Days
10
Price from
$4,075AUD

Immerse yourself in classic Italy, from Florence to Santa Margherita Ligure

Spend six days among the splendour of Tuscany and complete your journey with a few days walking on the famous Cinque Terre and the elegant Portofino peninsula.


Start
Florence, Italy
Finish
Santa Margherita, Italy
Country
Italy
Style
Peregrine
Code
PEMT
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
(16 reviews)
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • From your base in charming Santa Margherita, make excursions to Portofino and the Cinque Terre, two of Italy's most breathtaking coastal destinations

  • Cruise across the bay of Camogli to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, an 11th-century gem in a secluded cove reachable only by boat

  • A wine tasting in a Montepulciano cellar is the perfect end to a morning of strolling and dining in the Tuscan hills

  • Discover charming villages such as Monticchiello and Bagno Vignoni, hidden to mass tourism by their location and tiny size

  • Uncover the secrets of the hilltop village of Volterra, famous for its magnificent sunsets and Etruscan ruins dating back more than 2,000 years

Is this trip right for you?

  • You will need to be in good health and able to walk for a few hours at a time. There are some up-and-down sections, and the terrain varies from well-defined paths to rocky trails. The scenery is of course well worth the exertion!

  • Summer temperatures can be extreme in Italy (over 40°C). It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. If you’d prefer not to share, a single-room supplement is often available (at an additional charge).

  • In some hotels, a single supplement exclusion applies where single rooms are not available. Many hotels in Europe don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together or apart.

Itinerary

Your trip begins in Florence, the cultural capital of Italy and the gem in Tuscany's crown. No activities are planned for today so you may arrive at any time. Please make your own way to the joining hotel, which is located centrally in town. There really is so much to see in Florence, so if you are arriving earlier, be sure to get out and see some of Italy's 'outdoor museum'. In the evening you will meet your trip leader and fellow travellers at a welcome meeting. This is usually at 6 pm, but you will be advised as to the exact time and place in a notice near the reception at your hotel. At this meeeting, the leader will give you a briefing on what lies ahead. This evening you will enjoy dinner with your group at a local restaurant in Florence.

Notes: Arriving/departing by train where possible is recommended, as it's a relatively low-carbon mode of transport.
Accommodation
  • Hotel La Fortezza or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Start the day with a walking tour of the heart of Florence, the birthplace of Renaissance. You will witness some outstanding works of art that have been preserved over the centuries. Stroll along the streets and enjoy the essence of Italian history and culture. You will pass along the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, visit Piazza della Signoria and gaze up at the landmark of Florence, the Duomo. At midday, embark on a drive to the town of Arezzo, the setting for the movie 'La Vita è Bella'. In Roman times, Arezzo was the most important city of the Etruscan federation. You will be free to wander around town and enjoy lunch at your leisure. In the late afternoon, travel on to Montepulciano, one of Tuscany's most attractive hill towns. Settle into your hotel, which is located in the historic centre, then explore the old town and all it has to offer. You will dine with your fellow travellers in the evening.
Accommodation
  • La Terrazza Di Montepulciano or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Florence Sightseeing Tour
  • Arezzo Sightseeing Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After breakfast you will walk to the impressive Chiesa di San Biagio, a 16th-century church nestled at the edge of the village walls. It overlooks the winding valley below. Walk into the picturesque valley and through vineyards, olive groves, past pastel coloured villas and over rolling hills. You will then reach the peaceful village of Monticchiello. Here you will enjoy a flavoursome lunch under the welcome shade of a grapevine canopy, with a stunning view out to Monticchiello's ancient main village gateway. After lunch, return to Montepulciano by bus. Upon arrival enjoy a sightseeing tour of its labyrinthine maze of laneways and imposing defensive walls. You will then be treated to a wine tasting in a local cellar. The remainder of the afternoon will be at your leisure. Perhaps do some shopping in Montepulciano's classy boutiques.

(Walking time: approximately 3–4 hours; 10 km)
Accommodation
  • La Terrazza Di Montepulciano or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wine Tasting in Montepulciano
  • Montepulciano Sightseeing Tour
  • Montichiello Country Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning you will be transferred to the beautiful village of Pienza for a walking tour. Be mesmerised by views from Pienza's city walls. You'll see classic Tuscan scenes – burnt orange villas, tightly wound hay bails, meandering country lanes and fields of barley. Then it's on to the charming village of San Quirico d'Orcia, where there's time for you to have lunch. The distinctive landscapes of the Val d'Orcia – with their flat chalk plains, almost conical hills and fortified settlements – have inspired many artists. Embark on a walk which takes you to the unique Spa town of Bagno Vignoni. Here the main town 'square' is actually a beautiful ornamental pool built by the Medici family. You can cool your heels in the many Etruscan water channels that surround the old watermills just outside of the centre. This is a unique attraction in the Val d'Orcia, all but unknown to mass tourism. Your walk concludes in Siena in the late afternoon.

(Walking time: approximately 3 hours; 8 km)
Accommodation
  • La Locanda Di San Martino or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pienza Sightseeing Walk & City Walls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Siena this morning. This is a fascinating chance to discover the best of this most celebrated medieval city. Its heart, in every sense, is the famed 'Piazza del Campo', a grand fan-shaped piazza built on the site of the old Roman forum. Bordering the southern flank of the square is the 14th century Palazzo Pubblico, with some fine early Renaissance frescoes. Also of interest is the beautiful main church, the Duomo – a wonderful mixture of Gothic and Romanesque architecture. Your guide will show you the most interesting monuments as well as the hidden corners of this 'red city'. The afternoon is yours to spend as you please. You may like to visit one of the many museums, or perhaps just take a seat in the Piazza del Campo to sip on a glass of local Sangiovese.
Accommodation
  • La Locanda Di San Martino or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siena Sightseeing Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, journey towards ancient Volterra. On the way you will pay a visit to Monteriggioni, a totally walled medieval town. Its fortifications were ordered by the overlords of Siena to command the Cassia Road running through the Val d'Elsa and Val Staggia. Your next stop, the town of Colle Val d'Elsa, is just as beautiful. This quaint Tuscan village produces close to 15% of the world's fine crystal glassware. In the early afternoon you will arrive in beautiful Volterra, which is full of Etruscan history and famous for its alabaster. Enjoy a guided tour through town, witnessing the Roman theatre and the Etruscan ruins. At the end of the day, you might like to stroll through the peaceful parklands or catch Volterra's famous sunset from the town walls. In the evening you will head out with your fellow travellers to a fine local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Etruria or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Monteriggioni, Colle Val d’Elsa & Volterra Sightseeing Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Bid farewell to Tuscany as you enter the province of Liguria. From La Spezia you will take a local train to the village of Riomaggiore, the southernmost village of the Cinque Terre. Riomaggiore is a tiny collection of pastel houses clinging impossibly to cliff faces by the sea. The postcard-perfect harbour is where you will begin the famous walk along the coast of the Cinque Terre by walking along a beautiful but strenuous trail through the vineyards. This takes you to Manarola, an attractive little village with steep multi-coloured houses overlooking a rocky port, where you will enjoy lunch looking out to sea. If you have enough energy, there is the option to continue your walk to Vernazza. This is arguably the prettiest of the five villages. In the late afternoon, take a train (approximately 1 hour) along the dazzling coast to the village of Santa Margherita Ligure, the location of your next overnight stay.

Notes: Due to recent landslides in the area, the Via dell'Amore and the coastal section between Manarola and Corniglia is closed to the public due to safety concerns. The alternative inland routes are of a higher physical rating. If you would rather not walk these sections, it is possible to take the train instead.

(Walking time: approximately 4 hours; 10-12 km, depending on route taken)
Accommodation
  • Hotel Jolanda or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cinque Terre Coastal Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast you will begin a scenic stroll to glamorous Portofino. En route, spend some time exploring the best of Santa Margherita, including its wonderfully coloured historic heart and the awe-inspiring harbour. Stroll through a pleasant agricultural landscape that's dotted with beautiful fin-du-siècle villas and monasteries. Along the intriguing 'Valley of Mills' you will reach the pleasant beach of Paraggi and stop for a rest. As you approach Portofino proper, take the time to visit its impressive castle and lighthouse, which are not be missed. The tiny hamlet of Portofino, with its hillsides and gorgeous harbour, is arguably Italy's finest residential address. The afternoon will be at your leisure. Perhaps take the option of a walk back to Santa Margherita along a pleasant coastal route, which takes about an hour. Alternatively you can take an optional powerboat ride or local bus back to your base for the evening.

(Walking time: approximately 3 hours; 7 km)
Accommodation
  • Hotel Jolanda or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Portofino Peninsula Coastal Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning a short train ride will take you to Camogli, one of the prettiest towns of Liguria. Upon arrival you will go for a scenic walk onto the western part of the Portofino Peninsula. A short climb brings you to the hamlet of San Rocco, where a scenic path then leads you to the southern end of the peninsula. Here you can enjoy views across the whole Gulf of Genova, from Corsica to France. Next, descend towards the small harbour of Punta Chiappa. Perhaps enjoy a picnic lunch – either in the shade of the Romanesque church of San Nicolò, or in the sun at the sea shore of Punta Chiappa. You will then take the boat to a secluded cove and see the Abbey of San Fruttuoso. Visit the monastery, take a stroll to the fishing village, or simply relax on the beach or on a terrace with a drink. Later you will return by boat to Camogli. From here it's a five-minute train ride back to Santa Margherita.

(Walking time: approximately 2.5 hours; 6 km)
Accommodation
  • Hotel Jolanda or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Boatride to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast in Santa Margherita. For those travelling on, there are many regular train connections to cities such as Genoa, Milan, Pisa, Florence and Nice from Santa Margherita station.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Private minibus, Boat, Local bus, Train

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (9 nights)

Included Activities

  • Florence Sightseeing Tour
  • Arezzo Sightseeing Tour
  • Wine Tasting in Montepulciano
  • Montepulciano Sightseeing Tour
  • Montichiello Country Hike
  • Pienza Sightseeing Walk & City Walls
  • Siena Sightseeing Tour
  • Monteriggioni, Colle Val d’Elsa & Volterra Sightseeing Tour
  • Cinque Terre Coastal Hike
  • Portofino Peninsula Coastal Hike
  • Boatride to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso

Reviews

Our Magical Tuscany & the Portofino Peninsula trips score an average of 4.06 out of 5 based on 16 reviews in the last year.

Magical Tuscany & the Portofino Peninsula, June 2016

Marion Pickard

Magical Tuscany & the Portofino Peninsula, June 2016

Jacqueline Smith

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Important notes

You'll need to be in good health and able to walk for a few hours, with some up-and-down sections, and on varied terrain, from well-defined paths to rocky trails.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.