Italy’s natural spectacles are much talked about, but it isn’t until you yourself reach around within the wild mountains and trek along its vertiginous coastlines yourself, that you realize how beautiful the country really is Italy is famous not only for its unique cuisine, history and cities of art. It also has a wide variety of hiking options that are perfect for discovering marvellous and visited spots. Right from the mountain trails of Northern Italy till the volcano climbs in Sicily, this country is the most refreshing destination for Hiking. Remember that the best seasons for hiking in Italy are in spring and early autumn.
Italy’s got towering mountains and vast sandy beaches, yes it’s got fantastic architecture. Still, there are also active volcanoes, stunning coastlines and even an old pilgrimage way that traverses through multiple towns and cities.
Best Time for Hiking In Italy
The best season for Hiking in Italy is spring and autumn which are months from July to September. Do note that most Italians holiday in August. So trials in August are the most crowded and huts are fully booked. So, it is suggested that you plan your trip around July or September to have the best hiking in Italy experience.
Best Places For Hiking In Northern Italy
Northern Italy is blessed with a longer autumn period which naturally gives ample opportunities and time for hiking in Italy. Here is a compiled guide of the best Hiking in Italy experiences for all the international explorers out there!
1. Orobie Trail, Lombardy
Valtellina is a 200 km vast area within the northern region of Lombardy and in the centre of the Alps. This area is usually overshadowed by the Dolomites but is a beautiful place in itself and is really worth visiting. Thanks to its beautiful parks and great natural reserves that constitute around half of the Valtellina region. Some of the best hiking trails in Italy from this region are the Sentiero Della Pace, Alta Via Della Valmalenco, Gran via Delle Orobie, Alta Via Della Valmalenco, and Via Alpina in Valtellina. Well, you need to choose only one of these to visit. The Orobie Trail located in the Bergamo Province is an 80km is one of the best hiking trails in Italy snf meets the most beautiful peaks of the Italian Alps. It is a fascinating trek that proceeds to an average altitude of about 2100 – 2200 m, reaching a maximum height of 2712 m.
Start/End: Ardesio (550m a.s.l.)
Highest point: 2295m
Duration: 1 week
2. Gran Paradiso National Park, Piedmont
The Gran Paradiso National Park is the most grown, most cherished and oldest national park in Italy and a favourite amongst those who wish to go hiking in Italy. The Italians poetically call the Gran Paradiso National Park as having all the ‘patches of heaven’ and who are we to argue on this? The park offers a number of mild-to-demanding hikes. The highest trek here takes you to the top of Punta Rossa that has an elevation of 3,630m. You can stay for a night here, in one of the rustic huts on the route and get a taste of the sumptuous local cuisine.
Start/End: Valnontey (1666m.)
Highest point: 3630m
Duration: 2 days
Difficulty: moderate – demanding
3. Sentiero Azzurro, Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre, also known as one of the most Instagrammed areas of Italy, really is as jaw-dropping as the photos you’ve seen and is home to one of the best hiking trails in Italy. It is an aggregate of fishing villages that are rested on cliffs. The Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail No. 2 marked on maps) binds all five communities olive groves, across vines, and the terraced hillsides. It follows the coastline to the Ligurian Sea from Riomaggiore to Monterosso, but you can take a pause in the middle village, Corniglia, and get a train back.
Start: Riomaggiore (50m a.s.l.)
Highest point: 200m
Duration: 3-4 hours
4. Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dolomites
A well known UNESCO world heritage site,Tre Cime di Lavaredo is a favourite amongst those who wish to try hiking in Italy. It has these amazing vertical walls, deep valleys and sheer peaks which pass through the enchanting Braies Lake to the city of Belluno. The Dolomite Nations you see here is much more beautiful in real than what you see in the photos. With over 200 km of hiking paths in the park. It’s a walk through the most photographed landscapes and peaks of the Dolomites. Starting from Cortina, the Path leads the Fiscalina valley and hut of Valle Fondo. You can spend your night at the Comici hut and the Pian di Cengia that fall on the way.
With around five hours of walking on the first day and between six and eight on the second, this tour is beyond perfect for a weekend away from the city.
Start/End: Auronzo di Cadore (866m)
Highest point: 2454m
Duration: 2 days
5. Val Trebbia, Mantua
The old village of Brugnello towers at the scenic Trebbia river valley is a place where you can enjoy mesmerizing views of the sneaky light-blue river. This ring hike also blends in three other historical villages of Moglia, Carana and Pietranera and offers one of the best hiking in Italy experiences. The walk follows a sweet and almost flat path through woods and hills. It is a good place to choose for an easy and relaxing hike.
Start/End: Moglia, district of Bobbio (20m)
Highest point: 690m
Duration: 3 hours
6. The Giants Trek, Val D’Aosta
This high altitude trial by the foot of Monte Rosa, Cervino, Grand Combin and Monte Bianco, and is known as the Giants Trek and is one of the longest hiking in Italy experiences. Do not be frightened by the length of the trial, which connects Donnas with Courmayeur in 17 stages of 3-5 hours each. It can be efficiently completed within a week, or if you are not super fit or you do not have an entire week, you can also hike just in a section.
Start: Donnas (332m)
Highest point: over 3000m
Duration: 1 week
Best Places For Hiking In Southern Italy
If you were looking for places for hiking in Southern Italy then here are some of those. Check the list here to decide where you should be headed.
7. Amalfi Coast
Named after the temples that once lived in the Amalfi Coast, the Sentiero degli dei (Path of the Gods) is a 10-kilometre track that links Agerola and with Nocelle, a hamlet situated on the slopes of Monte Peruso and above Positano. The scent of wild lemons and the view of sparkling blue sea, it’s a walk that vies with Cinque Terre for the title of Italy’s most picturesque route making it one of the most beautiful hiking in Italy experience. Once the only link between tiny Amalfi coast settlements, the Path reveals sleepy villages, ancient monasteries and mesmerizing nature. There are also spectacular viewpoints from where the whole coast can be seen before you. The walk could be best completed from Agerola to Nocelle. It runs swiftly down the hill this way.
Duration: 4½ hours
Sicily is a beautiful destination for hiking in Italy. For hikers who want forested trails, both the Madonie and Nebrodi parks are joined with trails. Vendicari Nature reserve is one of the most pretty trails in southeastern Sicily are seen here. The hike up to Stromboli’s adds on to the experience. It is not every day that you get to trek to a permanently active and smouldering cone. For nature lovers, the climb to its top is not-to-be-missed experiences.The hike is diverse as well as exhilarating with adventurers, magnificent panoramic views, high-level elevation landscapes that blend up with dramatic sea views. You can hike to 924m summit to see the sunset and hike back don using flashlights. But authorities strictly regulate the access. You can walk freely till 400m, but you’ll need a guide to continue further. That means this climb, though has the beauty of its own, comes with a level of additional risk.
Start or End: Stromboli town
Length: 7.8 kilometres
Duration: 5 to six 6 (return)
Difficulty: moderate to demanding
Often considered as Italy’s toughest trek, the Selvaggio Bluor or the ‘Wild Blue’, is not for the faint-hearted. Making its way along the Golfo di Oroseialong the east coast Sardinia, this is an epic, off-the-radar trek that needs mountaineering experience. Signs and water are desperately lacking, and finding the way is tricky (even with GPS), and the going can be tough due to abseils of up to 45m and UIAA grade IV+ climbs. But you cannot risk missing it. The multi day hike over this place will lead you to Italy’s wildest and most isolated coastlines, with deep gorges, impenetrable vegetation, cliffs dipping up to 800m and mesmerizing views of the Mediterranean. But you are going to need a guide if you are not familiar with the place as this is one of the most difficult hiking in Italy experience.
Start: Pedra Longa
End: Cala Fuili
Duration: four to seven days
Difficulty: very demanding
What To Carry For Hiking In Italy
- Water Bottle
- Munching Items like Trail Mix, Dry Fruits, Chocolates or Energy Bars
- Daypack or Backpack which is Travel Light & Organized
- Trekking Shoes or Hiking Boots
- Swiss Knife
- Torchlight or Flashlight
- Hand Sanitizer
- Trek Pants or Trousers
- Cap or Hat
- Sunscreen, Sunblocks, and Lip Balms to prevent the sunburns
- Trek Route or Map
- Medical Kit or First-aid Kit
Italy Frequently Asked Questions About Hiking In Italy a charming country that can be thoroughly explored on foot and having that in mind, these were the best hiking in Italy experiences you must undertake on your trip to Italy. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, make your heart ready for adventure and get going.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hiking In Italy
Q. How long it takes for the Path of god hike?
A. Walking the length of this 7 km trail one way will take 1.5-2 hours depending on your speed and how much you stop to take pictures and breaks.
Q. Can you wear shorts in Italy?
A. Though summer can be hot here in Italy, you will not be seeing Italian women wearing shorts. But you can keep your shorts for the beaches.
Q. Are jeans acceptable in Italy?
A. Italians do wear jeans, but probably not designer ones. They do tend to wear jeans that are more closely fitting than many dressed in North America. They are perfectly acceptable everywhere except for the very snootiest of restaurants.
Q. Is it worth the time to visit Bolzanos?
A. Nesting in South Tyrol’s mountainous region in the Italian Alps, Bolzano is an absolutely amazing place to visit. You can enjoy a lot of things here including exploring Funivia del Renon, stroll through national parks, and much more.
Q. Where should I stay in Italy?
A. While you’re in Italy for hiking, you can enjoy a stay at the various ski resorts which offer great amenities along with spectacular views of the Alps.
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