RCGS Chianti, Italy

RCGS: Italy's Chianti Walking & Wine with Gilles Gagnier

8 days
from
£1,285
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Trip code: 
TDCS
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
6–16
Min age:
18

An adventure travel legends are made of…

Immerse yourself in the flavors and history of Italy’s famous Chianti region with this sojourn through renaissance cities, mediaeval villages and cypress-lined avenues snaking through vineyards. Accompanied by the publisher of the award-winning magazine Canadian Geographic, Gilles Gagnier, you’ll have the opportunity to sample several varieties of the world-renowned Chianti and learn about the process that goes into making the wine.

Enjoy gentle walks through rolling olive groves and vineyards straight out of a postcard, then learn about Italian wines at the Wine School of Siena. Spend a day exploring the historical sites of Florence, from museums and galleries to churches and archaeological delights. Throw on a chef’s hat and perfect your Italian cooking skills with an optional culinary class and explore the medieval towers and 13th century walls of San Gimignano. Visit the UNESCO-listed Siena which has remained virtually unchanged since the 17th Century. Finish each day at a family-run farmhouse where you can enjoy homemade meals and locally produced wine – the perfect way to relax after a day of sightseeing.

Highlights

  • Walk the classic rolling hills of Tuscany accompanied by the publisher of Canadian Geographic, Gilles Gagnier.
  • Explore the historic streets of Florence.
  • Enjoy famous wines at the Wine School of Siena.
  • Spend nights in a converted farmhouse.

Key information

  • 1 night hotel and 7 nights renovated farmhouse with panoramic swimming pool
  • 5 days gentle walking and sightseeing
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Centre-based holiday
  • Countries visited: Italy

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 dinners, 3 wine tastings
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Local taxes (approx. EUR 10 per person, see Trip Notes)
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
Pace:

Leisurely/Moderate

Terrain:

Manmade paved tracks, tarmac, forest trails to grave

Day by day breakdown
Day 39.0km/5.0miles
Day 48.0km/4.0miles
Day 64.0km/3.0miles
Day 710.0km/6.0miles

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we spend the nights in Villa Casalta, a family run farmhouse in the heart of Chianti. Where meals are provided, ingredients used are locally sourced and follows local traditional recipes wherever possible. This ensures that our visit is benefitting the local communities. The owners are conscious of their environmental impact and tries their best to minimise it as much as possible through efforts to recycle and conserve energy within the property. 

The wine tasting sessions arranged are a great opportunity to support local producers and promote the traditional methods of local wine production. Walking trips have very little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as it is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrival in Florence

    Arrival in Florence where we will stay for our first night.

  • Day 2

    Discover the magnificent city of Florence and afternoon transfer to Villa Casalta

    Today we will explore the city of Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance with an enormous wealth of historical sites, museums, galleries, churches and architectural delights. Most of the great artists, thinkers and builders from Renaissance history passed through or lived in Florence when it was under the rule of the Medici family, the most famous patrons of the 16th century. But Florence is not just a Renaissance showpiece: once you have had your fill of the historical trail there are many other things to see and do. The city has not ceased to be a centre of learning, and there is a university, many art and language schools and a large student population to liven up the café-bars, restaurants and nightclubs. There are also some great markets and chic boutiques. From April to July, Florence also holds one of Europe's major cultural events, a festival of opera and classical music called the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

    There are no guided tours organised for the day but there's an option to join one of the free walking tours in the morning. This will then leave you enough time to visit the Uffizi galleries. If you wish to do so we recommend that you prebook your ticket online to avoid lengthy queues. An ideal slot time would be around 2 pm. it can be earlier if you're not interested in joining the morning free walking tour. Tickets can be purchased through https://webshop.b-ticket.com/webshop/webticket/eventlist?production=1

    In the afternoon you will be transferred to Villa Casalta, our beautiful villa 2km from Castellina in Chianti. In the evening our guide will hold a welcome meeting to discuss the week ahead, give advice on the local area and answer any questions.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 3

    Visit medieval market town of Greve in Chianti and the hilltop village of Montefioralle; afternoon wine tasting in Castellina

    Today we head to the medieval market town of Greve in Chianti walking through a magnificent setting of olive groves and vineyards. On the way, we will stop in the fortified hilltop village of Montefioralle, considered the most ancient 'borgo' in Chianti. After lunch we enjoy a wine tasting in a local winery before heading back to our farmhouse for dinner.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Travel to Siena and explore the stunning historic centre; learn about Tuscan and Italian wines at the Wine School

    After breakfast we make our way to the centre of Siena for a day exploring this fascinating city. We have time to visit the numerous museums and stunning Duomo and to relax in one of the many outdoor cafés in Piazza del Campo, home of the world famous Palio horse race. Please note that shoulders should be covered for entering the Duomo. You may also like to visit the many boutiques specializing in local products and cutting edge Italian fashion. In the afternoon we also have the opportunity to learn about Tuscan wines on a 1-hour fun interactive course at the Tuscan Wine School.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day to visit other Chianti villages or relax by the pool

    Today is free to rest any tired legs at the poolside. Alternatively, your leader can advise on local Chianti wine tasting tours and cooking classes or offer assistance for unguided walks or daytrips.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Walk to Radda in Chianti, the heart of the Chianti area

    This morning we will set out for a local history walk to the heart of the Chianti area, covering the route from Villa Casalta to Radda in Chianti. We will take a walk through local woodlands where we can admire the so famous emerald vineyards valleys. In the afternoon we will have the chance to taste the much acclaimed Chianti Classico wine at a local winery.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Walk to picturesque San Gimignano with free time to explore Palazzo Comunale, Pinacoteca and Torre Grossa

    After a  transfer to the quaint hamlet of San Donato, we walk through the farm grounds following the pathway to Montauto and on up to the picturesque mediaeval town of San Gimignano. The walk is not long and should take approximately 3 hours. The afternoon is spent exploring this beautiful town including visits to the Palazzo Comunale, Pinacoteca and Torre Grossa and there is some free time to wander and soak up the atmosphere. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Free day

    Today is an additional free day to either relax at the accommodation or take the chance to do some further exploration in the surrounding areas.  The leader will be happy to provide suggestions and assistance.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Departure

    Today you will be transferred back to Florence for your return flight.

    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 breakfasts 5 dinners and 3 wine tastings are included.

Breakfast is usually a continental style buffet. Of the 5 included dinners, three are taken at Villa Casalta and a reasonable amount of wine is included. Two are taken in local restaurants (drinks not included). Vegetarian choices are available - please advise us of dietary requirements on booking.

Weather

June sees the start of summer and days can get hot by mid afternoon, so this time is kept free for lunch. Although rain is unusual, torrential cloudbursts are not unknown.

Is this trip for you?

This trip offers a good mix of city and countryside walks. During the days with walking included, the terrain and type of path will vary from manmade paved tracks, tarmac, forest trails to gravel. The walks are not technically difficult although some ascents and descents should be expected, so a reasonable amount of fitness is required. Please be aware that the Radda walk, on day 3 can be challenging due to the length and the hilliness of the walk.
The area is quite hilly and the majority of drives, although short, follow twisty mountain roads through wooden areas. 

Summer months

Tuscany can be very hot during summer months, especially from June to August but heatwaves can happen also in April and May. During summer months temperatures can possibly reach high 30s (°C)/80s (°F). We will try and start our walks earlier to avoid the hottest hours of the day but please be aware that temperatures and humidity will be high. You should feel comfortable and be used to walk in the heat. Agriturismo type of accommodations, as based in the countryside, are not normally equipped with air conditioning therefore rooms can be quite warm at times. Presence of mosquitos in summer may increase (significantly), we recommend taking mosquito repellent with you.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

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

Villa Casalta

You will spend 7 nights at Villa Casalta, a renovated farmhouse with swimming pool and en suite facilities. The villa is family-run and known for the fine home-made food prepared with traditional ingredients and locally produced wines and olive oil. Free Wi-Fi available. 

Please note that on May 30th 2020 departure the accommodation will be Albergo Il Colombaio, located within a short walking distance to the town of Castellina in Chianti and offers the same facilities and standards as Villa Casalta. We have used this property on previous trips and received very positive feedback.

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.

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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 020 8772 3936