Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Cinque Terre Short Break Walking Tour
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Highlights

  • Exploring the steep streets of the five villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Cornilia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
  • Drinking in the delicious views of the emerald blue Mediterranean.
  • Soaking in the atmosphere over a glass of vino and delicious local seafood at an outdoor cafe .
  • Plunging into the sea at one of the many fabulous swimming spots.

The best way to discover the Cinque Terre is on foot. Five fishing villages nestled into the steep coastline of the Ligurian Riviera make up the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Smell the sea as you walk along ancient walking trails clinging to the steep cliffs, marvel at the terraced vineyards and savour the tranquillity of the pine and chestnut forests of the Cinque Terre National Park.

Known as Italy’s “Flower Riviera” the Ligurian Riviera is a delight for all the senses. Waves crash below coastal footpaths, wild flowers and vineyards surround you and the smell of fresh coffee tempts you into local cafes. The five fishing villages of the Cinque Terre have remained almost untouched by modern developments and are an idyllic walking escape. Based in Monterosso and Portovenere you can explore the coast by foot, boat or train and choose from a selection of coastal and mountain walks each day.

Day 1: Arrive Monterosso

We recommend flying to Genoa or Pisa, which have good train connections to Monterosso. Florence is also an option.


Settle into your accommodation, step outside and breathe in the fresh, crisp air of the Ligurian Sea. The hustle and bustle of the historic centre of Monterosso is captivating. Alternatively head to the wide beach for the afternoon.


Overnight: 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.  


The following hotel is available at a supplement: Albergo Degli 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. 


Day 2: Loop walk to Levanto or walk via Vernazza to Corniglia

You've a choice of two walks today; the first is a loop walk tracing coastal trails along the promontory separating Levanto and Monterosso. Once you reach Levanto, with its pretty Sant' Andrea church,  you can either walk or take the train back to Monterosso.


The second, more challenging walk (some stone steps) is along the busy coastal trail which connects the five villages of the Cinque Terre; here you'll explore Vernazza and Corniglia, before taking the train back to Monterosso. Both walks offer spectacular views over the crystal clean waters of the northern coastline and take in the essence of Liguria.  


Walk 1: 7 or 14 km, 350m ascent/descent or 820m ascent descent, 3 or 5 hours


Walk 2: 7 km, 482m ascent, 404m descent, 3 hrs


Overnight: Monterosso


Day 3: Walk from Riomaggiore to Portovenere

This really is a superlative day of walking. Begin by taking the train to Riomaggiore. From Riomaggiore you gradually climb to Colle del Telegrafo then follow a panoramic ridge trail to reach the village of Campiglia.


Enjoy panoramic views of the Gulf of La Spezia. It's easy to appreciate why Shelly and Byron were so inspired by this magical coastline. Tear yourself away from the tremendous views to descend to Portovenere via rough hewn paths and staircases. You can shorten today's walk by taking the bus from Campiglia to Portovenere.


Walk: 13 km, 723m ascent, 744m descent, 4-5 hrs


Overnight: Hotel Paradiso, Portovenere


This lovely small hotel is located right on the Gulf of Portovenere with a view of Palmaria Island and the Apuan Alps which frame this picturesque area. 


The following hotel is available at an upgrade supplement: Hotel Belvedere, Portovenere.


The Hotel Belvedere has over 40 years of experience in welcoming customers. The rooms all have fantastic views from their balconies and you will be sure of a warm welcome. 


Day 4: Round walk of Palmaria Island

Take the ferry to Palmaria Island today for a wonderful days walking. Explore the coast round the island and discover various fascinating caverns. Palmaria island also showcases a fantastic variety of rare reptiles and marine birds.


Walk: 6 km, 326m ascent, 339m descent, 2.5 hours


Overnight: Portovenere


Day 5: Onward Travel

You can depart Portovenere by bus to La Spezia and then it is easy to travel to Pisa, Genoa or Florence by train from there.

Accommodation

You will spend the first two nights at a charming family run 3 star hotel in the heart of Monterosso and two nights at a lovely 3 star seafront hotel in Portovenere. Depending on availability we use the following hotels.



 

 

 




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

Available at an upgrade supplement: 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.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Paradiso, Portovenere

This lovely small hotel is located right on seafront and the restaurant terraces have wonderful views of the Gulf of Portovenere and Palmaria Island.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Belvedere, Portovenere

Available at an upgrade suplement: With great views of the harbour Hotel Belvedere has been welcoming guests for over 40 years. The small but comfortable rooms all have fantastic views from their balconies and the hotel is perfect for experiencing the best of Portovenere.


 

 

 

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.


Time of Year

This tour is available to start any day of the week from April to October. The Cinque Terre is stunning year-round but the best times for walking are Spring and Autumn as the summer temperatures can be very high.


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 (between three and seven hours walking each day) 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 and some are literally cut into the cliff so if heights aren’t your thing this may not be the best trip for you. Some of the paths are very steep so you should be used to walking ascents to get the most from this holiday. Most of the walks can be shortened by using public transport and as you're not moving on each day all walks can be skipped.


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. PLEASE 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 with 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

Door-to-door baggage transfer is included in the price of your trip where appropriate. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 20kg).


Meals

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.


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 Monterosso

Genoa or Pisa Airports are the most convenient although Florence is also a possibility. Regular trains (1h20, 2h30 and 3h30 respectively) connect the airports to Monterosso, normally connecting in La Spezia. Visit www.trenitalia.it 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.


Onward Travel from Portovenere

Buses run every 30 minutes (15 minutes in peak season) from Portovenere to La Spezia and take about 40 minutes and cost approx 2€ single. Alternatively a taxi costs about 40€. From La Spezia trains connect to Pisa, Genoa or Florence Airports as well as other destinations in Italy. Visit www.trenitalia.it for times, prices and booking.

Getting to Monterosso

Genoa or Pisa Airports are the most convenient although Florence is also a possibility. Regular trains (1h20, 2h30 and 3h30
respectively) connect the airports to Monterosso, normally connecting in
La Spezia. Visit www.trenitalia.it 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.


Onward Travel from Portovenere


Buses run every 30 minutes (15 minutes in peak season) from
Portovenere to La Spezia and take about 40 minutes and cost approx 2€
single. Alternatively a taxi costs about 40€. From La Spezia trains
connect to Pisa, Genoa or Florence Airports as well as other
destinations in Italy. Visit www.trenitalia.it for times, prices and booking.



Travelling by Car

Much of the Cinque Terra is closed to non residential traffic. There are two guarded car parks in Monterosso where you can leave your car for the duration of your trip.


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.

Included

  • 4 Nights accommodation including breakfast
  • Luggage transfer from Monterosso to Portovenere
  • 48 hour Cinque Terre Park Card (train pass)
  • 24 hour telephone assistance
  • Detailed route notes and maps

Excluded

  • All lunches and evening meals
  • Travel to Monterosso
  • Travel from Portovenere
  • Ferry to and from Palmeria Island
  • Travel insurance
  • Admissions and entrance fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Any item that has not been specifically mentioned in the program

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the programme
  • Single room supplements

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

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?

You can start your holiday on any date between April and October. The best time of year is April through to June and September until mid-October. July and August can be very busy and too hot for walking.

How do the baggage transfers work?

On the day you walk to Portovenere your bags will be collected from the hotel reception. Please have them ready for 9 am. They will be taken on to your accommodation in Portovenere. Please limit your bags to one bag of 18kgs maximum per person.

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?

Your information pack will be sent to you after you book. this has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof clothes, sun protection and a daypack.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

As you are not moving on each day you can opt out of some of the walks. To get to Portovenere from Monterosso you can either take the scenic ferry, or the train to La Spezia and then bus to Portovenere.

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