Seven of the Most Amazing Hiking Destinations in Italy
Choosing a hiking destination in Italy can be like choosing a ‘coffee’ bar in Amsterdam, a castle to visit in Scotland or a sauna in Sweden – with so many options, it can all get a little bit overwhelming and you’re likely not to be disappointed with your choice! Luckily, we’re here with the following guide to our top seven spots and trails in this incomparably scenic heaven for hikers – Bella Italia!
1. Cinque Terre
A bit of a wild card entry in our list, Italy’s world-famous tourist destination Cinque Terre is nevertheless very worthy of its place. Better known as a haunt for sightseers or seaside loungers, this jewel in Italy’s upper northwest flank is also a haven for more moderate but nevertheless spectacular coastal hiking. Between Levanto and Portovenere at either end of the Cinque Terre National Park, there are dozens upon dozens of trails skirting the seaside cliffs, beaches, and passing though some of the most picturesque villages on our planet. Although the trails can get a bit busy in the summer months, it’s well worth putting up with the traffic just to experience the magic of this often overlooked trekkers’ paradise.
- Gorgeous coastal scenery
- Lots of trail options
- Great food!
- Incredibly picturesque villages and towns en route
- Trekking can be alternated with beach days
- Easy trekking
- Very busy in summer and Easter holiday periods
- Accommodation can be pricey
- Not the most challenging for serious hikers
Congestion: High in summer months and during Easter holidays.
Ideal Time of Year to Hike: All year round.
Total Distance and Duration: Varies from trail to trail. The best of the many routes are the High Path/Alta Via (23miles, 2-4 days, 700m/2296ft total elevation gain) and the Blue Path (6.5 miles, 1 day, 100m/328ft total elevation gain). In each area there are a multitude of short day-treks which can be combined to span well over 50 miles.
Trail Uses: Walking /hiking. Most trails have sections with stairs and so are unsuitable for bikes.
Dogs Allowed: Yes.
Recommended Gear: Trekking shoes (boots not necessary) and water, lots of water!
Elevation at Trailhead: Sea level!
Costs: Varies from around $50 for budget options in low season to $200 per night for 3-Star options in summer.
Directions: From Genoa, follow the E80 south-east and signs for Levanto or Cinque Terre. In Levanto the trails begin just south of town. Parking is limited, so finding a parking lot in town and walking to the trailhead is your best option.