Cinque Terre & Italian Riviera Deluxe Trip

The New York Times travel section said, ‘A walk in the Cinque Terre, an area encompassing five towns of medieval origin on Italy's rugged Ligurian coastline, offers three magic travel ingredients: splendid scenery, varied landscape and a sense of discovery…’

We think the Times was right – but we can’t believe they omitted to mention crystal clear, warm, turquoise water and the wonderful cuisine. Liguria is the home of pesto – and you will not find pesto like Ligurian pesto anywhere else in the world.

The Cinque Terre, with its pastel-coloured fishing villages and terraced hillsides covered with vineyards and olive trees, constitutes one of Italy’s most impressive landscapes.

The Five (Cinque) Lands (Terre) are actually five towns along the Ligurian coast, south of Levanto. If there were Six (Sei) Terre, the sixth town would be Levanto, which lies within the Cinque Terre National Park and is our base to explore the area.

The next destination is Santa Margherita Ligure, located on the Tigullio Gulf, to the east of the Portofino Peninsula. The terraced fields, the elegant cobbled roads that twist their way down through the colourful houses, and the locals' traditional fishing vessels make this town, together with charming Portofino and Camogli, one of the most picturesque areas of Italy.


Walking
This tour can be varied to cater for visitors who would prefer a more sedentary holiday. Walking can be replaced by strolling around, sitting in piazzas, lying on beaches (!) or cultural visits.

The walking does require a reasonably good level of fitness. The trails are graded moderate and there are between two and five hours walking each day. There are lots of ascents and descents on stepped trails on the coast. We suggest that you prepare with regular exercise – including steps.

Dates

1 April to 30 June 2018 and

Trips run from 1 September 2016 to 31 October 2018

Contact us for more information.

This suggested itinerary can also be run privately, or customised so the departure date and programme completely suits you. 

All scheduled small group trips will be confirmed and guaranteed by Around The Sun at least 56 days before the trip commences. However, if at 56 days before departure there are insufficient bookings to cover the cost of running the trip we reserve the right to cancel the trip. Anyone who has already made a booking will be given the choice to receive a full refund, to transfer their booking to another trip, or to continue on the trip with fewer passengers but at a higher price.

Departures for private, customised trips are all fully guaranteed. Contact us now for quotes and information on private, customised trips.

Full Itinerary
Day 1- Arrival on your own in Sestri Levante, or private transfer from Florence on request.

Overnight: Hotel**** in Sestri Levante
Meal: dinner

Day 2 - Riomaggiore to Monterosso

Walking easy to moderate - 3.5 hrs to 5.5 hrs
To begin our adventure we will enjoy a lovely walk through the five scenic villages from which the name Cinque Terre is derived. Our day starts with a private transfer to Riomaggiore (about 1.5 hrs from Sestri Levante), the first village of the Cinque Terre.

A short, paved coastal path, known as the Lover's Trail takes you to the picturesque village of Manarola. From Manarola to Corniglia the trail becomes narrow and steep and you reach the next village of the five lands walking up a beautiful switchback staircase that leads from the sea to the hamlet on the edge of a sheer cliff. The views are spectacular and it’s an incredibly breath-taking walk.

In Corniglia we take our time wandering through the narrow alleyways of steep multi-coloured houses before taking the next section of the path to Vernazza. We walk through ancient cultivated terraces, olive groves and woodland, and then along the cliff edge with impressive views.

The houses of Vernazza cluster around a lovely harbour. There is plenty of time to explore the tiny village with its weather worn multi-coloured facades, before continuing to Monterosso. If you prefer to spend more time in the villages, there is a local train that interconnects all the villages.

From Monterosso we can easily take a local train to Sestri Levante (about 30 minutes).
Overnight: Hotel**** in Sestri Levante
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 3 - Poets' Gulf  - Porto Venere

Walking - easy - 3 hrs
Today we discover the fascinating beauty of the Poets' Gulf. We drive to Porto Venere (private transfer  - 1.5 hrs) a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unique beauty. The name of the ancient Portus Veneris refers to a temple to the goddess Venus, situated on the promontory where today you can admire the majesty of San Peter’s Church.

From the harbour of Porto Venere we take a boat to the Isle of Palmaria. Here we begin an easy walk around the island, admiring steep rocky cliffs, inspiring grottoes and passing abandoned marble quarries. A panoramic ferry ride takes us to Monterosso, giving us the opportunity to admire all the five lands before returning to our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel**** in Sestri Levante
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 4 - Coastal walk to Punta Manara & return

Walking - easy - 2.5 hrs
The stunning walk to Punta Manara starts from our hotel, takes us through the alleys of the old town and after a series of steps leading out of the village, leads to a trail surrounded by a unique mix of vegetation. There’s indigenous coastal vegetation, a strip of cork oak forests and olive groves. The park holds the well-preserved remains of a Saracen tower that stands high above sea level. It is an excellent vantage point with magnificent views of the Gulf of Silence and Sestri.
Overnight: Hotel**** in Sestri Levante
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 -  Camogli – San Fruttuoso – Portofino

Walking - easy to moderate - 2.5 hrs
The final day offers a taste of the superb Portofino Peninsula. A brief train ride (35 mins) takes us to Camogli. From here we enjoy a lovely boat ride to San Fruttuoso. The medieval Benedictine abbey of San Fruttuoso, located in a tiny rocky cove, is a hidden gem in a green bay. Take your time to visit the monastery before starting an impressive hike to Portofino along a scenic trail that winds its way above the sea.

Visit the glamorous village of Portofino called the Jewel of the Riviera. It’s a gorgeous fishing village with an atmosphere of pure elegance and the perfect spot to taste the charming atmosphere of the Italian Riviera.  From Portofino we will return to Sestri Levante by private transfer.
Overnight: Hotel**** in Sestri Levante
Meal: Breakfast & dinner

Day 6 – Departure

Your trip ends after breakfast. From Sestri Levante you can easily catch the train to your next destination or we will arrange a private transfer.

Price & Inclusions

Prices for this trip start at $2995 per person on a twin share basis. This price is based on a scheduled small group departure, off peak, with a minimum of six passengers. Departures at peak holiday periods may be more expensive. Contact Around The Sun to confirm the cost of specific trips.

The price includes:
  • English speaking local tour leader
  • 5 nights Charming & Historical ****Hotel in Sestri Levante
  • 5 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners
  • Private transfer from Sestri Levante to Riomaggiore on day 2
  • Private transfer from Sestri Levante to Porto Venere on day 3
  • Private transfer from Monterosso to Sestri Levante on day 3
  • Private transfer from Portofino to Sestri Levante on day 5
  • Cinque Terre Train Card for day 2
The price DOES NOT include:
  • visas, airfares and airport taxes
  • travel insurance (compulsory)
  • drinks
  • meals not mentioned in the itinerary

All scheduled small group trips will be confirmed and guaranteed by Around The Sun at least 56 days before the trip commences. However, if at 56 days prior to departure there are insufficient bookings to cover the cost of running the trip we reserve the right to cancel the trip. Anyone who has already made a booking will be given the choice to receive a full refund, to transfer their booking to another trip, or to continue on the trip with fewer passengers but at a higher price.

Departures for private, customised trips are all fully guaranteed. Contact us for quotes and information on private, customised trips.

The Lakes Overview

Liguria is a fascinating coastal region that stretches from the French border in the west to La Spezia in the east. The Italian Riviera is a term used to describe the entire Ligurian coast. The coast is breathtakingly beautiful and varies dramatically from tiny villages clinging to rocky outcrops to cosmopolitan resorts.

Several of Around The Sun’s small group tours focus on a (deservedly) famous stretch of the Riviera, the Cinque Terre, but there is also plenty to do nearby.

Genova is the capital of Liguria; the labrynthine alleys of the old quarter are perfect for exploring – and getting lost. You’ll chance upon wonderful shops and trattorie as you go. Further north, you can wander around the charming historical centre of the Piedmontese capital, Torino, or explore the ski resorts of Valle D’Aosta.

Around The Sun’s Cinque Terre & Italian Riviera Deluxe Trip highlights the isolated villages and quiet inlets along the stretch of coast near the large naval port of La Spezia. This region is also featured in Lucrezia’s Italian Highlights Trip.

The Gulf of La Spezia has been praised so often by famous poets - Dante, Petrarch, Byron and Shelley to name just a few! - that it is simply referred to as Golfo dei Poeti. At the mouth of the gulf, Porto Venere, overlooked by a castle, with a superb church perched on a promontory above the waves, and multi-storied, terracotta-coloured houses crowded around the harbour, is a wonderful, idyllic spot to savour.

Just north of Porto Venere, the Cinque Terre (Five Lands) comprises five picturesque fishing villages that cling to rocky headlands. Around The Sun can organise off-the-beaten-path walking tours where you will see olive-oil production and special wines harvested from the steeply terraced vineyards. The villages are linked by an ancient 14 km coastal footpath, as well as by train and boat. Whichever way you travel, you will be enchanted by the rocky promontories, villages, sheltered coves and turquoise water.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you have any questions please contact us. We have an enormous amount of experience – and we have expert operators on the ground in all our destinations.

If our small group guided tours don’t meet your needs, we’re set up so that we can create private tours using our published itineraries, or custom tours that are both private and customised to meet your wishes. See Create Your Own Journey.

 

Cinque Terre & Italian Riviera Deluxe Trip

A walk in the Cinque Terre - an area encompassing five medieval towns perched on a spectacular coastline - offers the most magic travel ingredients: splendid scenery; varied landscape; great food and wine; warm, turquoise water, and a sense of discovery…. Then, to cap it all, the trip finishes on the gorgeous Portofino Peninsula.

Days:6
Luxury:**** four star
Type of Tour:Small Group Guided Tour
Experience: Walking
Challenge: Medium
Cost: Contact ATS

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