    Leave Chianciano Terme

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Tuscan food is based on the Italian idea of 'cucina povera' (poor cooking); simple inexpensive meals that can be made for large groups. Whilst this was once dictated by the economy and expense of the produce, the tradition has remained. The cuisine of this region doesn't use complicated seasonings or elaborate recipes, and instead focuses on fresh, high quality ingredients that allow the natural flavours in each dish to shine through. Typical dishes include fagioli con salsiccia (cannellini beans with sausage), tagliatelle al tartufo (pasta in a truffle sauce), bistecca alla Fiorentina (a T-bone steak which is only cooked blue/rare and often large enough to share!), pici (a fat, handmade spaghetti, often served with tomato and garlic sauce or game meat). Don't miss the local cacio and pecorino cheeses and sample the famous wines: Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino.

Weather

April and May departures can expect warm days, although rain is always possible. Nights may still be rather cool. Early June is similar, with the days becoming progressively hotter and the evenings much warmer. September and October are cooler and wetter, yet visibility is usually better. We strongly recommend a fleece-lined jacket or warm sweater in May, September and October.

Is this trip for you?

This is a self-guided tour; you can walk at your own pace (we recommend taking your time and enjoying the sights!)
Terrain & route: The walking routes follow a mixture of paths, quiet roads, gravel track and woodland trails.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation and provide you with route notes so that you can walk at your own pace. The hotelier, Stefano, will be there to meet you and will be available, throughout the trip, should you need assistance.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain an emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotelier will be able to help arrange a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel

Your base for the week is the modest but comfortable Agriturismo La Pietricca, which stands on a hill with great views of Chianciano Vecchia. Stefano who runs the agriturismo will welcome you with his enthusiasm for everything to do with nature in the surrounding area. He will also lead the cookery course for you during your stay, and teach you all about the artisan products in the local area. The hotel produces 65% of what it serves on your table, and is surrounded by its own farm and orchards. There is a lovely terrace and swimming pool and lovely shady grassy area that looks out across the valley, where in the heat of summer you can take your dinner outside.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed November 2018
    Barbara Dolynchuk

    HEADWATERS TUSCANY WALKABOUT

    The walkabout was lovely. The agritourismo, food, wine and walking were great. The problem with the walkabout is namely directions. The directions submitted by Headwaters need to be updated. Sometimes, they just DID NOT WORK. This is very frustrating when you're in a country that you are unfamiliar with, are on a walking trail that is already moderately difficult, and unsure if you are on the right trail (and sometimes we were not). In some instances street names which were available would have been useful. In other instances, it would have been nice if the directions had said, continue for 4 km or 3 miles (instead of just continue on until you get _______.). That was the biggest/only "frustration" of the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenic views on the walks.....so astounding!!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Stephano was fabulous. He is a very thorough and conscientious guy. Even with the language barrier, Stephano was easily able to make his directions or point of what he was discussing clear. He was ALWAYS on time for transfers etc and very easy to chat with from destination to destination.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To do the walks you must be minimally in average shape/conditioning. Some of the hikes are easy but some (especially one) is quite steep and quite physically demanding!! Overall, Tuscany is very hilly so there is no getting around climbing!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Overall, a trip of my lifetime. I enjoyed it very much. The 4 course meals are fabulous....sometimes too much. For example on one of the days we do a wine-tasting around 5 pm and then headed back to the Agritourismo for our 4 course meal. In retrospect, I would have asked the kitchen not to prepare a meal for me that evening because the wine-tasting we experienced was #1. fabulous #2. lots of meats, cheese and bread was provided to enjoy with the tasting. We were stuffed when we left.

Dates & Prices