Family Tuscany Multi-Activity Adventure
|Resort:||Family Tuscany Multi-Activity Adventure|
This energetic trip explores one of Tuscany’s hidden gems, the stunning Garfagnana Valley. Combine kayaking, via ferrata, canyoning and walking the Cinque Terre coastal path. At the end of each day we return to our hotel and enjoy home-cooked Tuscan cuisine.
Active adventures – Kayaking, trekking, high ropes adventure park, canyoning and zip wires as well as the opportunity to visit Lucca and Pisa.
Characterful accommodation – Relax by the pool with views of the charming Garfagnana Valley.
Cinque Terre – Walk the UNESCO World Heritage landscapes of the Tuscan Riviera.
Day 1 Join trip in Lucca.
Arrive in Lucca. An old Roman town with considerable charm, several Romanesque churches and renaissance architecture, Lucca retains a delightful mix of narrow lanes and easy charm all enclosed within its city walls.
For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 6pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Lucca at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you’ll need to arrive into Pisa International airport (airport code PSA), which is 35km, around 35 minutes from the hotel. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to take a walk or hire a bike and ride around the city walls. Heading into the old town itself, wander around the narrow lanes, stop for a coffee or a bite to eat and browse its local markets.
Day 2 Tour of Lucca old town, optional ride on top of the city walls. Afternoon rafting at Bagni di Lucca.
After breakfast we head into the old town to spend the morning exploring the narrow streets and hidden squares. For those that wish to, it’s possible to hire bikes and cycle round the city walls that surround the old town.
After lunch we bid farewell to Lucca and drive to northern Tuscany’s Garfagnana region. Enroute we stop at Bagni di Lucca for an afternoon of rafting on the Lima River. The river doesn’t have any white water, is a sedate, relaxing raft downstream, with ample opportunity to swim and enjoy the scenery.
Our base is a family run hotel on the outskirts of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, situated in the Serchio River Valley. The hotel is surrounded by the magnificent scenery of the Apennines and the Alpi Apuane and features a large pool and sun deck. On arrival we will enjoy a traditional dinner and sample for ourselves some of the food and wine for which this region is justifiably famous. Indeed during the coming days ahead we can expect to sample a delicious array of local produce.
Day 3 Climbing and zip wire adventure park in San Romano. Afternoon kayaking on Lake Gramolazzo.
This morning we head by bus to San Romano and Buffardello Park where we spend our first morning climbing trees. Set amongst two and a half hectares of forest in the heart of the Garfagnana, this unique adventure park affords children and adults alike the opportunity to enjoy this woodland setting from the air, with a range of activities suitable for all ages, including swinging beams, suspension bridges, nets, ropes and obstacles. On arrival, you will be kitted out with all the necessary safety equipment with trained instructors on hand to supervise your enjoyment.
Please note there are 7 courses in total, to climb the full course there is a minimum height requirement of 140cm. There are three courses suitable for children over 100cm; children under 100cm will not be able to take part in this activity. The park also has a number of walks and activities within the forest that do not require leaving the ground, so don’t worry if you would prefer to keep on terra firma.
This afternoon we take a short bus ride to the beautiful Lake Gramolazzo where we take to the water in double seated kayaks and stand up paddle boards to explore this lovely setting. There is ample time to paddle, kayak, swim or relax on the grassy banks of the water’s edge. The lake is home to an abundance of blue herons and other birdlife and our kayaking adventure affords us an ideal opportunity to take in this serene setting from the unique perspective of its tranquil waters. Our day over, we return back to the hotel to enjoy some relaxing time around the pool.
Please note that the order of the activities may change due to weather conditions or other operational considerations, any changes will be advised on the trip by our Explore leader.
Day 4 Canyoning in the Turrite Valley.
This morning we jump in a bus and head south to the Turrite valley to our hands at canyoning. Arriving in the pretty village of Fornolovasco, get into our wet suites and helmets for an easy section of canyoning down the Rio Pinguino in the parco Battifero which allows us to try some small water jumps.
Ending back at Fornolovasco we stop for lunch beside the river with time to relax here before the afternoon in Parco Battiferro. Walk up to the dry canyon above the village where we change into our harnesses and helmets and take on some Via Ferrata. Clipping ourselves on and off the wire, descend down the canyon with time to look at the amazing rock features and caves. Arriving back at base cross the zip wire suspension bridge to a small caf where we have time to relax at the bar at with an ice cream before we all group up and return to our hotel by bus.
Day 5 Free day; optional sightseeing of Pisa or mountain biking.
Today is free to spend as you wish. You may decide to explore something of the area’s cultural highlights with a trip to Pisa. Travelling by bus or train you can head to Pisa is just under two hours. The city has so much more than just its famous Leaning Tower. The Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Dreams), of which the Tower is but one part, also contains the Baptistery, Duomo and Camposanta, which between them make up a stunning collection of architectural delights. These, along with the churches and palazzi that make up the historic centre, all belong to a period from the 11th to 13th centuries when the city was one of the Mediterranean’s major maritime powers.
Alternatively for the more active it’s possible to hire mountain bikes and head to Alpe de San Pellegrino (1600 m) with great views over the Garfagnana valley and across the whole chain of mountain, with a thrilling and beautiful descent back into the Garfagnana valley. Along the way we stop for photos and breaks via the Pass of Radici, in the heart of the Apennines. The entire route today is on tarmac roads and involves about 25km of descent followed by 15km undulating roads along the valley. Only 10% of the ride is uphill.
Day 6 Exploring the backstreets of Monterosso on the stunning Cinque Terre coast. Walk along the famed coastal trail.
We leave the Garfagnana and after a short transfer to the local station, join the train to the stunning coastline of the Cinque Terre region where tiny villages nestle amongst sheer cliffs to create one of the Riviera’s most scenic delights. The area is a World Heritage Site and its five villages present the perfect picturesque setting for our day. We have time to explore the back streets of the old part of Monterosso, which is the largest of the five villages, before we walk along the famed coastal trail.
Passing through olive groves and vineyards and with spectacular views all around, we arrive at Vernazza where we have time for a swim in the lovely waters as well as have lunch which could include some of the local seafood. From Vernazza, we then have the choice from to travel by boat (optional extra, and sea conditions permitting), catch a train to Monterosso or walk another section of the trail to Monterosso. The 15 minute boat trip to Monterosso is normally the best option as it allows more time for kids to swim and enjoy lunch in Vernazza.
Arriving in Monterosso, there will be time to explore the town with another swim or ice cream here before we then meet up for our train back to the Garfagnana.
Day 7 Walking in the Orecchiella National Park.
We depart the villa after breakfast to explore some of the breathtaking views in the Apennine mountain range. We drive by bus up into Orecchiella National Park, an area characterised by beech woods, grasslands and sheer rock faces hanging over narrow gorges, all of which are a natural habitat for birds of prey, wild boar, deer and many other animals. We begin our walk from the visitors centre up to refuge Isera (1200 m) with great views of the Pania del Corfino mountain along the way. We then ascend from Isera following the footpath to the Col of Campaiana at 1500m for around an hour which affords great views of the Appenines before a final short walk up to the peak and summit of the Pania del Corfino at 1600m.
With probably one of the best views of the Garfagnana Valley where one is nearly able to see all of our locations that we have travelled to during our stay this week, we have our lunch and then relax before descending back down using the same routing to the visitors’ centre which is close to a brown bear enclosure. And then it’s time for an ice cream before we head back down to the farm where we can relax and enjoy the pool for the rest of our final afternoon.
Day 8 Drive to Pisa airport where our trip ends
Departing the Garfagnana valley this morning we drive to Pisa International airport (airport code PSA), where we will arrive at about 11am this is where our trip ends. The earliest your flight can depart is 12.45pm
The airport has luggage storage facilities and regular, inexpensive shuttle buses into town. This is at your own expense and unaccompanied but the leader will be able to assist with information and what better way to finish a trip to Tuscany than visiting Pisa!