Idyllic & Iconic: Walking the Picturesque Towns of the Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre links Italy’s famous collection of colourful fishing villages along the coast of Liguria, via picturesque clifftop routes that offer a spectacular vantage point over charming pastel villages and the striking Mediterranean coast. The name Cinque Terre also refers to the National Park that stretches along the western coast of Italy, south of Genoa.

  • Picturesque towns on the Italian Riviera, including Portofino, Riomaggiore, Portovenere and Monterosso, as well as lesser-known places like the charming former fishing village of Camogli
  • The tranquil settings of the impressive San Frattuoso Abbey, located in a quiet cove only reachable by boat or by foot
  • Experience the timeless appeal of exploring the titular ‘five towns’ of the route, the architecture of each beautifully preserved under the National Park’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Incredible views over the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean from the clifftop routes that link village to village
  • Spend the evenings exploring the maze of terraces, bars, cafes and restaurants of the colourful towns you visit along the way, including the lovely medieval settings of Portovenere

RouteCinque Terre
Duration7 nights/6 days walking
Length44mi (71km)
GradeEasy to Moderate
Comfort3/4
AvailabilityMar - Oct
Price from£790
Holiday CodeITA-CQT

Why this Walk?

A spectacular journey exploring the Cinque Terre, a string of centuries-old fishing villages along the rugged northern section of the Ligurian Riviera, from the charming fishing village of Camogli to the classic, seafront beauty of Portovenere. The route links some of Liguria’s most captivating locales, including the harbourside of Portofino, the sorbet-coloured houses of Riomaggiore, and Cinque Terre’s largest village – Monterosso, set amidst terraces of olive groves and vineyards. Out on the trail, you’ll cross paths with the secluded, shoreside settings of San Fruttuoso Abbey and stay in a variety of friendly, family-run hotels.

The Path

From Camogli to Portovenere, the route traces a course around the Portofino promontory, before following clifftop routes down the Ligurian coast to the five colourful fishing villages known as the ‘Cinque Terre’. The clifftop routes provide a fantastic vantage point over the neighbouring Ligurian Sea with dusty tracks, well-marked footpaths with some uneven paved roads underfoot. Although distances are relatively short, there are some steep sections along the coast, with some of the more challenging sections found between the villages of Monterosso, Vernazza and Corniglia. The final days' walking also offers spectacular coastal views along the clifftop routes between Riomaggiore to Portovenere,

The Accommodation

We use comfortable 2*, 3* and 4* hotels, predominantly family-owned establishments, often favoured for their personal and attentive service.

All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, and a good Italian breakfast is included each morning. The trip is on a bed & breakfast basis, although you'll find many opportunities to sample the outstanding local cuisine and prestigious wines in the towns and villages of the local area.

Hotel Cinque Terre

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Itinerary: Walking San Rocco to Portovenere

Days: 6 (7 nights)| Distance: 44 mi (71 km) | Difficulty: Easy to Moderate | Comfort: 3/4 | Price: from £790 p.p.

  • Day 1

    Arrival in Camogli

    Arrive in Camogli, a charming former fishing village – easily one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. Take the evening to explore the promenade and sample the many freshly caught seafood and quaint shoreline bars and cafés.
  • Day 2

    San Rocco to Portofino via San Fruttoso Abbey

    7 miles or 3.4 miles

    9 a.m. Transfer to San Rocco Take one of the main paths leading around the promontory to the Portofino National Park, where you’ll find surfaced paths with a view out over the Mediterranean. Your walk takes you from the village of San Rocco to the San Frattuoso Abbey. From here, you can either follow the route to Portofino, or take the ferry crossing back to Camogli Option to travel from San Fruttoso to Portofino by ferry - p.m, with return to Camogli by bus or boat (own arrangement/cost) At the furthermost point of the promontory, you’ll find spectacular views from the lighthouse (Il Faro), which is approximately 1km from Portofino. From here, you can take the boat back to Camogli via San Frattuoso or take a bus/boat to Santa Margherita and return to Camogli by train.
  • Day 3

    Bonassola to Deiva Marina via Framura + (Optional Shorter Walk)

    7.8 miles or 3.4 miles

    a.m. Short train ride to Bonassola (own arrangement/cost) Today's route traces a course through the hills of the East riviera, through pine forest tracks and dusty roads that slope down to meet the sea. There are a few climbs on this route, with the highest being the Casa Serra (altitude 300 m), in the Anzo stretch of coast before Deiva. Despite the climbing nature of this route, there are many opportunities to catch your breath and enjoy the spectacular views at dedicated viewing points along the path: including La Madonnina della Punta. There are also beaches en route, such as the Spiaggia di La Vallà. p.m. Return to Bonassola by train (own arrangement/cost) Walk can be shortened by returning to Bonassola by train from Framura (Resulting in a total walking distance of 3.4 miles/5.5km)
  • Day 4

    Bonassola to Monterosso via Levanto

    6.4 miles

    The tunnels and bridges of an old railway line have been converted into footpaths and cycle tracks that lead out of Bonassola to the picturesque seaside town of Levanto for today's walk. On your way into Levanto, you'll find spectacular views over coast from the bridges of the former railroad. Leaving the town, the route climbs to the top of a ridge, a fantastic vantage point for panoramic views over the surrounding gulf. From there, it's a gentle, descending route to Monterosso.
  • Day 5

    Soviore to Monterosso via Vernazza + (Optional Shorter Walk)

    6.3 miles or 3.6 miles

    9 a.m. Transfer to Soviore Monastery Walk Soviore to Monterosso via Vernazza Optional visit to the Soviore Monastery before taking the asphalt road along the descending path to the Madonna di Reggio (an old sanctuary with sweeping views over the area). Here, the route joins a stony path leading down to Vernazza, with panoramic coastal views on the shoreline trail returning to Monterosso. You may shorten the walk by taking the train from Vernazza, using the Cinque Terre Card - included in price, further information in 'Price Info'. (resulting in total walking distance of 3.6 miles/ 5.8km)
  • Day 6

    Selection of Optional Walks

    5.6 miles or 6.2 miles

    Monterosso loop via Colle di Gritta Follow an inland trail to the 'Chisea dei Cappucini', before crossing paths with viewing point of the Colle di Gritta. A path along the mountain ridge leads through stretches of verdant greenery, with routes leading over the Monte Molinelli, Monte Rossini, Monte Negro and Colle dei Bagari to Punta Mesco. From here, it's possible to extend youe walk to the ruins of Sant' Antonio del Mesco. This section culminates with a series of old paved footpaths, which may require careful footing. Or take short train ride to Corniglia (incl. with Cinque Terre card) Walk Corniglia to Riomaggiore via Volastra The immediate start of the route is fairly steep, with a climb rewarded with a flat clifftop path, offering panoramic views over the coastal area. The final section that leads into Riomaggiore follows steep paved stairs to finish this route. p.m. return by train to Monterosso (incl. with Cinque Terre card)
  • Day 7

    Riomaggiore to Portovenere (inland or coastal walk)

    8.1 miles or 10.6 miles

    a.m. train to Riomaggiore (own arrangement/cost) Walk Riomaggiore to Portovenere (coastal) The final walking day connects the most southern villages of the Cinque Terre with a high-level route over the clifftops and mountains that border the Cinque Terre. Follow the Colle del Telegrafo until you reach Portovenere, meeting the village of Campiglia en route. Campiglia is an ideal place to take stock and enjoy the scenery, with its high-level location overlooking the famous 'Gulf of Poets', as well as the open sea. This is a route characterised by incredible clifftop views, particularly the cliffs over Portovenere towards the end of the route. Or Walk Riomaggiore to Portovenere (inland)
  • Day 8

    Depart Portovenere

    Departure from Portovenere following breakfast. Your nearest airport in the north is Genoa, and to the south, Pisa.

Click ' + ' signs to view a detailed daily breakdown

PricesTwo people sharing (p.p.)Single person (in a group)Solo person
1/3/19 - 25/3/19£790£1015£1205
26/3/19 - 11/4/19£870£1205£1395
12/4/19 - 30/4/19£970£1310£1500
1/5/19 - 29/5/19£945£1280£1470
30/5/19 - 5/10/19£970£1310£1500
6/10/19 - 15/10/19£870£1205£1395
16/10/19 - 31/10/19£840£1105£1295

  • What's Included?

    We Include:

    • 7 nights bed and breakfast
    • Luggage transfers between Bonassola and Portovenere (please take luggage with you on the train between Camogli-Bonassola).
    • Some personal transfers as indicated on route description
    • Cinque Terre Card + Train (2 days) – valid for Days 5 & 6
    • Destination Manual and Road Book (route notes) showing directions to your accommodation.

    Not Included:

    • City taxes (per person) only payable direct to accommodations – The prices below indicate the total to pay per person, rather than per night.

    Please consider city tax can vary during the year and new taxes can be introduced

    (Camogli 2€ and Monterosso 4.5€, but this amount is subject to change)

    • Packed lunches (own arrangements)
    • Evening meals (own arrangements)
    • Travel to Camogli / from Portovenere - Please note that some days require transfers by public transport at your own cost
    • Postage Overseas ~ £5.00 (Europe), £10.00 (Rest of the World) ~ per walk pack
  • Price Info.

    Included in the cost of your trip is a Cinque Terre Card.

    This allows access to the National Park, as well as free admission on select trains (the details of which are in your itinerary).

    Further information on the Cinque Terre Card can be found here.

  • Getting There

    The nearest airports to the start of your walk are found in Genoa and Pisa.

    Genoa  (GOA) http://www.airport.genova.it/en/                                                                  

    Pisa       (PSA)  http://www.pisa-airport.com/en/          

    You are responsible for booking your air travel to airports and onward travel to your first accommodation and from your accommodation on departure.

  • Best Time to Travel

    By hiking the trail in the months of April, May, June September and October, you’ll avoid having to head out early just to avoid the sweltering heat of midday – a factor that makes progress along the path discernibly harder. Another factor to consider in not visiting during high summer is that you’ll find towns and accommodation are less busy.

                                                                                                            

Further Reading

For more inspiration on the Ciinque Terre National Park, you may wish to visit its Lonely Planet page:
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/cinque-terre

Or their official tourism website:
http://cinqueterre.it/en/

Enquire About Cinque Terre

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