Hiking in Umbria

Five Beautiful Trails by Rebecca Winke
 

Add This

Rebecca  Winke

Rebecca Winke
HomeAway travel expert


Hiking in UmbriaUmbria, with its undulating landscape, tiny hilltop hamlets, and isolated abbeys and fortresses, is a hiker’s paradise and yet not seemingly hiker-friendly.

Though this region sometimes falls short in trail signage, itinerary information, and logistical support for walkers, the scenery and history along its walking routes more than make up for these inconveniences.

Here are five of my favourite walks and hikes in the region, many combining the best of nature and culture.

Rebecca's favourite hikes in Umbria

  Slightly off the route of Saint Francis’ Way is one of the prettiest monasteries in Umbria: San Pietro in Valle in the Nera River Valley. Take the time for this short detour, and enjoy the serene setting, gorgeous views, and beautiful Gothic frescoes.

  The Piano Grande plateau below the Lago di Pilato explodes with color in late spring and early summer, as the meadows of wildflowers, fields of clover and flowering forage bloom. Time your hike accordingly for some of the most breathtaking photos of your trip.

 The If you follow the Spoleto-Norcia trail to the end of the line, you’ll find yourself in the pretty foodie mecca of Norcia. Reward yourself with some of their famed black truffles, excellent charcuterie, or a filling bowl of legume soup, made with local heirloom beans.

 Spello is home to the famous Baglioni chapel, frescoed on three sides by Renaissance master Pinturicchio in the 16th century, and paved with Deruta majolica tiles from the same century. Like all Medieval works, these paintings are elaborate and rich in allegory and symbolism; I suggest visiting the chapel with a good guide to fully enjoy the paintings.

 Lake Trasimeno is famed for its spectacular sunsets, so when late afternoon sets in, make sure you've picked a strategic spot facing west over the water (perhaps with a chilled bottle of crisp local white wine at hand!).

 
 

 

 

Rebecca's top five hiking trails


   

Saint Francis' Way Saint Francis' Way

It seems only fitting that one of the most beautiful hikes in Umbria has ties to this region’s most famous citizen, who spent much of his life travelling to the far reaches of this region to preach and pray. La Via di Francesco is a pilgrimage route beginning in either La Verna from the north or Greccio from the south, and retraces Francis’ footsteps to Assisi and the Basilica of Saint Francis. The route stops at some of the most meaningful Franciscan sites in Umbria and walkers can experience, first-hand, Francis’ extraordinary life, which has never failed to compel and inspire over the centuries. The region has a detailed website and printed guide with maps, descriptions, and instructions as to how to obtain the Pilgrims’ Credentials (the Way’s official travel document), which can be used to receive the Testimonium Viae Francisci in Assisi for those who have walked at least 80 kilometres of the pilgrimage.

View hiking rentals in Assisi

 
   
 

   

Il Lago di Pilato Il Lago di Pilato

For sheer heart-stopping beauty, the Sibilline National Park straddling the border between Umbria and Le Marche wins hands down. This rigorous hike begins at the Piano Grande plateau near the tiny hamlet of Castelluccio, and follows trail 202 over Mount Vettore to the small Lago di Pilato, nestled at the bottom of the glacial basin at the centre of the mountain’s U-shaped crest. This ice age lake (home to the tiny prehistoric russet-coloured crustacean Chirocefalo del Marchesoni) was named for a popular legend; one which holds that the Roman Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus captured Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem and brought him back to Rome, where he was summarily executed. The body was tossed into this remote lake, and his bones are said to still lay in its depths.

View holiday homes in Citta di Castello

 
   
 

   

The Spoleto-Norcia Railway The Spoleto-Norcia Railway

The historic railway line that ran between the lovely Medieval hilltown of Spoleto through the mountains to the remote village of Norcia from 1926 to 1968 has been retrofitted as a trail for hiking or biking through some of the loveliest countryside in Umbria. From the tiny restored station in Spoleto (now used for railway-related exhibits), the 51 kilometre route passes the now empty stations in the villages and hamlets of Caprareccia, Sant’Anatolia di Narco-Scheggino, Piedipaterno-Vallo di Nera and Borgo Cerreto-Sellano, passing over dizzying stone bridges and under narrow tunnels along the route (bring a torch). The trail is significantly less maintained from Sellano to Norcia, but still worth the logistical difficulties for both the views from the hilltops and the silence of the remote countryside.

View Spoleto holiday rentals

 
   
 

   

The Spello-Collepino Roman Aqueduct Trail The Spello-Collepino Roman Aqueduct Trail

Well-marked and not particularly rigorous, the lovely trail 52 winds through the sea of olive groves and typical Mediterranean woods covering the slopes of Mount Subasio; it skirts the newly-restored Roman aqueduct, which transported water over a millenium ago between the tiny fortified hamlet of Collepino and the town of Spello, rich in Roman history and ruins. The five kilometre route begins at the end, outside Spello’s Medieval Porta Montanara; from here, after a brief stretch along the asphalted road, the trail runs between the aqueduct to the left and the stunning views over the Umbrian valley and the distant Appenines to the right. The route crosses two Medieval bridges spanning the Chiona stream, and has a series of park benches which overlook the layered foothills of Mount Subasio and the Medieval “skyline” of Spello in the distance. The final stretch to the castle of Collepino is steep, but the charm of this sleepy village is worth the effort.

View hiking homes in Spello

 
   
 

   

Lake Trasimeno Lake Trasimeno

This placid lake, tucked in the soft rolling hills on the border between Umbria and Tuscany, is a favorite for sun-worshippers who flock to its shores in the summer months. That said, a leisurely walk through the olive groves and meadow-covered slopes overlooking the lake is as refreshing as a dip in its waters. Begin in the fetching resort town of Passignano sul Trasimeno, climbing from the centre towards the hamlet of Cerqueto to the lovely Mediterranean wood above. Enjoy a fabulous view of the lake, her three tiny islets, and the surrounding broom-covered hills, and then take trail 50 back to Passignano. From here, a ferry transports you to the idyllic (and traffic-free) Isola Maggiore in the middle of the lake, where you can easily stroll around its entire circumference in less than four hours. Take a moment to visit the small chapel on the island’s eastern shore with a statue of Saint Francis, commemorating his 40 day fast at this spot. All roads in Italy may lead to Rome, but all trails in Umbria lead inevitably to Francis.

View rentals by Lake Trasimeno

 
   
 

 

Self Catering Accommodation in Umbria for Walking Holidays

Country Luxury villa in Umbria

Country villa, privacy, panoramic position immersed in the Umbrian landscape. 5 bedrooms, fitted kitchen, large living room, indoor heated swimming pool with salt water. Wellness area with turkish bath and tropical shower. Internet wi-fi. The vil...

Large Villa Sleeping 8 With Use Of Lovely Pool In Medieval Village

This large villa consists of 2 floors. Upper floor: large living room with fireplace, terrace, 2 double bedrooms, kitchen. Lower floor: 2 double bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, large living room with huge fireplace, leading out onto the garden. The...

Apartment/ flat - Perugia

(Text automatically translated) very quiet, in the countryside, recently renovated, Discount depending on length of stay, close to Perugia City '

pool, jacuzzi, Luxury Villa - apartment with salt water parking,garden,fireplace

Villa Nuba is the 2013 winner as best property of The Umbria Villa Owners Association! The only owners association in Umbria! Our historic farmhouse dates back to the 1400's, and is built on Colle Giorgio, a hill just outside Perugia. It's situat...

A Home Away from Home-Luxury vacation rental in Perugia, pool,jacuzzi,fire place

Why should you choose us? We believe that we are offering something that has been missing in Umbria: not your average farm holiday accommodation, nor an uninspiring flat, but a luxurious apartment in a villa in which the owners themselves reside, ...

VILLA POGGIO VERDE 6 Sleeps, Stone Country House With Pool And Panoramic View Of Umbrian Hills

Villa Poggio Verde is a beautiful stone country house located on a hill overlooking a wide panoramic view. The interiors are well kept, functional and of very good taste. The materials used are of the highest quality and include the work of local ...

TORRE FOCOLINO 10+2 / 6+2 sleeps, villa of historical and architectural importance, with a dominating tower, park and pool near Todi, in Umbria

THIS VILLA IS AVAILABLE ALSO IN 6+2 SLEEPS VERSION, PLEASE CONTACT EMMA VILLAS. PRIVATE STRUCTURE. In the heart of Umbria, following the curves of the countryside with marvellous views of Todi, Torre Focolino has been present for over 800 years no...

IL BORGO 16 / 12 sleeps, amazing Umbrian stone villa with splendid park, private pool, large terrace, in the green heart of Italy near the famous Assisi

THIS VILLA IS AVAILABLE ALSO IN 12 SLEEPS VERSION, PLEASE CONTACT EMMA VILLAS. RECEPTIVE STRUCTURE. Il Borgo is a characteristic farmhouse in open face stone situated on the gentle hills near Assisi. The property, dating to the 19th century, was i...

VILLA PAOLA 10 sleeps, villa with pool and panoramic view to the green Umbrian hills

(PRIVATE STRUCTURE). Villa Paola, known by the name of Casale Margherita, as can be seen on the stone engraving at the front of the house, is an old residence immersed in the lush Umbrian countryside in a panoramic position whose origins can be tr...

SAN GIACOMO 8 sleeps, Umbrian holiday villa with private pool and 20 hectares of park, with panoramic view to the Corbara Lak

PRIVATE STRUCTURE. San Giacomo is an old stone farmhouse built in 1861 where the ground floor was originally used as a sheep shed. It was bought by the present owners, together with a vast area of the surrounding land covered mainly by woodland, w...
italyFrance Valle d'Aosta Piedmont Lombardia Lombardy Emilia Romagna Switzerland Trentino Alto Adige Austria Veneto-Venice Friuli Venezia Giulia Slovenia Slovenia Croatia Tuscany Marche Umbria Lazio Sardinia Abruzzo Molise Puglia Campania Basilicata Calabria Sicily Europe Stati Uniti World

 


Search for holiday rentals
Search for holiday ideas
 

WIN £10,000 FOR YOUR DREAM HOLIDAY

Sign up to our newsletter

Our latest updates and special offers, direct to your inbox

Advertise with HomeAway

Related Articles


 

Other Categories



Popular Articles