The Cinque Terre or 'five lands' is a stunning coastal area running along the Ligurian coast in Italy. It consists of very steep rugged hillsides, which plunge dramatically into the sea. Quite unexpectedly, and against all odds, five vibrant fishing villages cling to the bottom of these hillsides just above the sea. The coastline, the villages, and the hillsides that envelope them are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. This guided group walking holiday is an excellent way to discover the Cinque Terre. Taking you up into the hillsides and away from the main tourist footpaths, you will walk through forests and vineyards, enjoying spectacular views down to the coast. Based in Riomaggiore for five nights will give you a taste of real Italian village life.
INTRODUCTORY – GRADE 1
There are some more difficult sections and short ascents on rough surfaces. During the hotter months the walk can be more demanding and you should be able to walk for up to 5 hours a day. More experienced walkers will also enjoy the classic landscape of small (although sometimes steep) hills, olive groves and vineyards, as some days you will have shorter and longer walking options. A reasonable level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.
On arrival in Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre, make your way to your hotel, your base for the week. Please ensure you arrive between 2 and 5pm. You're free to spend the rest of the day discovering this vibrant village. Its narrow streets often lead to fantastic views out to sea or towards the vineyards. Spend time unwinding and soaking up the local atmosphere, or go for a swim in the sea. Later the group will meet for dinner and an arrival briefing.
We start the day with a boat journey to Porto Venere (when this is not possible, we will take the train and bus; please note ferry or train/bus fares are not included). Porto Venere is a beautiful and lively seaside village with an impressive fortress which faces out to sea towards some islands. From here your guide will take you on a walk high up above the village, with excellent views out to sea. We'll then walk back to Riomaggiore. (+600m/1969ft, descent -600m/1969ft).
A steep climb will take us up and out of Riomaggiore. From here we will walk among vineyards before reaching a dense forest. We will visit a lonely menhir on the mountainside before taking the path down to Vernazza, one of the prettiest villages in the Cinque Terre. (+750m/2461ft, -750m/2461ft).
The walk today has splendid views over Vernazza and its towers, en route to the beautiful church of San Bernadino. After leaving the shaded pine forest we will follow a narrow path among vineyards that overlook the sea. The panorama is simply breathtaking! From Volastra, we will walk downhill through olive groves to Manarola before continuing on the easy and popular lower coastal path, “Via del Amore”, to return to Riomaggiore. (+700m/2297ft, -700m/2297ft).
The day begins with a local train, to start walking from the village of Monterosso. After leaving the beautiful beach behind us, the steep climb leads to the first chapel. This itinerary offers amazing views over Monterosso and Vernazza. The churches we'll see are set in fantastic locations overlooking the hills. This is a beautiful loop with stunning scenery. (+670m/2198ft, -670m/2198ft).
To end our walking week we'll visit the furthest village in the area, Levanto. Although it's not the prettiest village in the area, its little streets are still charming. The coastal path we have chosen for today will lead us from Monterosso to Levanto on a path much less walked than the other coastal itineraries and just as fantastic. After an hour of walking from Monterosso, there's a panoramic view within the protected area of the “Punta Mesco” - do not forget your camera! On the path to Levanto, we'll take a short rest and can taste some local wine. (+200m/656ft, -200m/656ft).
The trip concludes after breakfast.
I recently did the guided tour of the cinque terre. I don't often provide feedback but this tour was amazing. You can't go wrong when you have a back drop of the cinque terre but what made the tour was the very knowledgable guide Stefano. His knowledge of the Cinque Terre walks, history and nature was fantastic, he was always willing to answer our questions. It was great having an Italian guide, not only did we learn about the region but also Italian culture in general. The food and accommodation was also very good. Having done this now, I would certainly consider another utracks tour and hope that all your guides are just as knowledgable. Thank you!
Lisa P., VIC, Australia
Great tour, well organised and managed by Stephano our guide. Adapted the hiking grades and length based on group ability, weather and prior day activity.Cinque Terre, whilst rated as a novice/beginner hike probably requires a reasonable level of mobility and fitness with some lengthy up hill (steps) climbs.The views at the top are well worth the effort with stunning views of the Cinque Terre; our Guide Stephano was professional, knowledgeable and considerate. He balanced hiking and rests to accomodate what was a very diverse skill group. If you can get him, you're assured of a memorable tour.The accommodation in Riomaggiore was extremely good, great positioning, in some cases outstanding views of the coast and harbour.
F. Meiklejohn., Pyrmont, NSW, Australia
Very good tour with accommodation, scenery, information and walking.Would recommend this trip to relax and enjoy the village life and a swim after a good walk.Meals supplied were of good quality and quantity, and they were always ready adjusted to suit. Accommodation was basic but of a high standard.
M. Scanlan., Manning, WA, Australia
Spectacular walks and views, wonderful guide Stefano, who managed the diverse group excellently and was a wealth of knowledge about the area. Saw all the five villages from different aspects, hotel was great, food was excellent, both the breakfast and the wonderful evening meals and of course the lunches provided. Highly recommend that people do the walks with UTracks and have a guide - Stefano if possible - as we learnt so much more than we would have otherwise and found trails that we would never have found by ourselves. Others in the group who had different trip provider had some problems with finding the hotel.
J. Butler., Hobart, TAS. Australia
Cinque Terre is a breathtaking place and our hiking trip was incredible. Our guide, Stephano, knew the area very well and took us to some beautiful trails. The trip surpassed our expectations and we would not hesitate to do another with UTracks in the future.
M. Jaeschke, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 12 Oct 2016
Per Person, Twin Share