Self-Guided Walking in the Cinque Terre and Portofino
|Resort:||Self-Guided Walking in the Cinque Terre and Portofino|
Discover the beautiful peninsulas of Portofino and Sestri Levante
About sixty miles east of Genoa lies a corner of the Liguria region with a remarkably well-preserved landscape steeped in tradition. ‘Cinque Terre’ means five lands; villages which are nestled high on cliffs or along deep inaccessible coves, with colourful houses facing the seafront. Each village offers its own olive oils, anchovies and Sciacchetr liqueur (known as the ‘Elixir of the Gods’). By day, you discover the beautiful peninsulas of Portofino and Sestri Levante using well-marked walking trails; in the evening enjoy the sunsets over the Mediterranean.
* Coastal and countryside walking amongst olive groves and vineyards * The chic town of Portofino UNESCO world heritage site of Palmaria island * Serene medieval Portovenere and the picturesque town of Sestri Levante
Day 1 Start Sestri Levante
Make your way to Sestri Levante. Your B&B, the Sole e Luna, is positioned in an excellent location a stone’s throw from the beach and 5 minutes walk from the centre of town.
Day 2 Array
The walk today really allows you to explore the National Park of the Cinque Terre. Starting from Monterosso, the largest of the celebrated Cinque Terre villages, climb through cultivated olive groves to the hilltop Sanctuary of the Madonna of Soviore. Then it’s downhill all the way to pastel-coloured Vernazza, clustered around its serene natural harbour. There’s time to explore the village before returning by train to Sestri.
Day 3 Array
Make your way to Portovenere then take a boat to Palmaria island. Rich in Mediterranean vegetation and maquis shrubland, it’s not unusual to see cistus and rare orchids blooming here. A circular walk with stunning coastal vistas takes you via a steep climb to the Batteria Semaforo, part of the network of fortresses constructed by Napoleon to secure the Gulf of La Spezia. Return to Sestri Levante in time for dinner.
Day 4 Array
Take a train to picture perfect Corniglia, a charming jumble of pastel-hued houses toppling prettily down the hillside. Follow the narrow herb scented paths through vineyards up to the tiny yet panoramic village of Volastra and its 12th century sanctuary, then descend to arguably the oldest of the five Cinque Terre villages, colourful Manarola. Wander around the pretty marina and try the local wine – Schiacchetra – which is produced here, before taking the train back to Sestri Levante.
Day 5 Array
Today you take a train to Riomaggiore, the last of the Cinque Terre villages and walk along an impossibly panoramic path that hugs the coastline all the way to the charming fishing port of Portovenere. Set in a beautiful sweeping bay, and once the haunt of Byron and Shelley, there’s a 16th century castle and medieval churches to explore before returning to Sestri Levante. Dinner tonight is included.
Day 6 Array
After breakfast take a train to Camogli, and then a bus to Ruta di Camogli, and the start of the walk. Follow ancient forest trails through the lush Mount Portofinla Natural Park to San Fruttuoso and its 11th century abbey. Continue to chic Portofino, the Ligurian Riviera’s most exclusive resort, before returning via Santa Magherita Ligure for your last night in Sestri Levante.
Day 7 End Sestri Levante
Make your own way back to the airport, or add on additional nights in Pisa if you wish.