Top 11 Italian activity holidays: Best adventures in Italy

Aug 16, 2023 BY Paul McWilliams

What are the best adventures in Italy? This is a country full of opportunity – brimming with culture and incredible landscapes. All of which means finding the best Italian activity holidays for you can be tricky.

Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ve scoured this beautiful country to find the best activity holidays in Italy. From the mountains to the sea, via some of the world’s most iconic cities – so you’re sure to find your perfect Italian adventure.

Best adventure holidays in Italy

Best adventures in Italy

Getting to Italy for activity holidays is very easy with frequent low cost flights from all over the UK and Europe. However, consider taking the train. The Eurostar runs from London to Paris and from there you can connect to major Italian cities. It takes longer but it’s better for the environment and more relaxing.

Summer Alps adventure holidays in Italy Copyright VALLE D'AOSTA-Hiking Cervino (foto Enrico Romanzi)-4731

When you arrive it Italy the world is your oyster. You could take a luxury Italy tour, do a budget camping week while trekking in the mountains or hit the beach party scene in Rimini.

But of course this article is about the best adventure holidays in Italy. We won’t be reading a book on a beach, unless it is between kite sessions! And we won’t be lazing by the pool, unless it is after an epic day of mountain biking.

Top 11 Italian activity holidays

Below are 11 of the best adventures in Italy. They are holidays that not only have an active or sporting element but allow you to see some of the best that Italy offers.

Skiing in Monte Rosa

This is the second tallest mountain in the Alps and the name of a lovely ski area with 180 km of slopes. Monte Rosa has until recently been a pretty well kept secret among Italian skiers. But the quality of the slopes and vast amount of off piste skiing is just too good to miss.

Review of Alagna skiing: Best freeride ski holidays in Italy

There is skiing, and even heliskiing, for all levels. The views are spectacular, there is good snow reliability and there are long runs connecting unspoiled villages. You can stay in Champoluc for a family vibe or book an Alagna skiing holiday which is all about the off-piste.

Snowboarding in Cervinia

Located in the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn and with plenty of long easy and intermediate pistes, this is a great place for snowboarding. The town is great fun and without the showy crowds you can find in some other resorts.

There are 150km of piste in Cervinia, mostly above the tree line. The lift system keeps things moving pretty well, there is a very good snowpark and lots of off-piste if you get fresh snow. Plus, Cervinia is linked with Zermatt offering more than 320km of slopes in total.

Mountain biking in Ortisei

Located in Val Gardena in the Dolomites, Ortisei has been attracting people on Italian activity holidays for many years. The biking scene in the summer months is excellent. Many visit to make the most of the incredible single track.

Review of Adler Dolomiti Val Gardena MTB holiday in Ortisei

There are also plenty of mountain biking events taking place throughout the season. Some of the races attract the really big names and HERO Dolomites is renowned as one of the toughest MTB races on the planet.

There is a good choice of both relaxing and challenging tours around Val Gardena. You’ll find breathtaking views around every corner and lifts to save your legs on the uphills. Everyone from high level downhill riders to keen beginners will find something to love on a Val Gardena MTB holiday in Ortisei.

Sailing the Amalfi Coast

One of the most beautiful parts of Italy – no mean feat in a country this spectacular – the only real way to explore the Amalfi Coast is by sailboat. Easily one of the best adventure holidays in Italy!

Feel the wind in your hair as you make your way along the coast from Sorrento on the Bay of Naples. Then head towards the mythical island of Capri and its ancient ruins.

Top 11 Italian activity holidays Saliing Amalfi coast one of the best adventures in Italy Pixabay royalty free image

This is a popular trip with LGBT travellers, with companies like Out of Office offering great value trips. Enjoy the beauty of the Amalfi Coast in the company of like minded people, making new friends along the way.

Hiking in the Dolomites

Back in the Dolomites, this is also a part of Italy famed for its hiking. You really need to experience the majesty of these mountains first hand! With 360 degree views, alpine pastures and 3,000 metre peaks just some of the highlights its easily one of the top Italian activity holidays. 

Hike the Three Peaks, a unique rock formation visible from most parts of the valley floor. Take a circular hike around the south side of the Geisler or make the trek from Tierser Alpl to Schlern. There are also some superb nature parks to explore. 

Val Gardena is again a highlight in this region. Hikes around Sassa Lungo are spectacular – it is easily one of the most beautiful places in the world. Stay in either Selva Val Gardena, Santa Cristina or Ortisei.

Four peak challenge in Dolomites hiking holiday one of the top 11 Italian activity holidays. best adventures in Italy Image courtesy of Val Gardena

Windsurfing on Lake Garda

Several of Italy’s major lakes are perfect for windsurfing but it’s hard to beat Lake Garda. Home to major competitions throughout the season, and with plenty of windsurf schools and equipment hire, it’s got everything you need.

Check out Conca d’Oro beach or Circolo Surf Torbole beach, both family friendly destinations where the conditions are almost perfect. The main winds include the Peler and Ora and while the water nearer the shore is almost always flat its bumpier further out.

Paragliding in the Apennines

Forming the spine of Italy, the Apennine Mountains cover much of the centre of the country. Paragliding conditions, particularly in Umbria, are excellent throughout the year. Plus there are experienced paragliding schools where you can learn all the skills you need. Or simply experience a tandem flight.

Soar above the landscapes below, covering vast distances and seeing Italy from the best vantage point. Paragliding in Central Italy is definitely one of the best adventures in Italy.

Central Italy paragliding holidays by Flytaly

Rafting in Tuscany

From paddling gently under the ancient Ponte Vecchio to hitting the white water on the Elsa, there is plenty of opportunity for rafting across Tuscany. Without doubt one of the best activity holidays in Italy!

The Lima is full or rapids, steep sided canyons and grottos to explore. And the Merse passes through the Metallifere forest and the Sienese Maremma. When you’re not paddling, you can relax your aching muscles in one of the regions many hot springs.

Kitesurfing in Sardinia

Sardinia is renowned for its beauty, and for having some of the best kitesurfing (and windsurfing) conditions in the Med. Making this a top destination for some of the best adventures in Italy.

Expect reliable wind, warm air and pleasant water temperatures. You’ll also find quiet beaches and uncrowded waters for much of the year. Check out top Sardinia kitesurfing spots like Punta Trettu, Cagliari, Poetta, Porto Pollo and Giorgino Kite Beach.

Sardegna kitesurfing holidays 9 best Sardinia kite spots Image courtesy of Kite Generation

The south of Sardinia has more reliable wind, the Sirocco blows from the south east and creates big thermals. Beaches to the north are hit by the Mistral, where the presence of nearby Corsica can make them pretty gusty.

Cultural walking tour in Rome

Not all adventures involve adrenaline. How about a walking adventure through time? And what better place to travel through history than Rome? Once the centre of the greatest empire the world has ever seen.

A guided tour through Rome takes you past all the iconic landmarks, including the imposing Colosseum and the Vatican Museums. Stand on the floor of the arena and imagine what it must have been like to be a gladiator roared on by the baying crowds.

Of course, this being Rome, the historical highlights are almost never ending. Tour the catacombs, piazzas and fountains of this legendary city, before enjoying some of the finest food on the planet.

Top 11 Italian activity holidays Rome walking tours one of the best adventures in Italy Pixabay royalty free image

Multi activity holiday in Aosta Valley

Why choose just one activity when you could do many? The Aosta Valley borders both France and Switzerland in the northwest corner of Italy and is one of the best places for summer alps adventure holidays

Aosta Valley is well connected to cities like Turin, Milan and Geneva and offers a range of activities in the summer season. In fact, it’s said you could do something different every day for weeks and never get bored. 

Try road cycling or mountain biking. Trek or hike you way around the more than 5,000km of trails that cover the valley.

Or if you have a head for heights, try some climbing, via ferrata or mountaineering. You can also raft, kayak, hydrospeed, horse ride, paraglide and enjoy summer skiing and snowboarding up on the glacier.

Summer Alps adventure holidays in Italy Copyright VALLE D'AOSTA-Rafting cascata 2

Best activity holidays in Italy

As you can see, there is quite a breadth and range of exciting Italian activity holidays. From adrenaline fueled winter sports to historic explorations and airborne adventures to water sports, Italy really has got the lot.

Found this guide tot he best adventure holidays in Italy inspirational? Then check out our Italy activity holidays.


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