A magical day discovering the Apuan Alps Regional Park with the Lake Isola Santa, Barga and Garfagnana

On our Apuan Alps, Isola Santa, Barga and Garfagnana Day Tour, you will spend a lovely day in the Apuan Apls Regional Parks in Tuscany. Here, you will discover a very suggestive environment with harsh mountains and deep valleys. Moreover, you will admire the hidden village of Isola Santa and Barga, in the beautiful Garfagnana area.

The natural beauties of Northern Tuscany with the Garfagnana Valley and the Apuan Alps and the visit of the old towns of Isola Santa and Barga on our day tour

Private tour, Exclusive Experience
Enjoy a day in the Apuan Alps Park
Free Cancellation until 48 hours before the tour

Please, do not choose us if you like crowded tours.

The Apuan Alps Regional Park in Tuscany

The Apuan Alps are few kilometres from the Versilia Coast, between the Garfagnana Valley and Massa Carrara. The park features a spectacular natural environment. It is a unique scenery, that people can find in few other places in Europe. Indeed, this area is made up of different landscapes and contrasting climates. Compared to the nearby Apennines, the Apuan Alps have a very harsh morphology, with deeep valleys and impressive slopes. The geological evolution of this area brought to a high biodiversity in flora and wildlife. Additionally, the Apuan Alps hide many underground abysses. In the valleys, you find rivers and lakes. Here, the famous Carrara marble is extracted. Before heading to Isola Santa, we will visit the Pellegrini-Anselmi Botanical Garden. There we will have a walk with a nature guide. Afterwards, we will shortly stop at the old marble Henraux cave.

Discover the famous marble caves of Carrara.

The ghost town of Isola Santa

On our way to Garfagnana, we will stop in Isola Santa for approximately one hour. Here, you will discover an hidden village dating back to the Middle Ages. A small lake faces the village, where many pilgrims used to overnight. Indeed, people say the town was built as a resting place for travellers. In the 50’s the inhabitants left the town because of a hydroelectric power plant built here. Later on, in the 2000’s some of them came back and the village was restored. Today, you can admire rustic buildings and the Church of San Jacopo, built in 1260. Every ten years, the lagoon is emptied and a small stone bridge and a mill emerge from the lake. In fact, part of the village was submerged after the dam’s construction. After Isola Santa, we have lunch in a nearby trattoria and enjoy local specialties.

Read more about Isola Santa.

The medieval village of Barga, in the Garfagnana region

After lunch, we will reach the medieval hilltop town of Barga, in the heart of Garfagnana. This walled town dates back to Longobard origins. For years it also belonged to famous Florentine Medici family. Indeed, you find here many elegant palaces from the Renaissance period. Many narrow cobble streets surround the cathedral Collegiata di San Cristoforo. The cathedral features a Romanesque style and it is one of the best preserved in Tuscany. Every summer the Barga Jazz Festival takes place here. For the Italian literature lovers, Barga is considered the adoptive town of the famous Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli. Once he gave a speech in the Teatro dei Differenti. Moreover, he found inspiration here for one of his poems. The lanscape around the village is very suggestive. In fact, the town is located between the Apennines and the Apuan Alps.

Itinerary:

1

Departure from your Hotel or Cruise Terminal

09:00 (or according to ship arrival) – We can pick you up with our comfortable minivan from your accomodation in Lucca or from the Cruise Terminal (pick up subject to surcharge). Our meeting point will be at the exit of the toll booth in Massa. From there, we will take the country road to the Apuan Alps. In order to reach our destination, we will drive through old villages like San Carlo Terme, Antona and Altagnana.
2

Visit of a Botanical Garden

We will stop at Pian della Fioba at about 880 mt above the sea level, only 16 km from Massa. From here, we will reach the Pellegrini-Anselmi Botanical Garden, where a nature  guide will show us part of this 3 hectare area. The path through the garden is easy and suitable to everyone. You can have a drink or coffee in the nearby lodge (10 minutes walking) close to the woods. From where you can admire a nice view over the region.
3

Visit of a quarry

On our way to Passo del Vestito, we will briefly stop close to some caves before the gallery between Massa and Lucca. From there you can enjoy a splendid view over the Apuan Alps. We will drive through Arni, a small village north-west of Monte Altissimo (1589 m) and at the Monte Subra’s (1765 m) feet, until we reach the Henraux Quarries. This is an old and no longer active marble cave, you can access through a beautiful marble door.
4

Visit of Isola Santa

Before reaching the Garfagnana area, we will stop in this lovely village along the lake, Isola Santa. We will spend one hour and explore this “ghost town”, hidden in the nature.
5

Lunch

After visiting Isola Santa, we will stop for Lunch in typical Tuscan trattoria. So you will have the chance to taste local dishes and genuine products.
5

Visit of Barga

In the early afternoon, we will drive through the Langobardic village of Castelnuovo Garfagnana until Barga. Walk in the historical centre of Barga. If you wish, we can stop for an aperitiv or a glass of local wine. The nearby “Enoteca da Aristo” is located in the small square facing the loggias.
5

Return and Dropp off

After visiting the historical Barga, we will drive back from the Garfagnana valley to Lucca/your accomodation/the Cruise Terminal and dropp you off.
DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATIONFrom your Accommodation in Lucca (at 9:00 am)/Cruise Terminal (after ship arrival) or at the exit of the toll booth in Massa
DURATION8-9 hours approximately
INCLUDED
Lunch in a typical Tuscan trattoriaTransportation in minivan with a/c (min. 3 passengers)
NOT INCLUDED
Tips
The Garfagnana & the Lima Valley
The Devil's Bridge Garfagnana
Devil Bridge Garfagnana

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Terms And Conditions

  • Deposit 30% is required at reservation time, by credit card or paypal (in both case 4% more) in order to guarantee your reservation.
  • Due payment will be made by cash in EURO the day of the tour.
  • There will be a full charge to your deposit for bookings canceled less than 14 days prior or for no-shows.
  • No charge for cancellations made with at least 14 days prior notice.

If you are interested in proceeding we will send you the complete terms of service upon request. They can also be viewed on the website by clicking the TERMS AND CONDITIONS link at the bottom of any page.

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