The Cinque Terre or 'five lands' is a stunning coastal area running along the Ligurian coast in Italy. It consists of very steep rugged hillsides, which plunge dramatically into the sea. Quite unexpectedly, and against all odds, five vibrant fishing villages cling to the bottom of these hillsides just above the sea. The coastline, the villages, and the hillsides that envelope them are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. This guided group walking holiday is an excellent way to discover the Cinque Terre. Taking you up into the hillsides and away from the main tourist footpaths, you will walk through forests and vineyards, enjoying spectacular views down to the coast. Based in Riomaggiore for five nights will give you a taste of real Italian village life.
INTRODUCTORY – GRADE 1
There are some more difficult sections and short ascents on rough surfaces. During the hotter months the walk can be more demanding and you should be able to walk for up to 5 hours a day. More experienced walkers will also enjoy the classic landscape of small (although sometimes steep) hills, olive groves and vineyards, as some days you will have shorter and longer walking options. A reasonable level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.
On arrival in Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre, make your way to your hotel for the week. Please ensure you arrive in Riomaggiore between 2 and 5pm. You will be free to spend the rest of the day discovering this vibrant village. Its narrow streets often lead to fantastic views out to sea or towards the vineyards. Spend time unwinding and soaking up the local atmosphere, or go for a swim in the sea. Later the group will meet for dinner and an arrival briefing.
Today, with your guide, you will start the day with a fun boat journey to Porto Venere (when not possible, we will take the train and bus; ferry or bus fares not included). Porto Venere is a beautiful and lively seaside village with an impressive fortress which faces out to sea towards some islands. From here your guide will take you on a walk high up above the village, with excellent views out to sea. You will walk back to the village of Riomaggiore. This is a wonderful hiking itinerary to give you a feeling for what the Cinque Terre is all about. (+600m, -600m).
A steep climb will take the group up and out of Riomaggiore. From here you will walk among vineyards before reaching a dense forest. One aim of the day will be to visit a lonely menhir on the mountainside before taking the path down to Vernazza, one of the prettiest villages in the Cinque Terre. (+750m, -750m).
The walk today has splendid views over Vernazza and its towers en route to the beautiful church of San Bernadino. After leaving the shaded pine forest you will follow a narrow path among vineyards that overlook the sea. The panorama is simply breathtaking. From Volastra, you will walk downhill through olive groves to Manarola. From there, you will continue on the easy and popular lower coastal path, “Via del Amore” to get back to Riomaggiore. (+700m, -700m).
The day begins with a local train to start walking from the village of Monterosso. After leaving the beautiful beach behind you, the steep climb leads you to the first chapel. This itinerary offers amazing views over Monterosso and Vernazza. The churches you will see are always set in fantastic locations overlooking the hills. This is a beautiful loop with stunning scenery. (+670m, -670m).
To end your walking week, your guide will take you to the furthest village in the area, Levanto. Although this is not the prettiest village in the area, its little streets are still charming. The coastal path we have chosen for you today will lead you from Monterosso to Levanto on a path much less walked than the other coastal itineraries and just as fantastic. After one hour of walking from Monterosso, you have a panoramic view point within the protected area of the “Punta Mesco” - do not forget your camera! On the path to Levanto, take five minutes to rest and taste the local wine. ( +200m, -200m).
The trip concludes on check-out of your apartment at 10am.
Per Person, Twin Share