10 Best Hiking Trails in Italy For an Ethereal Experience

By Deepak Kannan on Jan 25, 2017
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Adorned with plenty of gorgeous hiking trails to explore, Italy embraces the hikers and the nature enthusiasts with its all round charm and makes up for an amazing destination to go hiking. To get the most of the hiking experience, the best time to visit in Italy is during the time of Spring and early Autumn, when the climate is ideal with moderate to fewer crowds. From smokingly hot volcanic terrains in Sicily to soothing coastal walks in Amalfi Coast to rocky terrains in the Dolomites, here are the 10 best hiking trails in Italy for an ethereal experience. 

1. Sentiero Azzurro, Cinque Terre


Image Source: Stevekc/flickr.com  

Level of Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Connecting the five picturesque villages of the Cinque Terre is the most famous trail of Sentiero Azzurro. Also, known as the 'Blue Path', the trail offers unparalleled views of the Cinque Terre coastline and the villages. Winding through the vineyards, olive trees, coastal cliffs, and terraced hillsides, Sentiero Azzurro will keep you occupied with its varying landscape and is one of the best hiking trails in Italy. 
Length: 12 kilometers
Travel Tip: Explore the route from Riomaggiore to Monterosso. Get a Cinque Terre card which is the ticket to the trail. 

2. Alta Via 1, Dolomites


Image Source: Bill Stanley/flickr.com  

Level of Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging
Traversing through the Dolomite Mountains is the premier hiking trail of Alta Via 1. Considered as the classic route in the Dolomites, Alta Via 1 is a paradise for expert hikers and requires at least 10-15 days to hike completely. Beautiful and rugged, Alta Via 1 takes you through the finest of sceneries in Italy marked with pastures, mountain huts, jagged pinnacles, and rocky hillsides. Take up this challenge and you will be rewarded with an incredible experience. 
Length: 150 kilometers
Travel Tip: Camping is prohibited along the trails so book your accommodation in the valley hotels, well in advance. 

3. Path of the Gods, Amalfi Coast


Image Source: Commons.wikimedia  

Level of Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Shaped in a God-like canvas that protrudes into the ever sparkling Mediterranean, Path of the Gods is a stunning hiking trail in Italy for the romantics. If you are in 'awe' just from the photo, you are in a for a huge surprise as the real views will floor you! Trailing through lemon orchards, hillsides, and aromatic herbs, Path of the Gods puts you in touch with the quintessential Italian beauty highlighted by breathtaking views of the bay throughout the way. 
Length: 7.8 kilometers
Travel Tip: Start early and pack your bags with food and water. Hurl down the steps to Arienzo Beach for a quick dip. 

4. Gran Paradiso National Park, Aosta Valley 


Image Source: Soumei Baba/flickr.com

Level of Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging
Geographically rich with an abundant flora and fauna, Gran Paradiso National Park is for the nature enthusiasts who long to interact with nature. Nestled in between the Aosta Valley and the Piedmont regions, the oldest park of Gran Paradiso offers a spectacular and diverse walking trail of scenic valleys and gigantic mountains. Carpeted with coniferous and deciduous trees, Gran Paradiso National Park is one of the enchanting hiking trails in Italy. 
Length: 27 kilometers 
Travel Tip: Come prepared to face the changing weather and the hike is not for those who fear heights. 

5. Stromboli, Sicily 


Image Source: Ghost-in-the-Shell/flickr.com  

Level of Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging
Symmetrical and smoking, Stromboli off the north coast of Sicily offers an enthralling hiking experience for those who are looking for a one-in-a-kind of an experience. Take a strenuous ride to the summit which puts you in touch with the sky and bask in the glorious view of the sprawling sea. For an amazing experience, trek the path at the time of the sunset that fills the skyline with its fiery hue and walk back with the aid of your flashlights. 
Length: 7.8 kilometers
Travel Tip: Tour guide is highly recommended as walking past 400 meters strictly requires one!

6. Old Ponale Road, Lake Garda


Image Source: ilaria/flickr.com  

Level of Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Overlooking the pristine water of the Lake Garda that shimmers in the sun is the hiking trail of Old Ponale road. Connecting the Lake Garda with the Ledro Valley, Old Ponale Road runs through tunnels and fortifications from the world war offering refreshing views of the lake at every curve. The gravel path of Old Ponale Road makes up for a perfect location for a leisurely walk and is dotted with restaurants and cafes to hang out. 
Length: 9.5 kilometers
Travel Tip: Watch out for the cyclists and bikers who share the same path. 

7. Mt. Etna, Catania


Image Source: Gareth Williams/flickr.com  

Level of Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging
Although there are plenty of natural trails in Italy there is none like Mt. Etna. Fuming with hot lava throughout the year, the active stratovolcano of Mt. Etna is one of the exciting places to go hiking which offers you a thrilling experience while offering you fun. Trace your way through the craters and the lava boulders to reach the summit set a height of 3,329 meters above the sea level which offers a panoramic view, not to forget the kiss from the strong gushing winds. 
Length: n/a
Travel Tip: Check out for information on eruption before heading. Hire a tour guide. Mt. Etna is not suited for people with breathing problems. 

8. Selvaggio Blu, Sardinia


Image Source: Pixabay.com   

Level of Difficulty: Challenging
Touted as the toughest hiking trail in Italy, Selvaggio Blu tests the hikers to their limits with its adventurous route. Traipse through the creeks, caves, and the rivers along the path to gaze at the addictive blue waters that unfold on your front, seducing you with its captivating beauty. To experience Selvaggio Blu to the fullest, you need to be an expert in mountaineering, as the route is more of climbing than walking. 
Length: 4.5 kilometers
Travel Tip: There are no proper hike signs along the trail and hiring a tour guide is very much appreciated. 

9. Corno Grande, Abruzzo


Image Source: Peter Stevens/flickr.com  

Level of Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging
Nicknamed Italy's rocky heart, Corno Grande is the highest peak in the Apennines and is a part of the largest park of Gran Sasso e Monti Della Laga National Park. Find your way through the zigzagging rugged terrain of Corno Grande that is populated with the herds of ibex & chamois, wildflowers, and rocky formations to reach the top for unparalleled views of the Adriatic sea and the mesmerizing valley. 
Length: 9 kilometers
Travel Tip: Choose the trail that suits you from the two hiking trails (direct & indirect) available. Not for the faint hearted. 

10. Valtellina, Lombardy


Image Source: Franco Folini/flickr.com  

Level of Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging 
Renowned for its sparkling wines and enchanting vineyards, Valtellina in Lombardy with its expansive terrain is a beautiful hiking trail situated right in the heart of the Alps. Comprising of varying terrains which are equally gorgeous, Valtellina is complete with activities like horse riding, biking, rafting, skiing, and snowmobiling that will keep you entertained and is one of the ideal hiking trails in Italy to explore as a family. 
Length: 200 kilometers
Travel Tip: Make sure to take a guided tour of the vineyards and do pick up a couple of wine bottles!
Before heading on to explore the hiking trails, some of the essential things that you should keep in handy with you are - hiking boots & pole, local map, flashlight, sunscreen, first aid kit, matchbox, tent essentials, and a swiss knife. 
All set with the accessories? Plan a trip now!
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