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Hiking Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast

Italy
Spectacular views, charming seaside towns, world-famous cuisine and a relaxing life style are just some of the features that make Italy’s Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast two of the world’s most visited destinations. 
The Cinque Terre is known for its spectacular hiking paths that link the 5 towns. The Amalfi Coast equally offers stunning views, and it also has one of Italy’s largest concentration of gardens, villas and museums. This tour is designed for avid walkers and moderate hikers. Each day there will be a choice of two walks, ranging from 5 - 10 kms with ascents averaging 300m, led by experienced hiking guides.
Our home base for the first 5-nights is the family-run Hotel Carla situated near the Ligurian coast in the town of Levanto - known as the hidden gem of the Italian Riviera, and considered the gateway of the Cinque Terre. 

On the Amalfi Coast we’ll stay at the Reginna Palace Hotel, set in a truly spectacular location overlooking the bay, right by the Maiori waterfront and city centre - a perfect base from which to explore the region.

Tour Highlights:

   • Exploring the 5 towns of the Cinque Terre by way of the famous spectacular walking paths
   • Full-day guided tour to Camogli, including a boat trip to San Fruttuoso Abbey and Portofino
   • Visit of Montepulciano with lunch
   • Excursion to Mount Vesuvius including lunch 
   • Guided visits of Amalfi and Ravello, with a visit of Villa Rufolo
   • The ancient Sentieri dei Limoni (Path of the Lemons)
   • Positano and the “Pathway of the Gods”

* Those participating on this walking tour must be able to complete up to 8 km of walking on varied terrain.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Florence, via Vienna.
We arrive in Florence we transfer to Levanto - our home base for the next 5 nights. This evening our experienced guides will present an orientation briefing on the walks offered during the tour.
 For our first walk we take the local bus to San Giorgio, then walk to the charming village of Bonassola with wonderful vistas of the Mediterranean Sea and countryside.
We return by train to Levanto or extend by return walk to Levanto along the coastal track.
We travel by train to some of the most picturesque towns of the Cinque Terre. We start with Corniglia, nestled in the middle of the five towns. Corniglia is perched on a promontory set away from the sea and is surrounded on three sides by vineyards and terraces. After exploring this charming town we follow the coastal path which offers spectacular views of Manarola and its harbour embedded under the cliffs. Then we continue on the Via dell’Amore (Lovers’ Path) to Riomaggiore - so named due to its characteristic tower homes built along the river. Here we enjoy some free time to stroll the narrow streets lined with beautiful pastel coloured buildings and tempting cafés. We return by train to Levanto.
Today’s excursion takes us along the Italian Riviera and Paradise Gulf - one of the Italian coastline’s most beautiful stretches. We travel by train to Camogli - a romantic seaside village which was once a seaport known as 'the city of a thousand sailing ships'. Then we take a boat trip to San Fruttuoso Bay with its secluded Abbey, and to the ancient and sophisticated town of Portofino. Enjoy some time here to visit the gardens of Castle Brown for the best views. We continue by foot to Santa Margherita and walk through the town with its basilica and palazzo gardens, before returning by train to Levanto.
Vernazza is perhaps the prettiest of the five Cinque Terre villages, with colourful houses winding down to its natural harbour protected by a rocky headland. Choose between two walks to get to Monterosso; either along the famous lower coastal path or on the quieter paths in the hills. Both walks complete the final section of the coastal path which links the five villages. In Monterosso there will be plenty of time to explore the town and shop for local specialties.
We travel inland, stopping enroute in one of Tuscany’s loveliest hilltop towns, medieval Montepulciano. On our walking tour of the town we will discover elegant Renaissance palaces, ancient churches and squares with stunning views over the countryside covered by vineyards producing the famous “Vino Nobile”. After our included lunch in town we continue to Castle Madama in the region of Lazio for an overnight.
A scenic day awaits us as we head to the Amalfi Coast. Enroute we will explore the slopes of famous Mount Vesuvius where, on a clear day, the views over the Bay of Naples are stunning. After our visit we will continue to our hotel in Maiori, our home for the next 4 nights.
Today’s hike takes us along the “Sentiero dei Limoni” (Path of the Lemons) - one of the most popular walks on the Amalfi Coast since Roman times. This ancient and storied route follows the coast, through terraced lemon groves and connects the two charming seaside towns of Maiori and Minori. There is spectacular scenery throughout the walk - truly a feast for the senses!
We first enjoy a visit of Ravello and the splendid Villa Rufolo, famous for it’s “hanging gardens” overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Then you may choose to either walk down to Amalfi via Atrani following the Dragon Valley, or via Pontone following the Valle delle Ferriere. We conclude in Amalfi, designated by UNESCO as a Site of Outstanding Mediterranean Landscape. Here we’ll explore the medieval town with it’s Arab-Norman cathedral and enjoy some time at leisure before returning to the hotel.
Today we relax in the resort town of Maiori, with its lovely beach and warm waters. You may take an excursion to Pompei, or take the local ferry to Capri or nearby Vietri sul Mar - renowned for its ceramics.
We travel by bus to Agerola where we will begin the spectacular walk to Positano along the route know as the “Pathway of the Gods”. The route offers breathtaking views over the whole Amalfi peninsula. Picturesque Positano is a nearly vertical town with houses built on terraces in Moorish style with balconies beneath arcades. The town was made popular by many artists and writers such as John Steinbeck. This evening is our Farewell Dinner.…
We fly home from Naples, via Munich.
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