When booking a trip during the pandemic we ask that you keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and be flexible.
Any holiday taken during the Covid-19 pandemic may be subject to change and with little or no notice of that change. As the past months have proven no-one can predict the situation from one week to the next, however, we will do our very best to gauge the best response to any new developments. New restrictions or guidelines might affect where we eat out, which accommodation we can stay in, and potentially transport arrangements if the numbers in vehicles are restricted.
Itineraries may not be exactly as advertised due to new regulations or restrictions. We are sure there will be various scenarios which we have not even thought about that might lead to a change or adaptation in the itinerary.
Please read our Covid-19 Cancellation Policy and ensure you have appropriate insurance as per our recommendations. We also ask that you make yourself aware of the entry requirements of any country you are visiting on your trip. We have compiled a Travel Links Advice list to help you source the correct information.
Italy is easily reached by road, rail, coach or plane.
Train information and advanced tickets for Italy can be bought/sourced here at Trenitalia. If travelling from further afield we recommend using Rail Europe, Trainline and if travelling from the United Kingdom, the Eurostar. It is very easy to reach the local town of Barga-Gallicano by train, and from here we will pick you up from the station and take you to the farmhouse.
Click here for more information on travelling by public transport.
If travelling by plane, a private group transfer from Pisa airport to your accommodation is provided on the first day. This takes approximately one hour and normally departs the airport at 1430 hrs. If arriving outside of this time it is very easy to reach Barga-Gallicano by train, and we will pick you from the station and take you to the farmhouse. The train journey is not expensive and a ticket can be bought which includes the transfer from the airport to the main Pisa station. The journey takes takes about 2 hrs. The train line which you need to take to Barga-Gallicano is usually going to Aulla or Piazza al Serchio.
There are inexpensive 'left luggage' facilities in the airport and the train ticket office and information centres are next door. There is a station in the terminal and the journey to Pisa Central Station is just 5 minutes.
At the end of the holiday there will be a single, timed transfer back to Pisa Airport which departs after breakfast, arriving at the airport for approximately 0930 hrs.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch to chat through the details.
When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:
Mountain Rescue Insurance
It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.
Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance
You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.
As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.
Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.
All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions.
If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.
For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.
When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and accommodation you will be staying in.
Personal First Aid
**Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**
Leaders are all first aid trained and carry their own first aid kit
On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.
The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person.
If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened.
Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.
For each of our trips a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page.
We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.
We go to great lengths to work with first class guides who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation.
Please note your guide has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment.
In Tuscany your hiking guide will be either an International Mountain Leader or, most likely, it will be one of our local team who were born and brought up in the area. Our local guides are certified professionals under the Italian scheme for professional hiking guides, the "Guida Ambientale Escursionistica". You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page.
We have graded this trip 'Difficult'. You are never higher than 2054 m (6738 ft) altitude, you have a rest day if you wish and are based in one place making it easy to opt out and lie by the pool. However, the walking is sufficiently steep and challenging to also satisfy the 'keen' walker. One guest described it as, "surprising, impressive, challenging, but done in a relaxed fashion." This week combines 'relaxing' with a full day of exercise on trails that in the Apennine are easy and rolling, while in the Apuane they are rocky and steep. We say that in the Apennine you can walk AND look at the views, whereas in the Apuane you need to STOP before looking at the views. Please read the full grade description before booking.
For this trip where you are centre-based, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, please note that there are no elevators in our traditional Tuscan farmhouse. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom and this might involve climbing several flights of stairs.
Lunches are included in your trip fee, and will be provided by your hosts. The lunches are fabulous and are far removed from the normal mountain hiking fare of baguette and cheese.
Ailsa will prepare a picnic box each day featuring delicious home made pies, quiches, pastas and salads. You will also have home made cake, fruit and local cheese. Plus we usually take a flask of great Italian coffee to have a morning stop with Ailsa's tray bakes!
The food at Col di Lavacchio is a highlight of this trip with much of it sourced from the organic garden.
On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip.
We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day.
The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required.
Your leader will carry the correct maps and you are not expected to navigate, but if you would like to have maps of the itinerary you could consider those listed below:
Carta Dei Sentieri e Dei Rifugio - Alpi Apuane 1:25,000
Carta Dei Sentieri e Dei Rifugio - Appennino Reggiano 1:25,000
Carta Dei Sentieri e Dei Rifugio - Appennino Modenese Garfagnana 1:25,000
In mountainous terrain the weather can vary considerably and you should be prepared for any eventuality. Temperatures in Tuscany, Italy, can reach over 30°Celsius (86°F) even in May and June, but can be as low 5°Celsius (41°F) on the high ridges and mountain passes in September, and early October. It is usually sunny with good clear days, but it can rain, and occasionally strong winds can affect walking in the mountain ranges. The average temperatures range from a very pleasant 18 - 25°Celsius (64.4°F - 77°F) in the valleys and 10 -15°Celsius (50-59°F) on the passes.
It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card.
On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.
On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region.
If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free.
If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.
If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.
The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.
A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.
We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:
Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera.
Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.
For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance. Also note that if/when the UK leaves the European Union that the EHIC card may no longer be valid. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number.
We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.
You can read our full policy here.
Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case.
Due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. These are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer our guests. By encouraging other companies to sell our trips it means that your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements.
There may be occasions when our partners have helped book your accommodation and organise the logistics for your trip. On these occasions your hotel may have recorded your room reservation in the name of one of our partners.
We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails Ltd. The price will be the same, though occasionally they may be operating in a different currency. Your itinerary and the items that are included, or not included in your trip fee, will also be the same.
We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you.
Prices may vary depending on date.
|Code||Start date||Return date||Dates||Price||Status|
|HHT0||Sat 21 May||Sat 28 May||
Sat 21 May - Sat 28 May
|HHT2||Sat 17 Sep||Sat 24 Sep||
Sat 17 Sep - Sat 24 Sep
|Price: £1295||Spaces available||Book|
|HHT3||Sat 01 Oct||Sat 08 Oct||
Sat 01 Oct - Sat 08 Oct
|Price: £1295||Spaces available||Book|