"Timeless Tuscany & Charming Cinque Terre"
Our small group walking tour to Tuscany & Cinque Terre follows the leisurely footpaths and undulating hills of Tuscany with the walled medieval cities of San Gimignano, Volterra and Lucca and spectacular coastal hiking in the five tiny villages of the breathtaking Cinque Terre. A week of diversity between land and sea: historic hill-towns, Etruscan tombs, fresco paintings in original settings, skylines of medieval towers, fishing villages snuggled into coves, churches clinging to the rocks, an ancient system of footpaths through terraced vineyards, lemon orchards and olive groves.
The beautiful land of Tuscany is rich in culture and heritage and a man made garden of vineyards and olive groves. The etruscan, roman and medieval cultures have left indelible marks on the architecture of towns like San Gimignano, Volterra and Lucca. The Cinque Terre is like a balcony with an endless view of the Mediterranean Sea, running along a narrow curved stretch of coastline of northwest Italy, known as Liguria. Faced by the sea and protected by the Maritime Alps, this region includes gems like Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso and Portovenere and is fondly known as the Golfo dei Poeti. There are many special features which capture the diversity of these two regions and introduce a wonderful variety of gourmet delights; the traditional country cooking and fine red wines of Tuscany and the coastal cuisine of Liguria for fish, pesto and crisp white wine. Join us for a wonderful variety of hiking, sightseeing and dining in central Italy.
from € 3,300
per person shared occupancy
Included in the Tour:
♦ All accommodation
♦ All meals – except one lunch & one dinner
♦ Wine, water & coffee with meals
♦ All transport within the tour
♦ Everything except postcards, stamps and phone calls
♦ No hidden extras!!
| DAY 1 | Florence – San Gimignano
We meet at 12.00 in Florence airport and travel to the Vernaccia wine country for a picnic and a panoramic walk, arriving mid-afternoon in San Gimignano, perhaps the most picturesque medieval hill town in Tuscany with 14 medieval towers silhouetted on the skyline. Settle into your hotel and then head out into town at dusk for a stroll after all the tourists have gone. Get to know the others in your group at the welcome dinner. (2hrs/8km)
| DAY 2 | San Gimignano – Castelvecchio – Volterra
We follow gravel roads across open country with olive groves and vineyards leaving San Gimignano behind us on the skyline. We arrive for a tasty lunch of local fare at a small family run winery. Then a shady wooded trail follows an ancient path to the ruins of an abandoned fortified medieval village hidden in the forest and through a national park towards Volterra arriving in time to enjoy a well earned gelato! luxury travel (4hrs/14.5km)
| DAY 3 | Volterra – Pisa – Lucca
Walking tour of the historical heart of Volterra with free time to enjoy the many art galleries and alabaster workshops. A short drive up the Tirrenian coast to a small hill town overlooking the sea for lunch and then on for a visit to Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli and Leaning Tower. We arrive late afternoon at our hotel in the charming walled city of Lucca. Tonight is totally casual – traditional oven-baked pizza in the square! (1.5hrs guided city walk of Volterra with Pino)
| DAY 4 | Free day in Lucca & Puccini Opera Recita
A graceful Tuscan city of intriguing and discrete charm. Lucca is a city of music and the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924). Encircled by a 4 km ring of renaissance walls which act as an elevated garden boulevard you can stroll or bicycle along, with a bird’s eye view all around. The streets and squares are pedestrian and there are many Romanesque churches, hand-made products and classy boutiques to enjoy. We meet early evening to enjoy an aperitif, an hour of opera music and dinner in a local restaurant. (walk on city walls 1hr/4km; *lunch independently)
| DAY 5 | The high trail to Portovenere
We walk a beautiful section of the high trail above the Cinque Terre with pine, oak and chestnut woods, remote villages and churches overlooking the sea. The trail undulates as it follows the trail and then descends steeply to the Roman-Byzantine town of Portovenere, a delightful place to stroll around. This is a magic stour of land and seascape, where man and nature have blended together for thousands of years. (3hrs/9.5km; Elev.-435m)
| DAY 6 | Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore- Manarola – Corniglia – Vernazza – Monterosso
The famous and exhilarating Cinque Terre walk, up and down ancient stone stairways and crossing high terraced vineyards. We begin in Riomaggiore a beautiful village of quaint brightly painted houses; Manarola has a long narrow street with fishing boats on the pavements; Corniglia is a village of Roman origin set on a high promontory overlooking the sea; Vernazza is a picturesque, bustling town where you can wander narrow alleys; Monterosso has a beautiful wide beach and a charming old town. (4-6.5hrs/9.5-16km; Elev. +/- 250m) Enjoy a free evening to go out for dinner in the town of Monterosso.
| DAY 7 | Cinque Terre: Vernazza – Monterosso – Levanto and beyond
We walk the second part of the trail from Vernazza to Monterosso (if not completed yesterday) and continue over the headland to Levanto, returning by train. After you have completed all the walking take off your boots, cool your feet in the sea or swim, then sit and a enjoy a gelato or a glass local Sciachetra wine. In the evening we get together to enjoy a farewell dinner party. If you prefer you can have a completely free day to relax. (2.5-4hrs/8-13km)
| LAST DAY | Departure by train from Monterosso al Mare station
The best way to continue your journey is by train from Monterosso station. If our commitments permit it, we can also drop you off at Florence airport before midday.
Antico Pozzo, San Gimignano
Hotel San Lino, Volterra
San Luca Palace, Lucca
Hotel Paradiso, Portovenere
Hotel Palme, Monterosso
The secret of our small group walking tours lies in choosing exciting itineraries and turning them into relaxing vacations for others to enjoy. A journey with us is like a chapter in a good book you cannot put down, a discovery trail of treasures, an active vacation outdoors where you meet like-minded people and create wonderful memories to take home.
• WHAT WE OFFER YOU •
We offer you the luxury to relax, be carefree and totally immerse yourself in the local atmosphere, making the most of your precious time.
We take care of all the logistical arrangements and tiny details you would hope to think of if only you had the time.
• VALUE FOR MONEY •
Our priority is to give you a tour of the highest standard and excellent value for money; prices are fully inclusive with no hidden extras. We believe you will only need to buy postcards and the occasional cappuccino.
• WE ARE UNIQUE •
We are unique through our personal devotion to your tour. We don’t rely on others to provide the quality and service we expect, we make sure it happens ourselves.
We spend a lot of time finding attractive walks and seeking the best places to visit. We take small groups and guide all our own tours employing local experts where detailed knowledge is beneficial.
Other small group tour ideas:
See the treasures of two rural regions: Timeless Tuscany, a textured painting of rolling hills with sun-flowers, olives and vines and unspoiltUmbria, the ‘green heart’ of Italy and birthplace of St Francis of Assisi featuring the pilgrimage paths of the Via Francigena.
Enjoy the landscape of soaring peaks and glaciers, deep valleys and lakes and alpine meadow where deer, chamois and marmots live. Invigorating walking and hiking in some of the most spectacular scenery in northern Italy.