Liguria – Portofino and The Cinque Terre

8 days Self-Guided Coastal walking tour

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Liguria – Portofino and The Cinque Terre:
8 days Self-Guided Coastal walking tour

Strolling along the waterfront pathways of the Ligurian Riviera offers striking views of lush Mediterranean vineyards, wild flower and olive groves; while inland there are dense pine and chestnut forests waiting to be discovered. The trip starts with a walk to the unique church of San Fruttuoso and the Jet-set seaside town of Portofino. Then travel by train to the picturesque villages of Bonassola and Monterosso, entering the magical land of the Cinque Terre, five unique fishing villages set like gems along the jagged high cliff coast line, that runs all the way to the colorful village of Portovenere where you can savor the delicious local cuisine and relax with a glass of white wine on a seaside café terrace.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Camogli
As soon as you get settled in your accommodation, step outside and breathe in the incredibly fresh, crisp air of the Mediterranean Sea. In the afternoon you can visit the historic centre, and in the evening, let all your senses be delighted as you prepare for your phenomenal walking adventure ahead.

Day 2:    Walk from Camogli to Portofino via San Fruttuoso (13 km, 7 km)
From Camogli take one of the main paths of the Portofino Regional Park; a first steep section takes you to the village of San Rocco (it is possible to take a bus instead), then arrive to the San Fruttuoso Abbey. From San Fruttuoso, you can choose to walk or take a ferry to Portofino. Enjoy the wonderful view from Il Faro (the Light House), located at the extreme point of the promontory, 1km far from Portofino from where you take the train or boat back to Camogli. Challenge: 5.5/3.5 hours, 13/7 km, 1165/734m ascent, 1185/394m descent
Day 3:     Walk from Bonassola to Deiva Marina via Framura (12.5 km)
Today starts with a short train ride to Bonassola from where you start the day’s walk through the hills of the East Riviera which divide Bonassola, Framura and Deiva Marina. The first part of this walk (Bonassola – Framura) is extremely panoramic with wonderful views over the northern Ligurian coast and it can be shortened by ending in Framura. Return to Bonassola by train. Challenge: 5 hours, 12.5 km, 657m ascent, 643m descent
Day 4:    Walk from Deiva Marina to Riva Trigoso via Moneglia (14.6 km)
After breakfast, take a train to Deiva Marina where the day’s walk starts. If you wish to make a shorter walk, you can also start in Moneglia. The hike follows the jagged coast line and crossing a few valleys and ends in Riva Trigoso, 1 train stop from Sestri Levante that is worth visiting. Take the train back to Bonassola. Challenge: 6 hours, 14.6 km, 1008m ascent, 996m descent
Day 5:    Walk from Bonassola to Monterosso al Mare via Levanto (10.2 km)
The first part of today’s walk runs along an old railway recently transformed in a flattish cycle path. You walk through tunnels and bridges with spectacular views over the sea and the cliffs till you arrive to the nice town of Levanto. Reach the ridge top to enjoy the spectacular views over the mountains which surrounding the gulf. Arrive in Punta Mesco and walk down towards the village of Monterosso where you overnight. Challenge: 4.5 hours, 10.2 km, 753m ascent, 746m descent
Day 6:    Transfer to Soviore and walk back to Monterosso via Vernazza (10 km)
A short transfer takes you to Soviore Monastery where you can stop for a visit before starting the walk back to Monterosso via Vernazza. From the Sanctuary you walk on asphalt road for 1,5km, then take a nice panoramic path that slightly descends to the Madonna di Reggio. Continue walking on a stone path down to Vernazza where you take the panoramic coastal path back to Monterosso. To shorten the walk, you can stop in Vernazza and take a train back to Monterosso. Challenge: 4 hours, 10 km, 643m ascent, 1098m descent
Day 7:     Walk from Riomaggiore to Portovenere (13 km, 17 km)
A short train ride takes you to Riomaggiore from where you walk to the edge of mountain chain which border the Cinque Terre area. From Colle del Telegrafo, follow the edge till you reach Portovenere, passing through the village of Campiglia. In Portovenere you can choose to take a bus to La Spezia and a train to Monterosso or take a ferry directly to Monterosso. The walk can also be shortened. The day’s itinerary is spectacular thanks to the great views over the Cinque Terre coastline and the impressive cliffs of Portovenere at the end. Challenge: 4/5 hours, 13/17 km, 723m ascent, 744m descent
Day 8:     Arrivederci Cinque Terre!
The trip and our services end after breakfast. You can depart Monterosso by train and easily reach the Pisa, Genoa, Florence or Milan airports for your ongoing journey.
Hightlights and Technical Information
Highlights
  • The five villages of the Cinque Terre (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore)
  • The jetsetter port of Portofino and other lesser known coastal villages nice of the Ligurian Riviera (Camogli, Bonassola, Deiva Marina, Framura, Levanto)
  • The colorful town of Portovenere
  • Breath-taking views of the emerald blue Mediterranean Sea
Technical information:

The walks are along vineyards, uneven footpaths, mule tracks and small gravel roads (strade bianche). The trails through the vineyards can get slippery, muddy and heavy-going when wet or after it has rained. The Bar to Bar route is well marked, while alternative trails do not always have markings.

Trip grading: Introductory to Moderate – grade 2 :This is a self-guided walk with average daily stages of 3 to 5 hours. The paths are clearly visible and well-marked; there are some sections of the trail which

Luggage transfer: Luggage transfer is included and is provided by the accommodation itself or a local taxi company.

A note on our self guided adventures and Fitness preparation:

Self guided walking or cycling requires individuals to use problem solving skills, be adaptable and have a keen eye. It is recommended that you are comfortable map reading, referring to route notes and that you have a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!) Sometimes route finding, losing your way, finding it again and asking the locals for help is all part of the adventure. If you’ve never been on a self guided trip, after the first couple of days you will get the hang of if as the vast majority of our first time travellers attest. Please be assured that our written material issued to you for route finding is updated regularly and we provide a 7 day service hotline in the event of any problems. There is a certain level of the unknown that comes with self guided trips; however with a methodical approach potential problems will be averted. The freedom of a self guided trip is something that, once experienced, is sought time and time again.
Fitness preparation: The concept behind most of our trips is active holidays and the fitter you are the more easily you will adjust and enjoy yourself. We expect participants to take responsibility for their fitness and preparations on a consistent basis prior to departure, and INCREASE the regular weekly training schedule in the two months leading up to departure. That way, when you start walking, you will feel relaxed and comfortable and strong, having done more than sufficient preparation for the trip. You will also have more energy to enjoy the views, take photos and explore the sights in your spare time, rather than just make it to the next hotel. During the day is when the most interesting features of interest will be found, and being fit allows you to optimize every situation you encounter. As a minimum, we recommend 40 minutes of aerobic type exercise; running, swimming, biking, hill walking, or gym work two to three times a week for two to six months leading up to your walk. Note the best training is the activity that you are actually going to be doing; walking up and down hill, and cross-country. Practice this as much as possible. Training should be stepped up as you get closer to departure, to an amount you feel appropriate (you don’t want to cause yourself an injury!). Using your gear before departure (boots, day pack, clothing, etc.) gives familiarity and comfort whilst on the walk. It makes sense to know that all your gear ‘works for you’ BEFORE departure, rather than discovering how things work or fit (or don’t!) on the trip you have invested so much in. Use the philosophy of ‘getting fit to go walking’, rather than ‘going on a walk to get fit’, to avoid problems.

Dates, Inclusions, Cost , Supplements

Departure dates: Every day from 01 March to 31 October 2020  (ref IT018)

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Price per person (min 2 people twin share): from A$1250

What is included:
  • 7 nights in selected B&Bs, hotels and agriturismo
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer from Bonassola to Monterosso on DAY 5
  • Private transfer to Santuario di Soviore on DAY 6
  • Detailed information pack, route notes and maps with tracks on
  • 24/7 telephone support
Not included:
  • Flights
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Meals and drinks
  • Hotel tourist taxes
  • Insurance and everything not listed as “Included”
Additional Supplements:

Cost per person

  • single room supplement A$540
  • solo traveler supplement A$650
  • arrival and departure transfers on request ( private and shared)
  • extra nights with breakfast on request
Accommodation and Meals

Accommodation and Meals:
This tour offers accommodation in pretty B&B and 3* hotels. All rooms are en suited.

Albergo La Camogliese ** (Camogli)
Albergo la Camogliese is located at the beginning of the seafront in Camogli, a 5-minute walk from the city’s train station. The property offers concierge service, free Wi-Fi with coverage on common rooms and accommodation and a bar. Rooms are in classic Ligurian style, not particularly spacious but clean and well-kept, they are equipped with TV, private bathroom, heating and a good soundproofing. Breakfast buffet is good and varied, available in the room on request. The staff is friendly and helpful.
Hotel Villa Belvedere *** (Bonassola)
Hotel Villa Belvedere is located on a hill overlooking the blue bay of Bonassola and has a big garden. Rooms overlooking the sea and the surroundings and are furnished in a simple way, clean but not very soundproofed. Accommodations have heating, telephone, TV, Free Wi-Fi, ceiling fan. Breakfast is good and various.
Albergo Marina *** (Monterosso al Mare)
Hotel Marina lies in a quiet area, 100 meters from the sea. Rooms are beautifully decorated and well finished with free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning/heated, TV, telephone. Breakfast is very good and various, and the staff is welcoming and helpful.

Price from: A$1250

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