Walking Portofino and the Cinque Terre

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.5 Read 15 reviews
  • Walk Italy’s Cinque Terre National Park, exploring its five colourful villages
  • Pathways through lemon groves and terraced vineyards with sweeping views
  • Enjoy “La Vida Dulce” with chilled limoncello, local wine, creamy gelato and fresh seafood
  • Discover the medieval picturesque town of Portovenere, an artist's haven
  • Walks that showcase this regions highlights, such as Bonassola to Monterosso
An unforgettable journey walking Italy’s Ligurian coast exploring the five villages of the Cinque Terre and the colourful 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, beaches, and al fresco dining, all of which are quintessential Cinque Terre. Experience the quaint cove of Camogli and the medieval haven of Portovenere. Sample a refreshing limoncello while overlooking the Gulf of Poets. All along the coast there are a selection of wonderful local seafood restaurants and charming hotels to relax in after a day’s walking along the coastal trails.
This trip is perfect for those who want to explore this lovely, rugged part of the Italian Riviera on foot. It is graded moderate, with an average of 10-11 kms walking per day along coastal and mountain trails. There is walking included each day, however if a more leisurely pace is desired then since there are multiple nights spent in Camogli and Monterosso it’s possible to sit walks out and have time to rest, visit a local beach, and sit in a café and watch the world go by. It’s also possible to shorten several of the walks by jumping on local ferries or trains. Perhaps also consider adding an additional night in Portovenere at the end of the holiday to spend time exploring the historic and colourful fishing town. There are many elevation gains and losses which need to be taken into consideration. The traditional paths between the villages often include sections of stone steps on these ascents and descents, which can be hard on the knees, so we would strongly recommend taking walking poles and perhaps knee supports if needed. It’s best ahead of time to do some practice walks including stairs and ascents and descents like those you will experience on the trip whilst carrying your day bag. There are sections of the walks along cliff edge paths, some of which are unfenced and only wide enough to walk along in single file. This trip may therefore not be ideal for those with a fear of heights or vertigo sufferers. As part of this holiday a Cinque Terre Three Day Train and Hiking Trails Card is included for use on days 5 to 7. You will need to purchase train tickets locally for the train transfers to/from Bonassola for the walks on days 3 and 4, as this is outside the validity of the rail card. Train tickets are approximately €2.40 per person per way. If you decide to shorten any of the walks on days prior to day 5, then you will need to purchase a train/ferry ticket for the additional transfers. The Cinque Terre Card includes unlimited train travel on the La Spezia - Cinque Terre - Levanto railway line, on regional trains in second class; access to the hiking paths from Monterosso to Corniglia; and use of the bus services within the park area.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent tour.

Activity:

Multi Center Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking tour

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Foodie Adventures, Historical Journeys, Coastal & Island, National Parks & Trails

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years

Inspiration:

  • Most Popular
  • Classic

Activity Level & Terrain

This trip includes walking each day and is graded moderate overall. The terrain varies from coastal paths to rolling mountain trails making for a pleasant mixture. Most days can be shortened by taking a train or ferry to the next overnight destination and it’s possible to skip a number of the walks if you prefer some time to explore locally and relax.

Daily walks average around 10-11 kms, following dirt paths, paved roads, forest trails and coastal paths. There are several ascents/descents involved and some of the route while walking from village-to-village within the Cinque Terre encompass stone staircases. To get the most from this trip you should be 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 as there are sections of narrow cliff tops paths with unfenced edges.

Due to the nature of the cliff paths these can sometimes be affected by landslides causing trail closures and we may need to alter the itinerary when we become aware of these happening. Using your Cinque Terre Card, it’s normally possible to easily take alternative walks or to hop on a train to avoid the affected area.

Navigation

While the route is not waymarked, navigation is straightforward using the Macs Adventure Smartphone Navigation App. The daily walks are 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 the detailed information pack, in addition to 24/7 telephone support from Macs Adventure should assistance be required.

Accommodations

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

Additional Nights

It’s easy to request to add on an extra night at any location during this itinerary. Perhaps consider adding an additional night in Portovenere at the end of the holiday to spend time exploring the historic and colourful fishing village and relax after completing the walks. 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 with one bed). If separate rooms are required, then a single supplement is payable. If a twin room is required (same room with two separate beds), please notify us at the time of booking so we can request this option. This trip is available to solo walkers.

Meals

Breakfast is included each morning and consists of a traditional European style breakfast ranging from coffee, tea, yoghurt, 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. We recommend finding cafés or restaurants located in the towns or along the walking route, or to purchase snacks and a picnic lunch to bring along on the walks from local supermarkets and markets. Further details can be found within your information pack and the Macs Adventure Smartphone App.

Included
  • Accommodation in en suite rooms in charming hotels on a twin share basis
  • Daily breakfasts
  • Transfer as per your itinerary
  • Door to door baggage transfers as per your itinerary
  • 3-Day Cinque Terre Train & Trails Card
  • Access to maps, GPX tracks and daily route information with the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
  • All your trip documents including a detailed information pack provided digitally through your online Macs “My Account”
  • Telephone support from our office in the event of a problem
Excluded
  • Travel to and from start and finish points
  • Travel insurance (required) and personal equipment
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks, and snacks
  • Tourist taxes (charged locally at hotels)
  • Any additional train/ferry transfers required outside the validity of the Cinque Terre Card
Extras
  • Additional nights before, during or after the tour
  • Private transfers to the start and from the end points of the tour
  • Room upgrades

When To Go

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

Peak Season Availability

As Portofino, Portovenere, and the Cinque Terre are very popular destinations, we suggest booking as soon as possible to ensure availability for specific dates.

Time of Year

The springs months of April, May and June offer warm sunshine, fewer crowds, and pleasant walking conditions. May is when most wildflowers are coming into bloom. The autumn months of September and October are also a favourable time of year, boasting cooler weather and a striking landscape made up of autumnal colours. July and August are good months to go but can be very hot for walking and therefore aren’t best suited for everyone. You will have to start early to miss the heat of the day and carry a lot of water (additional weight) with you. Although the towns and villages are buzzing at this time of year which is great to see, and you can take a cooling dip in the sea.

Getting to the Start

For the easiest and most convenient method of travel, we recommended flying into Genoa Airport 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 or 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 the End

Either take a taxi directly to La Spezia Train Station or the local bus. The bus runs regularly from Portovenere to La Spezia and takes approximately 40 minutes. Bus stops are located near the harbour and at various locations around Portovenere. It stops in the centre of La Spezia, which is around 5 minutes’ walk to the train station. La Spezia Central Train Station has departures to Genoa, Pisa, Florence, or other onward destinations in Italy. Visit Trenitalia for times, prices and booking. On arrival in Genoa Brignole Train Station, catch a local bus or taxi back to the airport. A private transfer from Portovenere to La Spezia Train Station can be arranged. Please let us know at the time of booking if you desire to add this option (additional costs apply).

Luggage Transfer

One main bag of up to 20kg per person will be transferred from each accommodation to the next.

General Information

Please note that the reviews for this walking holiday up until December 2019 are based on our previous itinerary. As of December 2019, minor changes and improvements have been made to enhance the experience.

Equipment

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take with you to Italy. This includes warm and cold weather gear, hiking boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.

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.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Camogli and overnight Day 2 Transfer to San Rocco Church; walk to Portofino Harbour 6 miles / 10 km Day 3 Transfer to Deiva Marina; walk to Bonassola; train to Monterosso 7 miles / 11 km Day 4 Train to Bonassola; walk back to Monterosso Day 5 Train to Manarola for free time and walk to Riomaggiore 1 miles / 2 km Day 6 Train to Corniglia; walk to Monterosso via Vernazza 5 miles / 8 km Day 7 Train to Riomaggiore; walk to Portovenere 8 miles / 13 km Day 8 Onward travel from Portovenere

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