Come and enjoy the beautiful autumn colours and warm September days on our women only walking holiday in Northern Tuscany…
Walks include hilltop villages, the rolling hills of the Apennines and the dramatic peaks of Tuscany’s marble mountains, the Alpi Apuane. On one day we will go high into the Alpi Apuane with views to the sea to the west and the mountains to the east. A real highlight. Northern Tuscany is surprisingly mountainous and on some days the ascents will be between 600 and 750 metres. One free day to visit the walled city of Lucca with its marble clad churches, or to relax by the pool. We stay at a lovely, secluded agriturismo with an inviting pool and freshly-prepared food. We eat out at a local restaurant on one evening.
Price includes: 7 nights full board (excl 1 eve meal & 1 lunch); wine with meals (excl restaurant evening); transfer meeting certain flights to Pisa; all transport to walks. Optional train to Lucca not included – approx. 11e return plus optional shared taxi to local station. Single rooms available if you book early – £12.50 standard or £16 ensuite per night supplement.
Itinerary (please note that the itinerary is subject to change)
Day 1 Meet at Pisa airport for the minibus transfer to our accommodation in the Garfagnana Valley. The transfer takes 1.5 hours and after leaving Pisa heads through rural Tuscany to the walled city of Lucca. From there, we follow the River Serchio, passing through small villages and past the, so called, Devil’s Bridge, a stunning Medieval footbridge spanning the river. After settling in to our rooms there will be a holiday briefing before sitting down to our freshly prepared evening meal.
Day 2 Today we walk direct from the agriturismo with a chance to take in our surroundings at a comfortable pace. The Garfagnana Valley is known for its extensive woodland and stretches of meadowland. We will see a beautiful array of seasonal flowers in blossom along our route. We will take the opportunity to visit some of the pretty Tuscan villages of the Garfagnana with their red tiled roofs and colourful houses.
Day 3 After a 30 minute drive through the pretty surrounding hills, we start our walk from the foot of Monte Corfino (1064m) through stunning beech forest to open meadows which should be resplendent in rich flowers. We may be lucky enough to spot orchids and gentians among others. We will then continue uphill to the summit where we will enjoy fantastic views of both the Apennine and Alpi Apuane mountains. A view to remember and savour. We then descend to the former shepherds village of Campocatino for lunch with time for a wander too. Our descent to the village of Corfino is via a well-preserved drover’s track hewn into the limestone. On reaching the winding streets of Corfino, we will make time for a drink at the local bar with panoramic views across the valley below.
Day 4 Today’s walk takes us to the highest point in Tuscany, Monte Prado (2054m). After a 45 minute drive we will begin our walk from the old coaching inn at Casone di Profecchia. From here, we take a wide forest track which ascends steadily towards our goal. After a short steeper section, we will emerge onto the ridgeline with long ranging views over Tuscany and the neighbouring province of Emiglia Romana. We will continue steadily along the ridge until we reach Tuscany’s highest mountaintop. Photos and a snack are a must at this point! From here we retrace our steps initially before heading down through pretty beech forest to the coaching inn where we can have a drink and buy some local produce including porcini mushrooms and Parmesan cheese.
Day 5 A free day with an optional visit to the medieval walled city of Lucca or a chance to take time to relax by the pool. Lucca is a splendid little city contained within its walls and, therefore, wonderfully accessible. It is packed with magnificent buildings along winding narrow streets and alleyways. A trip to the top of Torre Guinigi is a highlight with panoramic views and even fully-grown Holm Oaks at the top to shade you! Then perhaps a drink in the very pretty amphitheatre to reward your efforts. Lucca is reached by local train – a very scenic ride down the River Serchio valley.
Day 6 We will walk directly from our agriturismo today for further exploration of the Garfagnana Valley, an area known for its natural beauty. Our walk will take in some of the local villages, meadows, isolated farms and woodland. A relaxed pace with a chance for coffee, beer or ice cream – you have to sample the local produce after all!
Day 7 Today we will drive to the magnificent Alpi Apuane mountain range and ascend Monte Sumbra. A fitting finale to the week with superb views across valleys, mountains and the sea. We start our ascent through beech wood before emerging to a breathtaking view across the marble quarries towards the Tuscan coastline. The sheer scale of this mountain range will be revealed as we walk on towards the summit. With splendid vistas to all sides we will continue to the top of Monte Sumbra where we will take some time to soak up the atmosphere before heading back down to the minibus for our return. Tonight we will eat out together at a local restaurant known for its use of local produce.
Day 8 Today, after breakfast, we say our farewells and head back to Pisa airport for our onward journey.
“A great mix of walks and an action-packed week, lots of variety. Every day was different, with different things to do and see along the way. We climbed some quite high peaks – just walking, not actual climbing but with some slightly difficult bits – but I felt confident in our guide even though I am a bit phobic about heights. There was a swimming pool which was great” Cathy
“I’ve really enjoyed the holiday. The walks were well planned and Clare provided really good information about the local area and points of interest.”
“Great. Up to the usual high standard. Food fab. Views spectacular.” Andy