The Tuscan region is perhaps most renowned for its vineyards and olive groves, but hiking in Tuscany is not often talked about. However, that’s not to say that hiking here isn’t worth it. In fact, Tuscan hikes are generally underrated and have so much to offer.
Routes weave through the verdant hills that make Tuscany so famous around the world. You’ll pass vineyards, cypress trees, green fields, and holm-oak forests. Some trails will take you to historical buildings and monuments, like the San Rabano Benedictine Monastery. Other Tuscan routes wind along the Mediterranean coastline and pristine coves.
No matter what kind of trail you’re looking for in Tuscany, there is sure to be one that fits your preferences, skills, and abilities. Keep on reading to learn more about the best hiking places in Tuscany.
The Best Hikes in Tuscany: Our Top 10
1. San Rabano Abbey and Uccellina Tower
Embark on this challenging (but very rewarding) hike through the Tuscan Maremma stunning landscape. This hike covers a distance of 10 miles (16.2 km) and is a difficult hike, so be prepared if you decide to take this route.
You’ll start your journey at the Casetta dei Pinottolai, which is easily accessible by car. Just make sure to buy a ticket and stick it to your car’s dashboard.
The trail winds through the Gran Duchy pine wood for a mile, until you reach a wooden bridge marked by an A1 itinerary sign. As you head up into the Uccellina mountains, you’ll be greeted by the sight of the 11th-century stones of the San Rabano Benedictine Monastery, nestled among towering holm-oaks. Not far away is the impressive 14th-century Uccellina Tower.
If you’re not up for the 10-mile hike, there are easier ones in the same park, like this scenic route that arrives at the Castelmarino and Collelungo Towers.
2. The Cypresses of San Quirico d’Orcia
Tuscany is well-known for its picturesque cypress trees, so it’s not surprising that one of the region’s best trails highlights these beautiful trees.
This intermediate loop route takes just under 3 hours to complete. It starts in the comune of San Quirico d’Orcia, which has just 2,500 inhabitants.
Hikers will pass by the iconic Cappella della Madonna di Vitaleta and the famous Distese di Prati e Cipressi, a jaw-dropping grove of cypress.
3. SentierElsa, in Colle Val d’Elsa
If you’re looking for an easier route, consider this beginner in-and-out trail near Colle di Val d’Elsa. It takes roughly an hour and a half to complete and is open year-round.
The trail follows the river, starting at the amazing Cascata del Diborrato waterfall. If you’re hiking when it’s warm, remember to bring your bathing suit so that you can swim. The area is also popular for fishing- just make sure to get a fishing license if you plan on doing so.
This route does tend to get more crowded than others due to its relatively short length and opportunities for fishing and swimming.
4. Sasso Spicco – Monte Penna
This moderately challenging 2.9-km loop route, praised for its scenic beauty, typically takes around 1 hour and 9 minutes. It caters to birdwatching, hiking, and running, offering moments of tranquility, especially during off-peak hours.
Begin your journey through a forest from the revered Franciscan sanctuary of La Verna. You’ll ascend gradually, meandering past the Abete Monumentale, Italy’s tallest silver fir, until you reach the highest point.
In La Verna, hikers can explore the historic sanctuary, which was built in 1213 and now houses a fascinating museum.
5. La Via degli Dei – The Gods’ Path
The Via degli Dei, which translates to the Path of the Gods, is one of the most famous paths in all of Italy. The road, which has been used since ancient Roman times, stretches all the way from Bologna to Florence.
The route crosses the Apennine Mountains and is suitable for both walking and mountain biking. Although not technically challenging, completing the entire 130-km course requires a great amount of stamina. Accommodation options are available along the way.
However, you certainly don’t need to make the entire journey in order to enjoy the Path of the Gods. The final leg, from Fiesole to Florence, provides a unique experience, culminating in the bustling city atmosphere and architectural wonders.
6. Monte Capanne, Elba Island
Monte Capanne is another one of the best hikes in Tuscany. It’s a 6.3-km trail near Marciana Marina, on Elba Island.
This route is known to be a thrilling challenge, taking an average of 3 hours and 24 minutes to conquer. You’ll probably bump into fellow hikers and walkers in the popular area.
Start your journey from Marciana, close to the cable car station, and follow the path through Fosso di Marciana towards Romitorio di San Cerbone. Keep pushing forward to reach the summit of Monte Capanne to enjoy stunning views of greenery and the Mediterranean sea.
7. Puntone di Scarlino – Cala Civette
This enjoyable adventure consists of an 11.3-km loop trail near Scarlino, Tuscany, and begins from Puntone di Scarlino. The moderately challenging route takes around 3 hours and 21 minutes to complete and is a popular choice for hiking, mountain biking, and swimming.
This coastal excursion allows you to explore stunning coves (cale) and Mediterranean beaches, so be sure to bring your swimsuit for a refreshing dip. Besides Cala Civette, the trail also stops at Cala Violina and Cala Martina.
Explore more: Best Beaches in Tuscany – Discover The Beauty
8. The Vie Cave of Pitigliano, Sorano, and Sovana
The tufa towns of Pitigliano, Sorano, and Sovana are unique destinations- perhaps even more so because of the “vie cave”. These ancient pathways were carved into the tufa rock by the Etruscans. Today, they are also a fascinating opportunity for hiking in Tuscany.
Visitors can explore the path system simply to admire the towering walls that line it. Or, the vie cave can be used as an alternative route connecting the tufa towns, much like they were used in ancient times.
9. The Via Francigena in Val d’Orcia
The Via Francigena in Val d’Orcia unveils a captivating tapestry of medieval charm and natural splendor. The entire route is about 33 km and takes approximately 7 hours, with hilly climbs and descents.
This ancient pilgrimage route winds its way through the enchanting landscapes of Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia, passing by the fortified hilltop town of Montalcino and the idyllic Abbey of Sant’Antimo.
Along the trail, travelers can take in panoramic views of rolling vineyards, golden wheat fields, and the iconic cypress-lined roads.
10. Chianti Hills Trails
The Chianti area encompasses forests, farmlands, streams, fortified hamlets, and mesmerizing hills. There are countless trails in the area that allow you to explore Tuscany’s panoramas and everything they have to offer. The Chianti area includes towns such as Greve in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, and Panzano in Chianti.
There are infinite trails that take off from the towns, among others. As you venture along the trails, you’ll be greeted by endless rows of vineyards, where the iconic Sangiovese grapes are cultivated to produce the world-famous Chianti wine.
Hiking Trails Near Florence: Best Places to Stay
If you want to hike near Florence, consider staying in one of these lovely accommodations in the Chianti area:
Hotel Palazzo San Niccolò & Spa
This luxurious hotel sits in Radda in Chianti and combines modern and traditional decor. It features an interior swimming pool with an arched stone ceiling, a patio with a hot tub, and original frescoes.
Agriturismo Corte di Valle
If you’re looking for authentic Italian agritourism, this is the place for you. It offers a spacious garden, a pristine outdoor pool, and breakfast with a lovely view over the hills.
Hiking Trails Near Siena: Best Places to Stay
There are many hiking trails in the famous Val d’Orcia. Here are a couple of fantastic accommodations in the area:
Agriturismo Il Casalino
This sustainable agritourism is located right next to Val d’Orcia’s best trails. The charming farmhouse, which has beautiful terracotta floors and antique furniture, is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards.
Albergo Le Terme
This unforgettable hotel offers a wellness center that’s perfect for post-hiking relaxation. Spend time in the Roman sauna, the thermal pool, and the hydromassage bath, or do a beauty treatment.
Hiking in Tuscany: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Month to Hike in Tuscany?
The best months for hiking in Tuscany are April and October, when you can avoid the summer heat and when the trails will have fewer hikers. It also depends on where exactly you hope to hike, so we can generally recommend the spring and fall months.
Should I Bring Hiking Poles to Walk in Tuscany?
If you have them, hiking poles are often nice to have, depending on your personal circumstances and preferences. Tuscany’s diverse landscape can mean uneven paths and steep inclines. It may be helpful to research the specific routes you plan to take to determine whether or not you need hiking poles.