Stunning coastal and mountain hiking trails on Italy’s ‘Flower Riviera’
People-watching in glamorous harbour-side Portofino
The colourful UNESCO World Heritage villages of the Cinque Terre
Sipping a chilled local wine while admiring the pastel glow of the peeling buildings at sunset
The lovely medievel town of Portovenere, jewel of the ‘Bay of Poets’
Hiking the Ligurian Riviera: Porofino and the Cinque Terre
This stunning walk takes you along Italy’s ‘Flower Riviera’ on ancient coastal footpaths and mountain trails with breath-taking views of the azure Mediterranean Sea. Starting from the traditional fishing harbour of Camogli, your first destination is the glamorous harbour-side Portofino, via the unique San Fruttuoso Abbey – located in a beautiful cove and reached only by boat or on foot.
A short train ride along the Ligurian coast takes you to the picturesque and laid-back beach towns of Bonassola and Monterosso, the first of the UNESCO World Heritage villages of the Cinque Terre. These five fishing communities are the undoubted iconic jewel of the Ligurian coast, with their colourful collections of houses that seem to tumble from the jagged cliffs to the sparkling sea, framed beautifully by lush vineyards, wild flower and olive groves.
“Yes, Cinque Terre really is as jaw-dropping as the photos you’ve seen. The five preposterously perched fishing villages in ice-cream colours look as though they’ll topple off the cliffside with the merest puff of wind.” Lonely Planet
Finally, your journey along this spectacular coastline takes you to the charming medieval town of Portovenere, where you can reward yourself with some delicious fresh seafood, washed down with a glass of the Cinque Terre DOC wine; a refreshing, aromatic delight!
|8 DAY TOUR||From €675 per person sharing*
*Discounts available for triple rooms. Please enquire for prices.
|ACCOMMODATION||In very comfortable hotels on a bed & breakfast basis. All hotels are carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
You can find below the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
You can also book additional night(s) at any of the hotels along the way.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between March and October|
Walking difficulty and terrain
The walks are along well marked footpaths and mule tracks. It can be tiring at times walking along the stone steps of diverse sizes, although you have the flexibility of walking or taking the train to explore village to village The park wardens try to keep all of the paths open throughout the year, however heavy rains and summer fires can cause temporary closure of certain stretches, so be sure to check with the park office.
Day 1: Arrive in Camogli
Camogli is a charming fishing village on the Portofino peninsula, with a delightful promenade lined with restaurants selling fresh seafood straight from the Mediterranean. Camogli is easily reachable by train; it is on the main rail line between Genoa and La Spezia with good connections from Pisa and Florence.
Day 2: Camogli to Portofino via San Fruttuoso
Distance: 7 – 13 km | Ascent: 734 – 1165 m | Descent: 314 – 1185 m | 3½ – 5½ hrs approx.
Your walk begins in the the forested promontory of the Portofino Regional Park. Firstly, a steep ascent takes you to the village of San Rocco (it is possible to take a bus if you wish to shorten the route), then onwards to the San Fruttuoso Abbey; an ancient Benedictine monastery located in a secluded cove which is only accessible from the sea or by foot.
From San Fruttuoso, you can choose to walk or take a ferry to the glamorous harbour town of Portofino (payable locally). Enjoy the wonderful view from Il Faro (the Light House), located at the extreme point of the promontory, 1 km from Portofino, from where you take the train or boat back to Camogli.
Day 3: Bonassola to Deiva Marina via Framura
Distance: 5.5 – 12.5 km | Ascent: 350 – 657 m | Descent: 280 – 643 m | 2½ – 5 hrs approx.
After breakfast, you will take a short train ride to the tranquil seaside town of Bonassola, where you will stay for the next two nights.
Today’s walk takes you through the hills of the East Riviera and offers a great opportunity to explore the lesser known coastal villages of the Ligurian Riviera. The first part of the walk (Bonassola – Framura) is especially panoramic, with wonderful views along the Ligurian coastline. Cool off with a refreshing dip in the azure Mediterranean sea in pretty Deiva Marina.
This walk can be shortened by ending in Framura, if you wish. Return to Bonassola by train.
Day 4: Deiva Marina to Riva Trigoso via Moneglia
Distance: 5.5 – 14.6 km | Ascent: 396 – 1008 m | Descent: 386 – 996 m | 2½ – 6 hrs approx.
Begin the day by taking the train back to Deiva Marina, where the day’s walk starts. If you wish to make a shorter walk, you can also start in Moneglia. The hike follows the jagged coast line and crossing a few valleys and ends in the typical Ligurian fishing village of Riva Trigoso. Just 1 train stop away is the lovely Sestri Levante, another gem of the Italian Riviera with narrow streets and a beautiful old town. Take the train back to Bonassola.
Day 5: Bonassola to Monterosso al Mare via Levanto
Distance: 3.2 – 10.2 km | Ascent: 225 – 753 m | Descent: 226 – 746 m | 1½ – 4½ hrs approx.
Today’s walk takes you to the first and largest of the Cinque Terre villages; Monterosso al Mare.
Starting from Bonassola, you will walk along an old railway line recently converted into a cycle path. Your route takes you through tunnels and over bridges, all the while enjoying wonderful vistas over the sea and the cliffs, before arriving in the beautiful resort town of Levanto, with its long sandy beach. Upon reaching the ridge top, you are rewarded with moree spectacular views over the forest-covered mountains surrounding the aptly named Gulf of Poets. Arriving at Punta Mesco, you continue your walk downward towards the village of Monterosso, where you will stay for the next three nights.
Day 6: Transfer to Soviore and walk back to Monterosso via Vernazza
Distance: 5.8 – 10 km | Ascent: 266 – 643 m | Descent: 707 – 1098 m | 3 -4 hrs approx.
After breakfast, a short private transfer is arranged to take you to the start of your walk at Soviore Monastery, a 13th century sanctuary in the hills 400 m above the sea. From the Sanctuary you follow a panoramic path gently downwards to the Santuario della Madonna di Reggio, an 11th century chapel with a Romanesque facade. Continuing down a stone path, you reach the breathtaking village of Vernazza – perhaps the most beautiful of the Cinque Terre villages – jutting out into the bay, with its charming piazza and medieval castle clinging to the cliffs. From Vernazza you can take the panoramic coastal path back to Monterosso or, to shorten the walk, you can stop in Vernazza and take a train back to Monterosso.
If you wish to book an extra night here this would be the ideal time to explore the other towns of the Cinque Terre (Corniglia & Manarola) by foot or by train.
Day 7: Riomaggiore to Portovenere
Distance: 13 – 17 km | Ascent: 723 m | Descent: 744 m | 4 -5 hrs approx.
A short train ride this morning takes you to Riomaggiore, the most southerly of the Cinque Terre villages. Pause at the tiny harbour to enjoy the picture-postcard view of its pastel buildings tumbling down the ravine towards you before beginning your walk towards the edge of mountain chain which border the Cinque Terre area.
From Colle del Telegrafo, follow the ridge line all the way to the charming medieval town of Portovenere, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of the most pleasant walks in the region, with spectacular views over the Cinque Terre coastline and the impressive cliffs of Portovenere at the end.
In Portovenere you can choose to take a bus to La Spezia and a train to Monterosso or take a ferry directly to Monterosso. The walk can also be shortened.
Day 8: Arrivederci Cinque Terre!
Your trip and our services come to an end after breakfast. You can depart Monterosso by train, from where you can easily reach Pisa, Genoa, Florence or Milan airports.
Getting to Camogli
Departure from Monterosso
|On departure from Monterosso, you can easily reach the airports of Pisa (PSA), Genova (GOA) or Florence (FLR) by train.|
|We will send you a pre-departure information pack, which contains detailed public transport information.|