Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays

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Self-guided walking tour to Portofino and the Cinque Terre


  • Discovering the multi-coloured UNESCO World Heritage villages of the Cinque Terre
  • A fantastic three days of walking—coastal views, terraces of olive groves and vines
  • Experiencing glamorous Portofino, with its semi-circular waterfront and pastel houses
  • Cooling off in impossibly clear blue waters, or lounging under a beach umbrella
  • Pesto and focaccia originate from the Ligurian coast—a great excuse to indulge!

Escape on a short break to Italy’s stunning Ligurian coast, staying on the Portofino Peninsula and at Monterosso, the most northerly of the five sorbet-coloured villages of the Cinque Terre. Take time to explore this UNESCO World Heritage area on foot, following ancient trails above the vibrant blue waters of the Mediterranean.

You’ll be captivated by the picture-postcard villages of Portofino and the Cinque Terre itself—marvel at how these well-preserved villages, established in the late Middle Ages, cling to the cliff face, and delight in their delicious cuisine and café-culture as you journey from village-to-village. With three days of walking and a choice of suggested trails, plus a set of excellent route notes and maps, you’ll be able to tuck into some of the fantastic culinary treats on offer, guilt-free.

Try a dish of Tegame alla Vernazza—anchovies, potatoes, tomatoes, white wine, oil, and herbs. Or savour a delightful and filling plate of Pansotti; ravioli with ricotta and spinach, often served with a hazelnut or walnut sauce. To round it all off, finish with a glass of sciacchetrà. Stay your first two nights at the traditional fishing harbour of Camogli on the Portofino peninsula, from where you can visit the lovely San Frutuoso Abbey; the cove is only by boat or on foot. Walk from here to the famed chic harbour of Portofino, popular with the ‘jet set’.

You’ll make good use of your Cinque Terre Pass, which gives you access to the park and train travel (24 hr card). Travel by rail to Monterosso, where you’ll stay your next two nights, set amidst a landscape of vineyards and olive groves. Enjoy a choice of further coastal or mountain walks, or simply let the train take the strain as you discover the well-preserved villages and culture that has changed little over the centuries.

Day 1: Arrive Camogli

Your Italian journey begins in the charming small fishing village of Camogli, situated on the west side of the Portofino peninsula. Camogli is easily reached with good train connections from Genoa or Pisa (and Florence is also an option).

If you have time when you arrive, visit the historic centre and embrace the relaxed seaside ambience of Camogli, with its fantastic fresh seafood and colourful houses.

Overnight: Hotel La Camogliese**, Camogli

Further hotels are available at a supplement: Hotel Casmona***, Camogli

Your accommodation offers a warm welcome to walkers and is conveniently close to the beach.

Day 2: Walk to Portofino via San Fruttuoso

You’ll be picked up this morning from your hotel at Camogli for a private transfer to the village of San Rocco. Start your walk with a visit to the San Fruttuoso Abbey, located in a secluded bay overlooking cobalt-blue waters. From here you can choose to walk or take a ferry to the chic town of Portofino (the latter is payable locally).

Enjoy the wonderful view from Il Faro (the Light House), located at the extreme point of the promontory, 1km from Portofino. A firm favourite with the celebrity ‘jet set’, this pretty town is famous for its picturesque harbour. From here you can take the train or boat back to Camogli (payable locally).

Easier option: 7 km, 734m ascent, 394m descent, 3h30 approx.

Harder option: 13 km, 804m ascent, 822m descent, 5h30 approx.

Overnight: Hotel La Camogliese**, Camogli

Day 3: Free to explore Cinque Terre or optional Colla di Gritta or Corniglia-Riomaggiore walks

Take the train to Monterosso, the largest of the five villages of the Cinque Terre, and your base for the next two nights. Spend today as you wish—perhaps simply relaxing at Monterosso or
returning to one of the pretty villages of the Cinque Terre by train.

Alternatively, choose from the following optional walks:

Monterosso loop walk via Colle di Gritta

Head inland past the ‘Chiesa dei Cappucini’ to the Colla di Gritta.
Continue over the mountain ridge through lush forests, passing over
Monte Molinelli, Monte Rossini, Montenegro and Colla dei Bagari until
you reach Punta Mesco. Return to Monterosso via a series of old stone

Walk: 10 km, 515m ascent, 518m descent, 3hrs approx.


Corniglia-Volastra-Riomaggiore walk

Take the train from Monterosso to Corniglia, then set out on foot as you
ascend the path towards Volastra and on to Riomaggiore. Stop for a
delicious gelato or a glass of full-bodied red wine from the local
vineyards, before taking the train back to Monterosso.

Walk: 9 km, 556m ascent, 552m descent, 4-5hrs approx.

Overnight: Hotel Marina***, Monterosso

The following hotels are available at a supplement: Hotel Punta Mesco***, Hotel Amici***, Hotel La Colonnina*** or Hotel Villa Adriana***, Monterosso 

Our delightfully charming accommodation in Monterosso, the largest of
the five villages of the Cinque Terre, provides a welcome rest to
walkers and is again close to the beach.

Day 4: Train to Bonassola. Walk to Monterosso via Levanto

Take the train (payable locally) to the relaxed village of Bonassola, with a beautiful sandy beach. The first part of today’s walk runs along an old railway track which has recently been transformed into a fairly flat cycle path. Walk through the tunnels and over the bridges whilst revelling in spectacular views over the azure sea and cliffs until you reach the idyllic painter’s paradise of Levanto, located in the centre of a charming valley surrounded by green hills.

As you reach the ridge top, pause to take in the sweeping views to the mountains which surround the ‘Gulf of Paradise’. Arriving at Punta Mesco you continue your descent towards the village of Monterosso.

Easier option: 3 km, 225m ascent, 226m descent, 1h30 approx.

Harder option: 10 km, 500m ascent, 492m descent, 4h30 approx.

Overnight: Hotel Marina***, Monterosso

Day 5: Onward travel

Bid farewell to the Cinque Terre and continue your onward journey home. You can depart Monterosso by train and from there you can easily get to Pisa, Genoa, Florence or Milan airports by onward rail travel.

Additional Nights and Extensions

Why not extend your tour with a few extra nights before/after or during your tour? Contact us to tailor-make your arrangements.


You will spend your first two nights in Camogli, in a good 2-3* hotel, then two nights at a charming family run 3* hotel in the heart of Monterosso. Depending on availability we use the following hotels. Certain hotels are available at a supplement.




Hotel Marina, Monterosso

This small and charming family run 3 star hotel is located on a narrow street in the historic centre of the old fishing village of Monterosso.







Hotel Amici, Monterosso

Hotel Degli Amici is a 3 star hotel located in the historical centre of Monterosso, in an extremely peaceful area, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees, just 150 meters from the sea.




Single Rooms

Single rooms are available but attract a supplement.

Solo Walkers

This is a great holiday for solo walkers. If you are travelling solo the holiday is slightly more expensive as some costs are not shared.


This tour is available to start any day between April and October, to start on any day of the week. Prices increase during high season.

Time of Year

Spring in the Cinque Terre is sublime! April, May and June are absolutely lovely. September and October are also lovely as the coast has that lazy late summer feeling. July and August can be very hot so you will have to start early to miss the heat of the day.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we are happy to accommodate, although a single supplement is payable. Solo walkers are also welcome for a supplement.

Grade & Terrain

This holiday is graded easy to moderate because although the daily walks are relatively short the terrain is very hilly and summer temperatures can be high. The walks follow ancient footpaths and mule tracks. Many are made up of steep stone staircases, with steps of varying sizes; some are literally cut into the cliff so if you are not good with heights then this may not be the trip for you. As this is a self guided trek you will be responsible for navigation, decision making and safety during your trip.

Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

You will be following way marked trails for many of your walks and we supply very detailed route notes and maps so navigation is generally easy. Important Note: Hydrogeological instability in the Cinque Terre region can at times cause the closure of certain sections of the trails. Before embarking on your daily walk please check with your accommodation and also if possible go to the Cinque Terre National Park website.

You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone’s GPS so using this combined with the provided route notes and maps means you should have no problems finding your way

Baggage Transfers

As you will be taking the train from Camogli to Monterosso on Day 3, you will take your luggage with you. No baggage transfers are included on this tour.


The delicious Italian food and wine available locally is undoubtedly a highlight of this holiday. The price of your holiday includes breakfast each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sunhat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with us that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury.

Getting to Camogli

Genoa or Pisa Airports are the most convenient although Florence is also a possibility.

From Genoa take a local bus to the centre (Brignole station) then it is s a 40mins train to Camogli (total journey around 1hr).

From Pisa take the PisaMover bus from the airport, just a 1km ride into the train station/city centre then it’s a 2h15 train ride to Camogli (total journey approx. 2h30-3hrs).

Visit for times, prices and booking. Tickets can be purchased on arrival or online prior to departure. Our pre-departure information pack has detailed public transport information so you will have no problem reaching the Cinque Terre.

Getting from Monterosso

Departing from Monterosso, you can take the train to Genoa Airport (2 hrs to Genoa Piazza Principe, changing at Levanto/La Spezia) and then take a bus from Brignole station to the airport.

If you are flying out of Pisa, you can take a 1h30-2hr train ride to the airport (changing at La Spezia/Pisa Centrale).

For those travelling to Florence Airport, it is a 2h45 train journey (changing at Viareggio) to Firenze Novella station, then you can take a direct shuttle bus from Florence’s Piazza Statione to the airport.

It is worth noting that from La Spezia trains connect to Pisa, Genoa or Florence Airports as well as other destinations in Italy. Visit for times, prices and booking.

Travel in the Cinque Terre

The excellent local train service connects all the villages and is what you will use to access many of the walks. Another pleasant alternative is to use the local ferry services to travel between villages (ferries are payable locally).


  • 4 nights in 2-3* accommodation including breakfast in rooms with private facilities
  • Transfer from Camogli to San Rocco (Day 2)
  • 24hr Cinque Terre Card— train pass and entrance to the Cinque Terre National Park
  • 24-hour telephone assistance
  • Detailed route notes and maps
  • Access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App


  • All lunches and dinners
  • Flights and additional public transportation
  • Travel insurance
  • Admissions and entrance fees
  • Personal expenses such as lunch, dinner, snacks, wine tasting, drinks, phone calls, etc.
  • Any item that has not been specifically mentioned in the program
  • Any hotel taxes that are payable locally only


  • Additional nights before, during or after the program
  • Single room and solo walker supplements
  • Extensions in Pisa or Genoa

We are often asked the following questions and we hope that you will find the answers useful. Don't hesitate to contact one of our Italy specialists if you have any further queries.

How fit do I need to be?

This walking holiday is graded easy to moderate and involves between three and seven hours of walking each day. On some days there is a choice of walks, or you can take a ferry or the train to shorten your walk. Some of the paths are very steep so you should be in pretty good shape to get the most from this holiday.  This tour is not suitable for those with a fear of heights, as some of the walks are along paths close to cliffs.

When is the best time of year?

Spring in the Cinque Terre is sublime! April, May and June are absolutely lovely. September and October are also recommended as the coast has that lazy late summer feeling. July and August can be busy and also extremely hot so you'll need to start out early and take plenty of water.

How do the baggage transfers work?

No baggage transfer is required on this trip.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this area is extremely popular. We will always try and accommodate your plans so just ask.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.

What happens if I can't walk a stage? 

You can use public transport to easily get to any of the locations you stay in.

5 days in Italy


the hike out of Camogli was very difficult/disappointing and not really part of Cinque Terre. Should have realized that Portofina was not part of the Cinque Terre. Once in Monterossa things were much better - a short hike suggested by the hotel was better than the other. Hotels were fine, the towns good. the disappointment was with the first hike.

George and Susie



Perfect holiday of walking, beach and amazing food


Our trip to Portofino to Cinque Terre could not have been more perfect. On the first evening we sat on the beach and wondered how can this beautiful town of Camogli exist and we have never heard of it full of Italians at 6pm enjoying the last sunshine of the summer. The walk on day 1 to Portofino once we chose our route, was a great start, albeit that we had left the maps at home. The routes are well marked and it was more of an adventure without them. Moving along the Ligurian coast is so easy by train, boat on foot and for the next 4 days we marvelled at the beauty of this area

Dawn Conner



Beauty beyond imagination


Hiking the Cinque Terre was simply beautiful. Not too difficult yet taxing at times just enough Adventure for either a thrill seeker or a day hiker. Fun hikes followed by beautiful town. Accommodations in each town were amazing.

Big Jim



First class location, panoramic walks, great accomm


Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We felt the use of the Cinque Terre pass could have been explained better and perhaps we could have selected the day of use rather than be tied to day 3 which was our free day. We walked the Corniglia-Volastra-Riomaggiore trail which was fine up to WP17. We took great care at this point since it is marked EASY TO MISS, however, we didn't see any sign for route 501 Riomaggiore and instead we followed route 532 Riomaggiore, which was a different trail and didn't match route notes. We did eventually arrive in Riomaggiore but experienced a locked gate at the end of the trail.




a great location


A fantastic location for walking and hiking. Be advised that not all the walks are in the national park and they are quite tough in terms of distance and gradient. We asked for a twin room in Monterosso but were given a double for three nights. Try not to get the room on the fourth floor, you can hear everything from next door and I mean EVERYTHING!!!! Also, it is right beside the lemon garden where a lot of guests take a bottle of wine and sit and chat until quite late and very loudly, especially the Americans.




Yes, would definitely.


Extremely well organised regarding everything needed for a self guided walking holiday. Excellent , unique, and friendly hotels with an amazing variety of delicious breakfast delights! The staff at Hotel Marina were wonderful and very hospitable.

Brian and Helen King



I would buy this product again.


I was very pleased to find Mac as I am a solo traveler and haven't done international travel by myself for a long time. Mary Mcdonald, their coordinator in the US was very patient with my newbie questions and requests. One of my favorite policies is that they have a partner in Italy who was very helpfull and could bridge the time difference if I needed help. For example when my last hotel didn't have any hot water they found another hotel of comparable quality that was just about ready for my arrival. Also both the partner and Mac worked hard to communicate what was happening and Mac will credit me for the inconvenience.


Asheville, NC


Cinque Terra adventure : a wonderful time,


This trip was very well organized- the hotels had great locations with helpful staff, the cab ride to a trailhead and passes to the Cinque Terra were easy to find and use, the trails were terrific: beautiful and clearly marked. The hikes took longer than predicted - the 3-4 hour hike was really 5-6 h unless you hiked at a fast pace and did not stop. The guides mark distances but in many ways would have been better if marked in time for an average pace. We did half of each hike, in 3-4 hours allowing a relaxed pace. The guides are marked to trail features and are curiously not coordinated with the trail symbols but you learn that quickly. Overall it took us to a new place in a lovely way slightly off the beaten path and we would highly recommend it and would (and might) do it again.




On balance yes


Area and scenery were fab Weather just right low 20's Accommodation comfortable and well located near hub and train stations With 5 of us we had loads of laughs


Troon South Ayrshire


A wonderful holiday orgainsied perfectly by Macs!


Extremely well thought out and organized. Great route notes for hikes. Warm, friendly hosts at accommodation.


South Africa


Portofino & The Cinque Terre

4.5 12


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