Enjoy the taste of classic Italy! HF Holidays takes you on a journey through lush green hills, charming villages and rich Italian culture.
Italy is a classic European break; the gentle landscapes & rolling hills cover huge swathes of land, supported by the mountains in the north and breathtaking coastlines on either side of the country make Italy a powerhouse in the travel & tourism industry.
Hiking in Italy is massively popular with our guests and it's easy to see why. The Western culture we live in now has very much been influenced by Italian cultures and cuisine, hence why so many of our guests love a classic escape to Italy. If you love a challenge or discovering hidden gems, we recommend finding inspiration from our 'Undiscovered Italy' blog.
We've put together our top destinations to explore classic Italy:
The Cinque Terra is one of Italy's most prized assets. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cinque Terre forms five fishing villages tightly squeezed next to one another due to its confinements, the surrounding hillsides which help designed Cinque Terre National Park, and the rugged coastline of the Italian Riviera.
Cars are not permitted in some areas so the easiest way to reach the villages is by train, however, hiking in Cinque Terra has become increasingly popular with tourists. It's possible to explore the area in under 2 hours but why you want to do that? Full of beauty and charm, these five enchanting villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, & Riomaggiore will leave you spellbound. For more detail on each village, read our hidden gems of Bonassola.
Sharing borders with both France and Switzerland, Piedmont is located at the foot of the mountains. Delving deeper into Piedmont, you can discover the region beautiful landscapes and rolling green hills as well as the medieval hilltop villages. Piedmont offers delightful spring and summer weather, although the weather can vary day to day due to the alpine conditions from both north and west of the region. On a clear day, walking in the Italian countryside you can see the Alpine peaks of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa which form a beautiful backdrop to the green hills of the Langhe.
High fitness levels are not required, as hiking in Piedmont countryside is relatively easy and relaxing. Staying in Montelupo, you'll discover Piedmont charming history and stroll through vineyards, hazelnut groves and on ancient trails.
Home to the renowned city of Florence, Tuscany is a stunning region of central Italy and boasts an incredible countryside. Home to four national parks, the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west and mountains to the north and east, this region has become popular with outdoor enthusiasts and history lovers. Walking in Tuscany, you can visit the historic hilltops villages of Montepulciano and Pienza, and/or revel in the breathtaking medieval city of Siena, - UNESCO World Heritage Site - one of Italy's most visited tourist attractions.
The landscape in Tuscany is so serene and unique the rolling hills are endless. In the spring, the fields come to live with an impressive range of flora. The Orcia river lives within Tuscany and is famous for making Val d'Orcia - captivating green hills stemming from Siena to Mount Amiata, one of the world's most natural beauties - become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unwind and enjoy the scenic routes of Tuscany.
Wonderful! Beautiful! Magical! These are reviews left by our guests. Words can't do Venice justice and is a must-see for all tourists. Explore the awe-inspiring architecture and endless mysterious passageways that give a mix of romantic and medieval vibes. Exploring this unique city you'll instantly feel inspired and in love, after all, many people consider Venice the most romantic city in the world.
No roads mean no cars! Can't say that about every city in the world. Transport is mainly through water taxis or otherwise on foot, making Venice the perfect 4-night getaway. The city magic draws so much appeal, tourists can outnumber the locals during the busy months, except HF Holidays showcases the best of Venice through a local expert and an excellent itinerary, giving our guests an exceptional experience. Now is the time more than ever, to discover Venice.
Top 5 things to see and do in the fascinating German city of Berlin
Sarah Davis, and the rest of our Sales & Marketing team, recently visited Berlin on one of our City Breaks and she's let us in on their trip there.
Berlin is a fascinating German city with so much to explore and learn about the Cold War. The Holocaust memorial and the remains of the Berlin Wall provide a reminder of its recent history, to its 18th-century Brandenburg Gate.
The city's also known for its art and modern landmarks like the Fernsehturm, a television tower built during the years of the GDR.
2) Accomodation & food
We stayed at the superior 3-star Hotel Augustinenhof on a bed and breakfast basis. A historic building situated within the most central district of Berlin ‘Mitte’. The bedrooms were spacious and I enjoyed a comfortable night’s sleep. The hotel is walking distance to a variety of restaurants and we chose to dine at the Restaurant Nolle on the Friday night, a 12 minute walk from our hotel.
We dined below a six-metre-high railway arched ceiling – home to the city’s S-Bahn, and enjoyed the stylish ambience with delicious Berlin cuisine including meatballs and schnitzel.
On Saturday we ate at Sophieneck a short 5 minute walk from our hotel, perfect for tired legs after a days running and walking – more about that below! This traditional German corner pub had a cosy and friendly atmosphere, perfect for reflecting on our weekend in the city celebrated with an apéritif!
We explored the city on foot with a leader who shared her enthusiasm and knowledge of the city’s history. Visiting historical sites including the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Holocaust Memorial, Luftwaffe HQ, Checkpoint Charlie, Unter Den Linden (Humboldt University), The site of the Nazi book burning, Gendarmenmarkt, and more. My personal favourite had to be the Brandenburg Gate, there is something very grand about standing (or in my case jumping) in front of this historic entrance to the city.
A personal passion for me is running. Any chance I get to run in a new city has to be done. So imagine my delight when I discovered that the world’s biggest running event Parkrun was opening a new course in Berlin! When we visited in February the city was hosting its 6th Saturday Parkrun in the South of the city at Volkspark Hasenheide. For me this is a great way to start the day whilst not missing out on the rest of the weekends sites.
Whilst most of the weekend was spent exploring Berlin on foot I must also mention the transport system in Berlin. It is very easy to use and an excellent way of navigating the city. The hotels location makes accessing these transport options very easy to see the many places of interest.
Sarah and the team's holiday was a 4-night Guided City Break trip. Costs from £699 per person including flights, bed and breakfast accommodation and a full programme of sightseeing. Allow approximately €95 for entrance fees and local transport.