Walking in the Cinque Terre and Portofino

7 days
Walking & Trekking
Activity level:
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Walking & Trekking

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 Sciacchetrà 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
  • Boat trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmaria Island
  • The serene village of Sestri Levante

Key information

  • 6 nights B&B, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days centre based walking
  • Moderate walking on a variety of paths
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Self-guided trip. Minimum age 10 years


  • Countries visited: Italy

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • Route notes and maps

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (on request)
  • Any Solo traveller supplements (where only one person is travelling on a departure date)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3936
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.


Days of Walking & Trekking

Varies between man made paved tracks and tarmac to forest trails.

Day by day breakdown
Day 211.0km/7.0miles
Day 36.0km/4.0miles
Day 47.0km/4.5miles
Day 512.0km/7.0miles
Day 612.0km/7.5miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


Expand all
Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante
  • Day 1

    Start Sestri Levante

    Make your way to Sestri Levante. Your B&B, Albergo Marina, is centrally located in Sestri Levante, is perfectly located, within easy walking distance of both the beach and the railway station.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    The Cinque Terre National Park

    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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Palmaria Island

    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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Corniglia and Manarola

    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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Riomaggiore to Portovenere

    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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6


    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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    End Sestri Levante

    Make your own way back to the airport, or add on additional nights in Pisa if you wish.

    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




There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

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 Sestri Levante, food is a highlight of the trip. Vegetarians are well-catered for in Italy.


April and 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.

Weather chart

Weather chart

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 3 (Moderate)
5 days optional centre-based walking, low altitude throughout.
This is a self-guided tour, so you can walk at your own pace (we recommend taking plenty of time to rest and enjoy the views!). Although some walks will get your pulse racing you will also have plenty of time to rest, admire the views and on many days you can also enjoy swim breaks. Over the course of the week, the terrain and type of path will vary from man made paved tracks and tarmac to 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 2 and 6 hours including lunch stops and require a moderate level of fitness. Please note that, as on all of our walking trips, when the weather is wet some of the paths can be slippy. The steep sections on Palmaria Island have ropes to help with this.

Public transport is recommended (the cost is not included in the trip) in order to reduce your carbon footprint. The transport timetables will be provided in your route notes so you can choose the bus or train time that suits you best.
As this is a self-guided tour, there will be no group or tour leader and you are free to complete the walks at your own speed.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference:

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3936
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

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

Fields with * are mandatory.

Please call one of our experts to discuss your private group requirements on 0203 993 4668, or fill out the form below and we will give you a call back.

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

Fields with * are mandatory.

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Trips you might also like

Paths of the Amalfi Coast

1 review

Independent walks on Italy's magnificent Amalfi Coast

Walking & Trekking
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Ages: 12+
8 Days from £955
Self-Guided (Excl. Flights)
View More Details