Walking Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast
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 - 13 kms with ascents averaging 300m, led by experienced hiking guides.
Our home base for the first 5-nights is the family-run 3-star 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 Hotel Caravel - a 4-star hotel in Sant’ Agnello, a splendid clifftop town perched along the Sorrentine Peninsula. The hotel and pool are surrounded by greenery and tucked away from traffic - a perfect base from which to explore the region.
- 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
- Guided visit of Montepulciano with lunch
- Excursion to Mount Vesuvius including lunch
- Guided visit of Sorrento
- Sorrento Peninsula and the Land of Sirens
- Visit of Amalfi and Ravello, and a visit of Villa Rufolo
- Santa Maria del Castello circuit to Positano
*** Those participating on this walking tour must be able to complete up to 8 km of walking on varied terrain.
Day 1: Departure
We depart for Florence, via Paris.
Day 2: Levanto
Upon arrival in Florence we transfer to Levanto - our home base for the next 5 nights.
Day 3: Ligurian Hills Panoramic Walk (Walk 5km with 250m ascent OR 9km with 520m ascent)
For our first walk we take the train to Monterosso and walk up from there to the ruins of San Antonio Hermitage, for astounding views over the Mediterannean Sea and the Cinque Terre. We continue to Cape Mesco for more spectacular views, then through the beautiful Ligurian countryside to Levanto with it’s fascinating medieval centre, Castello, Sant’ Andrea Church and lovely beach. There will be free time in Levanto with a possibility to extend your walk to the Monte Delle Streghe view point over Levanto Bay.
Day 4: Cinque Terre Coastal Path (Walk 6
5km with 215m ascent OR 9.5km with 300m ascent). 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.
Day 5: Camogli / Portofino / Santa Margherita (Walk 7km with 217m ascent)
Today’s excursion takes us along the Italian Riviera and Paradise Gulf - one of the most beautiful stretches of the Italian coastline. We travel by train to Camogli - a romantic seaside village which was once a large seaport known as 'the city of a thousand sailing ships'. Then we embark on a boat trip to San Frutuosso Bay with its secluded Abbey, and to the ancient and sophisticated village of Portofino. Enjoy some time here for lunch and to discover 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.
Day 6: Cinque Terre - Vernazza to Monterosso (Walk 6
5km with 330m ascent). 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.
Day 7: Montepulciano / Castle Madama
We travel inland through Tuscan hills, stopping enroute in one of Tuscany’s loveliest hilltop towns, medieval Montepulciano. Our walking tour of the town will take in 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.
Day 8: Mount Vesuvius / Sorrento
Another scenic day awaits us as we head to the Amalfi Coast. Enroute we will enjoy a short walk up the slopes of famous Mount Vesuvius where, if the sky is clear, the views over the Bay of Naples are stunning. After our visit we will continue to our hotel in Sorrento.
Day 9: Sorrento
We walk to Sorrento, renowned for its cliffside location which offers a great view over the Isle of Capri. On our visit of the old centre we’ll discover the charming small streets and lovely houses of Renaissance and Baroque architecture. There will be free time here before returning to our hotel.
Day 10: Terre Delle Sirene (Walk 8km with 120m ascent OR 13km with 330m ascent)
We proceed to the village of Massa Lubrense to start our walk at a picturesque part of the Sorrento Peninsula known as “Terra delle Sirene” (Land of Sirens). The shorter walk is through lemon and olive groves to the Roman ruins in Punta del Capo. The longer loop includes a descent to the charming fishing harbour of Lobra.
Day 11: Amalfi / Pontone / Ravello (Walk 7 km with 300m ascent OR 10 km with 510m ascent)
We first explore Amalfi, designated by UNESCO as a site of Outstanding Mediterranean Landscape. Our walk begins after exploring the old town and its Arab-Norman cathedral. The shorter walk will go to the delightful hamlet of Pontone set amidst the hills above Amalfi, and later transfer by bus to Ravello. The longer walk will proceed by bus to Pogerola where the trail meanders through breath-taking countryside to Ravello. We finish with a visit of Ravello and splendid Villa Rufolo’s with its hanging gardens.
Day 12: Positano (Walk 5km with 240 ascent OR 9
5 km with 300m ascent). A 30-minute bus ride takes us to Santa Maria del Castello, where we will take a walk with stunning views of the whole peninsula. Then we continue to visit the stunning village of Positano, known as Italy’s nearly vertical town. Houses are built on terraces in Moorish style with flat roofs and balconies beneath arcades. The town was made popular and fashionable by artists and writers such as John Steinbeck.
Day 13: Home
There will be time at leisure this morning before we transfer to the Naples airport for our flight home via Paris.
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