About Elsa Trail (Sentierelsa)
The Sentierelsa is a beautiful walking path in Tuscany that allows you to follow the river for a few kilometers. The path starts at Spugna Bridge (Ponte di Spugna), which is located in the village Colle di Val d’Elsa. It reaches all the way to Diborrato waterfall and the San Marziale bridge. The trail is characterized by small stone-step river crossings, wooden bridges, small waterfalls, and a very pleasant natural shade from the trees.
A round trip to the waterfall and back is about 5 kilometers (2 hours of walking). We recommend spending an hour or so at the waterfall so you can expect to spend an entire morning or afternoon at the Elsa Trail.
The trail along the river with silky blue waters has some similarities with the Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Diborrato Waterfall, Tuscany
Close to the end of the Elsa Trail you are rewarded with a powerful 15-meter high waterfall. The refreshing river makes it great for a swim after hiking for 40 minutes. Tip: When swimming into the river, watch out for the large boulders that are slightly hidden underwater.
You have the option to view the waterfall from the top viewpoint, however, a much more fun option is to get into the river at the foot of the waterfall and swim around the corner to view the waterfall from the foot.
There’s a large rock you can climb on top of and relax with the sound of crushing water.
If you’re a true daredevil: it is possible to jump from the top of the waterfall but we do recommend observing locals on how and where to jump.
Hiking the Elsa Trail & Diborrato Waterfall
The Elsa Trail, which leads to the Diborrato Waterfall has two entry points: From the Spugna or San Marziale Bridge. On both bridges is a path indicated with signs leading the path of the Elsa Trail. (Sentierelsa) The trail has a total length of 2.5 kilometers one-way with scenic bridges and river crossings. Expect to spend half a day at this site.
We recommend starting at the Spugna Bridge as it’s a beautiful walk ending at the waterfall. However, if you have little time or only want to visit the Diborrato Waterfall, enter via the San Marziale Bridge as the waterfall is right there.
At both bridges, there is plenty of free parking space around nearby streets however, do make sure to check if there are no blue lines on the street since blue lines indicate paid parking.
If you don’t feel like making a return trip when hiking, take the local bus back from one bridge to the other. Check Google Maps for the exact bus times. Bus 135, 201, and 202 are all passing the bridges.
Best time to visit
The trail is great to escape the heat of the day with the help of the natural shade or for a nature trip and is accessible year-round. On weekends it tends to get busier with locals who come here to relax.
What to take
Hiking down the Elsa Trail and visiting the waterfall in Tuscany is a fantastic half-day out. Wear good shoes since the trail can be slippery at some points. In addition, take sunscreen with you, although the path is covered with natural shade from the trees you can still burn. If you’re planning on swimming, use some environmentally friendly sunscreen, bring your swimwear, and if possible a pair of water shoes. Last but not least, mosquito spray! There are a lot of mosquitoes close to the water and it will definitely save you some itching.
- Environmental friendly Sunscreen
- Mosquito spray
- Good shoes
- Swimwear (There are no chaging rooms)
- Drinking water
- Food (Picknick tables are located near the waterfall)
How to get to the Elsa Trail
The Elsa Trail is 30 minutes away from Siena and can be best reached by car or the local bus. Take bus 130 or 131 from the center of Siena.