Volterra to San Gimignano Walk

From $1765 per person

****# Based on 38 customer reviews
(C) 4CornersImages
  • Quintessential Italian landscapes: rolling hills, sunflowers, endless vines and hilltop hamlets
  • Scenic walking on Etruscan trails and pilgrims' paths; wildlife in abundance
  • Exceptionally friendly hotels with gorgeous swimming pools
  • Mouth-watering local cuisine; world-famous wines
  • Possible trips to Florence, Siena and Pisa

What's included?

  • 8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 11 May '17 to 14 Oct '17
  • All continental breakfasts and six evening meals
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 76%
  • Headwater wine service
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers
  • Option to extend to 10 nights

Excellent for...

Volterra to San Gimignano Walk

On this self-guided, 8-night walking holiday, you explore the timeless countryside between picturesque Volterra and the soaring towers of San Gimignano. You'll feel as though you're strolling through history as you discover sleepy hilltop hamlets crowning sun-dappled hills, verdant vineyards and panoramic picnic spots in fields ablaze with sunflowers. You also have the option to visit the eternal cities of Siena and Florence - Tuscan favourites right on your doorstep!

You start in Volterra, a real Etruscan gem with its tangle of alleys home to alabaster workshops and secret chapels, from where you walk through the verdant Berignone Nature Reserve and up to a fantastic panoramic ridge before a final climb to Casole d'Elsa. Your journey then takes you east to mediaeval Colle di Val d'Elsa, enjoying balcony views across the Elsa Valley. As you move towards stunning san Gimignano, the mediaeval 'Manhattan of Tuscany', the landscape is dominated by vines so there are plenty of wine-tasting opportunities here!

Our carefully picked hotels, all with pools, are full of contrasts, from a recently renovated, elegant boutique hotel just outside the mediaeval town of Casole d'Elsa to the refined elegance of the **** Relais della Rovere in Colle di Val d'Elsa, a magnificently restored C12 abbey. Chianti is synonymous with excellent food and wine and evening meals are a celebration of the local cuisine. Perhaps try pappardelle alla lepre (fresh ribbons of pasta with a hare sauce) or bruschetta (toasted bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil, topped with sun-ripened tomatoes), all washed down by a glass or two of full-bodied Chianti!

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Volterra

Arrive at your **** hotel just outside Volterra's mediaeval gates, where you have time to relax in the pool before dinner.

Day 2 - Volterra to Casole d'Elsa 14km/9mi/4hr

There's a short transfer (30 mins) this morning to the start of your walk. Forest trails lead east through the Berignone Nature Reserve where you may be lucky enough to see wild boar, deer and fox. As you leave the forest, the ridge opens up giving wonderful valley views out towards Casole d'Elsa where you'll spend the next two nights.

Day 3 - At Casole d'Elsa

Casole d'Elsa is a picture perfect etruscan village atop a panoramic ridge. From the vermillion hued C14 castle, views stretch as far as Monte Amiata in the south of Tuscany. A leisurely lunch maybe in the mediaeval piazza, before visiting the small but intact amphitheatre and Etruscan tombs.

Day 4 - Casole d'Elsa to Colle di Val d'Elsa 19km/12mi/5hr

Today's walk takes you down to the valley floor passing fields of sunflowers and orchid-sprinkled paths, before coming to the small hamlet of Quartaia, a good lunch stop. Continue through the woods along the famous pilgrims' path, the Via Francigena, where the fossils in the stones beneath your feet bear witness to the time when this area was covered by the sea. A final easy stroll takes you along the milky-blue, limestone-rich River Elsa and to your stunning **** hotel, a beautifully converted C12 Benedictine abbey with garden and pool.

Day 5 - At Colle di Val d'Elsa

Take the local bus to siena (30 mins) or Florence (1 hour). Or stroll into impressive Colle di Val d'Elsa, a fascinating town of two halves with a lift linking the lovely new piazza with the mediaeval upper town.

Day 6 - Colle di Val d'Elsa to San Gimignano 16km/10mi/4.5hr

Today you follow in pilgrims' footsteps along the Via Francigena. Bright with sunflowers and fragrant apple orchards, this historic path skirts tiny hamlets and lonely chapels towards the lazy Foci river. You may like to make a short detour to take in a wine tasting at montauto, before retracing your steps to rejoin the Via Francigena up to San Gimignano. There's time for a swim in the pool before dinner.

Day 7 - At San Gimignano

Visit San Gimignano's mystical towers this morning built by warring neighbours in the C12 to outdo one another! Or for a longer day out, hop on a local bus to Siena (30 mins), a perfectly preserved mediaeval gem with a stunning striped C14 Gothic cathedral and beautiful square.

Day 8 - San Gimignano to Volterra 22km/14mi/6.5hr

A short taxi ride (10 mins) from your hotel takes you to the start of the walk in Caggio, at the Castelvecchio Nature Reserve. From here you follow a woodland trail dotted with rock roses and wild strawberry plants to reach a panoramic strada bianca, where hawks soar overhead. With open views across cypress-studded ochre fields to Monte Voltraio, you pass through Sensano and Ulignano, historic hamlets with C16 villas. Perhaps picnic by the era Valley before ascending an ancient mule track back to Volterra.

Day 9 - Leave Volterra



See our Classic Chianti Walk for a 10-night version of this holiday.


Walking information

The walking mainly follows flat strade bianche (white roads) with some asphalt lanes and partly shaded forest and valley trails. Walking boots and poles are recommended. Strade bianche are mainly exposed, affording excellent views - a sunhat is essential.

Walking information

The walking mainly follows flat strade bianche (white roads) with some asphalt lanes and partly shaded forest and valley trails. Walking boots and poles are recommended. Strade bianche are mainly exposed, affording excellent views - a sunhat is essential.


For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Footsteps of St. Francis Walk

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded 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.

Park Hotel Le Fonti, Volterra   (4 Star)

Park Hotel Le Fonti, Volterra

The 4 star Park Hotel Le Fonti is located just below the Porta dell'Arco entrance to Volterra's beautifully preserved mediaeval centre. It's an easy 10 minute stroll into arguably one of Italy's oldest towns.

The hotel has over 50 comfortable rooms, all of which are furnished in a simple style with terracotta floors and elegant fabrics. All rooms have ensuite facilities.

The real highlight of the hotel is the breathtaking view from the terrace and fabulous infinity pool - the sweeping panorama over the rolling Pisan hills is truly outstanding.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Hotel Terre di Casole, Casole d'Elsa   (3 Star)

Hotel Terre di Casole, Casole d'Elsa

Just a 10 minute walk from the centre of the village, the 3* Hotel Terre di Casole has recently reopened after being completely refurbished - and the end result is stunning! The hotel boasts 40 ensuite modern yet stylish rooms which come with either a garden terrace or a balcony - both have views over the pool and the lovely gardens to the rear of the hotel.

The public rooms at the Terre di Casole reflect the attractive, modern decor in the bedrooms. Both the lounge / bar area and the restaurant are large, airy rooms with a white colour scheme, which lends them a stylish yet minimalist feel. Ideal for relaxing in!

Your evening meal will be taken in the hotel's restaurant. The menu features a number of classic Italian/Tuscan dishes with a modern twist, all made with herbs from the hotel's garden! The hotel also has a resident pattissier, so you will be really spoilt for desserts!

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Relais della Rovere, Colle di Val d’Elsa   (4 Star)

Swimming pool Relaos della Rovere

The Relais della Rovere is a stunning 4-star hotel located at the edge of Colle di Val d'Elsa. The Cellerai family have sympathetically converted this C12 Benedictine Abbey into a 31 room luxurious hotel, retaining many of the abbey's original features.

The bedrooms are split between two buildings and decorated in a contemporary style with wooden floors and beech furniture. The rooms are quite large with ensuite facilities.

The hotel has a lovely outdoor pool which is surrounded by pleasant gardens.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning

Nearby facilities:

  • Banking / cheques cashed

Relais Santa Chiara, San Gimignano   (4 Star)

Swimming pool Relais Santa Chiara

Situatued just 400m from the mediaeval walls of UNESCO listed San Gimignano lies the charming, four star Relais Santa Chiara Hotel. This elegant property is surrounded by some of Tuscany’s most beautiful scenery and enjoys countryside views over hills covered with vineyards and olive groves, not to mention its own private garden featuring a swimming pool and hydro massage pool. There is also a terrace on which you can enjoy breakfast in the morning and a selection of drinks from the hotel’s cocktail bar in the evening.

All the ensuite rooms come with air-confitioning, satellite TV, minibar and hairdryer. You can also upgrade to a room with balcony and views of the surrounding vineyards and stunning countryside.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine



Extra nights and stop over hotels

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, Siena   (3 Star)

Hotel Chiusarelli, Siena

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.

The en-suite rooms have recently been renovated and are quite simple but comfortable.

In order to give the best available rate, prices are on request. Please contact us for a quote.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Hotel La Luna, Lucca   (3 Star)

double room, Hotel La Luna

The Hotel La Luna is a friendly hotel, tucked away in a quiet side street, just off the atmospheric Via Fillungo, the most sophisticated and exclusive street in Lucca's historic centre.

The original part of the hotel dates back to the 1200s when it was built elsewhere and then 'moved' about a century later to its present location. It now comprises of 2 buildings, with the 29 en suite rooms divided between the two. Breakfast is taken in the buffet breakfast room in the reception building, where there is also a small bar.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Hotel Cosimo De‘ Medici, Florence   (3 Star)

Double room Cosimo dei Medici

This 3-star hotel is beautifully decorated, with rooms in individual styles - some are traditionally Tuscan whilst others are funky and modern. Parts of the the building actually date back to the 18th century, and the reception and public rooms are designed with this in mind, with Persian rugs, stained glass windows and wrought iron doors in evidence.

Although just off the main Via Nazionale, only 2 minutes' walk from the central station and 5 minutes from the Duomo, the hotel faces an internal courtyard for peace and quiet. All the rooms are double glazed, and all have air-conditioning so there is absolutely no reason not to have a good night's sleep!

There is no restaurant at the hotel, but there is plenty of choice nearby.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Hotel Alessandro della Spina, Pisa   (3 Star)

Hotel Alessandro della Spina, Pisa

The Hotel Alessandro della Spina is located just 500m from Pisa central train station and just a 10 minute walk from most of the city's main monuments. This modern and cosy property welcomes its guests with an elegant, warm atmosphere, enhanced by its charming garden, and friendly staff that are always on hand to ensure you a relaxed stay.

Hotel facilities include internet and wi-fi access in the lobby and a bar and comfortable seating area. Guest rooms are spacious, furnished with wood and marble and have air conditioning, a safe and satellite TV. Buffet breakfast includes homemade bread and croissants.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Market

Travel options

Transfers included from Pisa airport at 12:00, and back to Pisa airport at 10:00.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

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.

Reviewed by Mrs Sillett on 09/10/2016

*****
A holiday that we enjoyed so much in 2013 that we went again this year! Walks are not too challenging and provide beautiful views of Tuscany. Be aware that generally the hardest walking is the final ascent to your destination so reserve some energy and water. A trip to Florence or Siena is really easy from Colle Val D'Elsa by bus and the location of the hotel in San Gimignano is perfect for dipping in and out of the crowds during the day

Reviewed by Mr Cumber on 01/09/2016

*****
We had an amazing trip walking around Tuscany. San Gimignano was probably the highlight but everything was excellent. Walking in mid-August was very hot, but we found the if we left early the walking temperature until about 11am was just right. On our off days we visited Sienna, took a vineyard tour near San Gimignano (the excellent Cappellasantandrea is a 30 min walk away) and explored around Casole. The meals outside at the Relais della Rovere were also fantastic. Overall a great trip we would highly recommend.

Reviewed by Mrs Walker on 13/07/2016

*****
Headwater take all the uncertainty out of your holiday: you know the hotels are going to be excellent in every respect, you know you are going to get picked up at the right time, you know the walks are going to be through beautiful countryside. Everything runs smoothly and efficiently. We find the balance between a walking day and a rest day just perfect. This was our eighth holiday with Headwater and we are already talking about next year's.

Reviewed by Mr Mackrill on 07/07/2016

*****
Beautiful countryside and villages with fantastic unspoilt views, fabulous hotels and food. Plus being very well looked after by excellent Headwater staff.

Reviewed by Dr Scally on 19/06/2016

*****
The walking was varied and interesting. The stretch along the river d'Elsa on the way to Colle di Val d'Elsa was the most interesting. Some of the hotels are quite busy with tour groups. The hotels also vary markedly. Hotel Terre di Casole was easily the best, particularly for service. One minot point however was that the room we were allocated the room (204), despite plenty of empty rooms alongside it that were a bit bigger. The reception staff and the main waitress in the restaurant were fantastic and we particularly appreciated that there were plenty of special options offered to us in the restaurant that were not on the menu but were suitable for vegetarians. The poorest hotel was Relais della Rovere. Reception staff were uninterested and the restaurant (not run by the hotel) was poor for vegetarians. The pool at Relais Santa Chiara was hopeless for swimming. San Gimignano was very touristic and not very pleasant. On the other hand, Volterra was very interesting and worth more time that it was allocated as a start/finish point.

Reviewed by Mr Loaring on 14/06/2016

***#.
A wonderful holiday with excellent walks in beautiful countryside; staying in comfortable, well appointed hotels, which for us were marred by the fact that very few concessions were made to guests who did not eat meat, and therefore we did not eat very well throughout the week except on the evenings when we had to eat out at restaurants of our own choice (when we were very well catered for). However, one of the most attractive aspects of a Headwater holiday is to be accommodated in a comfortable hotel offering good cuisine at the end of a day's walking, and not having to go out again searching around for somewhere attractive to eat.

Reviewed by Mr King on 29/09/2015

*****
Very good well balanced trip

Reviewed by Mrs Houghton on 27/09/2015

***#.
Very well organised from start to finish

Reviewed by Mr Howell on 15/09/2015

*****
Perfect holiday. Beautiful countryside, great walks and the pools at the end of every walk were a real treat. Also there was the perfect mix of culture and countryside. All the hotels were very good, the walks varied. Headwater holidays take the stress out of the holiday, once you have booked, all you need to do is turn up, relax and enjoy. We wanted to attend our son's wedding at the beginning of our holiday, in the area, and Headwater made it possible to combine the wedding, the walking and some extra nights in Pisa! The staff at the office give you an excellent service!

Reviewed by Lad Blackwell on 03/09/2015

*****
This holiday was a perfect mix of walking and relaxation. It was reassuring to have reps on the ground, although everything went perfectly and so we didn't need to call on them. The route notes were first rate and the accommodation excellent and in just the right locations for our rest days.

Reviewed by Mr Gray on 23/08/2015

*****
A very enjoyable mix of interesting walks and good hotels. Probably best-suited for adults whose idea of a good holiday is not sitting around on a beach.

Reviewed by Mrs Clark on 08/07/2015

*****
This holiday was one of the best we have had.Tuscany was beautiful and the chance to see it on foot made all the difference. The hotels were terrific and the food amazing.We will be back next year.

Reviewed by Mrs McGaw on 22/06/2015

*****
Wonderful holiday in beautiful surroundings. Good hotels each of which had their own character. Excellent walking notes. Our local reps Audrey and Chris were a very pleasant and helpful couple and they did a sterling job in a quiet but very efficient manner, we couldn't have asked for better!

Reviewed by Mrs Napier on 11/06/2015

*****
Choice of venue for walking very good. Notes extremely helpful, reps very good with local information. They were also very helpful when needed to help with a blistered foot on a bank holiday.

Reviewed by Mrs Sheardown on 31/05/2015

*****
It was a lovely holiday and we saw lots of things that visitors to the region wouldn't normally see. However, we feel that you need to be fit to undertake it. We are used to walking in the Peak District but still found some of the days quite challenging. We travelled in May when the weather was reasonably warm for most of the week. We feel that later in the summer when the weather was hot the walking would have been very hard in places where there wasn't shade.

Reviewed by Mrs Grant on 26/10/2014

*****
The walking was relatively easy although there was more need to carry your own picnic lunch than on other holidays as there were few opportunities to pass cafes/restaurants. Walking was scheduled for every other day so we needed to arrange things to do on days off. In addition, there was probably less 'sights' to see than on previous holidays unless by independent travel on the non-walking days. However, as usual, the arrangements were superb and everything went smoothly including the lovely warm weather in October.

Reviewed by Mrs Gorman on 15/10/2014

*****
Holiday was very enjoyable. Good but not intrusive support from local representatives who gave some very useful hints and were always contactable. Hotels were very excellent with one notable exception.: - one notable exception - Hotel Terre di Casol, see below for more details, - the welcoming receptionist at Casolare LeTerre Ros who had no interest in helping us locate our forwarded luggage (which had arrived).

Reviewed by Mrs Wakefield on 06/10/2014

*****
A superb holiday. The scenery was spectacular and moving from hotel to hotel makes the holiday interesting and varied.

Reviewed by Mrs O'Carroll on 27/09/2014

*****
I enjoyed looking through the website which was very informative. The whole holiday was very well organised; being met at the airport and being given chilled water bottles when we got in the mini bus was great. Our reps couldn't have been more helpful; they stopped at a shop on the way to our hotel so we could buy food and water for the following day's walking, they offered us equipment and leant us waterproofs. We felt very well looked after and listened too. For us this was the ultimate, stress free holiday! The walks were quite long and it was hot, but the terrain was pretty easy and we never found ourselves struggling - there was always the knowledge that there was a lovely hotel with pool and meal waiting for us at the other end. As a family we are fairly active, but not very fit - my husband plays racquetball once a week and I go for a daily 50 minute dog walk which proved to be enough to allow me to enjoy the walks. Our children all do sport at school and our eleven year old found the walking easy!

Reviewed by Mr Gallagher on 08/09/2014

*****
Katie and Jim put every possible effort into making our stay problem free. On the first afternoon they sat with us for an hour giving us very helpful information about the route and terrain that we would be walking, places en-route where we could get food and drink, landscape features and sights to look out for. Although we no cause to call upon their assistance during our holiday it was clear that nothing would have been too much trouble for them. With regards to the holiday itself, the route had been carefully planned and all the hotels were in wonderful locations (Medieval Tuscan hilltop towns). We would recommend the region and this holiday to anyone.

Reviewed by Mrs Spalding on 21/07/2014

*****
Well organised walk through beautiful countryside. Perfect opportunity to see the rural Tuscany and taste local food. Wonderful mix of walking sightseeing and relaxing.

Reviewed by Mrs Lai on 09/06/2014

*****
Tuscany was a beautiful region with a great mix of walks in wonderful countryside and stunning cities/towns full of history and lovely architecture. The reps, Jim and Kate, were so helpful, thoughtful and genuinely caring - the best we've come across.

Reviewed by Ms Pilgrim on 01/06/2014

*****
The care and attention that the Reps provided in the area was outstanding, and having been on 2 previous Headwater holidays they both worked very hard trying to please everyone.. I felt that the holiday was accurately graded as a 2 boot holiday and all the walks were well within our capabilities but sufficiently challenging. The area was fantastic and May appears to be a great time to visit with all the spring flowers in bloom and pleasant temperatures. I am usually happy to return home but I could have stayed another week so am looking to repeat the experience in a similar region next year as is my walking companion.

Reviewed by Mrs Cushion on 28/05/2014

*****
Probably not for 'casual' walkers as the walks seemed appropriate for experienced ones.

Reviewed by Ms Gibson on 26/05/2014

*****
We had a wonderful week with a perfect combination of walking, sightseeing, swimming and sunbathing plus delicious food and glorious landscapes. The local reps couldn't have been more friendly and helpful; it was very reassuring to know that they were there in case anything went awry - but it didn't.

Reviewed by Mr Prestage on 25/09/2013

***#.
We did enjoy our walk. The scenery is good. To ans the 'no' above - we would seek out a different type of holiday as we are getting on in years. It is a fairly steep walk for parts of the day, particularly the final ascent to the villages and hotel and can be hot in the sun. Suggest picking a time of year when temp is 24-28 degrees max. If you are over 60 you may wish to consider an easier walk as this one will test your fitness. You will have to train up for the event, as we did, if you are only of average fitness for your age. The other 4 members were younger than us (in their early and middle 50's) and handled it fairly well without any real training. Choice of footwear was not critical as one member did it only in runners. The rest had slightly more hike specific gear.

Reviewed by Mrs Brown on 20/09/2013

*****
This is our second HeadWater holiday and both times we have not been disappointed. We have been pleased wit the standard of hotels in Italy, better than the ones we had in Switzerland - clearly you get more for the money in Italy. Breaking the holiday into 2 and spending 2 nights in Florence was a highlight for us.

Reviewed by Mr Galbraith on 20/09/2013

***#.
Generally well organised, as above hotel selection varied and some of instruction on walks info could've better. Walks much harder than appear to as advertised.

Reviewed by Mrs Slater on 18/08/2013

*****
Headwater always come up with the perfect balance between walking, time for relaxation and interesting, well-appointed hotels.

Reviewed by Mrs Turner on 18/07/2013

*****
We had a fantastic time and will certainly recommend this type of holiday to our friends. Even our 15 year old son got into the swing of it. We went in early July which was hot but it had the benefit of the walks being reasonably dry underfoot.. Our guides had changed one of the routes as a result of previous bad weather which was good as I would imagine that some of the walks could be quite difficult after rain. The route descriptions were generally very good and we didn't get lost but there were a few times where this was more by luck. The hotels were all good, some of the rooms were a little tired but the welcome, service and food made up for it. We completed our walks between 2-3pm each afternoon and our luggage had always arrived before us. Thank you Roger and Monika for your support and for taking us back to Pisa airport so early on Sunday morning.

Reviewed by Mr Goldstone on 13/07/2013

*****
What a fantastic experience ! Not a tourist in sight and walking in the middle of nowhere with just the sound of the birds and wildlife to break the silence. The beauty of this holiday was the fact that we were walking most of the day but HeadWater have appreciated that just because you are walkers you don't need to 'rough it' in down market accommodation it was such a joy to have he freedom to enjoy the beautiful countryside and arrive to find your luggage already in your room and a luxurious hotel with fabulous food and absolutely breath taking views !!! We had some great moments and despite eating and drinking copious amounts of wonderful food and local wine because of all the exercise, amazingly we didn't put on any weight We cannot praise the reps highly enough. Monika and Roger made us so welcome and at ease from the moment they greeted us at the airport with chilled bottles of water for the journey to our hotel NOTHING was too much trouble for them ! A HUGE THANK YOU TO YOU BOTH For anyone considering this holiday , you do need quite a high level of fitness. Both of us are EXTREMELY ACTIVE and fit people and were pleased to find that we were suitably challenged by the walks in the heat. The hotels all had stunning views as they were all at the top of mountains ( so bare in mind the end of your walks when the sun is at its hottest are all uphill!!) A fab holiday!! Something so different. I would not hesitate to recommend!

Reviewed by Dr Wright on 01/10/2012

***#.
We booked last minute so it was expensive. The weather was awful, torrential rain most days but still the Tuscan countryside was stunning and the walking good to excellent. The hotels were all extremely good, with excellent facilities and near charming towns. The walking instructions were almost certainly written for lovely weather and it is more difficult when you are watching your feet to avoid slipping so we found them less than clear at times and got lost. Our luggage was always waiting for us when we arrived. If there is a sincere thought to assist local communities then more nights eating out would have been preferable.. We did not have a single night in a local restaurant. which would have added to our experience. Walking boots are definitely required the terrain at times is tough. We saw virtually no other walkers but the local people were very friendly and helpful. We travelled to Florence by local bus which was also excellent and to be recommended. If you fly out of Pisa and wish to see the leaning tower then get ot the airport early as they only have limited left luggage facilities.

Reviewed by Mrs Dee-Crowne on 24/09/2012

*****
A great holiday with a variety of walks and accommadation. Walk instructions were clear and concise. Headwater staff could not have been more helpful.

Reviewed by Mr Conway on 24/09/2012

*****
We went to Tuscany for a wedding and asked Headwater if we could do the Volterra to San Gimignano walk on consecutive days, which we did. The walks were excellent, challenging but not debilitating ranging from pretty to spectacular countryside. Accomodation was good, but miserable staff at the Park Hotel spoiled the first night a bit. They made up for it on the last night with a big improvement in service. The Agriturismo was brilliant. We arrived a couple of hours earlier than predicted and Signora came out with several courses of food plus a huge carafe of Chianti. This is the first time we have done a Headwater holiday and are considering going again. It rates as one of our best short breaks we ave ever had.

Reviewed by Mr Marler on 24/09/2012

*****
We were very satisfied customers. We wondered if the trip, with all its stopover days might be a bit soft, but there was plenty to do at each place and we wouldn't have missed any of it. The route was well planned and all the accommodation was, of its different kinds, excellent. Karen was outstandingly good as local rep/route manager - efficient, reliable, enthusiastic and helpful, and possessed of a great fund of local knowledge. We were sent the wrong trip notes initially (for the cycling version instead of the walking tour) but this mistake was rapidly corrected. We were glad to have the map provided, notwithstanding the shortcomings of Italian maps, though those shortcomings were more apparent on the local map we borrowed at the agriturismo, which fitted the forest paths just often enough to be seriously confusing! Just as well we had a compass. But the exploring was fun.

Reviewed by Mr Lucas on 07/07/2012

*****
Excellent mix of walking and sightseeing.

Reviewed by Mr Bennett on 07/07/2012

*****
Tiring but worth while! An experience to be repeated

Reviewed by Ms Waites on 16/06/2012

*****
Exceeded expectations

From our postbag

In addition to comments received on our post-holiday questionnaires, we've also been sent the following comments from our satisfied customers.

Karen Probert travelled to Chianti in 2010

When I decided to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary in Italy, I chose our walking holiday in Chianti.

Thoughts of walking along hand–in–hand and chatting away to each other was what I had in mind. Well, after 25 years, I should have known my place!

I ended up walking 20 paces behind and when we did catch up, it was to have a drink of water and a rest!

No! I joke. We enjoyed this holiday so much, we returned to stay at Mr Bessi’s hotel in Volterra in August of the same year and stayed put there for a whole week. We even took our 15 year old daughter, enticed by the infinity swimming pool and the shops and cafes of this Etruscan city.

Volterra is a little gem and the up-hill walk to the main gate did not put us off. We were even lucky enough to be there while they celebrated their Medieval week. The local residents dressed up in medieval costumes, used medieval money and demonstrated their many handicrafts passed down throughout the years. Teams of Italian flag flyers paraded around announced by their musicians.

Forget Pisa- travel a little further to Volterra and be amazed. Should you want to extend and have extra nights here, you can travel to the beach at Cecina or go to Lucca, or Pisa by bus or hire car.

Departure dates & prices

May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 11$1980
May 13$1980
May 15$1980
May 17$1980
May 19$1980
May 21$1980
May 23$1980
May 25$1980
May 27$1980
May 29$1980
May 31$1980
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$1980
Jun 4$1980
Jun 6$1980
Jun 8$1980
Jun 10$1980
Jun 12$1980
Jun 14$1980
Jun 16$1980
Jun 18$1980
Jun 20$1980
Jun 22$2030
Jun 24$2030
Jun 26$2030
Jun 28$2030
Jun 30$2030
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$2030
Jul 4$2030
Jul 6$2030
Jul 8$2030
Jul 10$2030
Jul 12$2030
Jul 14$2030
Jul 16$2045
Jul 18$2045
Jul 20$2045
Jul 22$2045
Jul 24$2045
Jul 26$2045
Jul 28$2045
Jul 30$2045
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$2045
Aug 3$2045
Aug 5$2045
Aug 7$2045
Aug 9$2045
Aug 11$2045
Aug 13$2045
Aug 15$2045
Aug 17$2045
Aug 19$2045
Aug 21$2045
Aug 23$2045
Aug 25$2045
Aug 27$2045
Aug 29$2045
Aug 31$2045
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$2045
Sep 4$2045
Sep 6$2045
Sep 8$2030
Sep 10$2030
Sep 12$2030
Sep 14$2030
Sep 16$2030
Sep 18$2030
Sep 20$2030
Sep 22$2030
Sep 24$2030
Sep 26$1825
Sep 28$1825
Sep 30$1825
October 2017 departuresTour only 
Oct 2$1825
Oct 4$1825
Oct 6$1825
Oct 8$1825
Oct 10$1825
Oct 12$1825
Oct 14$1825

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided walking, hotel-to-hotel. Managed locally by Headwater employed rep.

Departures

Every two days from 11 May '17 to 14 Oct '17, for 9 days (8 nights). This holiday departs every 2 days, however non-standard arrivals and altered itineraries may be possible - please call for prices.

Meals

All continental breakfasts and six evening meals.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Pisa airport at 12:00, and back to Pisa airport at 10:00.

Enquire about this holiday

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 additional information.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.

 

Back to tabs menu

Back to top

  • ATOL Protected (No. 9957)
  • IATA Registered
  • ABTA Member (No. W1593)
  • Relaxed activity holidays since 1985

We love to chat about our holidays

call us: 1-800-567-6286 or email: info@breakaway-adventures.com

SitemapPrivacy & cookiesBack to top