Days
8
Price from
$3,175AUD

Stretch your legs along the spectacular Italian coast, from Levanto to Portovenere

For over a thousand years people have lived in this dramatic region, cultivating the steep hillsides and fishing the blue waters. Walk this magical part of Italy by day, and settle in for traditional feasts washed down with a glass or two of local wine at night.


Start
Levanto, Italy
Finish
Santa Margherita, Italy
Country
Italy
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Walking
Code
PECT
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
(4 reviews)
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Wander along the beautiful La Spezia coast to Monterosso

  • Enjoy delicious meals overlooking dramatic cliffs, colourful villages and sparkling seas

  • Discover Portofino's beautiful clifftop castle

  • Enjoy a scenic walk from Riomaggiore to Portovenere

  • Be swept up in the romance and beauty of the Cinque Terre

Is this trip right for you?

  • Summer temperatures can be extreme in Italy (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details, and please note that in some hotels a single supplement exclusion applies where single rooms are not available. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart.

  • You'll need to be in good health and able to walk for a few hours, with some up-and-down sections, and on varied terrain, from well-defined paths to rocky trails. Please read the trip notes carefully before deciding if this trip is suitable for you.

  • Following recent land slides that destroyed and ruined many paths along the Cinque Terre coastal path some of the daily walks may vary, depending on where maintenance is taking place. The tour leader will update you while on the tour and may provide alternative walks.

Itinerary

Your trip will start today with your arrival in Levanto, centrally located on the Ligurian coast

No activities are planned for today so you may arrive at any time. Please make your own way to the joining hotel.

Whilst at your discretion, we recommend arriving/departing by train where possible within Europe, as this method of transport has minimal carbon emissions. Levanto is easily accessible by train. For information on train schedules see the Italian national rail site trenitalia.com.

This evening you will meet your tour leader and 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 your leader will give you a briefing on what lies ahead on your tour.

Enjoy a firstgroup dinner together in the hotel restaurant, where you will dine on local specialties. In the evening you can take a relaxed stroll through the town taking in the atmosphere of this seaside location.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Park Argento or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Welcome dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Today you will embark on your first walk, which takes you along the coast from Levanto to Monterosso, the first of the five villages of the Cinque Terre.

The first part of the walk leads you through the old town centre of Levanto, past the stunning cathedral and up to its castle.

The walk will continue up to Punta Mesco, the most notable promontory in the region. Just short of this point, take a small detour to the ruins of an old 11th century hermitage and the nearby ruins of the lighthouse, from where you will enjoy marvellous views of the rugged coastline and find a nice spot to stop for a short break and a picnic lunch.

You will then follow a fairly steep path down into Monterosso - a colourful village with blue, red and yellow houses that cluster along the beachfront. Take your 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.

Walking time: 3-4 hours, 10 km (or 15 km when returning on foot)
Accommodation
  • Hotel Park Argento or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Levanto to Monterosso Guided Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
A short train ride will take you to Riomaggiore, the southernmost of the 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 Manarola 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 a day of walking.

In the late afternoon you will take the train back to Levanto.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent landslides in the area we will currently 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.

Walking time: 4 hours, 9 km
Accommodation
  • Hotel Park Argento or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • 'Sentiero dell’Amore' Guided Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your day will start with a short train ride back to the tiny village of Riomaggiore. Begin a walk that leads you to Portovenere, at the very end of the peninsula.

Today’s trail is the most challenging of the Ligurian walks but equally, and arguably, the most enormously rewarding!

You will 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 at the sanctuary for a short break and enjoying the spectacular views, you will continue your walk to Campiglia. Continuing uphill you will follow the contours of the coastal cliffs, passing terraced vineyards and enjoying wonderful views of the coastline, framed by crystal-clear blue waters.

Pass the abandoned village of Lemmen and walk through vineyards and pine forests high on the ridge. Finally descend to the little village of Campiglia, where you can stop for lunch and some refreshments.

You will then continue towards Portovenere and enjoy even more spectacular coastal views. Arriving at the 16th century castle above the village you may be able to catch a glimpse of the distant peaks of the Apuan Alps, 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, you will return by boat back to our base in Levanto, a lovely way to see the coast from the water.

Walking time: 5-6 hours, 12-14 km
Accommodation
  • Hotel Park Argento or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Riomaggiore to Portovenere Guided Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
From Levanto you will walk in a westerly direction today, along the coast and through several charming little villages, best known as the Wild West Coast Walk.

The first part of your walk follows the beach, before leading into the foothills and then down to the charming seaside village of Bonassola, a good place for a morning coffee stop.

You will 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 offers you splendid views out towards the alluring sea.

You can opt to either continue your walk to the resort of Deiva Marina, or walk back down to the coast, where you can enjoy a swim, before catching the train. Travel to the small town of Moneglia, where you will have time to wander around and explore, or alternatively to Sestri Levante, where you can walk out to the headland.

Finally you will catch a train to Santa Margherita, your base for the next three nights, an attractive town that overlooks the Ligurian Sea.

Walking time: 6 hours (or 3.5 hours to Framura only), 16 km (or 9 km to Framura only). Please note that there is the possibility for you to catch the train at various points along the way in case you wish to shorten the walk and just relax on the beach in one of the villages.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Jolanda or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • The Wild West Coast Guided Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will take a stunning walk across the hills of the Portofino Peninsula to some amazing viewpoints and then down to the beautiful Abbey of San Fruttuoso.

First, you will travel by local bus along a panoramic route to the small hamlet of Ruta from where you’ll walk along some splendid fin-de-siècle villas towards the highest point of the Peninsula, Monte Portofino.

You will 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 verdant forested landscape, with some amazing views across the Gulf of Tigullio and the Golfo Paradiso.

Upon arrival there is the option to visit the abbey, one of the main monuments of Liguria, or perhaps go for a swim.

You will then travel by boat to Camogli, a chance to admire the beautiful coastline from the sea. In Camogli you will take your time to wander around the colourful historic centre and 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.

Walking time: 4 hours, 12 km
Accommodation
  • Hotel Jolanda or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided Walk to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you’ll see the best of the Portofino Peninsula! First take a short walk through the historical centre of Santa Margherita Ligure, where you can also do some shopping for your picnic lunch.

You will then start a walk into the hills and enjoy beautiful views across the bay. By late morning you will reach Portofino, one of the most typical Ligurian seaside villages and a popular resort for jet setters.

Explore this charming village and take the stunning walk to the church lighthouse, where you can look back on the inlet of Portofino, the name of which translates into 'fine harbour'.

Then head uphill and take a break in the woods, which is a great spot to enjoy whatever picnic lunch that you may have prepared.

Those who wish can join the leader for a walk back to Santa Margherita, or alternatively you might want to relax and return by boat or bus later in the afternoon.

In the evening you will all meet again for a farewell dinner in Santa Margherita, to celebrate your wonderful exploration of the Liguria region.

Approx walking time: 3.5 hours, 10 km
Accommodation
  • Hotel Jolanda or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided Walk to Portofino
  • Farewell Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your trip will come to an end after breakfast this morning in Santa Margherita.

Santa Margherita is well connected by train to other cities in Italy including regular trains to Genoa, Milan, Florence and Pisa.

Those who want to extend their stay can book additional nights in Santa Margherita. Please enquire at the time of booking.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 3 dinners

Transport

Boat, Local bus, Private vehicle, Train

Included Activities

  • Welcome dinner
  • Levanto to Monterosso Guided Walk
  • 'Sentiero dell’Amore' Guided Walk
  • Riomaggiore to Portovenere Guided Walk
  • The Wild West Coast Guided Walk
  • Guided Walk to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso
  • Guided Walk to Portofino
  • Farewell Dinner

Reviews

Our The Cinque Terre Explored trips score an average of 4.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews in the last year.

The Cinque Terre Explored, September 2015

Jerry Day

The Cinque Terre Explored, June 2015

Patricia dennis

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Important notes

You'll need to be in good health and able to walk for a few hours, with some up-and-down, and on varied terrain, from well-defined paths to rocky trails.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.