A scenic and diverse tour from Tuscany to Liguria. Stays in the beautiful and historic cities of Pisa, Lucca and La Spezia are separated by scenic bike rides that take in the sandy beaches of the Versilian coast, the Serchio river valley and the majestic peaks of the Apennine National Park. A hike along Liguria’s Cinque Terre coast is a fitting finale.
For sheer diversity and points of interest this tour takes a lot of beating. A night in the beautiful old town of Pisa is followed by an easy ride out through a serene national park to the Versilian coast. Golden sandy beaches accompany your journey up the coast to the charming seaside resort of Viareggio. The second day leads you up into the Apennine foothills and along a section of the ancient pilgrims route – the Via Francigena – to the beautiful Renaissance city of Lucca.
Hiking trail - Cinque terre
You then follow the course of the Serchio river up an ever-narrowing valley into the Apennines to the beautiful medieval village of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. Winding flagstone streets, stone arches, tiny piazzas and stunning alpine scenery make this a memorable stop.
By now the legs are warmed up so it’s time to take on a memorable climb up into the majestic Appenine National Park. Near the summit you’ll pass the famous Carrara marble quarries before enjoying a 30 kilometre downhill run to the chic and fashionable resort of Forte dei Marmi. The next day you leave Tuscany behind and cross into Liguria, passing vineyards and small fishing villages on your way to the bustling port town of La Spezia.
The final day of the tour is extra special. A 25 minute train ride delivers you to Monterosso, the village at the western end of the Cinque Terre National Park. From here you begin a scenic hike back through the park following an undulating track that passes the other famous pastel coloured villages of Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The whole route is 19kms but you can shorten it by catching the train between the villages.
This holiday is rated moderate. The first day is flat and relatively easy but you will encounter climbs on each of the other days. On day 5 you will climb 550 metres in 20 kilometres between Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and top of the Appenine National Park. If you are concerned about this then we recommend you consider hiring an e-bike as this will take the sting out of these climbs making the overall route more leisurely.