Cinque Terre – The Classic Walk


Holiday overview




Self Guided


Moderate to Strenuous


Jan - Dec


£ 625 pp


4 nights

Walking Holidays Cinque Terre – The Classic Walk: The Cinque Terre (Five Lands) is a string of five fishing villages perched high on the Italian Riviera which until recently were linked by a mule track and accessible only by rail or water.

The Cinque Terre (Five Lands) is a string of five fishing villages perched high on the Italian Riviera which until recently were linked by a mule track and accessible only by rail or water. An ancient system of footpaths is still the best way to visit these villages where the old customs of the Ligurian fishermen survive in an area along a steep, rugged coast. The breathtaking views of harbours far below the wild but hospitable coastline along with the medieval fortresses and plentiful vines and vibrant colours make this a memorable holiday. You walk along one of the most magnificent coastlines in Europe, including the Gulf of Poets, the Cinque Terre themselves with the option to continue to Portofino, Camogli and San Fruttuoso.



£625 per person (based on two people sharing)

Single supplement: £240

Optional extension to Camogli for 2 nights: £160 per person based on 2 people sharing.

Single supplement – please ask.



  • 4 nights accommodation in a mixture of family run hotels
    and B & B all with private bathrooms
  • 4 breakfasts
  • Maps and route instructions
  • Luggage transfers
  • Ticket to Cinque Terre National Park (valid for 2 days)
  • 24 hour phone assistance

For optional extension:

  • 2 nights in 2 or 3 star hotel
  • 2 breakfasts
  • Train fare Levanto-Camogli (transport own luggage)
  • boat from Portofino back to Camogli
  • In Portovenere, Monterosso and Levanto we can upgrade hotels on request

Not Included:

Transportation to/from the start/finish of the holiday.

Any boat tickets.

Lunches/dinners, drinks, personal expenses.


Departure Dates:

April – October.

Because accommodation is limited and the area is very popular it is advisable to book as early as possible.

Day 1 – Arrival in Levanto
Arrival in Levanto. After settling in at your hotel there is time for a short visit to the town centre and maybe a swim to wash off the weariness of the journey. In case you already arrive in the morning you could opt to do the relatively short walk to Monterosso today.

Accommodation: Levanto – Hotel ***
Total walking time: around 1 h. + sightseeing time

Day 2 – From Levanto along the Cape of Punta Mesco
The first days walk takes you along the coast to Monterosso al Mare. The first part of the walk leads up towards Punta Mesco, the most notable promontory in the region. This is a good spot to stop at for a picnic lunch. Just short of the headland you can make a small detour to the ruins of an old 11th-century hermitage and the nearby ‘semaforo’, where you will enjoy marvellous views of the rugged coastline. Then you follow a fairly steep path down into Monterosso, a colourful village with blue, red & yellow houses that cluster behind the beachfront. There is then time to explore the town before taking the local train back to Levanto. For those who feel like it there is also the option of walking back from here, following a more inland forested path, which brings you back over the ridge behind the castle of Levanto.

Accommodation: Levanto – Hotel ***
Total walking distance: 5 km. Approx. walking time: 3 h. Ascent & descent: +/- 350 m.

To the Coast West of Levanto (optional)
Today you walk in a western direction. The first part of the walk goes along the beach, then the path goes up into the nearby hills and down to the little seaside village of Bonassola. Through the seaside hills you then walk towards the small ‘village’ of Framura, an aggregation of scattered hamlets. From Costa, the highest hamlet, an almost level path contours the hillside, with nice views over the sea. A steep descent brings you down to the next resort, Deiva Marina (with the option of continuing to Moneglia or even Sestri Levante). This walk along the coast brings you through several charming little villages, where you have the time to grab a coffee or just relax. You’ll get the chance to have lunch there as well. You can take the train back to Levanto from any of the villages on the way, in case you want to shorten the walk.

Total walking distance: 16 km. Approx. walking time: 6 h. Ascent & descent: +/- 700 m


Day 3 – The “Sentiero dell’Amore” & the Cinque Terre coastal path
A short train ride brings you to Riomaggiore, from where you start the most ‘classic’ of all walks in the Cinque Terre: the coastal walk which touches all 5 villages. First you’ll walk a short stretch of the famous ‘Sentiero dell’Amore’ (‘Lover’s Walk’), then you climb over the hill to Manarola, an attractive little village with steep multicoloured houses overlooking a rocky harbour. Then head up the steps to the charming hilltop village of Volastra, where you have the time for a drink, before embarking on the stunning walk through the terraced vineyards to the village of Corniglia, perched on a ridge overlooking the sea. From here you continue through terraced vineyards and the occasional citrus grove to Vernazza. As you approach Vernazza, dominated by its old fortress, you enjoy some of the best views in the region, before a fairly steep descent brings you into the village itself. In Vernazza, arguably the prettiest of all the villages, you can climb the castle tower for a stunning view of the port with its brightly painted boats, and there are numerous cafés
and bars where you can enjoy a drink before taking the train back to Levanto.

(N.B. If you do the short 5-day tour we recommend to continue the walk to Monterosso).

Accommodation: Levanto – Hotel ***
Total walking distance: 15 km. Approx. walking time: 6 h. Ascent & descent: +/- 450 m. (longer options available)

The Sanctuaries of Madonna di Reggio and Soviore (optional)
Today’s walk takes you into the inland of the Cinque Terre, to the churches of Madonna di Reggio and Madonna di Soviore. You first
take the train to Vernazza and then walk along the coast to Monterosso, approaching this beautiful little town from the other side. After
a coffee break you start climbing up to the sanctuary of Madonna di Soviore. Here you can have something to eat or relax for a while, before walking on to the next sanctuary, that of Madonna di Reggio. Then the walk continues more or less along the contour lines; you walk through the hills to the little church of San Bernardo, with beautiful views over the coast, and from there you descend down to the coast at Vernazza again. A shorter option takes you directly from Madonna di Reggio, past a number of little chapels, back down to Vernazza.

Total walking distance: 9 km. Approx. walking time: 4,5 h. Ascent & descent: +/- 550 m


Day 4 – From Riomaggiore to Portovenere
From Riomaggiore you walk in eastern direction today, heading for Portovenere. You hike up a long flight of steps to the Santuario della Madonna di Montenero. Continuing uphill you begin walking along the coastal cliffs, through terraced vineyards, enjoying wonderful views of the coastline framed by clear blue waters. You are now on the ‘Sentiero Rosso’, the ridge-top traverse that goes from one end of the Cinque Terre to the other. You pass through the little hamlet of Campiglia where you can stop for some refreshments. The track narrows as you continue walking down into the pine forest towards Portovenere with further spectacular views. Arriving at the 16th-century castle above the village, you may be able to see the distant peaks of the Alpi Apuane before a long flight of steps takes you into the heart of the village. There is plenty of time to visit the charming village and Punta San Pietro, before settling in your hotel.

Accommodation: Portovenere – Hotel ***
Total walking distance: 13 km. Approx. walking time: 5,5 h. Ascent & descent: +/- 650 m.

Roundwalk over the Island of Palmaria (optional)
After the long walk yesterday, today you’ll have some time to recover. There is a beautiful, easy roundwalk over the island of Palmaria, just across the bay from Portovenere. By boat you make the short crossing and then you’ll have the whole day to discover the beauty of this very Mediterranean island, immersed in the dense vegetation, overlooking the cliffs with just the seagulls and azure sky above you. Take some time to explore the impressive fortresses and perhaps go for a swim on one of the remote beaches. Upon returning by boat to the mainland you still have time to visit the charming village of Portovenere itself and choose the restaurant for your final supper in the harbour of Venus.

Accommodation: Portovenere – Hotel ***
Total walking distance: 5-6 km. Approx. walking time: around 3 h. Ascent & descent: +/- 300 m.


Day 5 – Departure