5 Nights

Cinque Terre Hiking Duration: 6 Days/5 Nights Cinque Terre Waters and Wines Your tour of the Italian Riviera begins in the walled city of Lucca, one ...
Author: Bridget Ball
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Cinque Terre Hiking Duration: 6 Days/5 Nights

Cinque Terre Waters and Wines Your tour of the Italian Riviera begins in the walled city of Lucca, one of my favorite cities in Italy. Lucca has a rare combination of beautiful historic architecture, no traffic, and fewer tourists. We spend a lovely afternoon touring Lucca by bike. The bike ride is easy, safe, and allows us to see the entire town. The next morning we make our way up to the Cinque Terre, five isolated villages on the coast of the Italian Riviera. Like Lucca, cars and scooters are banned from the town centers. In 1997 the Cinque Terre was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. We stay in colorful Monterosso al Mare. Over the next two and a half days we explore these five fishing villages and the footpaths that connect them. We have organized hikes to all five towns, but have been careful to leave extra time for swimming or just relaxing at a seaside café. Seafood lovers can savor fresh mussels, squid, and shellfish while pasta fans will delight in sampling the best pesto in Italy. On day four we travel further up the coast to Santa Margherita Ligure, gateway to the Portofino National Forest. We walk to elegant Portofino and visit Brown’s Castle for spectacular views. On day five we hike to the secluded seaside abbey of San Fruttuoso. Options are available to shorten or lengthen the hikes. Boat and train service are available between all towns allowing you absolute flexibility in choosing your hikes.

charnes tours hiking and cycling in italy

Route Rating Moderate: 3-5 miles per day of hiking with some steep ascents/descents. Meet / Finish Florence / Santa Margherita Ligure Highlights • Two-mile bike ride on top of the ancient walls of Lucca • Pesto making lesson with local chef • Wine tasting Cinque Terre wines with sommelier • Hike to Portofino • The secluded Abbey of San Fruttuoso • Beautiful Mediterranean Sea views

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Cinque Terre Hiking The Hikes

charnes tours hiking and cycling in italy

Day 1 Lucca Optional 3-mile (5 km) bicycle ride We rendezvous in our hotel in Lucca at 1:00 p.m. and head for lunch at our favorite trattoria. Lucca is best known for its walls, built between 1504-1645. Two hundred years ago a tree-lined promenade was added on top of the massive walls. After lunch we hop on bikes and join the locals for an easy ride on top of the walls. Along the way we stop and tour a 17th century villa and gardens. Those looking to really stretch their legs can climb the 14th century Guinigi Tower for 360° views of town. After the tower we visit the Piazza dell’Amfiteatro. This oval piazza was built on the remains of a Roman amphitheater. Before dinner you will have some time to explore Lucca on your own. The bike is yours to use until dinner. Dinner on your own in Lucca.

Hotel Alle Corti Degli Angeli Lucca (1 night) This 4-star hotel has been tastefully renovated while maintaining its historic character. www.allacortedegliangeli .it The Ride Day 1: We use bicycles to explore the historic center of Lucca. The streets are closed to traffic, flat and safe.

Want longer or shorter hikes? Frequent boats and trains allow you to hike as much or as little as you like. Of all our hiking tours Cinque Terre Hiking offers the most flexibility for the hiking distances.

Other Questions? Toll free 1 866 665 0324 [email protected]

Cinque Terre Hiking The Hikes

Day 2 Monterosso, Cinque Terre Monterosso to Vernazza 2 miles (3 kilometers) Extra miles available After breakfast we transfer by van to the Cinque Terre. Our destination is Monterosso, the westernmost of the five villages. We regroup after lunch for our first hike to Vernazza. The hike lasts two hours and takes us up and over a scenic ridge. Your efforts will be well rewarded with stunning views of the azure waters of the Mediterranean. Before dinner we go to a small family-run wine bar where my friend Suzi leads a guided wine tasting. Suzi is a sommelier and an expert on Cinque Terre wines. Seafood lovers will delight at the abundance of fresh fish. Non-seafood eaters can try the local trenette pasta topped with homemade pesto. Dinner on your own in Monterosso.

charnes tours hiking and cycling in italy

Hotel Villa Steno Monterosso, Cinque Terre, (2 nights) This family run hotel features great views, airconditioning, new bathrooms, and a friendly English speaking staff. www.villasteno.com The Hike Day 2, Hike 2 miles from Monterosso to Vernazza. For a more leisurely afternoon take the train or boat and meet us in Vernazza.

Cinque Terre Hiking The Hikes

Day 3 Monterosso, Cinque Terre Monterosso to Vernazza 4 miles (6 kilometres) Additional miles available Today we take the train to Riomaggiore, the easternmost most village of the Cinque Terre. The most famous path, the Via dell’Amore (Path of Love), starts in this little town. This is the shortest, easiest, and perhaps most spectacular of the footpaths. Part of the path was cut into sheer stone cliffs. The path was originally built for railroad workers during construction of the second bore in the early 1900s. We explore Manarola before starting down the path for Corniglia. You climb leaving Manarola and then enjoy a long flat stroll along the coast. The footpath offers sea access at various points and if the weather is warm you will certainly be tempted to stop and swim. After two hours you arrive in Corniglia, the only village which does not sit directly on the water. For lunch slip into a small restaurant or stop at a tiny grocery store for picnic supplies. After lunch continue hiking to Vernazza, or for a more relaxing afternoon, return by train. Monterosso is the only one of the five villages to have a sandy beach. Before dinner you can relax on the beach or take your own little walking tour of town. Tonight the Pasini family hosts us for a pesto-making class and private dinner. Using local ingredients Felicita’ Pasini prepares traditional pesto while explaining the history of this Ligurian specialty. Dinner includes fresh seafood and homemade pesto lasagna. Dinner together (included in tour).

charnes tours hiking and cycling in italy

The Hikes, Day 3 Rimomaggiore to Manarola 0.25 mile (0.4 kilometers) With few steps the famous “Via del Amore” is the easiest hike in the Cinque Terre. Manarola to Corniglia 2 miles (3 kilometers) A long flat hike with great coastal views. Corniglia to Vernazza 2 miles (3 kilometers) A challenging hike with many steps up and down. For an easier day take the boat or train.

Other Questions? Toll free 1 866 665 0324 [email protected]

Cinque Terre Hiking The Hikes

Day 4 Santa Margherita Ligure (Portofino) Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino 2 miles (3 kilometers) After two and a half days in the Cinque Terre we move west to elegant Santa Margherita Ligure. A one-hour van ride takes us to this jewel of the Italian Riviera. Santa Margherita Ligure occupies a beautiful position on the Gulf of Tigullio. Palm trees and colorful flowerbeds line the scenic seaside promenade. A harbor filled with sailboats and a sandy beach complete the charming seashore. Today we hike two hours to chic Portofino. This rocky, rugged promontory offers one of the most attractive landscapes of the Italian Riviera. In Portofino we visit the Castello Brown, a spectacular 15th century castle. The castle offers the best views of colorful Portofino. We return to Santa Margherita Ligure by boat (or bus on the rare occasions when the sea is too rough). Dinner on your own in Santa Margherita Ligure.

charnes tours hiking and cycling in italy

Hotel Hotel Minverva Santa Margherita Ligure, (2 nights) Located on a quiet street close to the marina, the Hotel Minerva offers clean, comfortable, airconditioned rooms. The Minerva has a beautiful garden where you can eat al-fresco and a roof-top terrace with sea views. www.hminerva.it The Hike Day 4, Hike 2 miles from Santa Margherita to Portofino. We hike uphill past olive groves and gardens while enjoying some of the best views of the Italian Riviera.

Cinque Terre Hiking The Hikes

Day 5 Santa Margherita Ligure (Portofino) Portofino to San Fruttuoso 2 miles (3 kilometers) Bring your bathing suit today for a dip in San Fruttuoso. A short boat ride takes us to Portofino for the start of our hike in the Portofino National Forest. Leaving Portofino the path climbs quickly past stately villas. Soon olive groves and vineyards give way to a thick emerald green forest. Needles from marine pines crunch underfoot. After one hour you can stop at a spring where fresh water pools below the footpath. Your destination is the secluded abbey of San Fruttuoso, accessible only by foot or boat. We enjoy a leisurely seafood lunch at a seaside table. Italians know the abbey for its famous Jesu sott’acqua, an underwater statue of Jesus with his arms raised up toward the surface of the sea. You can see a copy of the statue inside the church. After lunch tour the abbey or just hang out on the beach. Boat back to Santa Margherita Ligure. Before leaving the guide will be happy to assist you with train tickets for your departure the following day. Dinner on your own in Santa Margherita Ligure.

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Hotel Hotel Minverva Santa Margherita Ligure, (2 nights) Located on a quiet street close to the marina, the Hotel Minerva offers clean, comfortable, airconditioned rooms. The Minerva has a beautiful garden where you can eat al-fresco. www.hminerva.it The Hike Day 5, We have saved the best hike for last. Hike 2 miles though quiet emerald forests. Every turn offers a better view of the crystal clear Mediterranean sea (2.5 hours)

Cinque Terre Hiking The Hikes

Day 6 Hiking Tour Ends Your walking tour ends in Santa Margherita Ligure. After breakfast you will check out of the hotel and continue your travels. You will need to walk ten-minutes or take a taxi to the train station.

charnes tours hiking and cycling in italy

Our dates don’t work? Put a group of four or more together and we can schedule a guided tour whenever you want.

DEPARTURE ON LAST DAY OF TOUR Santa Margherita Ligure is along a major east/west train line. The guide will be happy to help you with train tickets for your departure. For information on Italian trains see www.trenitalia.it (click on “English”). Travel times to major Italian cities are listed below: Santa Margherita Ligure to Florence: 3 hours 30 minutes Santa Margherita Ligure to Milan: 2 hours 45 minutes Santa Margherita Ligure to Rome: 5 hours 15 minutes Santa Margherita Ligure to Venice: 6 hours

Other Questions? Toll free 1 866 665 0324 [email protected]