Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

SPECIAL OFFERS

Free Trekking Poles

Free trekking poles when you book your active expedition

Book your Active Expedition by November 30, 2018 to receive your trekking poles! To redeem this offer:

  • Call 888-689-2557 and reference the code TREK2018 to your travel specialist at the time of booking; or
  • Visit natgeoexpeditions.com/active, select your trip, and enter TREK2018 in the Promo Code field of the reservation form at the time of booking.

Offer Details:

  • Offer is valid for National Geographic Active Expeditions for new bookings made by November 30, 2018 for trips departing prior to October 20, 2019.
  • One pair of trekking poles/person on a booking, valid for up to two people traveling together.
  • Not valid on previously booked trips.
  • Valid for one-time use. Not redeemable for cash or cash equivalent.
  • The offer applies to bookings for active expeditions only.
  • Offer code may only be used at the time of booking.
  • Hike to hilltop towns perched above Chianti’s vineyard-laced valleys, and stay at picturesque farmhouses and villas.
  • Discover San Gimignano’s soaring towers and Siena’s Gothic architecture, and soak up the charm of these UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Explore the coastal villages of the Cinque Terre on a series of spectacular walks and hikes.
  • Sample Tuscany’s famed wines and cuisine and the specialties of Liguria.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Set off on a hiking adventure in two of Italy’s most scenic regions: the lush countryside of Tuscany and the rugged coast of Liguria. In the heart of Chianti, wind your way through vineyards and cypress-dotted valleys, exploring hilltop towns and historic abbeys that have changed little over the centuries. Sample the region’s famed wines, and explore the medieval treasures of Siena and San Gimignano. Then travel to the Italian Riviera to climb the spectacular coastal trails linking the colorful hamlets of the Cinque Terre. Hike past terraced vineyards and lemon groves overlooking the Mediterranean, and experience the region’s distinct culture.

Day 1: Florence, Italy/San Casciano in Val di Pesa

Arrive in Florence and meet your trip leader this afternoon. After our orientation, make a brief visit to the Benedictine church of San Miniato al Monte, perched high above Florence with sweeping views of the city’s red-tiled roofs and Duomo. We will then travel south along the ancient Roman road, Via Cassia, through the countryside to the hilltop town of San Casciano. Set out on our first hike past olive orchards and vineyards to the 15th-century home of a local Tuscan family, where we enjoy an olive oil tasting and a hearty country dinner. (2-3 miles hiking, 2 hours)

Meals Included:Dinner
Accommodations:Hotel Executive
Day 2: Florence/Greve in Chianti/Volpaia

After breakfast, we drive into the vineyard-laced hills of Chianti and stop at Greve in Chianti, where we’ll sample the region’s celebrated wines. Set off on a scenic hike to the fortified village of Lamole. After a lunch of local specialties, we approach, on foot, Volpaia, home to a winery that produces the famed Chianti Classico. From Volpaia, transfer to our charming hotel in Radda in Chianti’s historic center. (5 miles hiking, 3-4 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Palazzo Leopoldo Radda
Day 3: Chianti

Transfer to San Giusto in Salcio, an exquisite medieval church just south of Radda. From there, we walk along renowned vineyards surrounding the capital of Chianti wine. Our trail takes us to San Polo in Rosso, one of the many powerful castles built by Florence to defend its territory against Siena. After a picnic lunch, continue our walk through timeless medieval villages and then back to San Giusto in Salcio. Return by van to Radda for a tasting of Chianti wines, followed by dinner on your own at the hotel or a restaurant in town. (5 miles hiking, 3-4 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Palazzo Leopoldo Radda
Day 4: Siena

Spend the morning exploring this enchanting city, once a historic rival to Florence and graced today with winding red-brick lanes, Gothic churches, and elegant palaces. Learn about the city’s competitive contrade, or districts, and have lunch on your own at the great central square, Il Campo. Then visit the fortified village of Monteriggioni, known for its well-preserved walls and towers, which Dante wrote about in Inferno. Later, transfer to our hotel set in a 15th-century villa. (2–3 miles walking, 4 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Hotel Villa San Lucchese
Day 5: Colle di Val d’Elsa/San Gimignano

Begin the day at Colle di Val d’Elsa, where crystal and glassware have been produced since the 17th century. Then hit the trails on a spectacular hike to San Gimignano—one of Tuscany’s most beautiful medieval hill towns and a World Heritage site. Of the 72 medieval towers that once soared above the rooftops, 14 towers remain. Explore the city’s maze-like streets and fresco-adorned Duomo, or climb one of the towers. (6 miles hiking, 4-5 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Hotel Villa San Lucchese
Day 6: Carrara/Levanto

At the Tuscan town of Carrara, discover the ancient quarries where sculptors, including Michelangelo, have sourced marble for centuries. After lunch, a two-hour drive takes us to the seaside town of Levanto, our launching point for exploring the Riviera di Levante. Unwind with a seafood dinner by the waterfront.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Hotel La Giada del Mesco
Day 7: Cinque Terre

Take a short train ride to Monterosso al Mare, one of the five villages that make up the Cinque Terre, or “five lands.” Clinging to cliffs above the Mediterranean, these hamlets dazzle with clusters of pastel-hued homes overlooking harbors dotted with fishing skiffs. Depending on trail conditions, we hike along the trail that links the neighboring villages of Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, or enjoy a scenic train and boat ride from village to village. Take in the amazing scenery of steep hillsides with terraced vineyards and olive groves, and enjoy stunning views of the coast. (5–6 miles hiking, 5 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Hotel La Giada del Mesco
Day 8: Cinque Terre

Set out from our hotel on a coastal trail to Monterosso that meanders past fragrant lemon groves and hilltop farmhouses. Enjoy a refreshing gelato or lunch on your own in the main square. Return to Levanto by train, and celebrate our adventure with a farewell dinner in town. (3–4 miles hiking, 3–4 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations:Hotel La Giada del Mesco
Day 9: Pisa

After breakfast and a final cappuccino, transfer to Pisa and connect to your return flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast