The season for adventures and outdoor fun, Summer is the perfect time for those looking to explore new countries and areas.
Many people partake in outdoor activities that range from the mildest and beginner-friendly ones, to those made for experienced adventurers.
Hiking is one of those activities that is suitable for people of different fitness levels and hiking experience.
Whether you are a complete beginner that only walks to work or you are a hiker that has gone through many hikes, anyone can take up this activity and have a great time out in nature.
A few days ago we compiled a selection of Norway’s best trails to hike this year and we would highly advise that you add any of them to your list of trails to hike at least once.
In this new installment of hiking trails that you should consider, we will focus on another European country, Italy.
Renowned for its culture, rich history and stunning architecture, Italy is one of those countries where you will find any type of tourist attraction there is.
Be it the beach, historical buildings or impressive trails to hike, Italy regularly makes it into the lists of countries that you should visit once in your life.
Today, we have picked 12 hiking trails that are most definitely worth the time and effort.
Let’s see which ones have made it into our selection!
- 1. Vernazza-Monterosso (Cinque Terre trails)
- 2. Greenway of Lake Como
- 3. Path of the Gods – Amalfi
- 4. Alta Via 1 – Dolomites
- 5. Lake Garda
- 6. Stromboli Volcano
- 7. Mount Vesuvius
- 8. Monte Bianco
- 9. Monte Rosa
- 10. Corno Grande
- 11. Waterfall of Piscina Irga
- 12. Nuragic Village of Tiscali
1. Vernazza-Monterosso (Cinque Terre trails)
A hiking trail that will challenge even the most experienced hiker, the trail from Vernazza to Monterosso is arguably one of the most challenging hikes in Cinque Terre, mainly due to its steepness and the unpaved rocky path.
With that being said, this is a trail that beginners can walk with ease and it only takes about 2 hours to reach the final destination to Monterosso.
It has an elevation of 175 meters and a 3.3 km (2 miles) distance to walk, which will require that you take plenty of water with you and a couple of breaks along the way to pace yourself.
The view along the way is quite impressive, including lush greenery, ancient paths to climb and a cat refuge that you can visit, but remember that you must not feed the cats.
The best time of year to visit is during late spring, particularly in April and May when the weather conditions are ideal.
Visiting in early spring and autumn can also be done, especially if you are not a fan of crowds.
2. Greenway of Lake Como
Like the Cinque Terre, Lake Como is also comprised of several trails, Greenway being one of them. A 10 km (6.2 miles) distance that goes through historical and ancient Italian villages, which will mesmerize you with their architecture, with a touch of modernism in the form of beautiful villas and gardens.
It takes around 3 and a half hours in total to reach the destination and has an elevation of roughly 100 meters.
This is an easy trail, suitable for all hikers, which passes through 7 towns that you can rest in and even lodge for the night to then continue the walk on the following day.
You can visit this trail throughout the year, but late spring and throughout summer are the best seasons to get the most out of its beautiful landscape.
If you are interested in learning more about this trail, this guide does a great job.
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3. Path of the Gods – Amalfi
The Amalfi Coast is a beloved tourist destination in Italy, but for those who prefer to stay away from excited tourist crowds, hiking the Path of Gods trail is one of the best memories and experiences to have in the country.
Starting in Bomerano and ending in Nocelle, this is a hike with little elevation and of moderate difficulty, suitable for all hikers. Those of you who like a challenge should consider starting in Praiano and finishing in Positano, which will lead you along the same beautiful path but with an additional 1500 steps to climb.
It is around 6.5 km (4 miles) each way and takes roughly 4-5 hours to and back. Starting early in the morning is the best way to go about avoiding the crowds and the scorching heat of Mediterranean summers.
The best time to visit is in the months of spring and early autumn, which include April, May, September and October.
4. Alta Via 1 – Dolomites
A hiking trail that goes through the Dolomites mountain range, Alta Via 1 is a 10-day walk that will leave you with an unforgettable experience.
Along the trail you will come across pastoral areas, large massifs, tunnels and battle sites from World War One. Those who wish to get the full experience should visit the Galleria Lagazuoi, too.
The reason it takes around 10 days to walk is due to its 120 km (75 miles) distance and 6,665 meter elevation.
The best season to visit is during summer, as the hike takes place from mid-July to mid-September.
Alpine Exploratory’s guide explains the trail in detail.
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5. Lake Garda
Located in the foot of the Dolomites, this trail is one of the most popular spots among hikers and Italians alike.
With its breathtaking scenery and many historic settlements and ancient ruins, this is a trail that will allow you to experience a combination of nature, history and modernism that cannot be easily found in many places.
It is an easy walk, which takes around 6 hours to complete and that is suitable for everyone, regardless of fitness level or age. Families can have an enjoyable time along this hike and have a relaxing picnic near the lake.
The best time of year to visit is from spring until autumn. Those who want to avoid tourist crowds should go in late spring and early autumn.
6. Stromboli Volcano
An experience that is impressive beyond words, hiking the Stromboli Volcano is perfect for those who enjoy challenging themselves.
A hike that requires some effort to get to beforehand, as you will have to fly to Catania and then take a 2 hour ride which will take you to the hydrofoil that takes you through a number of volcanic islands, one of them being Stromboli.
This is a 6-hour hike that steadily ascends until you reach to the top and it can prove a bit strenuous depending on how fit you are.
The best time to visit is during late spring or early autumn in order to avoid the heat, but summer is also a good season to go.
Unlike most hikes, this one starts in the afternoon with the purpose of watching the sunset at the top and getting a better chance at spotting the red magma of the Stromboli volcano.
7. Mount Vesuvius
Another hike for those who are volcano aficionados, hiking Mount Vesuvius is definitely a bucket list item. The most infamous volcano in the world, which destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii in 79 AD and continues to be active to this day, Vesuvius is a popular tourist attraction in Naples.
Typically, this hike can be either done in full by starting at the bottom of the mountain and reaching the top, which is highly advised against, or you can take the Vesuvio Express bus that will take you to an area from which it takes around 90 minutes to walk up to the mountain, relax for a bit and then walk down to catch the bus again.
The best time of year to visit depends on how high the risk of it erupting is, but generally from late spring until early autumn is advisable.
8. Monte Bianco
The highest peak in the Alps, Monte Bianco or Mont Blanc, is the perfect spot for those who enjoy a good challenge. In fact, it is a popular tourist attraction that welcomes people from all over the world, especially from Italy and France, between which this peak is shared.
It features beautiful ice formations and rich wildlife, which includes marmots, foxes, eagles, ibexes and the chamois.
The Tour du Mont Blanc is the walk that circles the mountain and takes approximately 11 days to complete, with a distance of 170 km (105.5 miles).
This is a place that you can visit year-round, but spring and autumn are the best seasons for those who want to avoid crowds, whereas the month of August and during Christmas it is at its busiest.
9. Monte Rosa
A shorter hike than that of Monte Bianco, the Monte Rosa trail takes around 2 days to complete at a distance of 5km (3.72 miles) and a 1000 meter elevation.
This is the second highest mountain in the Alps and gets its name from the word “rouése”, which means glacier, and not from the color Pink (“rosa” in Italian).
It is a medium-difficulty hike that requires adequate preparation beforehand, but most certainly worth the effort and time it takes to complete, as you will be met with some of the most impressive ice formations and large glaciers along the way.
Like Monte Bianco, the trail is best taken in the months when snowfall is at its lowest for the easiest walk, but it can be visited year-round for those who also plan on partaking in other snow activities.
10. Corno Grande
Located near L’Aquila in Abruzzo, Corno Grande is an 8.4 km (5.2 miles) looping trail, with an elevation of roughly 817 meters. It is a difficult hike, which requires appropriate shoes and gear beforehand and it is best visited in April until early November.
Throughout the hike you will be met with beautiful landscapes, which include a variety of peaks, valleys and wildlife.
For this hike you should be prepared to walk for over 10 hours and must take into consideration that it is not the most suited for young and inexperienced hikers.
11. Waterfall of Piscina Irga
A hiking trail that ascends and descends in a steep fashion, this is one of the most impressive hikes in Sardinia, which will lead you to the waterfall of Piscina Irga.
It takes roughly 2 hours to complete and the path has several direction signs, which are put in place to help you find the way easily.
During the hike you will come across tall peaks and thick vegetation, which are impressive but the latter can also spell trouble and make it easier to lose direction.
For this reason, this is a trail best visited in later spring and early autumn.
12. Nuragic Village of Tiscali
We left this trail for last as it is one that will impress you beyond words, but which carries some risks. The destination is the village of Tiscali, which was built during the end of the Nuragic era and consists of circular and quadrangular huts.
The Tiscali mountain is also renowned for its rare tree species, such as the “acero trilobo” and the giant terebinths. The hike itself provides beautiful panoramic views and it takes around 4 hours of walking and is of moderate difficulty.
It is best visited from late spring until early autumn and it’s an ideal location to have a picnic with the family, provided that the children are above 10 years of age.
We hope this selection of some of Italy’s best trails to hike might have given you the inspiration to visit some of them yourself!