The Maremma is a beautiful unspoilt area in south west Tuscany which has remained untouched for centuries. Immaculately preserved mediaeval villages with few foreign visitors and unexplored paths weaving through ancient woodlands characterise this enchanting corner of Tuscany. Nestled between the olive-studded hills and vineyards of the mediaeval hamlet of Montemerano is the luxurious 4 Acorn Agriturismo Villa Acquaviva where you'll stay for the duration of your holiday.
Many of the walks follow ancient Etruscan pathways, carved through the tufa rock that still connects pretty villages like Sovana and Sorano. You'll also come across archaeological sites, ruined mediaeval fortresses and secret cave dwellings. It's just 45 minutes' drive to the picturesque Tuscan coast and the great Italian art cities of Siena and Orvieto are easily accessible for days out.
At the 25-room Agriturismo Villa Acquaviva, your hosts, Valentina, Serafino and their son Fabrizio, have dedicated 20 years to restoring this former C18 country house into its present, immaculate form. All rooms overlook well-maintained gardens and there is a tennis court and a panoramic swimming pool with jacuzzi so you can wind down after your days of walking. Mouth-watering menus are based on their own homemade jam, olive oil, pasta and home-grown produce. You can even savour wine straight from the villa's private vineyard.
The walking is mainly along forest paths and strade bianche (white roads) as well as some sections on the vie cave pathways through tufa rock. Walking boots are recommended.
Arrive at your hotel in time for dinner. (Staying at Relais Villa Acquaviva for 7 nights, Half board)
There are two circular walks today. The first starts and ends at the pretty village of San Quirico. First walk down past eerie caves to the C13 ruined village of Vitozza, destroyed by the Sienese to stop it falling into the hands of the Orsini family in the C15. Families actually still lived here until 1783. After lunch there's a very short drive to the second walk around the Orsini's stronghold, the magnificent ochre-coloured Sorano.
For wonderful scenery, fantastic views and unspoilt beaches, you really must visit the Maremma Regional Park. Inaugurated in 1975, the park, which occupies a largely mountainous section of the coastline, protects just under 10,000 hectares of some of the wildest and most intact land in Italy. You can choose from ten marked walks within the park, ranging from 4km-16km - from mid June to mid September, access to the park is restricted and customers must join a guided group.
Today's walk combines stunning gorge scenery and fascinating archaeological discoveries. A Roman road winds through the ruined temples and market place of Etruscan Vulci. Then it's on through holm oaks and wild olive trees to the stunning waterfall at Lake Pellicone - look out for kingfishers at the water's edge. After a lazy picnic lunch, your walk ends at the C13 Abbadia Castle.
Take a 1-hour drive to stunning Monte Argentario on the Tuscan coast. There are exploring opportunities galore - pretty Porto Santo Stefano with its Spanish fortified castle and delightful marina (ferries depart from here to the unspoilt island of Giglio, with its coves, bays and untouched beaches) and Porto Ercole with its forts and charming promenade. Your optional walk takes you from Santo Stefano's colourful port up to the lonely yet imposing Torre dell'Argentiera, a C15 watchtower left by the Sienese. Return via lovely Orbetello on the lagoon, or detour to the walled mediaeval village of Capalbio - fabulous views.
It's time to explore Pitigliano's mediaeval paved streets, impressive Orsini palace and fascinating C15 Jewish quarter. Around the walls are several vie cave - rock-sculpted passageways - for gentle walks (look out for wine cellars stowed inside the tufa rock). Nearby Sovana, known as the 'City of Tufa', has an Etruscan necropolis where you can immerse yourself in history.
This lovely Etruscan hill village is famous for its thermal springs. Today's route takes you across the sweep of the rolling Tuscan hills then along a super ridge, affording magnificent views, to enter the village through the old Roman gate. There's time to explore its Etruscan city walls and C12 church before lunch in one of its tempting trattorie. You have the option to bathe in the springs in the afternoon.
This single-centre holiday is based at the following hotel. If you'd like to extend your stay here, or upgrade your room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.
NEARBY:The Relais Villa Acquaviva is a haven of relaxation nestled within acres of vineyards and olive groves in the shadow of the lovely village of Montemerano.
|Dates||Superior room||Deluxe room||Suite|
|01/03/2017 - 31/10/2017||£16||£30||£52|
All prices shown above are valid from 14/06/2017. The Superior room is a larger room.
The Deluxe room is a larger room with either balcony, veranda or Jacuzzi.
The Suite is a larger room with a lounge area and either a balcony or a shower steam room.
|Dates||Single room||Classic room|
|01/03/2017 - 31/10/2017||£126||£104|
All prices shown above are valid from 14/06/2017. Prices are per person per night including 3 course evening meal.
If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.
Hotel Chiusarelli is located just beyond Siena's mediaeval walls and a ten-minute walk away from town's main square, Il Campo. Its position on the edge of the historical centre is perfect as the hotel is spacious and quiet but still within walking distance of all the sights and restaurants. There is even a small garden to the front with palm trees and a quiet (except on Sunday afternoons when you will have a grandstand view of AC Siena's matches!) veranda to the rear of the hotel.
Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.
Please contact us for extra night prices.
The 3-star Hotel Astoria Garden has a most unusual feature: an internal garden complete with banana and orange trees! Centrally located near the main railway station, but in a quiet residential street, this is a really good base from which to explore. There are 34 rooms, all air-conditioned and recently refurbished. They have telephone, television, and ensuite bathrooms.
Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.
|Dates||Single room||Double/Twin room||Graden View room||Junior suite|
|16/03/2017 - 15/07/2017||£110||£74||£88||£148|
|16/07/2017 - 05/09/2017||£98||£62||£76||£120|
|06/09/2017 - 31/10/2017||£110||£74||£88||£148|
All prices shown above are valid from 14/06/2017. Prices are per person per night including breakfast.
Single rooms are single bedded rooms.
The above tour-only prices exclude flights but include a Europcar Group B air-conditioned hire car which you collect from/return to Rome Fiumicino airport.
Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange connecting flights.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Headwater always find real gems of hotels and locations. The service on the phone is excellent. It's rather like having your own private travel agent. They are incredibly flexible and helpful listening hard to what you want. So much less stressful and better value than fighting with trip advisor etc. I would heartily recommend them.
Hotel Acquaviva is an idyllic place to spend a week. Its a good job the weather was slightly cool for the time of year or very little walking would have been done. The scenery was breathtaking and the hilltop villages of Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano were breathtaking and the church in Monetmerano is a gem. We knew very little about Etruscans before this holiday... very interesting.
Can also recommend a stop over on the way there, to visit Tivoli and the Villa D'Este gardens and then Vill... read morea Adriana. We stayed at Hotel Flora in Frascati which was also excellent.
A day in Siena is also a must.
This was a really terrific week. We were lucky in that the weather was absolutely perfect - no rain (until we were on the plane out!), 25C days, constant sunshine. The base, Villa Acquaviva, is just beautiful, surrounded by its own vineyards and a fine garden dotted with fruit trees. Our room was in the villa, was spacious enough and had a nice view back towards Montemerano. The food was outstanding. At dinner there's a wide choice for you three courses and we tried most of the options. Th... read moree food is mostly locally sourced, really fresh and the cooking is first rate. They only sell the wines they themselves make, but they too were very good. Breakfast was also excellent, though you won't find a full English on offer. The staff were charming and helpful, and very quick to sort out a couple of minor glitches (safe batteries, hot water, wifi)
The walking was nicely varied, with plenty of options. There's a bit more on offer than you can easily cover in a week, and we didn't get to the Maremma walk.
The others ranged from fairly short and easy (Vitozza and Vulci) to fairly strenuous (Sorano, Argentaria). Argentaria in particular was, as advertised, quite a big hike. The notes were highly reliable, and there's quite a lot of Etruscan history as a bonus. There's a certain amount of driving involved, some of it on winding roads, but the scenery is lovely, and we didn't find it too onerous.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable trip.
Tuscany for connessesours puts us in the heart of the southern Tuscany countryside and the family-run, well-appointed hotel (excellent service and food) was set amongst sweeping vineyards and cornfields. The walking notes provided never let us down and afforded the best views and experiences of the area.
Headwater had found an excellent base in a lovely region of Italy and the walks were just right for us
A perfect combination of stunning scenery, culture and gastronomy. I would definitely recommend this holiday.
The key to this successful holiday was the welcome and hospitality and helfulness of staff at Acquaviva. And the fact that we were travelling with two other couples and good friends. So planning each day and experimenting with walks and different trip was great fun.
Southern Tuscany is beautiful and the food fabulous. Villa Acquaviva is a beautiful place to stay with much of its produce organically home grown.
Hidden Tuscany is in an interesting, quiet area. It is necessary to travel significant distances to get the best out of the holiday and the area, as is probably true of Western Europe in general, will be at its best in Spring/Early Summer.
Overall we enjoyed our holiday - it was an extremely peaceful location and the service at the hotel was always excellent and friendly. We have a few suggestions for improvements, mostly on the food side. Breakfasts were a bit disappointing - few healthy options available and limited choice. The evening meals in the restaurant were of a high standard and again the service was excellent. The only slight downside from our perspective was that we thought there might have been a different fixed (m... read morearket) menu every day instead of a standard restaurant menu which offered only limited daily specials (and not every day). Over the course of a week we found ourselves struggling for choice a bit and often had to repeat meals or ask the chef to omit certain ingredients (which they were happy to accommodate) to find something we liked. This is really only an issue if you are staying for a longer period or are less fond of a what was a predominantly meat-based menu.
I would also highly recommend upgrading the hire car as we had a very basic Fiat Panda with an underpowered engine which struggled on the numerous hills and hairpin bends - definitely worth considering an upgrade.
We had a wonderful stay in Hotel Acquaviva. The location is beautiful and the hotel is within reasonable walking distance of the nearest village, Montemerano, as well as the thermal springs and village at Saturnia. There are many other ancient villages and historical sites within 1 to 1.5 hours drive, along winding but un-busy roads. The coast is well worth a visit, as is the truly beautiful city of Orvieto. Our holiday was a wonderful introduction to the beauty of Southern Tuscany.
The travel arrangements were good. The information supplied for the walks and local places of interest was very good. The directions to the hotel were clear.
The hotel was in a lovely location and it was family run. It was very clean. There was no bar and no refreshment facilities in the form of a bar or restaurant available during the day, but if asked for specific items, staff would provide drinks and snacks and it was possible for guests to make their own hot drinks at any tim... read moree.
The dinner menu was varied and the standard of food in the restaurant in the evening was excellent.
Our location was excellent and we were well looked after but your currency pricing policy for Euro residents is unfair and uncompetitive. I estimate it doubled the cost of our holiday.
Enjoyed the holiday. Not many tourists in the area- good.
Quiet and relaxing. Very much left to your own devices.
I feel that the room we were offered was definitely not delux. We paid an extra Â£54 per night for a room that I would struggle to call standard. You could hardly move in the shower as the cubicle was so small. We took a cross country skiing holiday with Headwater a couple of years ago in Dobbiaco and the room we had was far superior and we had no extra money to pay. I was really disappointed. The hotel we stayed at was in an amazing setting. The food was good but I am vegetarian and had to have the same thing 3 times as there aren't that many alternatives.
A tranquil location with panoramic scenery in the heart of rural Tuscany that is an excellent hub for some beautiful hikes. Deserted trails and an opportunity to walk back in time along Etruscan trails, vie cave, tombs and grottos. The hedgerows and fields are abundant with wild flowers under clear blue skies. Vivid images of the familiar profile of hilltop hamlets with their red tiles and iconic church towers and valleys green with vines and Cyprus trees will provide happy memories for years to come.
Very relaxing holiday. Loved Maremma, interesting and varied walks, stunning unspoilt locations. Villa Aqua Viva was set in beautiful gardens surrounded by picturesque countryside, elegantly furnished and impeccably clean. Wonderful views from the swimming pool and the restaraunt. Staff were friendly and helpful. Was a little disappointed by the food. Some dishes were delicious but others were poor. Shower cubicle in deluxe room was tiny and the other room, although comfortable, did not meet the... read more advertised deluxe criteria. 5 hour delay and missing connection marred return journey. Treated poorly by BA staff at Rome airport, lots of queuing and no information about where we would spend the night or new flight times. When we arrived at Heathrow, BA staff there had booked us into a hotel and booked new flights but there was no consultation about flight times. We arrived home very tired as we did not get to hotel until 12.45 am and were up again at 5.45 am to get an early connecting flight.
We were lucky with the weather. This area of Tuscany is a delight, unspoilt with hardly a tourist insight. The walks took us through some spectacular scenery and the route directions ( apart from those from the airport) were accurate and easy to follow.
The hotel was excellent - food wonderful, service could not have been better and a great location. The walks were interesting and varied with the advantage of being able to do longer or shorter versions. This is our third holiday with Headwater and we can highly recommend the company. If there is a choice we would suggest flying to Rome rather than Pisa as we found it a long drive (3 hours) after already travelling to gatwick and flight to Pisa.
The Villa Aquavivia was a beautifully designed and comfortable hotel; our room was furnished with Tuscan furniture with a view of Montemerano; it was spotlessly clean and the air conditioning was quiet and efficient. The garden is gorgeous and melts naturally into the surrounding vineyards and olive groves. The restaurant is in a converted barn next to the pool; it has panoramic views of the country side, is air conditioned and midge free (and child free!); the menu had both Tuscan and Maremma d... read moreishes â€“ we had difficulty choosing!
Our hire car, a Fiat Panda, had the centre of gravity of an Argentinian footballer and the gripping power of a Gecko, so spinning around the quite roads visiting the local hill top towns was easy.
The â€˜Connoisseurs Tuscanyâ€™ Booklet was informative, and the walking notes contained lots of interesting historical cultural information. We enjoyed the local walks and had a day out to Orvieto and its stunning cathedral. If you want to go to Mass in Montemerano, follow Fabrizioâ€™s Way walking notes to Chiesa di San Giorgio (by the northern archway): Saturday at 18.30 or Sunday 11.45.
If you like domestic and ecclesiastical architecture, really good food and wine, and just enjoy being in Tuscany, you will enjoy this holiday.
Very leisurely walking combined with varied cultural sightseeing opportunities. A very beautiful part of Tuscany away from the hoards of tourists. Very enjoyable.
Villa Acquaviva is a wonderful place to stay. Very relaxing. Fabrizio and his team were very attentive and helpful at all times. Good vegetarian food options available.
An extremely well- organised holiday by Headwater.
Well up to our expectations. The provision of a car was a necessity, given the varied locations of the daily walks, and allowed the schedule to be varied according to weather, and personal inclination. The hotel itself was a haven of hospitality and comfort in a peaceful part of Tuscany, with obliging staff and a good standard of facilities.
Very enjoyable and relaxing. Lived upto expectations
Overall very good holiday but off to a bad start waiting for hire car. 2 hours was an unacceptable time to have to wait without any pre warning that this could be a problem.
Dear Mr Alderman, Thank you for your feedback; it was a pleasure to read you had an enjoyable holiday. I am sure you have brought back some great memories to treasure. We were sorry to read of your longer than expected wait to collect your hire car. We have passed on your feedback to Europcar. We will also add a note to our know before you go booklet, to advise of the longer than average waits which may apply during the busy summer periods, thank you for bringing this to our attention. Yours sincerely, Headwater Customer Service
The holiday at Aquaviva was wonderful, the facilities offered there are excellent. There's lots to do - breathtakingly beautiful walks through varied terrain and fascinating historical sites to visit. There's also plenty of wildlife in the area. We were serenaded by scops owls each eveing and saw fireflies for the first time - a magical experience.
Stunning hotel and food in a little known part of Tuscany with fascinating range of walking/history/scenery/towns/coast.
This is a beautiful area and we loved it! Our experience was greatly enhanced by the hotel and particularly the hotel staff who were always most friendly and helpful. The food was excellent, the best we have enjoyed over a number of Headwater holidays.
Pleased with the way Headwater arranged the holiday to our personal requirements at short notice.
All the arrangements worked well, even driving from Rome as the directions were faultless. The walks were paced just right for us and the food at the hotel was excellent.
First time with Headwater, first time on a walking holiday. Tuscany was great. One the best holidays we've had and will cetainly book again.
good for a first time walking holiday as the walks are easy with optional extra sections if you feel like it, plus you'll have a car
scenery in the region is lovely, it's quiet compared with Northern Tuscany
all the family and staff at Villa Acquaviva are genuinely friendly and welcoming, plus the food and wine there are outstanding
accommodation, food and service exceeded our expectation. Using Headwater makes planning a lot easier
Heavy rain in Nov 2012 has caused a lot of damage to some of the trails - Pitigliano optional return 3A impassable due to a landslide - Maremma Park A2 has been re-routed (shortened & less varied) - Strolling to Saturnia track taped off to stop vehicles, passable on foot - Sorano, Via Cava di San Rocco officially closed - Monte Argentario, suggested driving tour of island not advisable due to a large section of dirt road south of Porto Ercole.
La Cascia restaurant in Montemerano changed... read more ownership in March - menu only in Italian, no English spoken, quality of food a poor substitute for Villa Acquaviva.
Route notes could include directions to the free Saturnia thermal river cascade.
We had a great week, the weather certainly helped us to make the most of our stay in Tuscany.
This is a lovely and relaxing holiday with no strenuous walking. You do have to drive to all but two of the walks, but we found this a lovely way of seeing more of the area and we really enjoyed exploring the delightful hilltop towns. As you don't move on, you have the flexibility of choosing what to do when. The accommodation (we had an upgrade with balcony looking over the vineyards towards Montemerano), food and wine are all excellent and the family and their staff very warm, friendly and knowledgeable of the area.
Whilst this holiday was good, comfortable and up to expectations, it was not as exciting as our previous trips with you on the Amalfi Coast or in the Mont Blanc Foothills. However, the Tuscan countryside and the nature, quality and location of the hotel were first class.
The hotel was superb: accommodation,food & staff. The instructions from Headwater were clear and concise. One of the best ever holidays you could ever go on! Thanks to Headwater and Fabbio and his family.
Our holiday in Tuscany was one of our best holidays in Italy to date the region's landscape and history were quite amazing. The hilltop towns were unique and the local people were so accomodating. A must for any seasoned Headwater traveller
A very enjoyable one boot sight seeing and walking holiday. The Villa Acquaviva is a wonderfully relaxing base with excellent food, wine and service.
The range of walking/sight seeing options available is fairly good however it would have been helpful to have been told in advance that the best independent walking routes in the Maremma National Park are unavailable during peak season.
We combined the Montemerano and Saturnia walk into one on our final day which we definitely recomm... read moreend as it adds more of a challenge.
Having been on many 2 boot Headwater walking holidays we felt that this was more of a sightseeing than walking holiday itself as without the Maremma National Park there were really only two good length walks. We had expected the difference between boot 1 and boot 2 walking to be the distance and number of ascents and descents. However in this case we felt some walks had been tagged on to sightseeing (Pitigliano and Vitozza) just to make up the number of walks.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Rome and Southern Tuscany. The variety of walks was lovely,including countryside, coastal and in-town rambles. However the weather was mid-30s so we were not too adventurous returning in the arly afternoon and appreciating the pool at the villa.
Excellent hotel but walks overall disappointing as only 3 days had what we would consider satisfying and challenging walks as opposed to local sightseeing or pottering which should have been additional options rather than planned days also the national park walks did not appeal due to the fact that the buses only ran hourly in the morning or once or twice later on which would waste a lot of time hanging around in the heat of the day.
Dear Mrs Brown, thank you for your comments. Following a staff visit to the area we are now sending out updated route notes to all guests who are due to travel. We appreciate that this doesn't effect you, but hope that this will rectify the problems which you had for future guests. Thank you for choosing to travel with Headwater. Kind regards, Melanie.
a wonderful almost undiscovered part og Tuscany to walk and relax in
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
|Aug 2017||Tour only||Availability|
|26th Aug||US$1705||Check availability|
|Sep 2017||Tour only||Availability|
|2nd Sep||US$1705||Check availability|
|9th Sep||US$1705||Check availability|
|16th Sep||US$1640||Check availability|
|23rd Sep||US$1610||Check availability|
|30th Sep||US$1610||Check availability|
|Oct 2017||Tour only||Availability|
|7th Oct||US$1610||Check availability|
|14th Oct||US$1610||Check availability|
Minimum group sizes
No minimum group size, however transfers are subject to at least 2 people (in total) booked on each departure.
This holiday is unsuitable for children.
Self-guided walking Managed locally by hotelier.
Saturdays from 26th Aug 2017 to 14th Oct 2017, for 7 nights.
All continental breakfasts and evening meals
Car hire is subject to a minimum of 2 people per booking.
The above tour-only prices exclude flights but include a Europcar Group B air-conditioned hire car which you collect from/return to Rome Fiumicino airport.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Connoisseurs' Tuscany Walk. Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss your requirements in more detail.
We've been creating high-quality relaxed activity holidays since 1985 and our wealth of experience means we're able to build the perfect tailor-made tour for you. Our 'Gold Trusted' rating on Feefo, the independent review site, underlines our exceptional levels of customer service, and our ATOL bonding and ABTA membership guarantees your holiday is safe with us.