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Walking in Tuscany

8 days
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£1,029
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4.8 / 5 from 141 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
TDT
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–14

Walks in Tuscany's mountainous Garfagnana region

The Garfagnana region, close to the gems of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, is one of Italy's best-kept secrets and the perfect base for guided walking holidays in Tuscany. The area’s astonishing landscape is a far cry from the rolling hills of southern Tuscany as it lies between the striking peaks of the Alpi Apuane and Apennine mountain ranges, providing us with ample hiking opportunities which, along with picturesque mountaintop and lakeside villages and the warm local hospitality, make for a wonderful trip. Certain dates include more challenging trekking and incorporate one night in a mountain refuge.

Highlights

  • Five wonderful daywalks through Tuscany's idyllic mountains
  • Challenging walks on certain weeks
  • Delicious home-cooked Italian cuisine
  • Stay in a family-run Tuscan farmhouse with swimming pool

Key information

  • 7 nights farmhouse with swimming pool
  • 8 days land only/ flight inclusive
  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Altitude maximum 2054m, average 1000m
  • Walks at level 3 or 5 dependent on date
  • Challenging departures on selected weeks

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 5 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - limited availability)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
+41 (0)56 631 86 64
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Fly to Pisa; transfer to Braccicorti lodge.

    Start at our base, a journey of 2 hours from Pisa airport (depending on traffic).

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Walk through the Orecchiella N.P. to Pania di Corfino. (grade 3)

    After breakfast at Braccicorti we drive to the small village of Pruno where we begin our walk into the Orechiella National Park, home to a variety of flora and fauna changing throughout the year. In spring it can be covered in snow when wolf, deer and mountain hare tracks are easily identifiable. Late spring and summer, the land is carpeted with an array of beautiful flowers and the beech trees begin to grow their iridescent lime green leaves which then change to deep oranges, browns and reds in the Autumn. If we are lucky we might spot a number of birds of prey; the common buzzard, the honey buzzard or one of the resident golden eagles. Set amongst the beautiful beech wood our walk steadily ascends to the flat summit of Pania di Corfino with its stunning 360 degrees views. After a leisurely picnic lunch we head to the 16th century village of Campaiana before following an ancient mule track which descends to the town of Corfino.

    13km, total ascent: 603m, total descent: 603m, altitude maximum: 1603m.

    The beautiful rock arch of Monte Forato. (grade 5)

    Starting the day with a drive of approximately 40 minutes we arrive at the gorge of Fornovolasco in the Alpi Apuane NP. From here we follow the dry river bed through the woodland, before ascending more steeply to enjoy stunning views down to the Versilia coast and across to the famous marble quarries. We undertake a short scramble to meet the spine that leads up to the incredible rock arch of Monte Forato. The summit is only a stone's throw away and should be ascended to enjoy the majestic views of Pania della Croce. Continuing on the path we descend sharply through the trees and past old shepherds huts to reach our minibus. 

    15km, total ascent: 693m, total descent: 693m, altitude maximum: 1223m.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Apuane National Park to Monte Sumbra. (grade 3)

    Today we drive 40 minutes to the small village of Vianova and begin our walk into the Alpi Apuane NP. Much of our initial ascent is on a wide forest track that continues through the beech wood to our first view point across to the face of Pania della Croce and the Omo Morto range. From here we take a footpath ascending to a limestone plateau where there is an optional ascent to the summit of Monte Sumbra (1765m). Weather permitting, we will enjoy an uninterrupted view of the Alpi Apuane range, the Ligurian coast and the enormous spine of the Apennines. After lunch on the summit we retrace our steps back to the limestone plateau before heading down through the trees following one of the old charcoal trails back to the minibus. On the way back to Braccicorti, time permitting, we may stop in the lovely town of Careggine.

    16km, total ascent: 672m, total descent: 672m, altitude maximum: 1765m.

    Apuane National Park to the summit of Pania della Croce. (grade 5)

    Today we drive for around 45 minutes to return to the Alpi Apuane NP, this time to arrive at the foot of Uomo Morto, the 'Dead Man'. We ascend steadily through beech wood to emerge at Rifugio Rossi, a small mountain hut at the foot of the 'Dead Man's' nose! There is a high chance of seeing mouflon (wild mountain sheep) as we make our way up a large boulder field to a ridge that takes us to the top of the 'Dead Man's' stomach and the summit of Pania della Croce at 1858m. Along with good views of the marble quarries and the local coastal town of Forte di Marmi below us, we can admire the coast to the Cinque Terre, the flat plains of Lucca and Pisa to the east and the long spine of the Apennine ridge on the opposite side of the valley. After a picnic lunch on the summit we retrace our steps back to the Rifugio, before heading back to the bus. 

    12km, total ascent: 758m, total descent: 758m, altitude maximum: 1858m.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Circular walk from Braccicorti to mediaeval market town Castiglione di Garfagnana. (grade 3)

    Having a change of guide for the day, you will walk directly from the farmhouse at 410m, firstly visiting the new town of Villa Collemandina before heading to the church and learning about the history of the area. After this the route will take you on tracks, quiet lanes and footpaths through the local farmland and houses giving you a chance to observe village life. Midway through the day you will arrive at Castiglione di Garfagnana at 545m, a small but beautiful mediaeval town, still inhabited and visited by tourists throughout the year. Castiglione is also the place where the region’s largest and most popular chestnut festival, celebrating the chestnut tree and the growth of truffles and mushrooms, is held in the autumn. After lunch we cross a 13th century bridge below the town leading into more farmland and back to Braccicorti on easy tracks. 

    19km, total ascent: 145m, total descent: 145m, altitude maximum: 545m.

    Apuane National Park to Monte Tambura. (grade 5)

    Changing guides for the day, today you transfer to 16th century shepherds village of Campocatino.  From here you begin the continuous ascent on a well marked path to reach the ridge line of Monte Tambura where you will start your way unto the summit. The path can be a little exposed and loose in places with stunning views of the craggy peaks all around. From the summit you continue on the ridge line descending to one of the many marble quarries in this mountain range before carefully making your way across several small rocky sections with a fixed security line to aid you before arriving back at Campocatino. 

    16km, total ascent: 800m, total descent: 800m, altitude maximum: 1890m.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day to visit Lucca, the Cinque Terre, Florence or Pisa.

    Free day to enjoy any of the following: 1 hr train journey to visit the stunning fortified city of Lucca; 20 minute taxi and 1.5 hr train journey to the coastal UNESCO World Heritage site of the Cinque Terre; 2.5 hr train journey to visit the capital city of Florence, home of Michelangelo's David or the 1.5hr train journey to Pisa where you can ascend the leaning tower and walk along the beautiful river Arno. Other options would be to relax at the farmhouse and if warm enough make use of the sun loungers and outdoor pool or walk down to Lago di Pontecosi for lunch and a stroll through the local area or take a train 10 minutes along to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana for lunch and a walk to the old castle.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Campocatino and San Viviano's Hermitage. (grade 3)

    A drive of 25 minutes to Lago di Vagli with its submerged village and impressive backdrop of Monte Sumbra will bring us to the start point for the day; Vagli Sotto. From here we walk on a small footpath to the town of Vagli Sopra where we continue to ascend on a section of the pilgrimage walk through the chestnut wood to arrive at the 16th century shepherds village of Campocatino. Wandering through the village and seeing the beautiful terraced meadows, protected by the impressive wall of Roccandagia, it is easy to see why the shepherds chose this location. From here we continue to our highest point for the day at 1190m before descending through the trees to San Viviano's hermitage. Built into the rock face, the tiny hermitage is said to be where San Viviano lived before his bones were finally discovered in 1993. It is now used as a chapel and pilgrimage site. Our descent takes a rarely used mountain path with views across the valley before arriving back at the bus.

    12.5km, total ascent: 630m, total descent: 630m, altitude maximum: 1190m.

    Appennino Tosco‐Emiliano N.P. Monte Prado and Monte Cusna. (grade 5)

    After a 40 minute drive we begin our 2 day ridge walk with a steady ascent through the beech wood to meet the Crinali ridge in the Tosco-Emiliano Appennino NP. During the winter the ridge is covered in snow but spring brings the new growth of alpine flowers and autumn carpets the ground in purple hues from the myrtle berries mixed with the green juniper. Following the crest, this easy route takes us along the ridge up onto the summit of Monte Prado, the highest peak in Tuscany at 2054m. We then descend to the small tarn of Lago di Bargetana, before continuing into Emilia Romagna and up to Monte Cusna at 2121m. Marmots can be encountered on the way.  After our second summit we descend to our mountain hut Rifugio Bargetana where we enjoy an evening meal before a well deserved rest.  Nestled amongst the trees, the rifugio is known for its good food and wildlife spotting. 

    22.5km, total ascent: 807m, total descent: 807m, altitude maximum: 2121m.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Appennino Tosco-Emiliano N.P. and the summit of Monte Prado. (grade 3)

    We start the day with a 40 minute drive to the small ski area of Casone. Walking through beech wood brings us to the beginning of the Crinali ridge, a section of the 1600km Apennine ridge in the Tosco/Emiliano/Apennino NP, offering some of the most impressive views of the week. During the winter the ridge is covered in snow, spring brings the new growth of alpine rock garden flowers and autumn carpets the ground in purple hues from the myrtle berries mixed with the green juniper. Below is a basin of fiery colours from the forest between the ridge line of Tuscany and the opposite ridge of Emilia Romagna. Our route takes us along the undulating ridge on an easy path with stunning views leading us up onto the peak of Monte Prado, the highest in Tuscany at 2054m. After lunch we retrace our steps along the ridge before descending on another route leading us through woodland back to Casone where there is a bar to enjoy a well earned drink.

    16km, total ascent: 740m, total descent: 740m, altitude maximum: 2054m.

    Apennino Tosco-Emiliano N.P. to Passo di Praderena. (grade 5)

    After our night in the mountain hut we retrace our steps to Lago di Bargetana, then head back into Tuscany and onto the Crinali ridge. We stay on this ridge line all day with fantastic views across the Alpi Apuane national park and the Serchio valley.  During the autumn the views can stretch as far as the Alps to the North and the islands of Corsica and Sardinia.  After completing 15km we arrive at Passo di Praderana where we will drive the 40 minutes to Braccicorti, with the option of stopping at the Osteria of Verrucole Fortress to enjoy a celebratory drink. 

    15km, total ascent: 209m, total descent: 209m, altitude maximum: 1949m.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Pisa; fly to London.

    Transfer back to Pisa; fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

8 days land only/ flight inclusive
5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
Altitude maximum 2054m, average 1000m
7 nights farmhouse with swimming pool
All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners included
Challenging departures on selected weeks

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners are included.
Continental style breakfast with a choice of cereal, bread, yoghurt, eggs and fruit with milk, fruit juice and an array of teas/coffee.
Packed lunches are provided for the daywalks  with a buffet style selection of meat, cheese, fish, salad, bread and salad mix such as panzanella with a cake and fruit.

At Braccicorti you will taste the quality and the freshness of the ingredients together with the knowledge of old Tuscan recipes handed down from mother to daughter of the Giovanetti family and mixed together with a great passion for cooking.

Starters include the Garfagnana soup, Pesto pasta, Bresaola or risotto with locally made bread, water and Braccicorti red wine. 

Main course can be stuffed peppers and courgettes with local cheese and pancetta, roasted meats, locally caught trout or a vegetarian dish such as aubergine and mozarellla bake with home grown vegetables and salad.

Each meal is finished with a small dessert of homemade tiramisu, panna cotta, gelato or fruit salad and on occasions followed with the offer of homemade grappa or amaretto.  

Vegetarians are usually well catered for in this area. For those who require gluten free diets, we recommend taking items with you, as it is not easy to purchase gluten free products locally.

Weather

May departures can expect warm days, although rain is always possible. Nights may be rather cool. Early June is similar, with the days becoming progressively hotter and the evenings much warmer. September and October are cooler and wetter, however visibility is better. We strongly recommend a fleece-lined jacket or warm sweater in May, September and October.

Is this trip for you?

The area is mountainous and the majority of drives, although short, follow twisty mountain roads through wooded areas. Tuscany can also be very hot, possibly high 30s (C) in the summer. Braccicorti lodge has been renovated keeping the character of the area in mind and should therefore not be considered a luxury villa. There are basic furnishings and rooms are not serviced as you would expect in a hotel.
The Garfagnana area provides enormous scope for some of the most spectacular and interesting trekking in Italy, with the added bonus of knowing we will rarely see other walkers. The majority of the paths are well-maintained, however a few sections are less frequently used and rough underfoot, with some steep ascents and descents, so a good level of fitness is required. Previous trekking experience is recommended. Some trails can be overgrown and long trousers are recommended. Early in the season there may be patches of snow and snowshoes may have to be used.

Activity level: grade 3 (Moderate) departures
Most departure dates are graded moderate and ascents and descents of 400 to 700 metres should be expected. We usually walk 4 to 6 hours each day and a good level of fitness is required.

Activity level: grade 5 (Challenging) departures
For challenging grade weeks, we usually walk between 5 and 8 hours per day and a high level of fitness is required. We spend one night in a comfortable mountain refuge, so we will have to pack our belongings for our two-day ridge excursion into our daypacks (e.g. sleeping bag liner, wash kit, change of clothes). It should not be necessary to carry more than 6-8kg. Items not required on the walk can be left in your room at Braccicorti.

We use the same mountain ranges for both grades and vary the routes according to the weather conditions or other factors beyond our control. Whilst aiming to always follow the routes described in these trip notes, it will be the leader's decision to amend the itinerary if and when necessary.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference:
http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Call us on
+41 (0)56 631 86 64
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Braccicorti

Our lodge-style base is the welcoming Braccicorti, a traditional stone building tucked away on a hillside on the lower slopes of the Apennines. Situated on a typical Tuscan farm, it has been authentically renovated and is surrounded by meadows, orchards, woodland and vines.
The accommodation comprises 4 twin/double rooms (with en suite facilities) and 2 apartments, each with 1 twin/double and 1 single room sharing a bathroom. Double or twin should be stated upon booking and the en suite rooms are on a first come served basis if requested. There is also a dining room, comfortable living room, a quiet room, terrace, golf course with driving range, swimming pool (seasonal - mid May to end of September) and a garden with stunning views to the mountains.
This is not a hotel and the local family, who live next door, clean the rooms once during the week. Please note there are dogs at the farmhouse.
CHALLENGING DEPARTURES: We spend one night in dormitory-style accommodation in a comfortable mountain hut.

There is no charge for the standard single rooms, as bathroom facilities are shared. These are provided on a first come first served basis and should be requested upon booking.
Further double rooms for sole use can be requested 2 weeks prior to departure; a supplement applies for these. We cannot guarantee these will be en suite.

Call us on
+41 (0)56 631 86 64
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2017
    Ian Lochhead

    Walking in Tuscany

    An absolutely fantastic week staying in a lovely Tuscan farmhouse with delicious home-cooked food. The walks were all very different but each was superb in it's own way with breathtaking scenery. The local family who run the accommodation were all extremely friendly and welcoming people. Our guide Sara Bull was exceptional(see below) and we were lucky to experience almost an entire week of lovely warm/hot sunshine. Our group bonded straight away and this contributed greatly to the enjoyment of the holiday. The dog Elvis who accompanies the group on every walk is the fittest, friendliest & most loveable dog I've met.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The entire trip was inspirational in view of the stunning scenery of the Garfagnana region however the highlight would probably be summiting one of the highest peaks in the region, Monte Sumbra, on a beautiful warm day with perfect visibility. The views from the top were simply breathtaking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Where to begin when describing Sara Bull! I first did this trip 9 years ago and Sara was also the guide then and was outstanding-nothing has changed in that time. Sara is everything you would want in a guide-friendly, sociable, vastly experienced & knowledgeable, organised, attentive and basically great fun to be with. She contributed massively to my enjoyment of the holiday. Sara quite obviously loves her job and goes the extra few miles to make sure every person has the best possible week's holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all weather conditions. Although we were lucky to experience brilliant weather most of the week the weather can change very quickly in the region-rain jackets and sunscreen required! Also-make sure you're fitness is at a good level. The main advice would be if you are thinking about booking this holiday then definitely do it-you will not regret it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my 10th trip with Exodus and I can't recommend this company highly enough. It is great to head off on a holiday like this knowing that everything is being taken care of for you allowing you to relax and enjoy the trip. Our group consisted of 3 couples and 5 solo travellers(including myself) however everyone got on very well together right from the start and there were many laughs along the way.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Ana Redondo

    A holiday I will remember for years to come

    This was my first trip with Exodus and I have to admit my experience during the booking wasn’t the best to start with. It was rather slow and inefficient, but I have sent Exodus some comments on this and I am sure they will take them on board. Also I spoke to other members of the group that have done many trips with Exodus and they have not experienced any problems, so I am inclined to think this was just a one off. But that’s all the ‘bad over’ and truly the only niggling point. Other than that, I can honestly say it was one of the best holidays I have ever had. I’ll try and break my feedback down but I’ll start with the guide in case you get tired of reading: 1. The guide - before I went I was surprised and bit intrigued by how many people mentioned this lady called ‘Sara’ and how lovely she was. I don’t think any of us can make justice in writing to who she really is. She is a phenomenal professional, a bundle of enthusiasm and energy and a tremendous human being. One of the most inspiring people I have ever met. And her dog ‘Elvis’ is a legend you have to meet! With all my respect to Exodus and whatever they do in the office, 90% of your trip experience is the guide. They have the ability to make or break a trip and I can only say, this lady made for all of us a memorable trip that I am sure we will remember for years to come. 2. Experience required - being new to this, I wasn’t sure if the information was exaggerated in terms of fitness or not. Reading back, I think it was spot on, so read carefully the description. Yes there are some climbs that get you a bit out of breath, but all in all it is a manageable pace and Sara was awesome at managing the pace and breaks. Also pay attention to the equipment you need, it was also spot on. For example don’t think trainers and jeans will do, because they will not. 3. Accommodation - not flashy or luxurious in the traditional sense, but really warm, cosy, welcoming. In all honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. To me this place “is” luxury, not fancy hotels with useless toiletries but that’s personal opinion. The family is lovely, the setting is incredible and I’d rather stay here than anywhere else. The food was great and plentiful. So, perfect really. 4. The area and walking – a hidden gem of incredible beauty. Some of the views really take your breath away. Still not very developed in terms of tourism which makes it truly special. On the day off most of us went to Lucca and it really is worth a visit. The trip in general has a really good balance between seeing small villages/cities and different walks. All in all, if you have any doubts about this trip, book it. Go and I seriously doubt you’ll regret it. Sorry for the lengthy of the review, but hopefully it will help.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I am sorry but there were so many I couldn't chose a single one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not enough words to describe Sara, read the summary.
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Karen McGowan

    A truly wonderful holiday!

    This trip exceeded my expectations on all levels. The walks were varied, the scenery was stunning and our guide Liz was fabulous. We were a group of 12 people (3 couples, 3 single women, a mother & daughter and a single man) and got on well, looked out for each other and laughed a lot. The accommodation was beautiful and the hospitality and food provided at the family run agriturismo, couldn't be faltered. It was an added bonus having the swimming pool on hand for a quick cool-down in the evening or to swim a few laps before breakfast.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The mountains and the people we met but the whole trip was inspirational in many ways.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz was amazing, professional, fun, friendly and very knowledgeable about the local area. Despite different paces and fitness levels in the group, Liz ensured we walked as a group, whilst also managing individual needs. Liz went out of her way to accommodate us on many occasions, by making detours to go to a chemist, transporting some to Lucca on the non-walking day and then driving some of us to our next stop when the holiday ended. I cannot praise Liz enough and I'm considereing a similar holiday she recommended, for next year.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My husband and I found the walks to be at the upper end of moderate, possibly due to the heatwave we encountered whilst there and recommend that people add electrolyte sachets to their drinking water, which we found prevented de-hydration and stiffness in the legs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I highly recommend this holiday to anyone considering it. Also, listen to your guide as they know what they're talking about and make sure you use electrolyte sachets in your water, when walking.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Wendy Wheeler

    Fantastic Grade 5 version

    We were surprised and really pleased to discover this trip also came in a grade 5 version (once per month?). Everything about this trip was great - the walking terrain, the views, the lovely group, the fantastic leader (who happens to be quite the blister-blasting nurse too), Pierre-Luigi, who was great when I got a little nervous (unnecessarily but it seemed justified at the time!) and of course, Elvis the dog. And the farmhouse was so much lovelier than I anticipated, having an evening dip in the pool after a long day of hiking was heaven to me. Everyone in the group except me was a fussy eater in one way or another (if you are reading this, I mean it in the nicest possible way!), but it did not faze Braccicorti, all the food was lovely, and the wine they make was rather nice too...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views were definitely inspirational

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara was excellent, probably the best I've met - she knows loads about the area, and Braccicorti and really cares about them too; she always looked out for all of us; kept us informed; was fun and interesting.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Use the pool! And do whatever Sara tells you!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Its a really well put together, enjoyable trip in a beautiful location
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Sue Melling

    Walking in Tuscany

    I highly recommend this walking holiday staying at the agrotouristic family-run home of Braccicorti in the beautiful Garfagnana valley. Each of the five walks are unique and the scenery magnificent though the view from Pania di Corfino was a little obscured due to the weather. However, this was more than compensated for by the stunning views from the walks in the Apuane National Park to Monte Sumbra, along part of the Appenine ridge to Monte Prado and the walk to Campocatino and San Viviano's Hermitage. The walk in the valley led by a local guide, Pierre Luigi, was great too as Pierre informed us of the history and farming of the area. But what made this trip truly fantastic and extraordinary was the sensitive and thoughtful leadership of our guide, Sara, accompanied by Elvis her dog. Sara is extremely knowledgable, informative, experienced, inspirational and has a way of communicating that is enthralling and humourous. She worked tirelessly to ensure all in the group were well catered for and throughly enjoyed their experience. Thanks to Sara I had a truly wonderful time with plenty of laughs and new friendships made. Thank you Sara and Elvis! and all the family at Braccicorti.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Apart from meeting and spending time with Sara and Elvis and the group members, I absolutely loved the walk in the Appenino Tosco-Emiliano National Park along the Crinali ridge to Monte Prado. The flowers, the scents, the views, the wildlife - all were sensational and all enjoyed in great company.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing! Sara is a real asset to Exodus Travels and if I had any say in it I would definitely vote her 'Guide of the Year'.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My advice to potential travellers is to book now!
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Yuko Welch

    Walking in Tuscany

    Wonderful trip. It was very well organised and planed. We are looked after by the leader and accommodation's team very well.Wonderful location and great walks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was a very clear day. Fantastic view from the top of Monte Prado. We could see the line of mountain range all the way.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She is very efficient, informative, and good communicator as well as funny and humourous. Her information for the rest day is excellent, too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you learn a few Italian words, your trip would be more fun. Because you are going to the real Tuscany mountain village, not a big tourist place.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had a wonderful trip. We were so lucky that almost all days are sunny. We had a thunder storm for about one hour but it was like a "spice of the trip". We were also very lucky to have nice bunch of people and great leader and her team. And most of all, for me, to walk with Elvis (dog) is fantastic. I felt relax and so much fun. I would love to come back in Autumn. The colour of the leaves must be beautiful.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Steve Braysher

    Tuscany: The trip of high points

    What a fantastic week! Stunning scenery, a great variety of walks, a lovely place to stay, good food and tremendous company. Oh, and the weather put on a big smile for us too (apart from the last day) and possibly the best guide in the business. It really would be difficult to think of a way of beating it. Monte Prado and Monte Sumbra were good to 'bag' but walking some of the ridges and through the beautiful forests added a different dimension as did exploring some of the local settlements on the valley day. The Golden Eagles on the first day, Alpine Choughs on the second and the Fire Salamander later in the week were pretty good too. What brought it all together was the way the group gelled, good banter, a few 'wind ups', people looking out for each other and a very relaxed atmosphere, a perfect combination for a great trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No one thing. The overall experience of the mountains, the group and our guide made the whole package an inspirational experience - that sounds a bit over the top but it is how it was on this trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Exceptional and brilliant. Sara Bull is undoubtedly the best guide I have met. Her huge experience of and passion for mountains, adventure, the local area and people together with her enthusiastic sharing of these with the group added considerably to what was provided by the natural environment of the Garfagnana region, and the team at Braccicorti. She made time for everybody and did far more for us than could or should be reasonably expected of any group leader. Her assistant, Elvis the dog, was also a star. Whilst on the hill she adjusted things to cater for the needs of both the group as a whole and individuals at the same time. When faced with decisions forced by changing weather conditions she was decisive but also took time to explain her decisions. Knowing that Sara was guiding would be a significant factor in deciding on the next trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Our group was great and everybody was more than capable of completing the walks but do look carefully at the trip notes about distances and terrain.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was one of those trips where everything came together in near perfect alignment, which means that it is now the benchmark by which subsequent trips will be judged and they are going to have to go some to come out on top. A huge thank you to everybody involved.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Katherine Evans

    Hill Walking in Tuscany

    I had never been on an organised holiday before and I really enjoyed myself. The other people on the trip were great fun and we really gelled as a group. I got to see some fabulous scenery and villages around Tuscany, which I would I have missed had I travelled under my own steam. The food and the accommodation were also first class. I thoroughly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I have quite a severe fear of heights but with the robust good sense of Sarah the guide, and the warmth and good humour of other people on the trip, I managed to scramble to the top of one of the highest peaks in the Garfagnana, and it felt really empowering.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sarah Bull the guide (and her canine assistant, the inimitable Elvis) were amazing. Sarah is so knowledgeable about the Garfagnana and an extremely experienced walker/climber/international adventuress. I felt privileged to have met her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just book something with Exodus. I would be astonished if you did not enjoy it.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Lavinia Mainds

    Walking in Tuscany

    This is our 3rd walking & trekking trip with Exodus and what a fabulous trip it was. Staying in the beautiful family run Braccicorti Lodge, drinking their home made Grappa and chatting and laughing together as a group. We were 4 couples and 3 singles and everyone enjoyed each other's company. Some were faster than others but our guide ensured we operated as a group. My husband would have liked another week sitting by the swimming pool.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is hard to pick out one inspirational moment but getting to the top of the hills each day felt great every time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara Bull was absolutely fabulous. Her knowledge and passion for the local area was a joy to behold. She looked after us quite beautifully, making sure the walks were carefully paced, that we were properly equipped and topping up our energy levels with biscuits and sweeties she carried in her Mary Poppins bag. We would definitely look to be guided by her again and another couple were on their 3rd trip guided by Sara. I'm sure it was Sara that ensured the English passion for cups of tea was catered for in Braccicorti.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully - this is Northern Tuscany and hilly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wish I could book another trip immediately.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Gillian Ansell

    Walking in Tuscany

    Fantastic trip, walking up Tuscan mountains in the foothills and higher of the Apennine and Apuane ranges that surround the Garfgnana Valley, north of Lucca. Staying in simple but attractive accommodation and going off in the van to the beginning of each day's splendid and demanding walk in great weather, then returning to shower/dinner/wine was the perfect combination of exercise/being outdoors and civilisation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many fabulous views -- not one more than any other. Loved both the long views across the valley from the mountains tops but also the sun shining through the trees on the nice mountain paths and the charming old villages and towns we passed through.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara Bull was simply excellent in all ways -- superbly fit, professional, knowledgeable but also going totally above and beyond as well. Kind, fun, patient, generous and incredibly devoted and hardworking. A very special person. We all loved her.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Was my first Exodus holiday and I felt so well-taken-care of and safe but also stimulated by the demanding level. Thought it was great.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on +41 (0)56 631 86 64