Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking

From: $3,499

per person dbl occ

Dates: May-Oct - see all dates

Total Days: 7

Activity Level: 3

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

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Price:

2014

REI member: $3,499

Non-member: $3,850

2015

REI member: $3,699

Non-member: $4,075

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $799

Trip Dates:

2014

  • May 11–17
  • May 25–31
  • Jun 8–14
  • Jun 15–21
  • Sep 7–13
  • Sep 21–27
  • Sep 28 – Oct 4
  • Oct 12–18

2015

  • May 10–16
  • May 24–30
  • Jun 7–13
  • Jun 14–20
  • Sep 6–12
  • Sep 20–26
  • Oct 4–10
  • Oct 11–17

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-14

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Hiking

Accommodations:

Small hotels, 6 nights

Watch the Video

Trip Highlights

  • Discover Tuscany's gorgeous landscapes, renowned wines, and warm people
  • Hike among charming, quaint hill towns, brimming with historical splendor
  • Enjoy fresh, authentic cuisine and taste regional wine
  • Walk through stunning landscapes of villages, olive groves, and poppy fields

"Rich and robust" describes the character of Tuscany's landscape; its luscious wines; and warm, engaging people. From Florence to Siena, we see the finest expressions of Renaissance culture, and hike in beautiful areas of countryside beloved by Tuscans. This is a region brimming with natural and historical splendors that surround us on each day's hike.

Gentle hills dotted with olive groves and poppy fields line our way to medieval hill towns. We're rewarded with superb views as we walk along the Via Francigena, as devout pilgrims did centuries ago. At museums and galleries, marvel at Renaissance and Etruscan artifacts. Life moves at a leisurely pace on Siena's magnificent central piazza, "Il Campo"—a perfect place to relax over cappuccino and watch the world go by.

See more trips in Italy.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Meet in Florence and hike to the picturesque hill town of Volterra.
  • Day 2 - Enjoy a quintessential country hike past olive groves and vineyards.
  • Day 3 - Explore the exquisite medieval village of San Gimignano and enjoy lunch at the small Cesani family winery.
  • Day 4 - Hike near Colle di Val d'Elsa and enjoy lunch at a country residence.
  • Day 5 - Explore Siena with a guided visit to the city's most notable sites.
  • Day 6 - Hike in Chianti past ancient castles and renaissance villas.
  • Day 7 - Share a final breakfast with your guides and fellow travelers.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Meet in Florence and hike to the picturesque hill town of Volterra.

    Our trip begins in Florence, Italy. Our initial group rendezvous will take place in the lobby of a centrally-located hotel at 9:20 a.m. today. After meeting our guides and traveling companions, we'll take a 1½-hour private transfer to the outskirts of Volterra where we begin our first hike up to the historic Tuscan town, picturesquely situated on a plateau overlooking the surrounding countryside. Our walk takes us up through olive groves and vineyards, past stone farmhouses, and eventually to the imposing city walls of Volterra itself. We have a light lunch in a local trattoria followed by a guided walking tour of Volterra, whose history spans Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance periods. We visit the fascinating Etruscan Museum, where 3,000-year-old sculpted funerary urns, ceramics, and filigreed gold jewelry bear witness to the extraordinary sophistication of the Etruscan civilization. From atop Volterra's medieval walls we look down on the Roman Theater and out across the landscape of western Tuscany to the sea. On a clear day you can even see the islands of Elba and Corsica. We meet again at 7 p.m. for an aperitivo and a brief orientation, followed by dinner. Overnight in Volterra for the next two nights. Lunch and Dinner included.

    Hiking: 4 miles, mostly uphill but on a gentle grade.

  • Day 2 - Enjoy a quintessential country hike past olive groves and vineyards.

    Our morning starts with a 30-minute shuttle into the countryside where we begin our walk through oak forests, vast wheat fields, past solitary cypress trees and stone farmhouses. We eventually arrive at the hamlet of Ulignano were we stop for a picnic lunch at a farm stay. We carry on towards Volterra, whose towers and steeples stand out across the valley in the distance. After a van shuttle back to our hotel, we have some free time to further explore Volterra or unwind at a café before dinner. Breakfast and dinner included.

    Hiking: 7 miles over rolling terrain.

  • Day 3 - Explore the exquisite medieval village of San Gimignano and enjoy lunch at the small Cesani family winery.

    We bid farewell to Volterra and transfer by van to Certaldo where we begin our walk. Our route affords us wonderful views onto the storybook "city of the towers," San Gimignano and the imposing mass of the historic Villa Monte in the distance. We'll have a special lunch today at Cesani, a small family-run winery which produces excellent Chianti and Vernaccia. We have a brief visit of the winery with Letizia, the owner and wine-maker, followed by a home-cooked lunch in which each course is paired with one of their wines. From here we transfer to San Gimignano where we will have a few hours to explore this exquisite medieval village. We finish the day in Colle di Val d'Elsa an authentic Tuscan hilltown whose historic center still thrums with the rhythms of everyday life and is home to Italy's finest crystal makers. We spend the next two nights in Colle. Breakfast , lunch and dinner included.

    Hiking: 7.5 miles over rolling terrain.

  • Day 4 - Hike near Colle di Val d'Elsa and enjoy lunch at a country residence.

    Today's scenic loop walk from Colle takes us to a country residence set along side the Via Francigena which connects San Gimignano to Colle. Here we enjoy lunch on their terrace and enjoy a sublime view over the rolling Tuscan hills and onto San Gimignano's distant towers. After a leisurely lunch we continue walking back to Colle to enjoy some free time to peruse Colle's crystal shops and its fascinating museum about the centuries long tradition of crystal making here in Colle di Val d'Elsa. We dine independently tonight giving us the opportunity to choose from a variety of authentic local trattorias and restaurants. Breakfast and lunch included.

    Hiking: 9.5 miles over rolling terrain.

  • Day 5 - Explore Siena with a guided visit to the city's most notable sites.

    This morning we take a break from hiking and do a little urban exploring, medieval-style! We transfer to beautiful Siena, one of Italy's most enchanting cities. Conquered by the Medicis in 1585, Siena became a backwater, frozen in time, making it one of Europe's finest examples of a preserved Gothic city. The high concentration of buildings from the 12th-14th centuries makes Siena unique, and the main square, "Il Campo," is considered by many to be Italy's most beautiful piazza (the famous bareback "Palio" horse race is held in the square twice each year). Our local guide will explain the mayhem and passion associated with the race and then take us to visit the Duomo and its medieval treasures. After lunch, join our REI Adventures guide to explore Siena's city walls and hidden neighborhoods or venture out on your own to shop or explore the city at your leisure .We will regroup at 4:00p.m. and drive into the Chianti countryside towards our Tuscan villa where we will spend the next two nights. We have the option to be dropped off just shy of our lodging to enjoy a stroll right to the doorstep of our lovely villa or do a longer, one hour walk to the villa. Enjoy a swim in the pool or soak up the view over the surrounding hills while enjoying a cool glass of prosecco on the terrace. Our dinner tonight features delicious local produce and traditional Tuscan dishes. Breakfast and dinner included.

    Walking: Morning, city walking tour; Afternoon 10 minute walk or 1 hour country walk, about 2.5 miles.

  • Day 6 - Hike in Chianti past ancient castles and renaissance villas.

    Our hike starts directly from the hotel and follows the ancient "Via Romea". Walking along the rough hewn stones one can imagine the pious pilgrims who walked this same path 700 years ago. Our walk loops through the romantic Tuscan countryside, passing medeivale forts and renaissance villas on our way to the historic hamlet of Fonterutoli where we stop for lunch at the Osteria di Fonterutoli where we enjoy a lunch of fresh salad and home-made pasta on their terrace. Afterwards, we have a guided visit of the Cantina Mazzei, one of the most modern wineries in Tuscany. Indeed, the Mazzei family has been producing fine wines here since 1427 and today they are at the cutting edge of Italian wine production. Connoisseurs will know it as the producer of Ser Lapo and Siepi, two of Tuscany's most sought-after wines. We then enjoy a tasting of several of their wines followed by an easy 45 minute walk back to our villa. Tonight we will enjoy a delicious farewell dinner on the terrace. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

    Hiking: 9 miles over rolling terrain.

  • Day 7 - Share a final breakfast with your guides and fellow travelers.

    After breakfast, our trip concludes with a group transfer to the Florence train station, arriving by 10:30 a.m. Depart for home this afternoon or continue your adventure in unforgettable Italy. Breakfast included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate. 

Price Includes

Hotel accommodations with private bathrooms; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; guide/leadership; luggage transfers; private in-country transportation; special wine tasting; local city guides in Volterra and Siena.

Not Included

Air transportation to Italy; airport transfers; 2 lunches;1 dinner; entrance fees to museums, churches and other sites during leisure time; alcoholic beverages (except at wine tasting); travel insurance; excess baggage charges; gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. The daily hikes range from 4-9 miles and are over varied terrain - from grassy lanes to rocky, gravel pathways. Since some of the trails we hike can be steep and/or hilly, a conditioning regimen beginning at least 2-3 months prior to departure is highly recommended. Walking/hiking, running and biking are all great ways to physically prepare for this adventure. The better shape you are in, the more you'll be able to enjoy all that Tuscany has to offer!

Weather

We have scheduled our departures to avoid the mid-summer heat and crowds while still traveling during periods that typically offer abundant sunshine and comfortable temperatures. Temperatures in Tuscany in May, June and September range from 70-80° F with evening temperatures dropping approximately 10 degrees. October departures will experience slightly cooler temperatures and fewer daylight hours.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets
Luggage
  • Medium-size duffel bag or soft sided suitcase (limiting luggage to one bag is recommended for ease in negotiating between airport and trains. Keep in mind that some train stations have numerous steps. Wheeled luggage is fine).
  • Daypack (2,000 cu. in. to carry camera, water bottles, lunch and extra clothing)
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
  • Passport pouch or money belt
City Clothing
  • Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for travel and evening wear
Clothing
  • Hiking pants - synthetic, quick-drying
  • Hiking shorts - synthetic, quick-drying
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear
  • Hiking socks
  • Liner socks
  • Casual socks
  • Swimsuit
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Bandana
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket, waterproof and breathable
  • Rain pants, waterproof and breathable
  • Lightweight jacket or sweater
Footwear
  • Sturdy hiking boots, water resistant, lightweight, broken in, aggressive tread
  • Comfortable shoes
Travel Accessories
  • Two one-quart water bottle(s) or hydration pack
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Toiletry kit
  • Small washcloth and small towel
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Insect repellent
  • Several Ziploc plastic bags
  • Small travel clothesline
Optional Accessories
  • Camera, film/media cards and spare batteries
  • Spare contact lenses or glasses
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Travel pillow
  • Hiking staff or trekking poles
  • Ear plugs
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Electrical adapter plug/converter

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing, hiking boots and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene®, MTS® and Thermax®.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Make sure boots are broken-in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
  • Stuff sacks are great for sorting gear. Use different sizes/colors to differentiate contents.
  • Laundry facilities are not readily available during this trip and can be quite expensive. We suggest hand washing your clothes in your hotel room.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresTuscan Hilltowns Hiking
 
4.9

(based on 11 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Activity level (11)
  • Group camaraderie (11)
  • Well organized itinerary (11)
  • Accommodations (10)
  • Exceeded expectations (10)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (5), Avid adventurer (3)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Destination (11), I liked the itinerary (10), Active adventures (9), All the details planned for me (8), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (8)

      Reviewed by 11 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Tuscany without Worries

      By duncan12345

      from San Diego, CA

      About Me Active Couple

      See all my reviews

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Scenery
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking:

          Bring camera - the scenery and light were unique.
          Leave the laundry line at home - not necessary
          ATMs were scarce and each room had a safe. If you can, bring much of your money with you.
          The trip was wonderful and the guides were great. I am sure there are reasons for everything they do. We liked the wine kitty as each group consumes differently. However, there were meals that we ate as a group that were not included in the price. The guides had to collect for these meals. These should be included in the price.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • We wanted an active vacation in May with details planned for us. We took the REI trip to Belize in 2011 and were impressed.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Food, scenery, guides, group. Stephanie and Melissa were both so experienced and knew about the area. Both live in Italy and have lived there for more than 10 years. They were able to fill us in on the local culture, history and customs. Loved the Volterra guide - she was funny.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • We took the advice of previous travelers and condensed our luggage into a small overhead bag each. We brought less and washed clothes in our room. This was not necessary. Washing in these rooms is awkward. Hotels will arrange laundry service and luggage is transferred for you. A larger rolling duffel would have worked well.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Just Back-Had a Fantastic Time!!

          By Get Moving

          from North Carolina

          About Me Casual Adventurer

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Spectacular Scenery
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

          • Nothing Negative To Say

          Best Uses

            Comments about REI Adventures Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking:

            We cannot say enough positives about this trip. The guides were outstanding and obviously love what they do. Our fellow hikers were all fun to be with and we all worked together. The scenery was spectacular. The food and wine were great. Our accommodations were fine. It helped the weather cooperated. As we learned, there is no substitute for hiking if you really want to see a place. Just wish we had done this years ago, but we are already planning our next hiking adventure. Safe to say we really (really) had a great time!

            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
            • Active Adventures, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Multiple Positive Reviews, Reputation for excellence, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
            • Why did you choose this trip?:
            • Combination of location, itinerary, and level of activity-met all our needs
            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
            • The outstanding group dynamics-great guides and fellow hikers-it was one extended family
            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
            • If you want to see Tuscany and like the outdoors-GO!!. Heed the advice to prepare yourself 2-3 months in advance so the hiking will not be an issue. My wife and I were first time hikers and fortunately had no problems with the level of activity. Pack light and be prepared for an outstanding time

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Wonderful experience, perfect adventure

            By GraceNote

            from Kingston Tennessee

            About Me Casual Adventurer

            Site Member

            Pros

            • Accommodations
            • Activity Level
            • Exceeded Expectations
            • Food
            • Group Camaraderie
            • Guides
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • REI quality
            • Well Organized Itinerary

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking:

                Kudos to our guides . . . you just couldn't get any better than the team we had. Both Stephanie and Ilaria we so knowledegable and helpful. With two REI trips under our belts now, we can truthfully say that you can count on an excellent experience.

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, REI dependability, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • The itinerary was perfect for a dream trip to Italy. We had always had the Tuscan hillsides on our "bucket list." You just cannot beat an active adventure ~ hiking while exploring Tuscany. The fact that we would visit "off-the-beaten-track" places was very appealing. Visiting the "touristy" places without staying there was a huge plus. Also, this is our 2nd REI Adventure, and we knew that quality and reliability could be counted on. Our group of ten already knew each other, and we really looked forward to traveling together. REI planned a trip just for us to fit our schedules. The staff was incredibly helpful and assisted us with many plans and travel issues.
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • The guides ... Stephanie and Ilaria were just superb. They were so welcoming, attentive and accommodating, which made the trip especially amazing. The itinerary ... you couldn't have chosen a better mix of Tuscan villages. The accommodations ... exceeded our expectations. The food and the wine ... just wonderful, truly the best of Tuscany. All in all ... the variety and the fact that we were in less traveled places made for an especially memorable experience. As usual, REI's attention to detail is just unsurpassed.
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • Pack lightly, take less than you think you need. Heed the recommendations to condition for the trip. The hikes were awesome, and the scenery beautiful. Take plenty of pictures ... we were there when the hillsides were alive with red poppies and gorgeous flowers.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                wonderful trip, beautiful landscapes!!!!

                By msrjmac

                from Kingston, Tn

                About Me Avid Adventurer

                Site Member

                Pros

                • Accommodations
                • Activity Level
                • Group Camaraderie
                • Guides
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                • Well Organized Itinerary

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about REI Adventures Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking:

                    The guides Stephanie and Elandria balanced each other perfectly. They really took care of us.

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • We have traveled with REI before and they always do a fabulous job and offer a fabulous trip! Always wanted to see the Tuscany area of Italy.
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • probably the hikes with the wonderful scenery, the red poppies dancing in the winery fields and along the hillsides...ah.yes........and the wines.
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • You can always count on a great trip with REI, well organized, good accomodations, etc... All you do is pay and show up, the rest is taken care of!

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    What an experience

                    By Karen Dubs

                    from Baltimore, MD

                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                    Pros

                    • Accommodations
                    • Activity Level
                    • Exceeded Expectations
                    • Food
                    • Group Camaraderie
                    • Guides
                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about REI Adventures Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking:

                        A friend suggested to only pack a carry on for this trip, so that's what my husband and I did. Great advice. Travel light! We enjoyed the experiences and journey in Italy without worrying about luggage. Since we were in each hotel for just two nights, there was never a need to unpack. So we kept all our clothes in the carry on bags, just pulling out the essentials we needed. We each took a pair of hiking boots and a pair of dressy but comfortable shoes for evening.

                        If you love walking, beautiful scenery, wine, culture, good food, history, medieval towns and great company, this trip was all those things and more. We met a great group of people that all enjoyed the same things, and we came home feeling like we had a once in a lifetime adventure.

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • Active Adventures, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • This was the first time we traveled to Europe, so we wanted to enjoy the adventure and experience without having to worry about transfers, picking good restaurants, or knowing the language.
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • Experiencing the medieval town of Volterra was mind blowing. Hiking through the vineyard to enjoy lunch and wine overlooking San Gimignano was breathtaking and so much fun hiking home with a little wine buzz.
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • This trip exceeded our expectations. It was such a wonderful combination of adventure, activity, beautiful scenery, outstanding food and culture. I would highly recommend this trip.

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        I would take this trip all over again!

                        By Matt and Bert

                        from Norwich, Vermont

                        About Me First-Time Adventurer

                        Pros

                        • Accommodations
                        • Activity Level
                        • Exceeded Expectations
                        • Food
                        • Group Camaraderie
                        • Guides
                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                        • Quality Equipment Provided
                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking:

                            This was a fabulous trip with excellent leaders and great group camraderie. The hotels, food, hiking trails, and towns were all uniformly excellent.

                            Count me in for next year with REI.

                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                            • All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • Seem to offer what i was looking for. Certainly lived to expectations.
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • Everyday brought new and different highlights.
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • Book now!

                            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Excellent Experience

                            By Bonnie101

                            from Covington,KY

                            About Me Avid Adventurer

                            Site Member

                            Pros

                            • Accommodations
                            • Activity Level
                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Food
                            • Group Camaraderie
                            • Well Organized Itinerary

                            Cons

                            • Accommodations

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about REI Adventures Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking:

                              Great experience
                              Food was outstanding as was hiking

                              Didn't care for Sienna or for many of the hotel beds

                              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                              • Why did you choose this trip?:
                              • Tuscany was on my bucket list
                              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                              • hiking through the countryside and the small towns of Volterra, Colle, San Gimingnano---
                              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                              • Pack light and carry on your luggage--plus take the time to learn some of the language--it helped me a lot

                              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              fabulous -- highly recommended!

                              By snicklefritz

                              from USA

                              About Me Casual Adventurer

                              Site Member

                              Pros

                              • Activity Level
                              • Exceeded Expectations
                              • Food
                              • Group Camaraderie
                              • Guides
                              • Well Organized Itinerary

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about REI Adventures Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking:

                                  I highly recommend this trip. It was extremely well run and our guides were interesting, fun, and really good at handling all the details. You will eat really well, enjoy some great wine, and see incredible sights, all while enjoying some great treks in Tuscany -- which is incredibly beautiful.

                                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                  • Active Adventures, Destination, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                  • Wanted an active walking trip with great food; I'm an REI member and REI trips had a good reputation.
                                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                  • The days were just right -- 7-8 miles hiking most days, some free time, and the food was terrific. The views were stunning, and the guides were wonderful.
                                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                  • The gear list says sturdy hiking boots. We were almost always on well worn trails or dirt roads -- except for the occasional section through a field. My Asolo boots were overkill, and they took up a lot of space when packing. A mid height boot or hiking shoe would work just fine. A couple of us used trekking poles... I found them useful to protect my knees, although the hills are not steep.

                                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Great scenery and food

                                  By Walking Travelers

                                  from California sierras

                                  About Me Avid Adventurer

                                  See all my reviews

                                  Pros

                                  • Accommodations
                                  • Activity Level
                                  • Exceeded Expectations
                                  • Food
                                  • Group Camaraderie
                                  • Guides
                                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking:

                                      The itinerary was well planned. Hotel transfers were seamless. The guides were very knowledgeable and they had arranged in advance for special diet food for one of the members. Each time we went to a restaurant they had been notified in advance.

                                      The chemistry between the two guides, Stephanie and Emanu mad it a very fun and enjoyable adventure. Both had a lot of informato share but from two different perspectives. More important are the guides in Volterra and Siena who added their expert information as licensed guides for their respective towns.

                                      The walks provided vistas of some of the towns that we had visited. San Gimignano with its tall towers could be seen in the distance as we walked by some sunflowers.

                                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                      • We had been to Italy before but not into the countryside. Seeing the fields of bright red poppies and sunflowers made the trip. The itinerary also included towns such as Siena and San Gimignano that we had never visited.
                                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                      • The fields of flowers, walking on the Via Francigena,which was used by pilgrims traveling from England to Rome.
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • Don't purchase train tickets in theUS; wait until you get to your destination. Europe Rail tickets cannot be changed in Europe. Bring cash to exchange for Euros to avoid hidden transfer fees. If you get cash from an ATM, some cards start charging for the cash as at a higher rate, AND, any charges made on your card earlier in the month are also charged at a higher rate.

                                      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Trip of a lifetime!!

                                      By Dee C

                                      from Marysville, Ohio

                                      About Me Casual Adventurer

                                      Pros

                                      • Accommodations
                                      • Activity Level
                                      • Exceeded Expectations
                                      • Food
                                      • Group Camaraderie
                                      • Guides
                                      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                      • Scenery
                                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                                      Cons

                                      • None it was great

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about REI Adventures Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking:

                                        This was a trip of a lifetime and I could not have been happier. The guides were the best I have ever had and the trip just kept getting better at every turn.

                                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                        • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                        • It gave me the variety I was looking for. Always wanted to go to Tuscany and I checked many other sites and this one just fit me best.
                                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                        • Food, Wine, Scenery, Countryside, Great guides, lifetime experience, cultural/historical experience, the greatgrandmother and granddaughter we came across on our hike....I guess too many to consider. It was all such a wonderful experience.
                                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                        • If you are not in an area that has some fairly decent hills to get used to I would suggest taking treking poles. Also when they say a small towel, a hand towel or sham type towel will work to dry your feet when you cross the creeks if needed. Wash cloth I think was because none of the hotels provide them so if you are used to having one take it.

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