Headwater - Walking the Olive Trails of Umbria, Self-Guided

9 days
from
£1,279
View Trips
Loading...
Trip code: 
W10UM
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
8

This 10-night linear trip is a great mix of wonderfully scenic walking and historic hilltop towns. The walks follow a mix of paths and trails, partly on the St Francis Way, partly on the 'Sentiero degli Ulivi', the Olive Grove Trail.

Along the way, you explore the upper slopes of the 'bald mountain' Monte Subasio with stunning mountains vistas. You can discover the secluded hermitages of St Francis, pass the great Abbey at Sassovivo and wander the ruins of Campello Alto.The walking is beautifully unhurried, retracing in part the trail St Francis took on his final visit to Assisi in 1226. It's a rural route brimming with rare flora and fauna, passing through olive groves dating back to Roman times. Stroll along pilgrimage trails through centuries-old forest and sacred woodland that has for years been tended and cared for by the Franciscan monks.

Highlights

  • Discover Italy's 'Green Heart': deep lush forests, hidden hermitages, endless olive groves and the flora and fauna of the Monte Subasio Natural Park
  • World-famous Assisi, the jewel in the Umbrian crown; Spello, one of Italy's best preserved towns; Trevi and Spoleto, hilltop towns completing a daisy-chain of mediaeval marvels
  • Exceptionally friendly hotels - two with swimming pools - including a converted 17th-century palazzo and a luxury 'farm resort'
  • Superb regional cuisine: freshly prepared pastas, highly prized black truffles, the finest of olive oils, famous Sagrantino wines

Key information

  • 10 nights hotel-to-hotel
  • 5 Days walking
  • All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Headwater Wine Collection Service 
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Headwater Wine Collection Service 
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request, compulsory supplement)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

The paths you follow are generally waymarked and well maintained. As there are frequent ascents and descents, you need to be reasonably fit and confident.

Day by day breakdown
Day 214.0km/9.0miles
Day 416.0km/10.0miles
Day 616.0km/10.0miles
Day 815.0km/10.0miles
Day 1015.0km/10.0miles

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

Assisi
to
Assisi
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Assisi

    Arrive at your hotel, where you'll stay for three nights. (Staying at Hotel Fontebella Palace, Breakfast only)

  • Day 2

    Valfabbrica to Assisi

    A short transfer to pick up the Via San Francesco pilgrims' trail. Stroll through peaceful oak and pine woods and enjoy superb views as you approach the ancient town of Assisi. Call in at the San Croce chapel with its three-arched Ponte dei Galli, finishing off on a manicured trail through a 1,000-year-old forest to the majestic Basilica di San Francesco. (Staying at Hotel Fontebella Palace, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    At Assisi

    Visit the basilica with its magnificent C13 Giotto frescoes and the commanding hilltop castle. Amble up Via San Francesco to the beautiful Piazza del Comune to visit the well-preserved temple of Minerva. (Staying at Hotel Fontebella Palace, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Assisi to Spello

    Climb up Monte Subasio to the Hermitage of Asissi. Traversing a trail along the mountain you get unforgettable views of the Vale of Spoleto, before heading down into delightful Spello and your hotel for two nights. (Staying at Albergo La Bastiglia, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    At Spello

    Pink-stoned Spello is a well-preserved Roman town, with beautiful town walls, ruins of the old theatre and amphitheatre and thermal baths. Visit the church of Santa Maria Maggiore with its outstanding frescoes by Pinturicchio, the town's art gallery, annexed to the church, and the Palazzo Comunale Vecchio (Old Town Hall). Or perhaps take the train to Perugia the region's capital. (Staying at Albergo La Bastiglia, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Spello/Sassovivo to Trevi

    A short transfer this morning - Then follow the Sentiero degli Ulivi - the Olive Grove Trail - that connects Spoleto to Assisi. Spend time at the beautifully-restored cloistered Abbey of Santa Croce di Sassovivo and continue through woodland and olive groves to the hilltop village of Roviglieto - the highest settlement on the trail at 700m. Descend to Trevi for a picture-postcard view of this Roman gem on the slopes of Monte Serano. You'll stay here for two nights, and enjoy dinner (included) under the church tower in the atmospheric Piazza della Rocca. (Staying at Hotel Antica Dimora, Half Board with wine included)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    At Trevi

    Explore this old theatre town with remnants of the Mura Romana (Roman Wall) and Mura Medieval (Medieval Wall) still encircling the town. The Teatro Clitunno is still one of the town's most important gathering places. Visit the Olive Oil Museum, housed in an ex-convent, and stroll around the main square, home to the C14 Palazzo Comunale. (Staying at Hotel Antica Dimora, Half Board with wine included)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Trevi to Poreta

    On the shared Olive Trail and Francesco Way, amble along to the hillside church of Madonna di San Arcangelo. Pass the secretive Eremo Francescano (Convento Pissignano) and explore the ruins of C10 Castello di Campello Alto. Then meander down to Poreta and your hotel for the next two nights, where dinner is included in the converted stables. (Staying at the Borgo della Marmotta, Half Board )

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    9:W10UM: At Poreta

    Borgo della Marmotta is a perfect place to unwind for a day or two. Relax on a lounger by the pool with a good book, soak up the sun in the hotel gardens, or pamper yourself with one of the wellness sessions. Or follow small country roads down to the village of Campello sul Clitunno and visit the Roman Springs and temple of Clitunno. (Staying at the Borgo della Marmotta, Half Board )

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 10

    Poreta to Spoleto

    Pass through the typically Umbrian villages of Santa Maria Reggiano, Bazzano and Eggi. From Eggi, the St Francis Way leads you along back lanes to the bustling town of Spoleto. Or take the old Olive Trail high up onto the former railway line that used to run from Spoleto to Norcia. Cross the 60m-high Cortaccione Viaduct for a superb view back over your week's walking. (Staying at the Hotel Charleston, Breakfast only )

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Leave Spoleto

    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

Visas

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals.

Food of the region is rustic, often called 'cucina povera'. The most typical pasta dish is Stongozzi, served with black truffles or a spicy tomato sauce, followed by simple grilled local meats and then a slice of pecorino cheese washed down with some superb wines. Sagrantino di Montefalco or red from Torgiano are just a sample. For a picnic lunch why not try the Umbrian staple, the porchetta sandwich - roast pig stuffed with herbs

Umbria represents Italian home cooking at its best and the region's cuisine reflects its landlocked location. The distinctive taste of the region's olive oil and black and white truffles flavour many of the dishes. The origins of many of the dishes derive from thrift, for example, bruschetta comes from toasting stale bread, covering it with olive oil and rubbing it with garlic. Similarly, crostini are thin slices of toast with a smear of pate, usually made from chicken liver, anchovies and capers. Cooked and cured meats also have a fantastic reputation in the region. You will get to try many of these famous and delicious antipasti, which will then be followed by a 'primo' (a first course). In Umbria this is usually a pasta dish oozing with flavour. Wild asaparagus is popular in the spring and truffles feature more strongly in autumn. Secondi (second course) will then follow, the Umbrian preference is for grilled meats. Rapidly grilled spatchcocked rabbit and guinea fowl remain favourites. Desserts do not feature strongly on the Umbrian menu, cheese is often the post dinner preference and you will find the option to dip them in oil or honey.

Meal times are usually later throughout the day (08:00-10:00 for breakfast; 13:30-15:30 for lunch; 20:00-22:00 for dinner).

Wine also has a strong history in this region. It has been produced in Umbria since Etruscan times, when vines were first planted. Possibly the most unusual wine of the region is the Vernaccia di Cannara, a desert wine which is unlike any other as it is red.

Weather

The dates run from May through to October which will take advantage of the nicest weather of the region. May and October have the lowest average temperature, with highs of around 22 degrees Celcius. In the morning and evenings the temperature may drop to as low as 13 degrees Celcius so it is worth having an extra layer for your top and bottom that you can take off as it warms up. October will also see more chance of rain. From June to September the temperatures will be much higher, rising to 35 degrees Celcius in July and August, with much lower chance of rain. The weather is always variable so this should be used as a guide only.

Is this trip for you?

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 15.2km (9.6miles). 
No. of days Walking: 5
Terrain: The paths you follow are generally waymarked and well maintained. As there are frequent ascents and descents, you need to be reasonably fit and confident.

 Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Hotels

The hotels we've chosen are special too. From Renaissance-style palaces in Assisi and Trevi to a chic renovated farmhouse in Poreta.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

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]

Call us on 020 8772 3936