Nine of the finest destinations for walking holidays in Italy

Italy boasts diverse landscapes, world-renowned cuisine, and a captivating culture, offering numerous enchanting settings for hiking vacations. The only difficulty lies in deciding where to go!

From the jagged peaks of the Dolomite Mountains to the rolling hills of Tuscany’s countryside, there are endless possibilities for those seeking more active holidays. Regardless of your skill level, there are hiking trails and routes suitable for various abilities.

Explore the colorful coastal towns and historic hilltop villages. Dive into the rich history and culture of cities like Milan and Rome, or venture off the beaten path to lesser-known towns like Trento.

Visiting vineyards, swimming in glistening mountain lakes, exploring ancient history, and delving into delicious local cuisines from all around the country.

Whatever your preferences, there’s always a vibrant vacation to suit you. Below, I’ll share some great ideas about the best destinations for hiking vacations in Italy.

The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast, extending for approximately 50 kilometers along the picturesque Sorrentine Peninsula just south of Naples, is a renowned jewel in Italy’s top tourist destinations. It offers a plethora of opportunities for hiking, biking, and unforgettable road trips. This region has earned the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage status, primarily due to its captivating towns that seem to cling tenaciously to the cliffs.

Prepare yourself for an adventure that involves traversing dramatic and winding trails that wind their way through the enchanting Lattari Mountains. Along your journey, you’ll be welcomed by the sweet scent of lemon groves, meticulously maintained terraced vineyards, and picture-perfect fishing villages.

The Amalfi Coast’s terrain, characterized by its undulating contours, guarantees a challenging yet incredibly rewarding hiking experience. It is precisely this rugged topography that contributes to the area’s breathtaking and awe-inspiring landscapes. After a day of adventurous hikes, you’ll discover numerous pristine beaches, inviting you to relax and rejuvenate amidst this stunning natural backdrop.

Trentino and the Italian Alps

Trentino holds a special place in my heart and stands out as one of Italy’s most beloved regions, offering a harmonious blend of leisurely walks and adventurous holidays.

This enchanting province spans from the Dolomite Mountains, nestled in the southern Alps, to the shores of Lake Garda, presenting an array of opportunities for nature enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, and those seeking awe-inspiring mountain panoramas.

Imagine waking up in the morning, gazing out of the window of a humble rifugio (mountain hut), and being greeted by a mesmerizing natural landscape. Besides indulging in hiking adventures, you can also find solace from the summer heat in the pristine mountain lakes, such as Lake Ledro, Lake Idro (reminiscent of a miniature version of Lake Garda), or the tranquil Lake Roncone nestled within the Valle del Chiese (Chiese Valley). These aquatic gems provide a serene backdrop for relaxation and exploration.

Trentino’s charm extends beyond its natural beauty. Its picturesque villages and towns offer a glimpse into traditional Italian life, with charming cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and delectable cuisine. Whether you’re savoring a plate of hearty polenta in a rustic trattoria or enjoying a glass of locally produced wine in a quaint enoteca, Trentino’s culinary delights are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

For history buffs, Trentino also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with medieval castles, churches, and museums that showcase the region’s storied past. The blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and culinary delights makes Trentino a truly unforgettable destination, one that captures the essence of Italy’s diverse and captivating allure.

Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera

The Cinque Terre is a cluster of five vibrant and historically significant fishing villages that dot the eastern stretch of Italy’s Ligurian coast in the Liguria region.

For centuries, these villages were linked solely by footpaths, serving as the primary mode of transportation between them. Presently, these pathways have evolved into picturesque landscapes, setting the stage for some of Italy’s most sought-after multi-day hiking adventures.

The trails meandering between these towns provide awe-inspiring vistas. Though some of these paths can be quite steep, the majestic sea views will accompany you along the coastal routes, offering a soothing and captivating backdrop to your journey.


Tuscany presents a landscape of serene countryside, abundant cultural riches, and seemingly endless stretches of vineyards and olive groves, making it a picture-perfect destination for a hiking holiday.

From the vine-covered hills of Chianti to the charming hilltop villages nestled within the Chianti Mountains and the volcanic terrain of Umbria’s countryside, Tuscany offers a diverse array of breathtaking settings that cater to hikers of all skill levels.

Imagine embarking on a hiking adventure through the rolling hills of Chianti, where rows of grapevines stretch as far as the eye can see. The scent of the earth and the grapes fills the air as you traverse this bucolic landscape. You may stumble upon hidden agriturismi along the way, offering a warm welcome and the opportunity to savor homemade wines and olive oils that are a testament to Tuscany’s culinary excellence.

For the more adventurous hikers, the Chianti Mountains provide a rugged backdrop for exploration. These ancient peaks are dotted with picturesque hilltop villages that seem frozen in time, offering not only stunning views but also a glimpse into the region’s rich history and culture.

If you’re a connoisseur of food and wine, consider crafting an itinerary with leisurely routes that include frequent stops at vineyards. Take the time to explore some of Tuscany’s most charming towns, seek out top-tier restaurants and bars, and relish the finest local cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to stay in agriturismi—farmhouse accommodations that often come with a delightful array of locally sourced, mouthwatering dishes. These establishments offer a genuine taste of Tuscan life, where you can dine on fresh pasta, pecorino cheese, and world-renowned wines while surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Italian countryside.

Tuscany’s blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and culinary delights makes it an ideal destination for hikers and travelers seeking an unforgettable experience in the heart of Italy. Whether you’re strolling through vineyards, exploring historic villages, or savoring delicious meals, Tuscany promises to leave an indelible mark on your soul.


Although technically part of the Alps, the Dolomites are often considered a distinct and awe-inspiring mountain range in their own right, with one of them being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Prepare to embark on an unforgettable hiking vacation in the magnificent Dolomite Mountains, nestled in South Tyrol, a region where the cultures of Italy and Austria blend seamlessly. While this area falls within Italy’s borders, the dominant language spoken here is German, and the cuisine reflects the rich culinary influences of both countries.

As you set foot in this remarkable region, you’ll be greeted by a landscape that defies description. Imagine ascending into the high-altitude pastures, where the air is crisp and the meadows are blanketed in vibrant wildflowers. The Dolomites’ shimmering glacial lakes mirror the surrounding peaks, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of nature’s beauty. Dense forests of pine and spruce beckon you to explore their depths, and all the while, the jagged spires and dramatic rock formations of the Dolomite Mountains loom overhead, creating a dramatic and breathtaking backdrop.

Hiking in the Dolomites is a transcendent experience, offering a range of trails suitable for all levels of hikers, from leisurely strolls to challenging ascents. Whether you’re an avid trekker seeking to conquer a challenging peak or a nature lover looking for a serene lakeside walk, the Dolomites have something to offer everyone.

The blend of Italian and Austrian influences in this region is reflected not only in the language and cuisine but also in the charming alpine villages and mountain huts that dot the landscape. Savor hearty Alpine dishes, such as dumplings, sausages, and strudel, accompanied by local beers or wines, all while surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Dolomites.

The Dolomites are a hiker’s paradise, a place where the harmony of nature and culture creates an extraordinary and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re exploring high-altitude pastures, gazing at glacial lakes, or hiking through dense forests, every moment spent in the Dolomite Mountains is a testament to the beauty and wonder of the natural world.


Puglia, situated at the “heel” of Italy’s iconic boot-shaped map, is rapidly emerging as one of the nation’s most coveted regions, and the reasons behind its popularity are abundant.

From its breathtaking coastline to the unforgettable all-white city of Ostuni, from quaint fishing villages to the vibrant red earth of its countryside, Puglia is a region that exudes a character entirely its own, setting it apart from the rest of Italy.

Puglia boasts a distinctive cuisine, celebrated for its delectable seafood dishes, and it possesses a culture that’s uniquely its own. Among the region’s standout attractions are the trulli houses, peculiar white dry-stone huts adorned with conical roofs that can only be found in Puglia. What’s even more intriguing is the possibility to spend the night in one of these remarkable structures!

Italian Lake District

Italy’s Lake District is the perfect destination for a leisurely or active holiday! The region is composed of five major lakes: Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como, Lake Iseo, and Lake Garda. But there are also many smaller (and quieter) spots to explore.

Combine your hiking adventures with relaxing lakeside moments. Take a boat tour on Lake Garda or try water sports like SUP or windsurfing. If you’re up for more adventurous activities, you can even try paragliding!

If you want to escape the crowds heading to Como and Garda, consider visiting lesser-known spots like Lake Iseo.

Via Francigena

Looking for something more spiritual? The Via Francigena is Italy’s version of the famous Spanish Camino de Santiago, but it’s not only less known, it’s also longer!

The complete Via Francigena pilgrimage begins in Canterbury, UK, then spans over 2,000 kilometers, passing through France and Switzerland, crossing the Alps, and finally reaching Rome.

Walking just the Italian portion through the Swiss Alps takes approximately 50 days. If you don’t have that much time, you can embark on the final stretch, starting from Orvieto and heading to Rome, which takes around 10 days. This route is dotted with ancient Etruscan villages, beautiful lakes, and historic landmarks like the Roman amphitheater in Sutri.

Sicily Island

Last but certainly not least is the island of Sicily. This tranquil island, located near the “toe” of Italy’s coastline, is a fantastic destination for an active vacation.

From the remote hills and steep slopes of the Madonie Mountains in the island’s center to the rugged natural beauty of the west coast, there are plenty of places worth exploring. Discover the unique character of the largest Mediterranean island and its distinct culture, cuisine, and history.

Of course, you can’t miss the towering presence of Mount Etna, Sicily’s most famous landmark. This active volcano on the east coast is the highest in Europe, so you can see it from almost anywhere on the island.

If you’re seeking an active vacation or hiking adventure, there are plenty of options to choose from, catering to various levels and preferences. All you need to do is select your desired destination.

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