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Cinque Terre is the most popular spot in the Italian Riviera. It consists of five medieval fishing villages and a national park. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll hike the coastal route between these villages on a historic route that has connected villagers for centuries. This route is extremely popular so we recommend going off-season if possible. Fortunately, the mild climate makes it a great destination for most of the year.
In addition to Cinque Terre, you’ll explore other trails that most visitors miss. You’ll come for Cinque Terre but the quieter trails may just end up being your favourites with their dramatic scenery but without the crowds. One of the highlights is the hiking trail that leads to San Fruttuoso Abbey. It’s a 1000-year old monastery that’s only reachable by foot or by boat! Most people come by boat but you’re not most people, so naturally, you come on foot.
You’ll also have time to check out Portofino. It’s a stunning fishing village with high-end stores lining a yacht-filled harbour. Reward your hiking efforts with a plate of fresh fish while picking out your future yacht. Another highlight is the hike from Riomaggiore to Portovenere. While Riomaggiore is the most popular village in the Cinque Terre, you’ll lose the crowds within minutes as you being your hike.
You’ve got the inside scoop. You know the ancient trails that locals have used for centuries while other tourists stay in town. En route, you’ll pass by stunning cliffs and the most dramatic scenery on the entire tour.
Who Will Enjoy This Tour?
You’ll enjoy this self-guided hiking/walking tour if you want a combination of an active holiday with plenty of time to relax, eat delicious Italian food with gorgeous seaside views while exploring the world-famous Cinque Terre and some of the lesser-known places in the Italian Riviera.
HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CINQUE TERRE HIKING & WALKING SELF-GUIDED TOUR
✔ Walk the famous coastal route between the 5 famed villages known collectively as ‘Cinque Terre’ (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore)
✔Discover the jetsetter port of Portofino and other lesser-known but lovely coastal villages on the Ligurian Riviera (Camogli, Bonassola, Deiva Marina, Framura, Levanto)
✔Explore some lesser-known trails that offer stunning coastal views. They’re some of the best-kept secrets in the Italian Riviera.
✔Walk among olive groves and vineyards while enjoying stunning views of the Ligurian Sea.
✔Indulge in delicious Italian food and wine every night (including the olive and vineyards you passed earlier) – the area is famous for its pesto, fresh fish and seafood dishes.
Day 1: Arrive in Camogli
Get settled in your accommodation and then step outside and breathe in the fresh, crisp air of the Mediterranean Sea that says “I’m on vacation”. Camogli (population 5342) is a fishing village. Explore the historic centre, take a photo of he ruins of Castle Della Dragonara or relax on the rocky beach in preparation for tomorrow’s hike.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Camogli
Day 2: Hike from Camogli to Portofino via San Fruttuoso
After a short private transfer to San Rocco, known for its church and church square you’ll continue ascending along a shaded path until you reach a picnic area in the woods.
Then, you’ll make your way down an oak-filled ravine to the magnificent site of San Fruttuoso. It’s a stunning abbey hidden away at the edge of the sea and only reachable by foot or boat.
After exploring the abbey, you can have lunch here – either a picnic on the beach or at one of the restaurants, you can either take a boat to Portofino or hike there (our recommendation) making your way up to Base O which has picnic tables and makes for a great rest stop.
From there, you’ll continue hiking through terraced olive groves until you reach Portofino. Stop to admire the yachts, visit the castle Castello Brown, or check out the high-end shops. When you’re done exploring, take the train or boat back to Camogli.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Camogli
- Hiking Distance: 13 km, 1165 m ascent, 5.5 hours (to Portofino), or 7 km, 734 m ascent, 3.5 hours (to San Fruttuoso).
Day 3: Hike from Bonassola to Deiva Marina via Framura
You’ll pack up your luggage and take a short train ride to Bonassola, a charming fishing village with a sandy beach nestled between hills and the Ligurian Sea. From there you’ll start hiking 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. If you’ve had enough for the day you can shorten it by finishing in Framura, or continue on to Deiva Marina and check out the gorgeous beach. Return to Bonassola by train.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Bonassola
- Hiking Distance: 12.5 km, 657 m ascent, 5 hours (to Deiva Marina), or 5.5 km, 350 m ascent, 2.5 hours (to Framura)
Day 4: Hike from Bonassola to Monterosso al Mare via Levanto
The first part of your hike today runs along an old railway that’s been transformed into a relatively flat cycling path. You’ll hike through tunnels and bridges with spectacular views over the sea and the cliffs until you arrive at the seaside town of Levanto. Your hike up to the ridge to the lookout point Punta Mesco will be rewarded with spectacular views over the hills surrounding the gulf. Once you’ve had your fill of WOW, you’ll head downhill towards Monterosso, the first Cinque Terre village that you’ll be visiting. You’ll spend the night here.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Monterosso
- Hiking Distance: 10.2 km, 753 m ascent, 4.5 hours
Day 5: Transfer to Soviore Monastery and Hike the Coastal Path Between the Cinque Terre Villages of Vernazza and Monterosso
Today you’ll take a short transfer to Soviore Monastery which dates back to the 11th-century. We recommend a short visit before starting the hike back to Monterosso from Vernazza. From the sanctuary, you’ll walk on an asphalt road for 1.5km, before taking a nice panoramic path with a gradual descent to the Madonna di Reggio. You’ll continue walking on a stone path down to Vernazza. From there, walk the panoramic coastal path back to Monterosso. To shorten the walk, you can take a train in Vernazza back to Monterosso, but we highly recommend the walk.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Monterosso
- Hiking Distance: 10.1 km, 643 m ascent, 4 hour (to Monterosso), 5.8 km, 266 m, 3 hours (to Vernazza)
Day 6: Choice of Hike in and Around the Cinque Terre
Take is your day to enjoy the sun and the blue sea of the Cinque Terre or continue exploring on foot with one of the following two walks.
Option A: HIke Monterosso Loop via Colle di Gritta
You’ll head inland past the ‘Chiesa dei Cappucini’ to Colla di Gritta. Continue over the graceful mountain ridge through stretches of lush forests, passing over Monte Molinelli, Monte Rossini, Montenegro and Colla dei Bagari until you reach the lookout point of Punta Mesco. Here you can opt for a short extension to the ruins of Sant’ Antonio del Mesco. Return to Monterosso by descending a series of captivating old stone footpaths. The trail is steep and in some short parts has been ruined by rain so be careful with your footing. Choose this route if you want to walk on quieter trails.
- Hiking Distance: 9 km, 690 m ascent, 4.5 hours
Option B: Hike From Corniglia-Volastra-Riomaggiore
A short train ride takes you to the Cinque Terre village of Corniglia where you’ll start walking. The first part is quite steep (but oh so worth it). Then, you’ll take the path to Volastra where the route flattens out and becomes incredibly panoramic as you make your way to the Cinque Terre Village of Manaola. The last section to Riomaggiore, the most popular of all the Cinque Terre villages is on steep stairs. If you’re looking to see the best that the Cinque Terre offers, we recommend this route. From Riomaggiore take a train back to Monterosso.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Monterosso
- Hiking Distance: 10 km, 471 m ascent, 4 hours
Day 7: Walk from Riomaggiore to Portovenere
You’ll take a short train ride to the famed Cinque Terre village of Riomaggiore. From where you’ll quickly leave the crowds as you walk to the edge of the hill which borders the Cinque Terre area. From Colle del Telegrafo, you’ll follow the edge till you reach Portovenere, passing through the village of Campiglia. 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.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Portovenere
- Hiking Distance: 17 km, 723 m ascent, 4.5 hours
Day 8: Arrivederci Cinque Terre!
The trip and our services end after breakfast. You can depart Portovernere by taking a bus to La Spezia, and then by train easily reach airports in Pisa, Genoa, Florence or Milan.
The closest airport to Camogli is Genoa, followed by Pisa. You can also fly into Milan, which is often cheaper.
I find the best deals on Skyscanner and book most of my flights through them.
Note: We highly recommend waiting to book your flights or making other travel arrangements until you receive an email from us notifying you that all your accommodation has been confirmed.
There are frequent trains from Milan, Pisa and Genova to Camogli (where your trip starts) and Portoverne (where your trip ends).
Refer to this site for train and bus options.
Price: €795 per person based on double accommodation
30% is due when you book. Your remaining balance is due 45 days in advance. If you cancel 46 days in advance you’ll be charged your deposit. If you cancel 16 to 44 days in advance you’ll pay 40% of the tour cost. Refunds aren’t available if you cancel 15 days or less in advance.
We use comfortable 3-star hotels (or equivalent)with a friendly family-run atmosphere. You’ll have a private bathroom and a delicious Italian breakfast is included each morning (except on your arrival day).
✔ 6 nights of accommodation in a 3-star hotel or equivalent
✔ Daily breakfast every day except the first day
✔ Luggage transfer from Bonassola to Monterosso and from Monterosso to Portovenere
✔ 7-day week service hotline so that you can contact us in case of any issues
✔ 2- day Cinque Terre card which covers the hiking permit
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Airport Transfers
- Transfers (trains, boats, and buses ) when required are not included unless stated
- Luggage transfer from Camogli to Bonassola (you take it on the train with you)
- Hotel tax each nigh
- Lunches and dinners
- Travel insurance that covers you for this tour and includes pandemic, emergency evacuation and hospital care in the unlikely incident that you get injured. World Nomads insurance covers this which is why we recommend it
What You Need to Know About Your Self-Guided Cinque Terre Hiking Tour
Our self-guided hiking tours are a great fit if you love being pointed in the right direction with all the information you need, then having the freedom to explore on your own. You’ll enjoy this tour if you’re comfortable reading a map, referring to the route notes. Sometimes losing your way and asking the locals for help is all part of the adventure.
Many of our clients haven’t done a self-guided tour before but we find they get the hang of it quickly. We provide you with maps, route notes and a 7-day week service hotline in case you need to contact us for any issues. The freedom of a self-guided tour is something that, once experienced, you’ll find yourself seeking again and again since you get the best of both worlds – our planning and knowledge and the freedom to explore on your own.
How Fit Do You Need to Be to Do the Cinque Terre Hiking Tour?
You should be in good physical condition and be a regular walker or hiker. The route is not technical so no prior expertise is required, however, there are some steep sections. If you’re unsure please contact us and we can help you assess whether this tour is a good fit for you.
Thank you for your interest in booking this tour. You’ve made a good choice. Our Cinque Terre Hiking Tour is absolutely stunning and you can reward yourselves after hiking with a dip in the sea and enjoy the pristine beaches.
Please contact us to book this tour. Let us know what date you’d like to start, how many people and we’ll start the booking process.
+ YOU’LL GET THE FOLLOWING BONUSES WHEN YOU BOOK:
✔ BONUS 1:Trekking Tips Online Course (value $97)
so that you get the most from your amazing trek
✔ BONUS 2: Hiking & Trekking Gear Online Course (value $47)
so that you bring everything you need and nothing you don’t
✔ BONUS 3: Soft Copy of our Hiking Logbook (value $9)
so that you can remember your incredible hiking trip in Cinque Terre.