If all goes well, Italy will re-open land borders for tourists during the summer holidays, albeit with appropriate measures. If you go hiking in the mountains, you avoid mass tourism anyway. Seven tips for an active holiday.
How, where and when you can go on holiday during this summer is not yet known. But you can probably visit these countries during the summer holidays. Keep an eye on the ANWB travel guide. The orientation can certainly start.
Hiking in Italy
Italy is known for its incredibly tasty cuisine, which is different in every region. Tourists also find the beautiful cities and tourist regions easy to find. But you don’t think about walking that quickly. And that while the Italians are among the world’s best alpinists. Tips for an active holiday in the mountains.
1. Sella-Herbetet Traverse, Gran Paradiso National Park, Aosta Valley, Piedmont
We start at the top, at the Graian Alps. This mountain range lies on the border of Italy and France. In the Italian province of Piedmont (also known as Piemonte) you will find Gran Paradiso National Park in this mountain range, with hiking trails for both experienced hikers and recreational hikers.
The Sella-Herbetet Traverse is one for the experienced hiker. The trail starts at a village bridge in Valnontey and then you walk through the mountains from one beautiful view to the other. You also make a narrow, high crossing, where you have to hold onto a chain for safety.
While hiking, you not only look out over the imposing peaks, the highest of which is 4,061 meters, but you will also encounter ibexes and, with a bit of luck, even marmots. The hike has a length of 21 kilometers and an average duration of nine to ten hours.
2. Sentiero Azzurro, Cinque Terre, Liguria
The province of Liguria is not much further down. The most popular destination here is Cinque Terre, which consists of five villages along the coast.
It can normally be quite touristy here, but it is fine outside the high season. And it will not be too bad during the coming summer vacation. Moreover, during the hike Sentiero Azzurro (the blue path) you will not notice much of the crowds in the villages that are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
During this 12 kilometer trail you walk along the rugged coast past the villages with their typical colored houses. It is best to walk from east to west; from Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare. The hike takes about 3 to 4 hours and is suitable for beginners. Know that you have to buy a Cinque Terre Card for 7.50 euros, your access to the route.
3. Sentiero degli Dei, Amalfi Coast, Campania
In the province of Campania you can walk the Sentiero degli Dei, in Dutch “The path of the Gods”. A trail that lives up to its name. Sentiero degli Dei is an 8-kilometer walk along the overgrown, terraced rocks that stand out like a painting by the clear blue sea. You pass lemon groves, rosemary bushes and ancient holm oaks while you see the island of Capri in the distance.
If you’re on vacation in Naples and tired of walking through the busy city, this is a wonderful getaway. “You walk the path of the Gods” in four to five hours. In sunny weather, this is Italy at its best.
4. Selvaggio Blu, Sardinia
The island of Sardinia is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You can kayak, hike, canyoning and you will find one of the toughest trails in Italy here. Selvaggio Blu is clearly one for the experienced hiker.
The extreme trail has a length of 45 kilometers and it will last you almost a week. Abseiling, scrambling, high cliffs, everything is covered during this multi-day adventure along the wild east coast of Sardinia. Fortunately, you will also pass empty white beaches along the way, where you can take a refreshing dip. You sleep in authentic shepherd’s huts. Absolutely recommended.
5. Stromboli, Aeolian Islands
From Sardinia to the Aeolian Islands, above Sicily. The northernmost island of this group of islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea is Stromboli, where you can experience what it is like to hike on another planet.
This island of Italy has an area of 12.6 square kilometers and is 918 meters high. It is a three thousand meter high volcano, about a third of which protrudes above water. The volcano is constantly active. A trip is easy to combine with a holiday in Sicily.
The hike you can make here is quite tough, has a length of 8 kilometers and lasts 5 to 6 hours. The contrast between the landscape and the sea is bizarre. During your climb to the volcano crater you imagine yourself Star Wars.
6. Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dolomiten, South Tyrol & Belluno
Between the northeastern Italian provinces of Bolzano-South Tyrol and Belluno you will find the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, an impressive triple mountain peak known among the Dutch as the Drei Zinnen.
Here you can walk an otherworldly beautiful route, named after the three mountain peaks. Google “Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti di Sesto” and you are sold. This route takes about three to four hours and is 9.5 kilometers long. Not very difficult, but very beautiful.
7. Corno Grande, Abruzzo
The Corno Grande is the highest peak of the Gran Sasso massif and thus also the highest point of the Apennines. Here you will find a trail for beginners, the Via Normal (normal route). Simple, but a beautiful view over the undulating mountain range and in the distance the Adriatic Sea.
Experienced hikers can take alternative zigzag routes that lead to the summit much more directly. The best time to go to Italy for this is from June to September, when the summit is snow-free. Chances are that you will encounter chamois on the mountain and eagles in the air while hiking.