There are hikes of every length and difficulty in Italy. Here are some of the most interesting hiking destinations.
- Cinque Terre. This is a great hiking destination for travelers of all ability levels and if you want to skip the more difficult hikes you can take a boat or a train to the same destinations. The trails run along steep cliff and will close if there are mudslides so you need to check in advance if they are open. The national park of Portofino also offers wonderful hiking trails including one to visit the Abbey of San Fruttuoso. For some longer or more challenging hiking, walk from Cinque Terre to Portovenere and explore the Gulf of the Poets. The Ligurian coast is great destination if you are visiting in spring or autumn as in winter it can be chilly and in the summer very hot and crowded.
- Dolomites. If you are looking for a family-friendly hiking, go hiking in Dolomites. The trails are extremely well-marked, and are of every level of difficulty. There are mountain restaurants with playgrounds, serving hot food from a la carte menus and offering extensive wine lists. Small alpine towns line the valleys, and ski lifts run in the summertime, taking hikers up the mountain to trails. If you are hiking in Italy in the height of summer and don’t love the heat, hiking in the Dolomites is a great option because it’s at altitude.
- Italian lakes. Hiking Lake Como is ideal for anyone who also enjoys villas with gardens or wants to explore the beautiful towns of Bellagio, Varenna or Tremezzo, or go for tea at the iconic Villa D’Este. Hiking Lake Maggiore is more off the beaten path, with high-end hotels at the Swiss end of the lake, and convenient access to Milan’s Malpensa airport at the southern end. Hiking Lake Lugano can be accomplished from a base on either Lake Como or Lake Maggioreas the Swiss lake lies between the two. Hiking Lake Garda means you see some of those iconic Dolomites as this lake is closer to Venice than Milan. Lake Garda is a big lake, with fantastic hiking trails for lake-and-mountain lovers in addition to small towns, local wines, and a boating culture. Stay in small lakeside towns and walk or take cable cars up for gorgeous views.