Do you yearn for a holiday surrounded by nature? Trekking is a good way to relax, keep fit and enjoy breathtaking landscapes. Italy offers lots of opportunities for hikers, and each region will make you fall in love with its nature parks and unique characteristics.
Whether you prefer the sea or the mountains, lakes or natural parks, here are 10 of the best places to go trekking in Italy! Hikes that are sure to be unforgettable … So lace up your boots and let’s go!
- Marmolada (Trentino Alto Adige – Veneto)
Naturally we start from the heart of the Dolomites, our spectacular mountains that are renowned all over the world. The Marmolada, on the border between Trentino and Veneto, has always been known as the Queen of the Dolomites, being the highest peak in the range at 3,343 metres. Stay at one of the traditional hotels at its base and then set out to climb its rock faces and awesome glaciers. And keep your eyes open: you may spot some ibex!
- Monti Sibillini (Marche – Umbria)
Lying between the Marche and Umbria regions, the Monti Sibillini National Park is without doubt one of central Italy’s most charming locations. Here you can go trekking through a luxuriant natural world, be seduced by endless, colourful expanses like the stunning Piani di Castelluccio, discover hidden lakes and make friends with the occasional passing donkey. The perfect destination for a therapeutic hike!
- Parco delle Madonie (Sicily)
The Parco delle Madonie is situated on the northern coast of Sicily, extending over 15 municipalities in the province of Palermo (including the beautiful Castelbuono). Botanically, geologically and in terms of its fauna this is one of the most interesting areas of the Mediterranean, and there are many ideal paths in the shade of centuries-old trees for lovers of trekking and cycling. And of course you’re always just a few minutes’ walk from white beaches and crystal clear waters for a refreshing dip!
- Little Dolomites and Lake Garda (Veneto)
Now we head back north, this time to discover the wonderful landscapes of the Small Dolomites on the border between the provinces of Vicenza, Verona and Trento. Wandering through an alternation of sweet pastures and wild scenery you’ll be spellbound by the wonder of an unspoiled nature watched over by the famous Big Trees: veritable green monuments that have dominated the land for hundreds of years. To round off (and recover from your hike) keep going to the shores of Lake Garda, for equally spectacular views!
- Gulf of Poets (Liguria)
The Gulf of Poets, at the eastern end of beautiful Liguria, offers innumerable paths and trails for every kind of walk. There are short paths along the coast and more demanding treks towards the inland villages or secret beaches, with breathtaking views and sheer cliffs rising over the blue water. You can drive to Lerici and then walk to Portovenere, Campiglia or as far as La Spezia, enjoying the view over the islands of the gulf or touring them by boat and exploring them for the day. In other words you’ll never be bored!
- Parco del Pollino (Basilicata and Calabria)
The Pollino National Park stretches between Basilicata and Calabria and is the largest protected area in Italy. It contains some of the highest mountains in southern Italy – the summits of some exceeding 2,000 metres in height – from which it is possible to see as far as the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts. Here too there are many wonderful trekking paths immersed in nature, with the possibility to go wild camping next to fresh springs and shaded glades. With golden eagles, hawks, deer and griffins, your hike will soon become an unforgettable adventure.
- Mont Blanc massif (Aosta Valley)
Italian trekking with a capital T. The Tour du Mont Blanc is without doubt a must-do challenge for all hiking lovers and continues to be an unforgettable experience for walkers from all over the world. Surrounded by glaciers and breathtaking rock faces, valleys and woods, just choosing one path (if you don’t feel like attempting the whole trek around of the massif) is extremely difficult. You could, for example, start from Courmayeur, at the very base of the mountain, and go to the Bonatti Refuge (2,025m), with its incredible panoramic terrace overlooking the roof of Europe.
- Island of Capraia (Tuscany)
Not as well-known as its big sister Elba, but certainly not inferior in terms of its charm. The volcanic Capraia is perhaps the wildest island in the Tuscan Archipelago, partly due to its greater distance from the coast which has resulted in the formation of some very original natural landscapes: within a few kilometres you can find arid steppes, spectacular blooms of flowers and red rocks against the intense blue reflections of the sea. Few tourists, few comforts, but a lot of beauty.
The full name is the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park, and it is another of Italy’s areas of outstanding natural beauty. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998 it includes the archaeological sites of Paestum, Velia and the Certosa di Padula, a large variety of animals and plants and many ancient paths that are perfect for exploring the length and breadth of the territory. Its landscapes extend from the sea to the hills and mountains in an intricate network of evocative paths that will make you instantly forget the fatigue of trekking!
- Trekking del Lupo (Piedmont)
Trekking del Lupo is a circular trail that crosses through two nature parks: the Natural Park of the Maritime Alps (Piedmont) and the Mercantour Park (France), both now repopulated by wolf packs. At the start (Entracque) and finish (Le Boreon) you can visit two wildlife centres specialising in the life, behaviour and history of wolves, with observation positions to study these wonderful animals. The landscape that you cross is truly stunning, comprising forests, lakes, waterfalls and warm refuges to welcome you after each stage of the hike.