Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Walking into Manarola
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Highlights

  • Explore Italy’s Cinque Terre National Park, walking through its five colourful villages
  • Pathways through lemon groves and terraced vineyards with sweeping views
  • Soak up the charm of the poetic town of Portofino on the Italian Riviera
  • Enjoy “La Vida Dulce” with chilled limoncello, steamed seafood and pesto pastas
  • Discover Portovenere’s Gothic church and cliffside fortress overlooking the Gulf of Poets

An unforgettable journey walking Italy’s Ligurian coast from Portofino, through the five villages of the Cinque Terre, to the colorful bay of Portovenere.

Hike village-to-village alongside lemon groves and vineyard-lined pathways linking the fishing communities of the Cinque Terre; Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. Soak up the Italian charm, sunshine, sparkling beaches, patio cafés, all of which are quintessential Cinque Terre.

Experience the quaint cove of Camogli and elegant Portofino with its pastel piazza full of boutiques and seafood delights. Another port of call is the medieval and picturesque haven of Portovenere. Here you can enjoy a refreshing limoncello while overlooking the Gulf of Poets.

All along the coast you will find wonderful local seafood restaurants and charming hotels for your overnight stays.

Day 1: Arrive Camogli

Start your walking adventure on the western side of the Portofino peninsula, within the small laid-back village of Camogli, easily reached from Genoa Airport by train (45 mins). This picturesque seafront town is a hidden gem on the Riviera di Levante, offering gorgeous settings, fresh Italian cuisine and close proximity to Portofino. Roam the local shops or take a peaceful walk along the oceanfront promenade for stunning views of fishing boats gently bobbing along the rocky coastline.


Tonight, enjoy the quintessential Italian hospitality within your quaint hotel which boasts a  warm welcome to walkers.


Overnight: Camogli


Day 2: Walk to Portofino

Begin your day with a short transfer (15 mins) to the Church of San Rocco and a walk through open pine forest and alongside the Mediterranean Sea. Pause at the port of San Fruttuoso to explore the beautiful 11th century stone abbey. From here you can continue walking or alternatively catch the ferry (payable locally) to the fishing village Portofino on the other side of the bay and spend an afternoon exploring.


Continue walking to Portofino and reach Il Faro, a beautiful lighthouse located at the headland of Portofino or up to Castello Brown, a 16th century fortress and art museum for spectacular vistas. Spend some time at this destination favoured by the operatic powerhouses, Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, before taking the ferry back to Camogli. Wave ciao (goodbye) to the colorful panoramas of Portofino.


Walk: 10km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +754m/-966m (for 10km walk)


Overnight: Camogli


Day 3: Transfer to Deiva Marina, walk to Bonassola

Transfer from Camogli to Deiva Marina (50 mins), a quiet seaside town in the province of La Spezia, surrounded by wide sandy beaches and lush green mountains. Walk through Deiva Marina and into the hills of the east riviera for wonderful views over the northern Ligurian coast to Bonassola. If you wish you can shorten your walk today with a stopover in Framura, to enjoy a long lunch. From here you may catch a train to Bonassola or continue walking all the way into it.


Conclude this day with a refreshing dip in the cool blue waters off the beach of Bonassola, and then, if you wish, enjoy dinner within the restaurant of your charming seaside hotel.


Walk: 5 or 10km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +628m/-629m (for 10km walk)


Overnight: Bonassola


Day 4: Walk to Monterosso

Leaving Bonassola walk along old railway tracks recently transformed into an even, easy walking path. Enjoy an array of terrain as you trek through tunnels, over bridges and along rugged coastline into the green interior valley of Levanto (from Levanto you can shorten your walk if you wish, by taking a train to Levanto from here).


Upon reaching the ridge’s top, take a moment to absorb the sweeping views of the rolling mountains surrounding the “Gulf of Paradise.” Arriving at Punta Mesco, continue your descent along olive groves and vines to Monterosso, with its large sandy beach and calm waters.


Walks: 3 or 11km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +588m/-583m (for 11km walk)


Overnight: Monterosso


Day 5: Train to Manarola, walk to Corniglia

Make sure to take your Cinque Terre rail pass with you today in order to reach the beginning of today’s walk. Hop on the train, sit back and enjoy the views over the sea on your way to Manarola (trains depart about every 30 minutes). This walk takes the high route and winds its way between Manarola and Corniglia as if its sole objective is to showcase the beauty of the Cinque Terre region. Traverse terraces of vineyards enjoying an endless array of viewpoints. Take a train back from Corniglia back to Monterosso.


This evening, dine “al fresco” at one of the many delicious restaurants lining the piazza and historic centre, especially for a hot pot of freshly caught steamed seafood, a Ligurian specialty.


Walk: 8km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +495m/-495m (for 16km walk)


Overnight: Monterosso


Day 6: Train to Corniglia, walk to Monterosso

After breakfast, take the train back to Corniglia for a steep, but well worth the effort walk. Follow the path as it goes up-and-down to Vernazza, the most postcard-friendly of the villages. With a small beach, harbour and long history as a prominent fishing village, enjoy exploring this town’s historic highlights including; 11th century Belforte Tower, Doria Castle and Santa Margherita d’Anticochia Church.


Follow the panoramic path from Vernazza back to Monterosso for another afternoon spent at your leisure.


Walks: 8 or 11km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +466m/-480m (for 11km walk)


Overnight: Monterosso


Day 7: Train to Riomaggiore, walk to Portovenere

Take the train back to Riomaggiore to walk out of Cinque Terre and into the hillside bordering Portovenere, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and artist haven that’s inspired painters, musicians and literary greats such as Byron and D.H. Lawrence. Walk to Colle del Telgrafo following the ridgeline to Campiglia, and descend to Portovenere with its brightly-coloured houses. Stacked side-by-side, these houses, once served as an united wall aimed to withstand attacks from pirates (look close and you can still see the holes and marks that scar its sides) and are now one of Portovenere’s iconic treasures.


Visit the black-and-white striped Gothic church of St. Peter, its nearby cemetery and stone fortress overlooking the Gulf of Poets.


Walk: 13 km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +642m/-660m


Overnight: Portovenere


Day 8: Onward Travel

Depending on your travel arrangements, we suggest adding on a day for extra time spent exploring Portovenere’s labyrinth walls, nearby Palmaria Island or unwinding by the sea.


Should you wish to depart today, you can easily take a local bus or taxi to La Spezia and take a train from here to Genoa or Pisa/Florence Airports.

Accommodation

Included in this trip are 7 nights in hand-selected, charming accommodations. We’ve carefully selected properties so that you enjoy every minute of your stay on the Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre.


Additional Nights

You can easily request to add on an extra night at any location during this itinerary.


Please notify us at the time of booking should you wish to add extra nights.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is based on double occupancy (two people sharing a room). If you’d like separate rooms, a single supplement is required.


If you would like to request a twin room (same room with two separate beds), please notify us at the time of booking so we can request this option.


This trip is also available to solo walkers (a solo supplement is required).


Meals

Breakfast is included each morning and consists of a traditional European style breakfast ranging from coffee, tea, yogurt, granola, meat, cheese and baked goods. In some cases, a hot dish (eggs and pancakes) will be served or offered á la carte.


Lunches and dinners are not included in this trip, so you are free to choose from nearby available options. We recommend finding cafés or restaurants located in the towns or along the walking route, or you can purchase snacks and a picnic lunch to bring along with you. Further details can be found within your information pack and route notes.


We regularly use the following properties but may accommodate you elsewhere (of equal standard) if these are unavailable.



 

 

 




Albergo Camogliese - Camogli

Operated and owned by the Rocchetti family since 1950, enjoy a warm welcome and comfortable stay at this lovely hotel conveniently located in central Camogli.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Villa Belvedere - Bonassola


Located on a hill overlooking the blue bay of Bonassola, enjoy the lush gardens, lemon trees and lounge chairs for sun bathing and ultimate relaxation.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel La Colonnina - Monterosso

Delight in the peace and tranquil ambiance of this family-run hotel as you walk the footpaths connecting romantic Monterosso to the colorful towns of Cinque Terre.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Paradiso - Portovenere

Enjoy a peaceful slumber in the comfort of your room each night featuring modern amenities and feast on fresh Ligurian cuisine in the terraced restaurants.


 

 

 

Availability

This tour is available to start anytime between April and October.


As Portofino, Portovenere and the Cinque Terre are very popular destinations, we suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalized to ensure availability for specific dates.


The springs months of April, May and June offer warm sunshine, fewer crowds and pleasant conditions. The autumn months of September and October are also a favorite time of year, boasting cooler weather and a striking landscape made up of fall colors.


July and August are also great months to go but can be very hot for walking. If booking during these months, we therefore advise you to start your walks very early in the morning to avoid the midday heat.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Navigation

While the route is not waymarked, navigation is straightforward using the Macs Adventure Smartphone Navigation App.


Your daily walks will be mapped in the app with GPX tracks, including route notes and turn-by-turn directions. All of these resources are available to download for offline use. More information is outlined within your detailed information pack, in addition to 24/7 telephone support from Macs Adventure should you require assistance.


Grade & Terrain

This trip has 6 days of walking and is graded moderate. The terrain varies from coastal paths to rolling mountain trails making for a pleasant mixture. Each day can be shortened by taking a train or ferry to your next overnight destination (please refer to your walking notes for specific locations en route). A 48-hour (two-day), trail and rail pass is included which can be used for the Cinque Terre portion of this trip taking you to the start of each hike within the national park and ensuring the flexibility to shorten your walk or avoid a section completely should there be a landslide or trail closure. This may occur and more information on trail closures is provided in your information pack.


Daily walks average around 10-11 km, following dirt paths, paved roads, forest trails and coastal paths. Some of the route encompass short sections of staircases, especially while walking from village-to-village within the Cinque Terre.


To get the most from this trip you should be in excellent physical shape and comfortable walking on undulating terrain with many ascents and descents. Please be advised that this trip is not appropriate for unstable walkers or people suffering from vertigo.


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 and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, 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 day pack.

Getting to Camogli

For the easiest and most convenient method of travel, we recommended flying into Genoa and taking the direct train to Camogli. Genoa has an airport with flights from international and national destinations. From the airport, take the local bus (or taxi), to the central train station (Brignole Station) for a direct train to Camogli. Total journey time is around 1 hour.


Pisa and Florence also have airports with flights from international and national destinations, including central train stations with rail networks to Genoa, for catching direct trains to Camogli. 


Visit Trenitalia for times, prices and booking. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office or online prior to departure.


A private transfer from Genoa, Pisa and Florence to Camogli can be requested. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to add this option (additional costs apply).


Getting from Portovenere

La Spezia has a central train station that travels back to Genoa, Pisa, Florence or any onward destination desired in Italy.


You can either take a taxi (approx. 35 Euros) directly to La Spezia Train Station or the local bus. A local bus runs every 30 minutes (every 15 minutes during peak season) from Portovenere to La Spezia (approx. 2 Euros, 40 minutes). Bus stops are located near the harbor and at various locations around Portovenere and will drop you off in the centre of La Spezia (approx. 5 minute walk to the train station).


A private transfer from Portovenere to La Spezia Train Station can be included in this trip instead. Please let us know at the time of booking if you desire to add this option (additional costs apply).

Included

  • 7 Nights in charming hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Transfer from Camogli to San Rocco (Day 2)
  • Transfer from Camogli to Deiva Marina (Day 3)
  • Luggage transfers (Days 3, 4 & 7)
  • 3 Day Cinque Terre Card & Train Pass
  • Detailed information pack
  • Access to the Macs Adventure Navigation App
  • 24/7 Telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Camogli
  • Travel from Portovenere
  • Lunches & Dinners
  • Tourist taxes (to be paid locally)
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk
  • Single room supplement if required
  • Solo Walker Supplement
  • Private Transfers

We are often asked the following questions and we hope that you will find the answers useful.

How fit do I need to be?

To get the most from this trip you should be in excellent physical shape and comfortable walking on undulating terrain with many ascents and descents. Please be advised that this trip may not be appropriate for unstable walkers or people suffering from vertigo.

How far in advance do I need to book?

As Portofino, Portovenere and the Cinque Terre are very popular destinations, we suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalized to ensure availability for specific dates.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, and dependent on when you are travelling; waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. Our info packs have a list of all equipment to bring on your walk.

When is the best time of year?

The springs months of April, May and June offer warm sunshine, fewer crowds and pleasant conditions. The autumn months of September and October are also a favorite time of year, boasting cooler weather and a striking landscape made up of fall colors.

July and August are also great months to go but can be very hot for walking. If booking during these months, we therefore advise you to start your walks very early in the morning to avoid the midday heat.

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