The Cinque Terre Explored: Walking & Trekking
- 8 Days
- 8 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,925
Literally meaning ‘Five Villages,’ Cinque Terre is a series of delightful small towns, and a worthy addition to any Italy tour. This trip explores on foot, by rail, and by sea to ensure you don’t miss a thing.
This 8-day trek through Cinque Terre lets you experience all the colours, views, and traditions of this delightful part of the Italian Coast.
Spend your first evening in Levanto, then join the group for your first walk along the coast to Monterosso. Explore an 11th century hermitage before admiring the views of the rugged shore line. Monterosso itself is a colourful village that rewards several hours of exploration, though if you’re tired from all that walking, a train is available for the return to Levanto. The following day, you’ll also travel by train to Riomaggiore, where Cinque Terre’s most famous coastal walk awaits. Walk to Manarola, home to colourful cliff-side houses that overlook the rocky port. Wander the vineyards and roam hamlets surrounded by citrus groves, then enjoy a refreshing drink in Vernazza, exploring its harbour before returning by train to Levanto.
Return to Riomaggoire by train, then take an alternative route to Portovenere. While this is probably the toughest walk of the trip, it’s one of the most rewarding. Visit the sanctuary of the Madonna di Montenero, and continue along the coastal cliffs, with views of terraced vineyards on one side and crystal blue ocean on the other. Your destinations include Campiglia, and the fascinating abandoned village of Lemmen. See the 16th century castle of Portovenere, and spend some time exploring before sailing back to Levanto. The following day, head west towards Santa Margherita, taking it easy on frequent coffee stops as you explore hamlets such as Costa. You can even swim in the inviting waters nearby. A train takes you on to Mongelia, and finally Santa Margherita itself, where you’ll stay for three nights.
Cross the hills to the stunning Abbey of San Fruttuoso. A bus will take you as far as Ruta, then explore Monte Portofino. The Abbey can only be reached by boat or on foot. The journey however offers amazing views over the Gulf of Tigullio and Golfo Paradiso. Then travel by boat to Camogli for a different view of the coastline. Take your time here before catching your train back to Santa Margherita. The following day is all about the Portofino Peninsula, a popular getaway for jetsetters that nonetheless retains its local pace of life. A farewell dinner brings your day and your trip to a delicious end.
- 8 Days
- 8 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,925
Itinerary View Trip Map
Welcome to Italy! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Levanto is located in the province of La Spezia in the region of Liguria and is easily accessible by train. There are no activities planned today so you may arrive at any time. Please make your own way to the joining hotel that is centrally located in Levanto. This evening we meet our tour leader and our fellow travelling companions at a Welcome Meeting (usually at 6pm, but you will be advised as to the exact time and place in a notice, located near the reception at our hotel) where our leader will give us a briefing on what lies ahead on our tour. This is followed by a group dinner together in the hotel restaurant, where we dine on local specialties. In the evening we can take a relaxed stroll through the town taking in the atmosphere of this seaside location.
The Europa Hotel is an Art Nouveau building located in the historical center of Levanto, a hundred meters from the sea and the departure of the main footpaths connecting with the Cinque Terre. Past and modernity come together in this structure that has been completely ...
The Europa Hotel is an Art Nouveau building located in the historical center of Levanto, a hundred meters from the sea and the departure of the main footpaths connecting with the Cinque Terre. Past and modernity come together in this structure that has been completely renovated by new owners, respecting all the standards of the current environmental, that are equipped with air conditioning and heating in all rooms and public areas. The Hotel Europa is covered by Wi-Fi, rooms, some with balconies and sea views, all have private bath, refrigerator, satellite television, safe and telephone. The railway station and the pier for ferries to the Cinque Terre are a 10 minute walk.
- Air Conditioning
- Coffee/Tea in Lobby
- Daily Housekeeping
- Internet Access
- Rooftop Terrace
- Safety Deposit Box
- Snack Bar
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Levanto to Punta Mesco and Monterosso
Today we embark on our first walk, which takes us along the coast from Levanto to Monterosso, the first of the five villages of the Cinque Terre.
The first part of the walk leads us through the old town centre of Levanto, we then walk past the stunning cathedral and climb up to its castle.
From here our walk leads us up to Punta Mesco, the most notable promontory in the region. Just short of the point we take a small detour to the ruins of an old 11th Century hermitage and the nearby ruins of the lighthouse, from where we enjoy marvellous views of the rugged coastline and find a nice spot to stop for a short break and a picnic lunch. Then we follow a fairly steep path down into Monterosso - a colourful village with blue, red and yellow houses that cluster along the beachfront. We have time to explore this interesting little town before taking the local train back to Levanto. For those who wish to, there is also an option to walk back from Monterosso to Levanto. This evening we enjoy an evening dinner together at a local restaurant. (Approx walking time: 3-4 hours / 10 km or 15 km with return on foot).
Included Activities: Levanto to Monterosso Guided Walk
Riomaggiore to Manarola, Corniglia and Vernazza
A short train ride will take you to Riomaggiore, the most southerly of five villages, where you will start the most famous of all walks in the area - the classical coastal walk which links the five villages. You will begin by walking to Manarola, an attractive little village with steep multi-coloured houses overlooking a rocky port, along a beautiful, but strenuous trail through the vineyards. From here you will make your way up through a stunning terraced landscape to the charming village of Volastra and continue your walk along one of the most stunning trails in the area. Through terraced vineyards and the occasional bit of forest you approach Corniglia, perched on a ridge overlooking the sea. Next is the little hamlet of Prevo, walking through terraced vineyards and the occasional citrus grove. You will enjoy some of the best views in the region as you approach Vernazza, dominated by its old fortress. You will follow the contours of the hillside on a narrow track that leads you up and down, before a fairly steep descent takes you into the village itself. Having a drink in Vernazza, on the wonderful town square at the harbour, resplendent with its brightly painted boats, is a good way to recover from the days walking. In the late afternoon you will take the train back to Levanto. (Approx walking time: 4 hours / approx. walking distance: 9 km).
PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent landslides in the area we will not be able to walk the full extent of the Via dell'Amore and the coastal section between Manarola and Corniglia. The alternative inland routes described above will be of a higher physical rating. If you would like to opt out it is possible to take the train instead for these sections.
Included Activities: 'Sentiero dell'Amore' Guided Walk
Riomaggiore to Portovenere and Levanto
Our day starts with a short train ride to the village of Riomaggiore, the most southerly of the five villages and certainly one of the prettiest. Here at tiny Riomaggiore, we begin our walk that leads us to Portovenere, at the very end of the peninsula. Today's trail is the most challenging of our Ligurian walks but equally, and arguably, our most enormously rewarding! We first walk up a rather steep flight of stairs and then along an undulating track to reach the sanctuary of the Madonna di Montenero (those not keen to do this climb can catch a bus instead). After stopping here for a short break at the sanctuary and enjoying the spectacular views, we continue our walk to Campiglia. Continuing uphill we follow the contours of the coastal cliffs, passing terraced vineyards and enjoying wonderful views of the coastline, framed by crystal clear blue waters. We then follow the ridge-top traverse that goes from one end of the Cinque Terre to the other. Passing the abandoned village of Lemmen and walking through vineyards and pine forests, we descend to the little village of Campiglia, where we can stop for lunch and some refreshments. We then continue towards Portovenere and enjoy even more spectacular coastal views. Arriving at the 16th-Century castle above the village we may be able to catch a glimpse of the distant peaks of the Alpi Apuane, before descending on to a long staircase that takes us to St. Peter's Point and then in into the heart of the village. After some time to relax and explore in Portovenere, we return by boat to Levanto, a lovely way to see the coast from the water. (Approx walking time: 5-6 hours / approx. walking distance: 12-14km)
Included Activities: Riomaggiore to Portovenere Guided Walk
Levanto to Santa Margherita
From Levanto we walk in a westerly direction today, along the coast and through several charming little villages. We have the opportunity to enjoy lunch in one of the villages as well as pit stops along the way for a rest or a coffee break. From any of the villages along the way, there is the possibility of catching the train, in case you wish to shorten the walk and just relax on the beach in one of the villages. The first part of our walk follows the beach, before we take a path leading into the foothills and then down to the charming seaside village of Bonassola, a good place for a morning coffee stop. We then stroll through the seaside hills towards the small village of Framura, a collection of ancient hamlets on a hillside, distinctive due to its red rocks. From Costa, the largest hamlet, a level path contours around the hills and gives us splendid views out towards the alluring sea. We can opt to either continue our walk to the resort of Deiva Marina, or walk back down to the coast, where we can enjoy a swim, before taking the train. By train we then travel to the splendid small town of Moneglia, where we have time to wander around and explore or to Sestri Levante, where we can make an optional short walk onto the headland. Finally we catch a train to Santa Margherita, our base for the next three nights, an attractive town that overlooks the Ligurian Sea. We will arrive at our hotel in the late afternoon. (Approx walking time: 6 hours - 3.5 to Framura and then approx. walking distance: 16 km or 9 km to Framura)
Included Activities: The Wild West Coast Guided Walk
The hotel is located in the centre of Santa Margherita Ligure on a tree-lined avenue a short distance from the sea. Relax on the sun terrace, which overlooks the beautiful Italian Riviera. Here you can relax in the TV lounge and reading room, or up ...
The hotel is located in the centre of Santa Margherita Ligure on a tree-lined avenue a short distance from the sea. Relax on the sun terrace, which overlooks the beautiful Italian Riviera. Here you can relax in the TV lounge and reading room, or up on the terrace with sun loungers and umbrellas. The hotel is surrounded by typical restaurants and shops.
- 24 Hour Reception
- Air Conditioning
- Free Newspapers in Lobby
- Laundry Service
- Multi-lingual Staff
- Non Smoking Rooms
- Safety Deposit Box
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Santa Margherita to San Fruttuoso and Camogli
Today we take a stunning walk across the hills to some amazing viewpoints and then down to the beautiful Abbey of San Fruttuoso. Firstly we travel by local bus along a panoramic route to the small hamlet of Ruta. Here we'll walk along some splendid fin-de-siecle villas towards the highest point of the Peninsula, Monte Portofino. We then have several longer and shorter options to reach the Abbey of San Fruttuoso - an 11th century 'jewel' that is set in a secluded cove and reachable only by boat or on foot. All walks bring you through a verdrant forested landscape, with some amazing views across the Gulf of Tigullio and the Golfo Paradiso. There is time to visit the abbey, one of the main monuments of Liguria and perhaps time for a swim. We then travel by boat to Camogli, a chance to also admire the beautiful coastline from the sea. In Camogli we take our time to wander around through the colourful historic centre and can enjoy a relaxed drink or grab a gelato on one of its many terraces. From there it's a 5-minute train ride back to Santa Margherita. You can make your own choice for tonight's dinner, either in the medieval centre of Santa Margherita, or perhaps an early dinner in Camogli. (Walking 4-5 hrs).
Included Activities: Guided Walk to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso
Today we will see the best of the Portofino Peninsula! We first take a short walk through the historical centre of Santa Margherita Ligure, where we can also do some shopping for our lunch. We then start our walk into the hills and enjoy beautiful views across the bay. By late morning we reach Portofino, one of the most typical Ligurian seaside villages and a popular resort for jetsetters. We explore this charming village and take the stunning walk to the church lighthouse, where we can look back on the inlet of Portofino, a name that means 'fine harbour'. We then head uphill and take a break in the woods, which is a great spot to enjoy whatever picnic lunch that we may have prepared for ourselves. We then have some time free time to relax. Those who wish can join the leader for a walk back to Santa Margherita, others might opt to relax and return by boat or bus later in the afternoon. In the evening we all meet again for a farewell dinner in Santa Margherita, to celebrate our wonderful exploration of the Liguria region.
Included Activities: Guided Walk to Portofino
Departure from Santa Margherita
Our trip ends after breakfast this morning in Santa Margherita and you are free to make your onward travel arrangements from here. Santa Margherita is well connected by train to other cities in Italy including regular trains to Genoa, Milan, Florence and Pisa. The Galileo Galilei International Airport is located 2km south of Pisa and is the main airport serving Tuscany and Milan's Malpensa airport is a major international hub for flights to and from North America and Australasia (via Asia).
2018: May 13, 27; Jun 10, 24; Aug 26; Sep 2, 9, 16, 23
2019: May 12, 19, 26; Jun 9, 23; Aug 25; Sep 1, 8, 15, 22
- 7 breakfasts
- 3 dinners
- Transportation by boat
- Public bus and train
- 7 nights hotel accommodation
- Activities listed (guided walk to Portofino, guided walk to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, Levanto to Monterosso guided walk, Riomaggiore to Portovenere guided walk, 'Sentiero dell'Amore' guided walk, and the Wild West Coast guided walk)
- All other meals
- Optional activities
- Tour guide gratuities
- Items of a personal nature
Physical Rating: Moderate (This trip is graded as a ‘Moderate Walk' and requires a good level of fitness and be able to walk for a few hours. Please note however that some sections of this walk involve somewhat steep 'ups and 'downs' across varied terrain. The walking paths range from paved man-made tracks to forest, rocky trails and coastal trails. There are also some long staircases so if you are at all unsteady on your feet we highly recommend you also bring a retractable walking pole(s). These are lightweight, easy to pack and can be found in most outdoor equipment shops. Comfortable walking/hiking shoes are essential, along with a small daypack and water bottle.)
Accommodation: The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
Tipping: On this trip, we have included gratuities for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package. This will cover tips to drivers, specialist local guides (where applicable), restaurant staff for included meals, porters, bellboys and other hotel staff, including room-cleaning staff. This amount DOES NOT include a tip for your tour leader, so you may wish to set aside some funds for this. It is customary to tip your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip
Meals: Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion of around EUR 525.00 is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from", per person, based on twin share. Subject to availability.
23 Sep 2018