Historic town in Lucca, Tuscany

Tuscany & Cinque Terre

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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
ADTA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays
Activity:
Culture & Discovery Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–14

Discover two of Italy's most desirable regions, Tuscany and the Italian Riviera.

Gain insight to Tuscan life whilst staying in a traditional farmhouse in the Garfagnana, and visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Cinque Terre to enjoy stunning coastal paths, quaint villages and fantastic local cuisine. From the charming town of Portofino on the Ligurian coast to the well known city of Lucca, this trip takes in all the highlights at a relaxed pace. All our Italian hosts are known for providing a warm welcome and comfortable stay in carefully chosen locations to compliment a day of sightseeing.

Highlights

  • A two day visit to the stunning UNESCO World Heritage coastline of the Cinque Terre 
  • Explore the famous town of Portofino 
  • A two night stay in the well known, much loved Tuscan city of Lucca
  • Visit some of the Garfagnana’s historical sites whilst staying in a Tuscan family run farmhouse
  • Excellent home‐cooked Italian cuisine

Key information

  • 3 nights Farmhouse and 4 nights hotel accommodation
  • 8 days land only/ flight inclusive
  • Travel by mini bus and train

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)- FREE (limited availability and shared facilities at Braccicorti)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
+47-22 41 30 30
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Braccicorti
to
Lucca
  • Day 1

    Start Braccicorti.

    Start at Braccicorti lodge, approximately 6kms from Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and 2 hours from Pisa airport.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Castiglione di Garfagnana, Verrucole Fortress and the Cinque Terre

    After breakfast, we drive the short distance to the fortified town of Castiglione, set in the lower Apennines. With its stunning views of the Serchio valley and the ‘marble mountains’ we enjoy a relaxed wander through its streets. After another short drive we arrive at the ‘Verrucole Fortress’ which we visit to understand the medieval way of life before enjoying an (optional) traditional buffet lunch at the local osteria. The afternoon is spent travelling by private bus and train to the Cinque Terre and Levanto where we will be staying for the next two nights.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Cinque Terre and the Pesto factory of Levanto

    The Cinque Terre, in the Liguria region of Italy comprises five coastal villages and the surrounding hillside and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous for its terraces where grapes and olives are cultivated alongside lemons and other fruit trees. Given its location on the Mediterranean, seafood is plentiful and the region is known for its pesto and pecorino cheese. Other local specialities include focaccia, farinata and of course delicious white wine, made by the Cooperative Agriculture di Cinque Terre, located between Manarola and Volstra. In the morning we take the train to Manarola on the Cinque Terre where we begin our walk to Corniglia, via Volastra. On the way we will have uninterrupted views of the stunning coastline and farmers terraces. Volastra provides a welcome stop before continuing to Corniglia for lunch and a chance to soak up local life. In the afternoon we take the train to Vernazza for a possible dip in the bay and return to Levanto where we enjoy a visit to the Pesto factory to see how it's made and to sample the different flavours.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Visit Portofino unguided, transfer back to Garfagnana

    A day to visit the well known fishing town of Portofino with its picture-postcard harbour surrounded by pastel-painted houses at your won pace. After travelling by train to Santa Margherita, you will then have the choice of continuing on foot to Portofino along the stunning new walkway arriving within two hours, taking the local bus, or weather permitting, the scenic boat ride. Once in Portofino there will be plenty of time to enjoy the town and sights at your own pace before returning to Levanto to collect our luggage and returning by train and minibus to the Garfagnana. An excellent place to view the harbour is from the Castello Brown - a 16th Century fort at a short walk from the town centre.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day to enjoy the local area or take the train to Pisa/Florence.

    Today is free to relax by the pool or enjoy a self-guided walk. You may prefer to take the train (approx. 2.5 hours) to visit Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance with an enormous wealth of historical sites, museums, galleries, churches and architectural delights. Most of the great artists, thinkers and builders from Renaissance history passed through or lived in Florence when it was under the rule of the Medici family, the most famous patrons of the 16th century. But Florence is not just a historical showpiece, there are many other things to see and do here. The city has never ceased to be a centre of learning, and there is a large student population to liven up the cafés and restaurants. Florence is also well known for its leather goods and regional produce and there are some good markets and chic boutiques to peruse.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Visit Castelnuovo local market and stop at Vecchio Mulino for a cheese tasting and transfer to Lucca.

    This morning we visit the renowned Castelnuovo market, in the heart of the Garfagnana Valley. The town of Castelnuovo dates back to the 8th century and its vibrant market has played a very important social and economic role in the region since the Middle Ages. In fact no arrests were allowed on market day, for fear of disrupting trade. We stay in Castelnuovo to visit Vecchio Mulino for a cheese tasting, where we can add traditional dishes for an extended lunch break.  In the afternoon we transfer to Lucca, where we spend two nights. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Explore Lucca

    Staying in Lucca allows us to spend a full day exploring more of the city, with its well‐preserved Renaissance walls and cobblestone streets. A broad, tree‐lined path tops the massive 16th‐ and 17th‐ century ramparts which are popular for strolling and cycling along. Lucca is also known for its olio d'oliva lucchese, high‐quality olive oil produced in the region. This morning we have a two hour guided walking tour and the rest of the day can be spent enjoying this beautiful city on foot or bike. As Pisa is within easy reach by train, there is also the option of visiting the ‘square of miracles’ to see the impressive leaning tower before returning to Lucca for the night.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Lucca.

    Trips ends at Lucca.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 dinners are included.

Breakfast: Continental style with a choice of cereal, bread, yoghurt and milk with an array of teas/coffee.
Dinner: The two included meals are taken at Braccicorti.
Italy’s cuisine is hearty, satisfying and full of flavour. Inspired by the kitchens of the nonna, Italy’s food is authentic and surprising – pizza and pasta are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the diverse array of unforgettable food you’ll find on this trip.
Vegetarians are usually well catered for in this area. Those who require gluten free diets, we recommend taking selected items with you, as it is not easy to purchase gluten free products locally.

Weather

May departures can expect warm days, although rain is always possible. Nights may still be rather cool. Early June is similar, with the days becoming progressively hotter and the evenings much warmer. September and October are cooler and wetter, yet visibility is usually better. We strongly recommend a fleece-lined jacket or warm sweater in May, September and October.

Is this trip for you?

Grade: 1 (Leisurely)
This is a very relaxing week where you can enjoy real Italian hospitality, and visits the relatively unknown side of Tuscany and the more well known areas of the Cinque Terre, Portofino and Lucca.
The area has a micro climate and can be very hot, possibly high 30s in the summer with some thunderstorms and showers.
The accommodations have been chosen for their location and authenticity and should not be considered as luxury villas.
Any walking undertaken is optional and will be on well maintained paths, although the Cinque Terre is well known for rugged, steep terrain.
For the two nights spent in the Cinque terre we will be carrying only our daypack/overnight bag of 20-25 lt, leaving the main suitcase at Braccicorti.

Call us on
+47-22 41 30 30
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Farm House

We stay at the farmhouse Braccicorti for 3 nights, home to some real Italian family hospitality. The traditional stone building is tucked away on a hillside on the lower slopes of the Apennines. Situated on a typical Tuscan farm, it has been authentically renovated, and is surrounded by meadows, orchards, woodland and vines. It has been renovated keeping the character of the area in mind and should therefore not be considered a luxury villa. There are basic furnishings and rooms are not serviced as you would expect in a hotel. There are dogs at the farmhouse.
The accommodation comprises 4 twin/double rooms (with en-suite facilities) and 2 apartments, each with 1 double/twin and 1 single room sharing a bathroom. Double or twin should be stated upon booking and the en-suite rooms are on a first come served basis if requested. There is also a dining room, comfortable living room, a quiet room, terrace, golf course with driving range, swimming pool (seasonal - mid May to end of September) and a garden with stunning views to the mountains.
Hotel Primavera- Levanto for 2 nights
This family-run hotel is located just 2 minutes walk from the sea in the centre of Levanto. It offers spacious en-suite rooms with free Wi-Fi.
Hotel Stipino Lucca for 2 nights
Our Lucca hotel is located just outside the mediaeval walls of the town's historic centre. The rooms are decorated with parquet floors and classic light wood furnishings giving a refined atmosphere. Services include air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.

There is no charge for the standard single rooms at Braccicorti, as bathroom facilities are shared. These are provided on a first come first served basis and should be requested upon booking.
Further double rooms for sole use can be requested 2 weeks prior to departure; a supplement applies for these. We cannot guarantee these will be en suite.

Additional Accommodation

Additional accommodation can be booked (subject to availability) in Pisa or Florence. Please contact our sales team for prices.

Call us on
+47-22 41 30 30
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on +47-22 41 30 30