The world is full of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from ancient Greek temples to the Frey Bentos Factory in Uruguay, but you are unlikely to find any more colourful and vibrant than five little villages in Liguria. Less of a set trail, and more a collection of everything wonderful about life on foot, join up some Riviera glamour with epic hiking on a trip to Italy’s five villages of the Cinque Terre.
Distance: 7-11km per day. This trip is a bit of a smorgasbord, you can pick and choose what you want to do, so if you’re going to go full out, the option is there for you to do so. If you want to focus a bit more on food and wine on some days, go for it!
Grading: Easy – Moderate. So because you pick and choose, the grading can be easy, or easy to moderate. The terrain can be steep though! You are following well-made path and mule tracks and sometimes ascending steep sets of stairs, but underfoot you will be treated to routes that are looked after with care and attention.
This is quite simply one of the most beautiful, most unique coastal walking experiences in the world. The Ligurian coast is known as Italy’s “flower riviera”, and the coastal and forest trails are a delight to walk. The scenery is fantastic, set amongst terraces of olive groves and vineyards, while lemon trees lightly scent the air. The startlingly turquoise seas are framed by the white cliffs and dark green hills and to walk here is to walk in glorious tranquillity. Until you get to the towns that is!
The five villages are vibrant in every respect. The bright colours of their buildings match the bustle and energy of the streets. While the Cinque Terre are a huge tourist attraction, it does not take away from the joy of everyday life in these bold little towns. They are like concentrated little pockets of Italian life, where everything is turned up to 11.
It is in these towns that you will be able to truly enjoy the “Dolce Vita” at the end of your day’s walking. Fresh seafood and crisp local wines, enjoyed on a balcony as the sun pours itself into the Ligurian Sea. Who wouldn’t want that? The gelaterias are as colourful as the villages themselves, where piles of delicious ice cream await, their flavours traditional but vast in number.
April to October is the perfect season to visit, although summer temperatures can be very high so we’d suggest Spring or Autumn/Fall.
A carefully crafted itinerary beginning in Camogli and finishing in Portovenere will enable you to visit the Cinque Terre and Portofino for the quintissential Ligurian Riviera experience (our itinerary includes accommodation, route notes, luggage transfers, taxi transfers between walks/towns, and a 48 hour Cinque Terre card and rail pass).
Genoa or Pisa airports are the most convenient, although Florence is an option.
For any information on this or any other Cinque Terre walking experience, get in touch on [email protected].