Hiking in Chianti Classico is this new episode of my walks in Tuscany.
Today we talk about my hikes in the southern part of the Chianti Classico wine region.
Hiking the southern part of Chianti Classico
Last week I explored the southern part of Chianti Classico. The area around Gaiole and Radda in Chianti.
First of all, Gaiole is super small like Radda but even smaller :).
Secondo, Gaiole is famous for being the departure and arrival of one of the greatest bike races in Italy, L’ EROICA.
EROICA – La bellezza della fatica il gusto dell’impresa. | EROICA
It’s a marvellous bike race through white roads, as we say in Italian “strade bianche”. Ups and downs all around 🙂 Amateurs challenge themselves with great efforts and great wines along the way. It’s a race based on drinking and riding. Must try once in life.
So this tiny little place, Gaiole in Chianti is the vital heart of Chianti Classico wine region with castles all around. There are for sure some historical explanations why around Gaiole in Chianti you can find so many castles, more than the rest of the Chianti Classico.
Already you can imagine and your fantasy can do the rest that this place is magic, white roads and castles surrounded by vineyards and olive groves.
In fact here, you have, a bit dated, a number of hikes called “Trekking tra i castelli”.
A couple of links to help you to orientate yourselves:
Hiking Gaiole in Chianti, First try.
So, in detail, on my first day exploring this area I parked my car just outside Vertine. A super tiny little village.
Please do yourself a favour when you visit Gaiole in Chianti, stop and take a walk in Vertine, you will thank me. It’s so cool and nice.
From Vertine, yoo walk through the village and follow the path marks. They are pretty well signed but they are not new so you light can get confused by the fact that there are different paths to take.
I attached you my itinerary:
It looks very easy to follow but you know mistakes are behind every corners.
If you follow me on www.Komoot.com, it will be easier for you to follow my footsteps.
Honestly, It is very simple, as you can see from the picture is just less than 10 km and only 300 meters elevation gained on white wide roads. Nice and great views all along the path.
You pass by a castle but honestly it looks more like a big villa 🙂
Highlights on this hike, white roads, easy paths and Vertine village.
Hiking Gaiole in Chianti, second try.
My second try in Gaiole in Chianti, I ran and hiked at the same time to do more kilometers in less time, in fact I ended up doing 17 km and 700 meters elevation gained in roughly 1 and ½ hour.
I wanted to explore other areas. This time I started from a real castle. Castello di Meleto.
Lovely castle and there s a big car park right outside the entrance, beside their restaurant.
Then I moved through vineyards and woods.
I found an experimental vineyard where the university of Florence is experimenting viticulture and clones. Great idea and let(s hope they can find some innovative solutions for our king of red wines in Tuscany, Sangiovese grape.
As you can see from the picture, I spent less time than the previous one and I doubled the kilometers.
Even this time the walk was lovely, more tricky for the elevation gained but some passages were stunning through vineyards and lovely old cobblestones.
I bumped into something that looked like an abandoned village right at the top of one hill.
Even here path signs are pretty much everywhere but on a few occasions you have to be able to oriented yourself.
Always study a proper map before taking a walk and use phone Gps if only necessary.
I confess I used my phone to orient myself in here but I studied the path at home and I had a map that I left in the car, my fault.
Anyway ended up well but many times I had to double check my steps.
Highlights on this hike, vineyards and white roads and being completely by yourself for most of the time. Castello di Meleto at the beginning or at the end of your path light worth a visit.
Hiking Chianti Classico conclusions
Have fun. Follow my itineraries and make your own ones
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For more reads about hiking in Tuscany have a look here:
Responsible Tourist Local News
For planned experiences:
Local small/group Hiking Experiences