Walk Cinque Terre & The Italian Riviera
Five nights; four days of moderate walking on precipitous stone footpaths and coastal trails through the beauty of the Five Towns – Cinque Terre.
Start: Levanto, your hotel, 18:00, day one. Train connections available from all major Italian cities.
Finish: Santa Margherita Ligure, 10:00 day six. Trains connections are abundant.
Arrive at your hotel in Levanto by 17:00. Levanto is easily accessible by train from Genoa, Pisa, or Milan. Levanto is a charming town with plenty of small shops, restaurants, cafes, and one of the nicest beaches in the area.
Hotel Carla, Levanto
Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Monterosso. 3.5 to 6 hours of walking ~ up to 14.6km
Begin your day with a train ride to Riomaggiore, the most southern of the five villages. Take some time to explore the village before another very short train to nearby Manarola and the start of today’s scenic walk. From Manarola you will first pass Volastra, one of the most ancient villages of this coast and home to a XII century sanctuary. From here you have a breathtaking view over Manarola, its bell tower and vineyards. The spectacular walk continues toward Corniglia with incredible views the entire way. Linger in Corniglia, wandering through the narrow alleyways of steep multi-coloured houses before taking the train to Vernazza, then continuing on foot to the fishing village of Monterosso. Finish your walk in Monterosso before a short (4 minute) train back to Levanto. Today’s plan is flexible and if you prefer to spend more time in the villages you may take advantage of the train that connects all the villages of the Cinque Terre, from Riomaggiore to Monterosso.
Portovenere & Isle of Palmaria. Walking 3 to 5.5 hours ~ 13.1km
Today you will discover the fascinating beauty of the Poets' Gulf. Join the locals commuting by public transport to the delightful village of Portovenere, elected a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique beauty. The name of the ancient Portus Veneris refers to a temple to the goddess Venus, situated on the promontory where you can admire the beauty of San Peter Church. From the harbour of Portovenere, take a boat to the Isle of Palmaria. An easy walk around the island will show you steep rocky cliffs, suggestive grottoes and abandoned marble quarries. A panoramic ferry journey will take you to Monterosso, providing the opportunity to admire all the five lands before returning to Levanto. For a more challenging option, take the train to Riomaggiore then hike to Portovenere before returning to Levanto by ferry.
Monterosso to Levanto. 3.5 hours of walking ~ 9.3km
Begin at Monterosso by climbing the antique stone steps to Punta Mesco to one of the most remarkable viewpoints of the five villages. An ancient mule path will lead you to the ruins of a chapel dedicated to St. Antonio passing an old lighthouse used by the monks to inform the residents of Monterosso of approaching pirate vessels. Follow a trail perched above the sparkling water of the marine conservation area through a shadowed forest and along several terraces until you reach Levanto. You will have time to explore the village with its 13th century black and white striped Chiesa di Sant' Andrea, a fine example of 13th-century Ligurian Gothic architecture. From Levanto you will be transferred to Santa Margherita Ligure by private car.
Hotel Jolanada, Santa Margherita Ligure
Camogli, San Fruttuoso, Portofino. 2.5 - 5 hours of walking ~ 6.3km
Today you will discover the Portofino Peninsula. Start with a five minute train ride to Camogli from where you will board a ferry to San Fruttuoso. The medieval Benedictine abbey of San Fruttuoso located in a tiny rocky cove is a hidden gem in the green bay. You’ll want to visit the monastery and perhaps take a refreshing swim before starting the impressive hike to Portofino that follows a scenic trail above the sea. The glamorous village of Portofino is often called the Jewel of the Riviera. It is a gorgeous fishing village with an atmosphere of pure elegance and a perfect spot to experience the charming atmosphere of the Italian Riviera. From Portofino you can return to Santa Margherita Ligure on foot or by local bus.
Split & Farewell Your walking tour will conclude this morning following breakfast. From Santa Margherita Ligure you can easily catch trains to destinations throughout Italy. B
Note about the route:
Moderate walking, 2-5 hours daily, on precipitous stone footpaths and coastal trails.
The Cinque Terre, with its pastel-colored fishing villages and terraced hillsides covered with vineyards and olive trees, constitutes one of Italy’s most impressive landscapes. What is unique about this area is that it was crafted by humans: carrying rock after rock up the hillsides on their shoulders and using these rocks to build low walls, they meticulously changed the steep mountainsides into cultivable terraces. Before the advent of the railway in the middle of the 20th century, the ancient systems of hillside footpaths were the towns' only link to the outside world. These winding ways still form one of the most amazing coastal routes in Europe. The Cinque Terre are five (cinque) towns along the Liguria coast. If there were Sei (six) Terre, the sixth would be Levanto, whose territory lies within the Cinque Terre National Park and is the base for the start of this adventure. Your next destination is Santa Margherita Ligure, located along the innermost part of the Tigullio Gulf on the east side of the Portofino peninsula. Its surrounding hills are covered with Mediterranean vegetation and offer the most favourable setting for spectacular views of the coast. The terraced lands, the elegant cobbled roads twisting their way down through the colourful houses, and the locals' traditional fishing vessels make this town, together with the charming Portofino and the pleasing Camogli, one of the most picturesque areas of Italy.
Maps & Elevations
Your hotel in Levanto, 18:00 day one. Train connections available from all major Italian cities.
Santa Margherita Ligure, 10:00 day six. Trains connections are abundant.
US 1995 C 2395(per person, includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, 2 dinners, luggage transfer on day 4, private transfer from Levanto Railway station to hotel on day 1, private transfer from Levanto to Santa Margherita Ligure on day 4, Cinque Terre train card for day 2, detailed maps and route notes)
US 555 C 655
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice. 5% sales tax applies. 50% tax refund for non-Canadians.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.