We’ve been traveling to Italy for over four decades. From striking coastal trails to epic alpine peaks, here are our top walking and hiking destinations for all activity levels in la bella Italia.
1. Cinque Terre
Great for: Hikers who love coastal treks, charming seaside villages and amazing food
Welcome to the Italian Riviera! Hike between colorful coastal towns perched above jagged cliffs and azure Mediterranean waters. The Cinque Terre, meaning the five towns, is a UNESCO World Heritage coastline in Liguria, Italy. Beautiful trails lead from town to town. Venture from Riomaggiore with its bright stone houses and traditional fishing boats to charming Manarola. Continue to hilltop Corniglia, encircled by vineyards, and on to vibrant Vernazza. Complete your journey in Monterosso al Mare, the biggest sand beach of the Cinque Terre, and dive into the sparkling sea after a rewarding and scenic hike. Join us on our Cinque Terre Hiking Tour.
2. Path of the Gods
Great for: Explorers drawn to mountainous seaside trails with panoramic views
The Path of the Gods, as known as Sentiero degli Dei, is a famed route between Bomerano and Nocelle in Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The trail earned its name from an ancient legend that states the Greek Gods walked this path to rescue Odysseus from sirens. Hike toward the medieval hamlet of Nocelle along the breathtaking Path of the Gods. Pastel villages cling to the hillsides and the Tyrrhenian Sea dazzles below. If you’re enticed by epic views and intrigued by mythical legends, our Amalfi Coast Walking & Hiking Tour is for you.
Great for: Mountain-lovers drawn to alpine landscapes and geological wonders of staggering proportions
The Dolomites are one of the most famous mountain regions in the world. Fairy-tale villages are thoughtfully woven between rich topographic scenes. Hike to impressive heights and stop along the way at a quintessential rifugio, a family-run trailside hut. Admire the Cinque Torri stone pinnacles and discover World War I history—trenches and tunnels from the war are still intact to this day in the open-air museum. Trek through grassy meadows, pine forests, alpenrose and edelweiss in the enchanting Dolomites. Whether you want to hike with your favorite plus one, solo or with the whole family, Backroads has plenty of options.
4. Lake Como
Great for: Hikers enchanted by stunning lakeside trails, stylish palazzos and opulent villas
Join the international elite and visit Lake Como (a favorite of George Clooney), which has been a getaway destination for aristocrats since Roman times. The Italian Lake District is home to Lake Como, Maggiore and Orta, three shimmering blue lakes with the dramatic Italian Alps as the backdrop. Walk to historic Castello di Vezio and then walk to Varenna, known as the most romantic spot in Italy. Let stone paths lead you to fabulous gardens and marvel at incredible lake views. Join us in Lake Como on our Walking & Hiking Tour.
5. Mont Blanc
Great for: Adventurers drawn to trails traversing snow-capped peaks and majestic mountain lodges
Be transfixed by the splendor of the Italian, French and Swiss Alps as you trek between countries. Standing tall in the Aosta Valley, Mont Blanc is Western Europe’s highest mountain. Also known as Monte Bianco on the Italian side, this soaring peak attracts hikers from all over the world. Whether you take a glacier walk with crampons or hike the magnificent Mont Blanc ridge trail, there are no shortage of world-class hiking options in the Alps. Head to the mountains with us on our Italian, French & Swiss Alps Walking & Hiking Tour.
6. Mount Etna, Sicily
Great for: Hikers eager to adventure through rugged volcanic landscapes and wooded trails
Sicily’s Mount Etna is one of the world’s most active stratovolcanoes. This UNESCO World Heritage Site produces incredibly fertile volcanic soil that supports local agriculture—from flourishing olive groves to vast vineyards and hazelnut orchards. Meander past black and grey volcanic rock and across a lava plain where steam rises from the active volcano. Hike Mount Etna as well as other popular local hikes with us on our Sicily Walking & Hiking Tour or our Sicily Multi-Adventure Tour.
7. Italian Alps
Great for: Explorers drawn to hiking off-the-beaten path and exploring nature reserves rich with biodiversity
Explore Italy’s spectacular northern wilderness by foot. The Italian Alps refers to the northwest corner of the mountain range, while the Dolomites lie in the northeast. Alpine luxury hotels are scattered across the dramatic landscape of green valleys and towering peaks. Hike in Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy’s oldest nature reserve. Paths wind past tumbling waterfalls and lush forests. Explore rugged mountain trails from hidden trailheads in the Aosta Valley, and feel like you’re frozen in time as you walk through quaint hamlets and past medieval castles. Explore the Italian Alps and Gran Paradiso with us on our Italian Alps Walking & Hiking Tour.