Liguria offers one of Europe’s most beautiful shorelines, especially east of the capital Genoa with the wonderful and picturesque fishing villages in Cinque Terre and Portovenere as well as the fashionable and vigorous areas around Portofino and Santa Margherita.
You will go on lovely boat trips along the wonderful shorelines and experience the scenery close up on our daily walks amongst olives, vines and wild basil.
There will also be good gastronomic experiences inspired by the proximity to the sea. Liguria is known for fresh fish and glorious seafood, fresh and light white wines, elegant olive oil and of course basil, an important ingredient in pesto.
In our splendid hotel in the centre of Hans Christian Andersen’s favorite Italian town, Sestri Levante, you will be served the light and tasty dishes of the region.
Arrival at Milan Malpensa airport. Our coach awaits us and during the transfer to Sestri your tour manager will inform you about the days to come.
After check in at Grand Hotel Villa Balbi you will have time to relax before going for a small introductory walk in Sestri to get to know the town.
A delicious dinner will be served in the elegant and excellent restaurant of the hotel, accompanied by the local wines.
Day to day menu
After packing lunches in the rucksacks you board the train for Riomaggiore, the southernmost town in Cinque Terre. Here you will board one of the hourly boats, which link the Cinque Terre towns. Your boat trip takes you to the splendid Portovenere, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List along with Cinque Terre. You walk through the pleasant town to reach the trails. On the way you experience many impressive views over the Mediterranean. After stopping to enjoy the packed lunches you continue the walk to Riomaggiore. From here you board the train back to Sestri and a well deserved dinner in the hotel.
Today’s walk is about 5 hours.
Boarding the train to go north you arrive in the lovely Santa Margherita Ligure. Here you board a boat, which take you to the San Frutuoso abbey. The monastery is located on the point of the Tigullio peninsula and is difficult to reach in any other way. You start the walking from here and reach Camogli, where there is time to enjoy a well deserved lunch on your own and discover the charming fishing village before taking the train back to Sestri.
Today’s walk is about 3 hours.
You go south to Cinque Terre and a slightly easier day, arriving at the northernmost of the 5 towns, Monterosso and walking from here to the very charming neighboring town, Vernazza. During the walk you will experience the most incredible views. Arriving in Vernazza around lunchtime many people will probably be tempted to try out the good fish restaurants on the harbor square.
In the middle of the afternoon the train goes back and there is time to explore Sestri or just relax in one of the many cosy cafes with a view of the Bay of Silence.
Today’s walk is about 1.5 hours.
Today is a break from the trails and the scenery, but you will still be walking when visiting the capital of the region, Genoa. After arriving by train you will walk to the old centre by Piazza Ferrari with the famous opera house, Carlo Felice. Continuing the walk through Via Garibaldi you will see several of the excellent art galleries in Genoa. From here the walk enters the small alleyways, which is the greater part of the biggest historical city centre in Europe.
The guided walk ends in the modernized harbor square, where the biggest aquarium in Europe is located along with several interesting maritime museums. Before you will have time on your own for lunch we also see the building, where Marco Polo for the first time spoke about his fantastic travels to the East.
Late in the afternoon we gather to take the train back to Sestri.
On your last day in Cinque Terre you go to Riomaggiore by train before walking Via dell’Amore, the beautiful path leading to Manarola. From Manarola you join the trails and get to Corniglia, which has a beautiful and scenic location with stunning views of the sea.
The walk continues down to the sea before arriving in Vernazza late in the afternoon, where there is time for a small late lunch on your own before the train takes us back to Sestri.
Today’s walk is about 3.5 hours.
You go to Santa Margherita to board the boat for Frutuoso, from where you walk to the probably most exclusive coastal town in Italy, Portofino, with views on the walk to take your breath away. The houses along the natural harbor features in many Italian tourist brochures. In the harbor are the big yachts and maybe you will spot a famous star from films or sports. Arriving in Portofino at lunchtime many people will probably take the opportunity to enjoy the relaxed and elegant atmosphere in one of the outdoor cafes at the harbor front.
The last mutual walk goes back to Santa Margherita, from where the train takes us back to Sestri, where we can share the many splendid memories during dinner in the restaurant.
Today’s walk is about 3 hours.
Transfer by coach to Milano Malpensa for onward return trips.