The Cinque Terre Explored Overview
Walk the coast of the Cinque Terre. On this beautiful coastline tour of Italy, we hike from Levanto to Monterosso, Riomaggiore, Montenero and Portofino, finishing in Santa Margherita by foot, boat and train.
- 2015-01-01 - 2015-12-31
Walk the pristine coastline of Italy’s famous Cinque Terre
When entering this region of Italy, things can seem a little surreal. The houses are painted in vivid multi-coloured shades, the ocean’s brighter than the sky and the sun rains down so heavily that everything seems a little technicoloured – welcome to Cinque Terre. Describing it as a gem of Italy is totally correct, but to be more specific, it would have to be an opal – a play of colours, mainly reflected by the blue of the sea, dotted with gold, pink and green houses. This is a rare jewel that changes with the light of the day, and is best explored on foot to truly understand the natural beauty of this precious treasure.
What's included in this trip
The Cinque Terre Explored SummaryAdd to Shortlist
Begin your journey north of Cinque Terre in the beautiful seaside town of Levanto. Settle in and explore the cobbled streets that lead to medieval castles and churches. Otherwise, just sit back, relax and become better acquainted with pizza, pasta and some organic wine from the region.
From Levanto, begin a scenic walk towards Punta Mesco. Discover the remains of 11th-century ruins and stroll around the dramatic coastline in search of the perfect picnic spot. Continue on towards Monterosso, the largest costal village on the Cinque Terre. Bright clusters of houses will be welcoming on the eyes, as will the long stretch of beach. This is the only extensive beach in the whole of Cinque Terre – the perfect spot for a dip. Either walk or catch a local train back to Levanto for a meal to refuel.
Catch an early morning train to Riomaggiore for one of the most famous walks in the area – the Via dell’Amore (Lovers’ Lane). This little jaunt takes us to Manarola, a village where buildings are painted a kaleidoscope of colours, distinctively popping out from the natural terrain. Then walk up the 365 steps to Corniglia for a striking view of vineyards, terraces and the ocean, before continuing on towards Vernazza, which offers the best views of the region. Upon arrival, check out the 15th-century Doria Castle, an old pirate lookout. Pesto sauce is a product of the region so grab a slice of pesto pizza and complement it with some Vino de la Cinque Terre before catching the train back to Levanto.
Lace up your walking shoes for a big day. Catch a train to Riomaggiore, the most southern of the five big towns of Cinque Terre. From here, embark on the most challenging and most rewarding trail of the tour. Walk uphill to a spectacular view from Madonna di Montenero and continue on to Campiglia. Be wowed by the changing costal terrain, from seaside to vineyard to pine forest, heading toward Porto Venere. This ancient fishing community offers spectacular Roman architecture of marble columns and black stonewalls. Jump in a boat and drift along the coast back to Levanto while admiring the natural landscape and settlements from the sea.
Walk west and explore the little village of Bonassola. Wedged between mountain and sea, it’s the perfect place for a morning coffee before the real walking begins. Stumble across a series of small hillside hamlets and make your way to Deiva Marina’s pristine beaches for a relaxing swim, or explore the medieval Old Town. Train back to Santa Margherita, put down your bags for the next three days and enjoy the seafood of the region.
Travel by local bus to the small hamlet of Ruta to begin today’s walk. Monte Portofino is the highest point of the Peninsula. On land, explore this quaint seaside village by foot and visit the Abbey of San Fruttuoso. Once a monastery, it’s now one of the most interesting Gothic establishments in the region. And even better – it’s right on the beach. Jump on a boat to Camogli and wander the historic town centre, take a spin on a beachside carousel or sip coffee in one of the many seaside cafes.
Sink into a relaxed way of life around the Portofino peninsula, strolling through the historic centre of Santa Margherita Ligure. Treat your nose to the sensory delight of the surrounding landscape and stop to smell the sea breeze mixed with perfumes of lemon trees, hydrangeas and other floral delights. Continue walking the scenic trail, stop for lunch or a swim, and then spend the afternoon relaxing in the sun.
There is just enough time to try a famous local anchovies dish, go for a brisk walk on the beach, or a stroll for some last minute souvenirs before bidding farewell to the colourfully scenic and naturally rich region of Liguria.
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