Current as of: June 14, 2024 - 08:30

Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Italy
  • Programmes: Walking & Trekking
  • Activity Level:

    3 out of 7 - Moderate

  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: TEH
  • Carbon Footprint: 16kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Discover the best of the Italian Riviera

On the most beautiful coastline in Italy, between the Cinque Terre and bay of Portofino, our base in the seaside town of Moneglia is a real treat. On inspirational walks through hills, woodland and coastal villages, we discover why these areas have earned names such as the Gulf of the Poets. Many of the most iconic trails in Italy are found in the Liguria region and this trip makes a great introduction to the country with ample opportunities for walking, relaxing and sampling delicious food. Better yet, we’ll also visit Assirto, one of the finest tavernas in Italy, for an extra-special wine tasting.

Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

At a Glance

  • Seven nights at the three-star Hotel Piccolo
  • Five days walking; one free day
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Reasonable fitness required
  • Option to travel by train to your adventure
  • Option to travel by train to your adventure
  • Option to book an extension package

Highlights

  • Take coastal and mountain paths through olive groves and vineyards
  • Explore the picturesque and colourful villages of Liguria and the Cinque Terre
  • Walk from village to village, through forests and spectacular terraced landscapes overlooking the sea
  • Experience an extra-special wine tasting at the internationally lauded taverna, Assirto

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is graded Activity Level 3 (Moderate). For more on our trip gradings, visit our Activity Level Guidelines page.

Some walks will get your pulse racing, but we also have plenty of time to rest, admire the views, and, on many days, enjoy swim breaks.

Over the course of the week, the terrain and path type will vary between paved tracks; uneven, rocky and steep steps; and forest trails. Some areas may be rocky underfoot with narrow, overgrown or exposed paths. While most walks are manageable for those with a good level of fitness, the walks involve some steep climbs and descents on slightly loose terrain and some have sections on narrow pathways alongside some sheer drops (not recommended for severe vertigo sufferers).

All walks take between four and six 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 knee problems.

Public transport can be subject to delays and some waiting at train stations should be expected. Please be aware that path openings are subject to weather and safety conditions – this may affect the itinerary. Please note that neither the hotel nor the restaurants in Moneglia are able to cater for people with severe coeliac disease.

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 4

Max group size: 15

Itinerary

Map TEH

Land Only

  • Start City: Moneglia
  • End City: Moneglia

Flight Inclusive

  • Start City: London
  • End City: London

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Moneglia

We begin in the seaside town of Moneglia. In the heart of a bay on the Mediterranean Sea, this picture-perfect town is listed on the I Borghi Più Belli d’Italia (Most Beautiful Villages of Italy) and has won a European Blue Flag every year since 1990 for its clear waters and the quality of the services offered. There’ll be a welcome briefing at the hotel today – a good chance to get to know the group and your expert leader.

If you have extra days at hand and are willing to extend your adventure, consider booking additional nights in Pisa, Florence or Moneglia. Speak to your Sales Consultant for more information on our ‘Pre-Tour’, ‘Post-Tour’ and ‘City Extension’ packages.

Day 2
Follow the coastal trail between Deiva Marina and the villages of Framura and Bonassola

We take a short train to Deiva Marina in the morning (eight minutes) 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 undulating trail that offers beautiful views over the Ligurian Sea and leads to the village of Framura, where we stop for lunch. After 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 (15 minutes).

Distance covered: 8mi (13km)

Ascent: 2,513ft (766m); Descent: 2,625ft (800m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3
Take the train to Cinque Terre National Park; walk stunning paths to some of the prettiest villages in Liguria
Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

Today we set out to visit the spectacular Cinque Terre, 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 the Sentiero Azzurro Ligure (Ligurian Blue Path), which connects the five villages.

Today we visit three of the five – Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso – and pass 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.

At the end of the walk, we catch the train back to Moneglia (30 minutes) where there will be time to relax or go for a swim before dinner. 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.

Distance covered: 6mi (10km)

Ascent: 2,185ft (666m); Descent: 2,333ft (711m)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4
Walk on the Portofino promontory and explore the world-renowned fishing village
Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

Set out by train to Santa Margherita Ligure (50 minutes with a change in Sestri Levante), a charming coastal town, where we will begin our gentle hike to the fishing village of Portofino. Celebrated for its pastel-coloured houses and picturesque harbour, the town is now attracting celebrities from all over the world.

Distance covered: 8mi (13km)

Ascent: 1,939ft (591m); Descent: 1,969ft (600m)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5
Free day to relax, take optional walks or visiting nearby Portovenere or Genova

Enjoy a well-earned break and perhaps spend your day relaxing at the beach. Or you might like to use the opportunity for some sightseeing. Genoa, the capital city of the region, is the home of Christopher Columbus and the largest aquarium in Europe. Alternatively, you could spend time in the nearby town of Portovenere – on the Bay of Poets – or use the day to explore the beautiful town of Lucca.

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
Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

This morning, we take a short train ride to Rapallo (50 minutes with a change in Sestri Levante) and the cable car up to the sanctuary of Montallegro (1,969ft/600m). From here, we walk through quiet woodland, catching glimpses of the Ligurian Sea en route to the seaside town of Chiavari. In the early evening, we enjoy an extra-special wine tasting at Assirto, an internationally heralded taverna in Moneglia. The experience starts with a sparkling rosé, before we enjoy a sensory journey through a trio of wines. To cap the evening, we’ll try passito, a traditional Italian sweet wine made from dried grapes.

Distance covered: 7mi (11km)

Ascent: 591ft (180m); Descent: 2,543ft (775m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7
Return to the Cinque Terre area for an alternative walk through glorious coastline and colourful villages
Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

This morning we head back to the 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 Azzurro, so offer even more spectacular views of the coastline and villages.

Distance covered: 5mi (8km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8
End Moneglia

You’ve taken some of the most beautiful coastal walks in the world this holiday, but now’s the time for one final breakfast before starting your return journey home. Of course, if you’d like to continue the adventure, you can speak to your sales consultant about extending your stay at the hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast

Extend Your Trip

Florence Extension

Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

Extend your adventure with a pre- or post-tour exploration of Florence. Speak to your sales representative to check the availability and price of your chosen package.

1. Comfort Florence city extension

Package includes:

  • Two nights at the three-star Hotel Residenza Fiorentina (or similar)
  • One-hour guided city tour with an English-speaking guide
  • One-way train ticket from Pisa

2. Deluxe Florence city extension:

Package includes:

  • Two nights at the four-star Hotel Cellai (or similar)
  • One-hour guided city tour with an English-speaking guide
  • One-way train ticket from Pisa

Ascents, descents and distances: All ascents, descents and distances listed in the daily itinerary have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. However, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these Trips Notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Accommodation

Piccolo Hotel, a family-run property in Moneglia

Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

Fifty years in the making, the Piccolo Hotel is the dream come true of the Zanetti family. Elsa and Luigi were the founders, before their son Alberto joined, followed by the next generation – Elsa and Luigi’s grandchildren.  

The 38-room hotel is in the centre of Moneglia, just a few minutes’ walk from the train station and a Blue Flag-rated sandy beach. When it’s time to relax, there’s the free-to-use Atlantis Wellness centre, which has a heated swimming pool with a waterfall and water jets, plus two underwater loungers.  

Elsewhere, there’s a solarium terrace with a hydromassage tub plus a sea-view restaurant serving Ligurian cuisine.  

Worth knowing 

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

Single supplement from £ 420

Accommodation - Pre Trip

Take the opportunity to ease into the trip, adjusting to the time zone and atmosphere at a more leisurely pace before the official tour begins. The following options are usually available on this trip:

  • Pre-tour night(s) at three-star Hotel La Pace (or similar) in Pisa
  • Pre-tour night(s) at three-star Hotel Residenza Fiorentina (or similar) in Florence
  • Pre-tour night(s) at four-star Hotel Cellai (or similar) in Florence
  • Pre-tour night(s) at three-star Piccolo Hotel in Moneglia

Speak to your sales representative for a tailor-made quote and to confirm availability of your chosen package.

Accommodation - Post Trip

A post-tour experience offers a chance to revisit your favorite spots, delve deeper into the destination’s attractions, or simply savor moments of relaxation. The following options are usually available on this trip:

  • Post-tour night(s) at three-star Hotel La Pace (or similar) in Pisa
  • Post-tour night(s) at three-star Hotel Residenza Fiorentina (or similar) in Florence
  • Post-tour night(s) at four-star Hotel Cellai (or similar) in Florence
  • Post-tour night(s) at three-star Piccolo Hotel in Moneglia

Speak to your sales representative for a tailor-made quote and to confirm availability of your chosen package.

Food & Drink

All breakfasts, two packed lunches, one dinner and one wine tasting are 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, neither the hotel nor the restaurants in Moneglia are able to cater for people with severe celiac disease.

Transport

The majority of transport on this trip will be using the excellent local train services. Please note that our hotel is a 15-minute walk to the local train station but rail journeys are no longer than 45 minutes each.

Weather & Seasonality

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 30C (86F). 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.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Start hotel: Piccolo Hotel, Corso Libero Longhi, 19, 16030 Moneglia GE
Phone: +39 0185 49374
Recommended arrival time: You’re welcome to arrive any time, though rooms are typically ready in the early afternoon and there’s a welcome briefing in the evening
Airport: Pisa (PSA)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately a 1hr 25min drive from the airport. Your options for this journey are:

Take an Exodus transfer

Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from the airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK. You may join this transfer at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or to arrange a private transfer.

Make your own way

You can reach the hotel by public transport. From Pisa Airport, take the PisaMover shuttle service to Pisa Central train station – a one-way ticket, bought from the ticket machines at the shuttle departure platform, costs €2.70.

Then catch a train to Moneglia. There is no direct train, so change in La Spezia. For more info and timetables visit www.trenitalia.com. The journey will take around 2hr 15min and tickets cost between €10 and €20. From Moneglia Station, it takes about 10 minutes to walk to the hotel.

If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

There’s a group departure transfer to the airport for customers who Exodus booked onto a chosen flight to London, UK. Please speak to your sales consultant if you wish to join. If the group departure transfer does not suit your flight time, speak to your sales consultant to arrange an alternative transfer.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Moneglia
Location end: Moneglia

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Walking boots (with good tread and ankle support)
  • Small day sack (30 litres capacity will suffice for camera and water bottle)
  • Sunblock, sun hat and sunglasses
  • Walking poles (not mandatory but strongly recommended due to nature of terrain)
  • Swimwear
  • Waterproofs and warm clothes (for inclement weather)
  • Large refillable water bottle
  • Sandals (to wear during your free time)

Please note that tap water is safe to drink in the area which means all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill at the hotel. Please add this to your packing list as this will save on wasteful plastic bottles.

Optional Equipment

  • Small umbrella in case of unexpected showers

Practical Information

Passport

Remember to check the expiration date of your passport if travelling internationally. Many countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months after the date of your scheduled return.

Visa

Italy

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Italy. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

• Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/italy
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/italy
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements
• USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Italy.html

Please note: it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times in Italy.

Vaccinations and Health

There are no required vaccinations for this trip.

Ticks are known to be present in this region and can carry lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis and other diseases. Please take care to protect yourself. You can read more about ticks here.

If you’re a UK citizen, please note that your UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are still valid and offer the same cover as the Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Italy's time zone: Europe/Rome (UTC +02:00)

Electricity

Italy's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins, European standard), F (two round pins), and L (three round pins in a row) – 230V, 50Hz

Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

Money

Italy's currency: Euros (EUR)

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available in Moneglia and in all the major towns visited. Most places take major credit cards, however, cash is generally easier.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Allow about €5-€15 per day for lunch, depending on whether you have a picnic, snack or a light restaurant meal. For evening meals you should allow about €15-€30 including drinks, although it is possible to spend more than this if you choose expensive dishes. You will also need some local currency for extra snacks and drinks bought from the occasional cafe.

Local taxes: many Italian cities have recently introduced a tourist tax for non-residents. The local administration is in charge of the tax, which will be collected by the accommodation provider at check-in or check-out. This fee varies depending on the hotel category, the season and number of days of stay. For this trip, please budget approximately €5 per person for the week, although small variations are possible depending on the season.

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus. Most of our clients wish to give a tip to their guides in appreciation of their help and friendliness. This, of course, is in no way compulsory and depends on the service received. For this trip we recommend about €20 per person for the guide.

People, Places & Planet

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

Important Information

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.