Tuscany Planet

Your tourist travel guide for Tuscany

Nature in Tuscany

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Natural parks, trekking itineraries and outdoor activities in Tuscany

Tuscany is an enchanting region full of natural beauties that attract visitors from all over the world. Its hills, rivers, natural parks and trails offer a wide range of experiences immersed in nature. If you are looking for a vacation where you can enjoy natural beauty, Tuscany is definitely an excellent choice.

In this article, we’ll explore the wonders of Tuscan nature and provide you with some useful tips on what to see and do during your visit. You will discover how Tuscan nature can offer unique, exciting and regenerating experiences. We will also give you some unpublished suggestions on how to best enjoy your holiday surrounded by nature.

Natural parks of Tuscany

The Tuscan natural parks are among the most beautiful and precious protected areas in Italy. Tuscany is a region rich in biodiversity and breathtaking landscapes, which includes mountains, hills, plains, coasts and archipelagos. Thanks to its privileged geographical position, Tuscany has a great variety of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to the region.

The Tuscan natural parks cover a vast area of the region, including the Apennine mountain range, the hills of Chianti and Mugello, the coasts of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. Many of these protected areas are protected by the Italian State and aim to preserve the natural environment and promote the sustainable development of the region.

Tuscany’s natural parks offer numerous opportunities for nature lovers, including hiking, trekking, cycling, bird watching and nature photography. Additionally, many of the protected areas also host visitor centers, museums and educational activities for visitors of all ages.

Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago Toscano

This national park is made up of seven islands of the Tuscan archipelago and a vast marine area. Here you will find pristine beaches, crystal clear waters and a diverse range of flora and fauna. The islands of Tuscany are a real paradise, especially for sea lovers.

Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi

The Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona e Campigna extends between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. It features dense forests, rivers, waterfalls and numerous hiking trails. Its majestic woods guard many places of great charm such as the Sanctuary of La Verna, the Acquacheta waterfall and the Abbey of San Benedetto in Alpe.

Parco Naturale della Maremma

The Parco Naturale della Maremma is one of the largest and most evocative natural parks in the region. Located on the Tyrrhenian coast, it offers a wide range of natural landscapes, including forests, lakes, mountains and beaches. In addition, the wildlife found in the park is incredibly diverse: wolves, wild boars, deer, foxes and many other wild animals can be seen in their natural habitats. The park offers many hiking trails, as well as activities such as bird watching and bicycle touring.

Parco naturale della Maremma
Parco naturale della Maremma (Photo by Francesco Mocellin / CC BY)

Parco Regionale di Migliarino, San Rossore e Massaciuccoli

The Natural Park of Migliarino, San Rossore, Massaciuccoli extends along the Tuscan coast between Pisa and Viareggio and is characterized by the presence of a vast area of pine forests, sand dunes and coastal lagoons. Here you can admire a rich variety of flora and fauna and go hiking or cycling. Among the most notable places in this park we find Lake Massaciuccoli which, thanks to its rich biodiversity, is protected by WWF and Lipu.

Natural Park of Migliarino, San Rossore, Massaciuccoli
Natural Park of Migliarino, San Rossore, Massaciuccoli (Photo by Daniele Napolitano / CC BY)

Parco Nazionale dell’Appennino Tosco-Emiliano

This national park extends between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna and includes the highest peaks of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. Here you will find mountains, forests, waterfalls and numerous hiking trails.

Parco Regionale delle Colline Metallifere

The Parco delle Colline Metallifere is located in the province of Grosseto and is characterized by the presence of rocky hills, holm oak and chestnut woods and ancient medieval villages. The area offers numerous trails for hiking or mountain biking and spectacular panoramic views of the Maremma.

Experiences in the nature of Tuscany

The experience of nature in Tuscany is something magical and unforgettable, which allows you to immerse yourself completely in the beauty of the area and to discover hidden and enchanting corners. There are many different experiences that can be had in Tuscany to discover the nature of the region, such as trekking, mountain bike excursions, horse riding, visits to natural parks and much more. In this section we will explore some of the best nature experiences Tuscany has to offer, to help you plan your next vacation immersed in the beauty of nature.

On horseback in Tuscany

Among many things, Tuscany is also a perfect region for horse riding. There are many stables that offer guided horseback tours through the Tuscan hills. These excursions allow you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the beauty of the Tuscan countryside. It is a unique and unforgettable experience, especially if you are a horse lover.

Truffle hunting in Tuscany

Tuscany is also famous for its truffles, which represent a true excellence of this area. Truffle hunting is a unique experience that allows you to discover the natural beauty of the region while searching for this culinary treasure. The search for truffles in Tuscany takes place mainly between September and December, when the climatic and soil conditions are favorable for the growth of truffles. At the end of the hunt, you will be able to taste the freshly picked truffles, perhaps accompanied by a glass of local wine. If you are passionate about food and want to discover Tuscany from a different point of view, truffle hunting is an experience you cannot miss.

Treno Natura

The “Treno Natura” in Tuscany is a unique experience for nature and history lovers. The railway line crosses breathtaking landscapes, such as the hills of the Val d’Orcia and the Crete Senesi, allowing you to admire the beauty of the Tuscan countryside and the medieval towns that arise along the way. The nature train also offers the possibility of visiting the Terme di Bagno Vignoni, an ancient Roman spa town which has now become a popular tourist destination. This experience is an ecological and sustainable way to explore Tuscany and discover its natural and cultural heritage.

Trekking paths in the Tuscan nature

The Tuscan natural hiking trails offer a unique experience for outdoor and nature lovers. Tuscany is a region rich in natural paths, which cross mountains, hills, rivers and woods, offering breathtaking views and total immersion in nature.

The Tuscan natural trekking paths are of different levels of difficulty, from an easy walk for families to a challenge for experienced hikers. Each path is characterized by unique landscapes, which vary from the panoramic view of the Chianti hills to the sea view of the Tuscan Archipelago.

Tuscan natural trekking lovers can also discover the numerous historical, cultural and gastronomic sites along the routes, such as medieval villages, traditional farms, vineyards and cheese producers.

Via Francigena

This historic pilgrimage route crosses Tuscany, from Passo della Cisa to Radicofani. Along the route of the Via Francigena, you will find splendid churches, abbeys, castles and breathtaking landscapes.

Mount Amiata

This extinct volcano is located in the southern part of Tuscany and offers numerous trekking opportunities. On Monte Amiata there are hiking trails of all levels of difficulty, from quiet paths through woods and pastures to demanding hikes towards the top of the mountain.

Apuan Alps

The mountains of the Apuan Alps, located in the northern part of Tuscany, offer numerous hiking trails that lead to spectacular peaks, gorges, canyons and lunar landscapes.

Apuane Alps
Apuane Alps (Photo by Ravera Cristoforo / CC BY)

Montagnola Senese

This is a hilly area located in the province of Siena. The area is characterized by the presence of oak and chestnut forests, cultivated fields and medieval villages. Here you can go hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding and admire spectacular views of the Tuscan countryside.

Riserva Naturale di Castelvecchio

This reserve is located in the province of Siena a few kilometers from San Gimignano. The Castelvecchio Nature Reserve is characterized by rich vegetation made up of oaks, Turkey oaks, beeches, maples and Mediterranean scrub. Among the inhabitants of this reserve, the magnificent peregrine falcon stands out, which has found an ideal environment in its rocky walls. Here are also the ruins of Castelvecchio, a medieval castle.

What to see in the Tuscan nature

In addition to natural parks, trails and horse riding, there are many other natural attractions that you can visit in Tuscany. Let’s see together some of the most spectacular natural attractions of our region.

Parco Naturale della Val d’Orcia

Located in the southern part of Tuscany, Val d’Orcia is famous for its picturesque hilly landscapes. Its beauty is so great that the Val d’Orcia Natural Park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Here you can admire magnificent hilly landscapes characterized by the presence of cultivated fields, vineyards, woods and medieval villages.

Monte Forato

Monte Forato is located in the Apuan Alps and is characterized by the presence of an enormous rock hole that crosses it vertically. The view from the forum is spectacular and offers a 360-degree panorama of the surrounding mountains. The route to reach Monte Forato is demanding, but the beauty of the landscape will repay the efforts made.

Grotta del Vento

The Grotta del Vento is located in the Apuan Alps and is one of the largest speleological complexes in Italy. The cave extends for over 2 kilometers and is characterized by stalactites, stalagmites and numerous underground lakes. There are guided tours that allow you to visit the cave safely and admire its natural wonders.

Grotta del Vento in Tuscany

Presalino waterfall

Located just 3 kilometers from the town of Badia Tedalda in the province of Arezzo, the Presalino waterfall represents a real natural attraction. The water descends about 20 meters through a series of waterfalls to create a small lake. The surrounding area is ideal for hiking and picnicking especially in the summer, although the waterfall is at its best during the winter when it is fed by more consistent rainfall.

Chianti hills

The Chianti hills are famous for the production of wine and olive oil, but also for their breathtaking landscapes. Here you can admire vineyards, olive groves, woods and ancient medieval villages that seem to come out of a postcard.

Balze of Valdarno

This is a suggestive place located in the Arno river valley between Arezzo and Florence. The Balze del Valdarno are a series of rock formations that emerge from the surrounding countryside and which have been shaped by water and wind erosion over the millennia. Here you can go hiking or mountain biking and admire spectacular landscapes of the Tuscan countryside.

Holidays in the nature of Tuscany: conclusions

In conclusion, Tuscany is an extraordinary region for those seeking experiences immersed in nature. With wildlife parks, walking trails, horse riding and natural attractions, there is plenty to see and do. Furthermore, truffle hunting tours and farm holidays offer unique and unforgettable experiences. If you are looking for a way to regenerate and relax surrounded by natural beauty, Tuscany is the right place for you.

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