Cinque Terre

Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

8 days
from
$1,845
incl. taxes
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4.8 / 5 from 34 reviews
Walking & Trekking
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Moderate
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
TEH
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
5–15
Min age:
16

Walks on Italy's stunning Ligurian Riviera

Located on a part of Italy's most beautiful coastline, nestled between the Cinque Terre and bay of Portofino, our base in the seaside town of Moneglia is a real treat for visitors.  On inspirational walks through hills, woodland and coastal villages we will discover why these areas have earned names such as the Gulf of the Poets. Many of the country’s most iconic trails are situated in the region of Liguria and this trip makes a great introduction to Italy with its ample opportunities for walking, relaxing and sampling delicious food and wine.

Highlights

  • Coastal and mountain paths via olive groves and vineyards
  • Some of the most picturesque and colourful villages of the Cinque Terre and Liguria
  • Walk from village to village, through forests and spectacular terraced landscapes overlooking the sea
  • Chic resort of Portofino

Key information

  • 7 nights 3-star Hotel Piccolo, all rooms en suite
  • 8 days land only/flight inclusive
  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Reasonable fitness required
  • Countries visited: Italy

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 2 packed lunches, 1 dinner, 1 wine tasting
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - limited availability)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Local taxes (approx. EUR 5 per person, see Trip Notes)
Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths

Day by day breakdown
Day 213.0km/8.0miles
Day 310.0km/6.0miles
Day 413.0km/8.0miles
Day 611.0km/7.0miles
Day 78.0km/5.0miles

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we spend the week in a family run Hotel Piccolo that employs local staff and uses local produce wherever possible. This ensures that we benefit the local community with providing job opportunities and a chance to generate income.

As a walking holiday, we actively encourage clients to interact with the locals, visit local cafes and bars, support local produce and craft and to experience what life is really like in the seaside region of Liguria.

Water is especially important and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital to not cause too much waste from single use plastic bottles. Tap water in Italy is generally safe to drink hence, we strongly encourage clients to bring their own reusable water bottles to refill throughout the trip.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

 

Itinerary

Moneglia
to
Moneglia
  • Day 1

    Start Moneglia

    We begin in the charming seaside town of Moneglia. Beautifully located in the heart of a bay on the Mediterranean sea, the picture-postcard town is listed since 2012 on the 'I Borghi Più Belli d'Italia' (Most Beautiful Villages of Italy) and has been awarded the European Blue Flag every year since 1990, for its clear waters and the quality of the services offered.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Follow the coastal trail between Deiva Marina and the villages of Framura and Bonassola

    In the morning we take a short train to Deiva Marina and start our walk through holm oak forests and maquis shrubland. The walk begins with a relatively steep path, climbing up to picturesque woods of pine and strawberry trees. Our efforts will be rewarded at the top of the hill with stunning panoramic views of the coastline and the Promontory of Portofino.

    We will then take an ondulating trail that offers beautiful views over the Ligurian Sea and leads to the village of Framura, where we stop for lunch. After the refreshments, we descend by steps almost to sea level then meander through woods until a final steep climb for magnificent views of the sea. We then head to the pretty village of Bonassola before taking the train back to our hotel in Moneglia.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Take the train to Cinque Terre N.P; walk the stunning paths to some of Liguria's prettiest villages

    Today we will set out to visit the spectacular Cinque Terre (Five Lands), one of Italy's most beautiful 'works of art', declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and part of the Cinque Terre National Park. The best way to explore these charming villages is on foot, and today we will walk on the famous Sentiero Azzurro Ligure (Ligurian Blue Path), which connects the five villages.

    Today we will visit three of the five, namely Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso, and we will pass along old mule tracks, walking through terraced vineyards and olive groves. After completing some steep and rocky sections, we will be rewarded with wonderful views of the colourful villages, built into the rocks facing the sea. Please note that some sections of the path may be closed so we may need to take the train between villages or change the itinerary accordingly.

    At the end of the walk, we catch the train back to Moneglia where there will be time to relax or go for a swim before dinner.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Walk on the Portofino promontory and explore the world-renowned fishing village of Portofino itself

    This morning we will set out by train to Santa Margherita Ligure, a charming coastal town, where we will begin our hike to the fishing village of Portofino. Famous for its pastel-coloured houses and picturesque harbour, the town is now attracting celebrities from all over the world. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Free day to relax, take optional walks, try kayaking or visit nearby Portovenere or Genova

    Today you will enjoy a well-earned break and perhaps spend your day relaxing at the beach. Those with more energy might like to use the opportunity for some sightseeing. Genoa, the region’s capital city, home of Christopher Columbus and the largest aquarium in Europe is not be missed. Alternatively, you could spend some time in the near town of Porto Venere, referred to being one of the stops in the "Bay of Poets"  or use the day to visit the beautiful town of Lucca, located further away.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Transfer to Rapallo by train, take the cable car up Montallegro for fantastic views and walk down to Chiavari, afternoon wine tasting

    This morning we will take a short train ride to Rapallo and the cable car up to the sanctuary of Montallegro (600 mt). From here we will set out on a walk through quiet woodland, catching glimpses of the Ligurian sea en route to the seaside town of Chiavari. In the early evening we will have the chance to enjoy the local speciality at our well-deserved wine tasting!

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Return to the Cinque Terre area for an alternative walk through glorious coastline and colourful villages

    This morning we will head back to the famous Cinque Terre to walk some of the quieter, alternative trails. The exact path you will walk will depend on local track conditions, but they are generally on higher ground than the classic Sentiero Azzuro, so offer even more spectacular views of the coastline and villages.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Moneglia

    Our trip ends in Moneglia, after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 packed lunches, 1 dinner and 1 wine tasting is included.

Liguria is well-known for its delicious cuisine and classic regional dishes include pasta with pesto or walnut sauce, focaccia bread and of course plenty of seafood! With an abundance of fresh local produce and plenty of restaurants to try in Moneglia, food is a highlight of the trip. Vegetarians are well-catered for in Italy, but please inform us when booking.

Please note that neither the Hotel nor the restaurants in Moneglia are able to cater for people with severe celiac desease.

Weather

May departures can expect warm days, although rain is always possible. Nights may be rather cool. Early June is similar, with the days becoming progressively hotter and the evenings much warmer. Late June to August departures should expect very warm weather with temperatures over 30 degrees celsius. Late September and October are cooler and can be wetter, however visibility is better. We strongly recommend a fleece-lined jacket or warm sweater in May, September and October.

Is this trip for you?

Activity level: 3 (Moderate)
The walks on this trip are graded moderate. Although some walks will get your pulse racing we will also have plenty of time to rest, admire the views and on many days we can also enjoy swim breaks! Over the course of the week, the terrain and type of path will vary between manmade paved tracks/tarmac, uneven, rocky and steep steps, and forest trails. Some areas may be rocky underfoot with narrow, overgrown or exposed paths. Although the walks are not technically challenging, you do need to be steady on your feet. All walks take between 4 and 6 hours including lunch stops and require a moderate to high level of fitness as some parts of the walks can be particularly strenuous. On a couple of days, there are sections with a considerable number of steps (more than 500), which make the walks unsuitable for those with knees problems.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Public transport can be subject to delays and some waiting at train stations should be expected.

Please be aware that path openings are influenced by safety reasons, along with weather conditions and this may affect the itinerary planned.

Please note that neither the hotel nor the restaurants in Moneglia are able to cater for people with severe coeliac disease.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

Piccolo Hotel *** This family-run hotel is ideally located a few metres from the seafront, and the bars and restaurants of the pretty town. All rooms are en suite and facilities include an indoor pool, sun terrace with jacuzzi, and restaurant. Wi-Fi is available in the rooms.

A limited number of double rooms for sole use are available for a supplement, please enquire for details.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Sue Totterdell

    Amber warning

    This was a great trip, with spectacular scenery, delicious food and a comfortable hotel. Although the steps (up and down) involved should not be underestimated, the 'amber warning' refers to the rainstorm that coincided with our day off. Despite this, I would recommend this trip to anyone who enoys coastal scenery and even suggest this relatively late departure date to avoid some of the crowds in the popular Cinque Terre villages.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk to Portofino was probably the best but this reflects that it was the sunniest day, so the photographs remind us what a wonderful day we had. However, the overall enjoyment owed a lot to a wonderful group of fellow walkers. It was certianly one of the most musical Exodus trips I have taken.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was great. She warned us of the likelihood of bad weather on the Tuesday, moved the rest day so that it coincided. She provided all the information we needed to take the proposed trip to Genoa but then came to breakfast early on Tuesday morning to warn us that the weather forecast had deteriorated and that we should stay closer to Moneglia. We did indeed experience a dramatic storm and were very pleased that we were not high in the hills when it happened. The drowned walkers we saw about town made us glad for Michela's advice. She also managed to keep the group together very well, so that the speed of ascent and descent (tricky after the rain) suited us all. Very professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be put off from going late in the season. Even in October we met lots of people on the footpaths of the Cinque Terre but I can see it would be musch busier in summer. The rain was warm! Take walking poles if you have them - particularly useful on slippery descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really like these weeks when we are able to travel to/from our walks using the local trains.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Candace Maliteare

    Just a few more steps...

    We joined the majority of our group mid-Sept with Michela in Pisa. An informal meet and greet and an idea as to what to expect was laid out each day. As quoted by our fearless leader 'A little bit of up and then we level off' this was - pretty much the start of every glorious day. Michela was a great guide - easy going, kept us on point and moving at a comfortable pace. A couple of the days were more steep than others, it was super hot when we were there which didn't help. On a cooler day, the up's would have been a lot more tolerable. The last day provided some amazing views. Moneglia is a cute/quiet town with great options for dining - the host hotel was super comfortable and crazy clean!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each day really! if it wasn't just getting to the top of the hill , it was turning a corner and being in awe of some really great picture moments of the Cinque Terre.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic leader! It's not an easy task keeping every one happy and in order. Michela always made sure we had options. Options if someone wasn't well, or wasn't comfortable with the hike. Options for restaurants and suggestions on our free day. She also constantly checked in with everyone as we hiked and kept us updated as to how much longer or what to expect along the way. Thank you Michela!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't underestimate the walks. Up is up and down is down.!! If the heat bothers you, try for a cooler season. Hiking boots are a must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only small point - the first hiking day. It was mainly in the forest with a few short glimpses of water /valleys. It's a great workout, (that was the inspirational part) and the hikes get better. So hang in there and carry forward.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Simon Smith

    A fabulous week

    This was my first Exodus walking holiday and I will definetly be doing more. Our guide Michela was fantastic, making every day a day to remember. Her walks were sometimes challenging but always within everyone's capabilities and we visited some amazing villages. The holiday did not stop there as Moneglia where we stayed was full of restaurants which made for wonderful evenings out.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was inspiring whether it was climbing up the hills, walking through the woods or down into the villages but our last walk across the terraces will be one of my favourite memories

    What did you think of your group leader?

    You could not ask for a better leader. Michela looked after us day and night, making sure everyone was happy with what they were doing and offering alternatives if the main activity did not suit. Michela is very knowledgable and interesting, telling us all about the places we visited. She also looked after us in the evening suggesting and organising different restaurants for group meals. Nothing was too much trouble for Michela even down to making sure we all got home safely.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some steep climbs, but nothing impossible for so.eone of average fitness. Walking poles can be useful on some of the rougher descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fantastic holiday. Go for it
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Beverly Eastwood

    Wonderful week

    I have recently returned from this holiday and can honestly say it was one of the best Exodus walking trips I have done. The area itself is unique and stunningly beautiful. Every day was different and incredibly well organised by Michela , our leader who was excellent. The week was busy but never felt too much and was a really comprehensive tour of the Ligurian coast. The hotel was lovely with good rooms and a great breakfast buffet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is very difficult to say as each of the walks had its own breathtaking moment - - whether it was a view as we walked into one of the towns or the silence of the forests. We also all took a boat trip on our free day and the views from the boat were amazing - sailing into Portovenere was stunning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela as I have said was excellent. There was so much thought that went into everything she organised. If someone did not want to do all the walking or wanted a day off she was so helpful and detailed in regard to other options. She was incredibly knowledgeable and interesting - not only with exploring the area but with restaurant recommendations. The food was fabulous. Nothing was too much trouble and there was genuine concern that we should all have a wonderful holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some of the walks are challenging as they are steep at times with many steps .... definitely worth it for the views , and you don’t have to be super fit but a reasonable ability to walk up and down hills is definitely advisable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you like Italy and enjoy walking this holiday is a must.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Sue Moody

    Calves of steel

    A fabulous week in the Cinque Terre - not to be missed! The uphill sections can be a slog but the views are so rewarding that it really is worth it. Walking between the villages of the Cinque Terre is the best way to see the beauty of the area and, on the less used paths, see fewer tourists! The group was great fun, we all got on really well. Hotel Piccolo offers great breakfasts and the rooms are clean and adequate - it's easy to find walking from the station.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the walk from Corniglia to Manarola. Once we were up on the path through the terraced vineyards, the views were spectacular and there was a real sense of achievement.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela is an excellent guide who checks on everyone and gives plenty of rest periods which are essential as there are lots of uphill sections, many with steps of varying heights and condition. She provides alternatives for people who do not want to the full walk every day as well as inspiration for the free day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you really don't like walking up hills or struggle with long down hill walks, this isn't for you! If you are fit but are slow either uphill, downhill or both - don't worry as Michela makes sure that the pace works for everyone and the views are superb and worth it! Moneglia has lots of restaurants with plenty of choice so if you don't want to eat with the group you have lots of options.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Moneglia is easy to get to by train and if you opt for land only, consider flying into Genoa and catching the train from there as I did. It's just as easy as travelling from Pisa. The hotel has an agreement with a private beach at Moneglia so you can use that for a discounted price, but on our trip there wasn't much time for swimming in the sea unless you did half a day of walking and caught the train back from the halfway point.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Carol-Ann Connellan

    Cinque Terra

    What an amazing time - from the lovely Moneglia (Piccola Hotel) to the amazing walks so expertly guided by Michela Wicks. It was really everything and more than we wished for. Would never have chosen to do it differently. No time was lost or wasted pondering. Our time there was precious.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was super special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent and more.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it with a guide. Your time there is precious. Go with those who know the way.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Definitely a must do.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Sandy Hartley

    Walking tour

    Loved every step. Our super fit guide, Michela Wicks, did an excellent job keeping us all together, providing us with heaps of information and many laughs. Thank you Michela. You are wonderful.♡

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views, the degree of difficulty of crop growing in the area, the history, the buildings. So much more. I am in awe of this part of the world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was awesome. Thorough, organised, knowledgeable, interesting and lovely to chat too. I was sad to say goodbye.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a must. You wont be sorry.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Carole Quinn

    A fantastic week

    This was a great holiday & I'd thoroughly recommend it. The walks were far more strenuous than I expected but the views were spectacular which made it all worthwhile.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking down into Portofino - so picturesque. Also the stunning Cinque Terre with the coloured houses - amazing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michaela was lovely. Friendly, helpful & knowledgeable - everything you could want from a group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the brief properly & do some walks or gym work to prepare for this trip. Wear appropriate footwear - this is serious walking - it's very steep in places with uneven surfaces. Walking poles are definitely useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved this holiday but felt that the level 3 (moderate) was not sufficient. It was considerably harder than I expected it to be & that appeared to be the general consensus of the group. Our leader organised dinner options for the evenings & it was much appreciated particularly by the solo travellers.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    JANET ALLAN

    Great times in Italy

    I flew from Manchester and made my own way to the hotel in Moneglia. The travel instructions were easy to follow. I met the rest of the group later that evening. Michela Wicks was our excellent guide. She put no pressure on us to do the walks and offered alternative activities. The walks were as tough as I expected but the weather was good for walking. We had lots of stops and time to enjoy the various villages. Michela took us to various restaurants at night in Moneglia but it was not compulsory to join the group. As a group we gelled well and enjoyed everyone's company. The Hotel Piccolo was very comfortable, a good breakfast choice and a small pool with waterjets to ease the aching muscles and knees. Bathing in the sea was also pleasant. The weather wasn't good on our day off so on Michela's advice a group of us went to Chiavari which was very interesting (although most shops and the cathedral were shut between 12-3.30). We had a lovely pre-dinner wine tasting one night which was included in the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Surviving the walks! I have trouble with my knees especially going downhill but we were never rushed. I enjoyed spending time with the group. I have done a number of group holidays and there has always been a good mix of people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was excellent and wanted us all to enjoy our holiday. I certainly did.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The distances covered in the walks are not long but feel much further due to the ascents and descents. Walking boots are essential. If the weather is inclement(!) and the guide cancels the planned walk there is a good reason. The paths would be really slippery and dangerous. We were lucky. The trains are excellent for getting about. I like tea so always take a kettle and teabags away with me to have in the room. Don't expect nightlife!!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Dami Jaiyesimi

    Fantastic

    Stunning scenery, great guide, very well organised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A lot of stunning and memorable sights but my favourite was stopping for Lunch at the Mintellect hilltop restaurant in Rapallo. Great company, great views, great risotto!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was great - Very helpful, resourceful and patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you're fit! I would rate this a 5 out of 10 not a 3.....!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was fab- thank you. Perhaps an earlier transfer to Pisa on the last day so people can explore Pisa and see the tower.

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