Cinque Terre on foot

7 day walking tour
Walking tour
Walking Tours
Difficulty level 2,5
Individual tour
Self guided tour
code: ITLIG02W
Italy
Liguria

Prices

from 670€

Coastal walking on the Ligurian Riviera

Levanto-Monterosso–Vernazza-Corniglia-Riomaggiore-Manarola-Portovenere-Palmaria

In the CINQUE TERRE, the sea and the earth meet to become one. This unique area, a Unesco world heritage site, is characterised by a rocky coastline full of tiny bays with beaches, the deep blue Ligurian Sea and small villages with the ever-present backdrop of beautiful mountains and hills. The typical landscape is that of terraced slopes with olive groves and vineyards separated by small dry-stone walls, varied flora and fauna, ancient mule tracks and of course breath-taking views. The towns are characteristic with their lively coloured houses stacked on top of one another. The Cinque Terre are made to discover on foot, a paradise for the outdoor lover. There are 120 km of beautiful hiking trails crossing this wonderful area.

Cinque Terre

During this walking tour, you will pass all five villages of the Cinque Terre dotted along the coast: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. These five picturesque villages (‘borghi’), difficult to reach by car, are connected by a railroad-track and by one of the most beautiful coastal footpaths of Europe. Walking along this footpath you will continuously have spectacular views on the sea and the terraced hills where vineyards, olive and lemon groves as well as a variety of wild flowers and sweet-smelling bushes. Between the walks take you time for a leisurely lunch and to find a cosy terrace watching over the sea and enjoy delicious fresh seafood or a pasta with an aromatic basil pesto.

Palmaria island

During this tour, from Levanto, you walk along the coastline to the headland of Punto Mesco. Levanto is a sparkling town with an enjoyable beach. A spectacular walk offers you stunning views over the sea. Another walk brings you into the inland passing intriguing sanctuaries. You will visit not only the villages of the Cinque Terre but also stunning places as Portovenere, the green island Palmaria.

The daily program of the 8-day tour

Individual arrival in Levanto. After settling in at your hotel there is time for a quick visit to the town centre. A good idea could be also a refreshing dive to wash off the weariness of the journey.

Overnight with breakfast in Levanto

The first walk takes you along the coast to Monterosso al Mare. The walk initially leads up towards the most remarkable promontory, Punta Mesco, a place that invites you for a relaxing picnic lunch. It is possible to make a short detour to visit the ruins of an old 11th-century hermitage, where you will enjoy marvellous views of the rugged coastline. Along a steep path surrounded by a the typical Mediterranean scrub, dotted with cork trees, you come to Monterosso, which has a sheltered position between the surrounding hills covered with vineyards and olive groves. In this village, you can enjoy the beautiful beaches, crystal-clear seawater and steep, rugged cliffs. You can relax sipping a cool glass of the excellent local white wine! The old part of Monterosso is well-preserved and shows the same typical building style as the other Cinque Terre villages. Dominating Monterosso are the remains of the Castle. The church of San Francesco houses several important works of art, such as the Crucifixion attributed to Van Dyck. There is then time to explore the town before taking the local train back to Levanto. For those who feel like it there is also the option of walking back from here, following a more inland forested path, which brings you back over the ridge behind the castle of Levanto.

 

Overnight with breakfast in Levanto

Distance: 15 km / 9,3 miles

Ascent & Descent: approx. + 650m -650m

Walking time: 4h or 5 h with the extra option

The walk of today is dedicated to the western coast of Levanto with several charming little villages. The first part of the walk follows the beach, then the path goes up into the nearby hills and down to the little seaside village of Bonassola. You continue your walk through the seaside hills towards the small ‘village’ of Framura, an aggregation of scattered hamlets on the hillside. From Costa, the highest hamlet, an almost levelled out path contours the hillside, with nice views over the sea. A steep descent brings you down to the seaside resort, Deiva Marina. For those who didn’t walk enough yet there is the possibility to continue walking to Moneglia or even Sestri Levante. You can take the train back to Levanto from any of the villages on the way, in case you want to shorten the walk.

 

Overnight with breakfast in Levanto

Distance: 16 km / 10 miles

Ascent & Descent: approx. + 650m -650m

Walking time: 3,5 – 4h (to Framura train station); 6 h – 6,5 h walking all the way to Deiva Marina

After breakfast you take the train to Riomaggiore , the southernmost of the five Cinque Terre Villages. The tall houses, in the typical cheerful colours used in Liguria, are narrow and three to four storeys high. They have an entrance on the ground floor and a rear entrance on a higher floor due to the steepness of the terrain. In the upper part of the town you can admire the parish church of San Giovanni Battista, built in 1340 by the bishop of Luni, the 16th century oratory ‘dei Disciplinati’ and the ruins of the 15th – 16th century castle.

After dropping off your luggage, you start the classic walk along the well-known ‘Sentiero dell’Amore’ to the gorgeous little village of Manarola, the oldest village of the Cinque Terre. It has winding streets bringing you down to the square in front of the harbour. Enjoy a glass of the white wine Sciacchetrà, a local wine that is famous since Roman times.

You will not believe it, but 365 steps will bring you all the way up to Corniglia, settled safely on a ridge overlooking the sea. The walk continues through a typical Cinque Terre countryside with terraced vineyards, olive groves and the now and then an inviting citrus grove. Approaching Vernazza you will first notice the old fortress dominating the town. A narrow undulating track leads you finally descending into the village of Vernazza, the only village of the Cinque Terre with a natural harbour that is lively decorated with brightly painted boats. Enjoy the many cafés, bars and restaurants before you take the train back to your hotel in Riomaggiore.

 

Overnight with breakfast in Riomaggiore

Distance: 13 km / 8 miles

Ascent & Descent: approx. + 650m -650m

Walking time: 5h30

After breakfast you return to Riomaggiore, starting point of your walk to Portavenere. It is a nice walk along a panoramic footpath. From Portavenere by boat or bus to La Spezia or by boat to Monterosso and with the train back to Sestri Levante.

Overnight with breakfast and dinner in Sestri Levante

Distance: 12 km / 7,4 miles; Ascent & Descent: + 650m -650m; Walking time: 5h30

Say goodbye to Riomaggiore and start your walk to Campiglia and Portovenere. A long flight of steps brings you to the Santuario della Madonna di Montenero. The steps can be avoided by taking the bus. It is a captivating walk along coastal cliffs, through vineyards, always enjoying the adorable panoramas of the countryside with a backdrop of the blue sea. You follow the ‘Sentiero Rosso’ that connects one end of the Cinque Terre to the other. I nice stop can be made in the hamlet of Campiglia. Crossing a pine forest and the trail leads you towards Portovenere. In 1997 Portovenere, the Cinque Terre and the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Portovenere, the village that was once a source of inspiration for famous writers such as Shelley and Byron, is situated on the tip of a peninsula. Its name (Portus Veneris) derives from a temple dedicated to the goddess Venus. This temple is built on the spot where we now find the church of San Pietro, consecrated in 1198. Its characteristic façade with black and white stripes (in Ligurian gothic style) dates back to the 13th century. Your hotel is in a great position overlooking the Gulf of the Poets.

Overnight with breakfast  in Portovenere

Distance: 13 km / 8 miles

Ascent & Descent: approx. + 650m -650m

Walking time: 5h

From Portovenere by boat to the island of Palmaria, where you will make a ring walk with stunning views over the sea and coastline. The island has a rich Mediterranean vegetation and wild orchids. You are surrounded a dense vegetation, overlooking the cliffs with the sound of seagulls. Visit the castle; enjoy a swim and a lunch in one of the restaurants. Back by boat to Portovenere.

Overnight with breakfast  in Sestri Levante

Distance: 6 km /3,7 miles

Ascent & Descent: approx. + 200m – 200m

Walking time : 3h

After breakfast ends of the walking tour.

On request it is possible to extend the tour with two night and stay in Portofino to make another walk.  The beautiful peninsula of Portofino, is not only known for the colourful Portofino, resort of the Italian jetset, but also for the abbey of San Fruttuoso, located in an isolated inlet of this beautiful coastline, and the wonderful little towns of Camogli and Santa Margherita Ligure. Walking here is an another unforgettable experience!

Impressions

Self guided tour
Difficulty level 2,5
Cinque Terre on foot
7 day walking tour

Levanto-Monterosso–Vernazza-Corniglia-Riomaggiore-Manarola-Portovenere-Palmaria

Code | ITLIG02W
LEVEL 2,5

Moderate to strenuous difficulty with some steep climbs along mostly good, accessible walking paths. Sometimes walking along paths with rough surface. The terrain varies from ancient mule tracks to stone steps cut out of the hillside. Differences in altitude between sea level and 700 metres. Daily walking time is between 3 and 6 hours. Walking experience and good physical condition are necessary. You should be able to walk also 5-6 hrs a day in the sun on dusty and stony tracks. On some days, extensions or short cuts are possible.

Average daily distances:  between 5 and 16 km / 3 and 10 miles

Total km / mi:  64km / 40 mi

 

DEPARTURES:

Daily from 26 March until end of October

 

PARTICIPANTS:

1 or more people 

 

START / FINISH:

Levanto / Portovenere

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