Walking the 'Riviera of the Rising Sun'
This spectacular fifteen-day walk takes you the length of the ‘Riviera di Levante' (or the Riviera of the rising sun) an arc of rugged coastline that stretches from the bustling port of Genoa east to the romantic town of Portovenere at the end of the Cinque Terre.
What makes this walk special are the ancient trails it follows, the diversity of the terrain, towns and villages you pass through. Starting in the medieval lanes in the centre of Genoa, this 190 kilometre route takes you along seaside promenades, up pilgrim trails, over Roman bridges, through forests and vineyards, down ancient trade routes and past piratical ports and shipyards. Along the way you will overnight in sleepy fishing villages, lively coastal towns and glamorous resorts. The last four days include the celebrated paths of the Cinque Terre. The Italian Riviera is one of the classic long-distance walks in Italy.
This walk can be divided into two sections: Genoa to Sestri Levante (7 days/6 nights) and Sestri Levante to Portovenere, including the Cinque Terre (9 days/8 nights).
The walk follows well-marked historical trails. One of the characteristics of the route is its flexibility: all the towns are connected by regular local trains, which means you can hop on and off the train to shorten the longer legs. For these reasons, we have classified the Italian Riviera as a Grade 2 walk (“several walks on this tour are between 12 and 15 kms; orientation is straight forward and there are some long climbs”). Click here for details.
The accommodation on this fourteen-night walk uses the best available in each place, including an eclectic mix of fancy 4-star hotels; smart 3-star hotels, family-run pensione’s and a gorgeous family-run agriturismo. All the accommodation is clean and welcoming. All rooms have private en suite bathrooms. A number of them have private swimming pools (although you will always have the option of a dip in the sea at the end of the day’s walk).
The food and wine:
Like its inhabitants, the food of Ligurian is austere and reserved, based on the finest ingredients hard won from the rocky slopes of the Apennine Mountains and the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The classic dishes are pesto (a basil, pine-nut and garlic paste, traditionally served with a local short pasta and diced potato); focaccia (a dimpled, rustic bread served with herbs and lashing of the excellent local olive oil) and farinata (a delicious flat-bread made from chic peas, dressed with more olive oil). There is an abundance of very good seafood, complemented with very good, locally grown vegetables. The most celebrated wines of the region are dry whites (Cinque Terre and Vermentino) but Liguria also produces some good reds (Rossese di Dolceacqua, Ormeasco and Colli di Luni Rosso).
Section 1: Genoa to Sestri Levante
This 8 days/7nights walk takes you along the first half of the Italian Riviera Levante (the Riviera of the Rising Sun) walk. It starts in the Genoa (Italy’s largest port, a marvellously eclectic city full of pace and rough-edged style) and finishes in the charming resort town of Sestri Levante. The trail follows a rugged arc of coastline above the Mediterranean Sea. It is regularly dotted with small fishing towns and ports that have managed to gain some purchase in the mouths of rivers and streams that have cut through the mountains. Click here for details.
Section 2: Sestri Levante to Portofino
This 9 day/8 night walk is the second half of the Riviera di Levante (Riviera of the Rising Sun) walk. It starts in Sestri Levante, a beautiful resort town on the eastern headland of the Tigullio Gulf and finishes at the gorgeous town of Portovenere on the Gulf of La Spezia. It is a walk of two parts: the first three days take you through some of least visited parts of the Ligurian Coast, following well-marked mountain trails through unspoilt forests and staying in laidback coastal towns quite untouched by tourism. The remaining days take you along the trails of the Cinque Terre, one of the most celebrated, and spectacular, stretches of coastline in the Mediterranean, following stone paths that have linked the fishing villages for centuries. Click here for details.
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A 15 day long-distance walk from Genoa to Portovenere
• 14 nights accommodation
• All breakfasts and dinners (alla carte)
• Reading lists and historical and cultural notes
• Maps and detailed walking instructions
• Bags transferred each morning from hotel to hotel
• 24 hour backup from our operations manager
Full walk Genoa to Portovenere (15 days/14 nights): $5000 with breakfast and dinners included per person or $4100 with breakfast per person
Single supplement: $1500.
It is possible to break up the Italian Riviera into two separate walks:
Section 1, Genoa to Sestri Levante (8 days/7 nights): $2500 with breakfasts and dinners included per person or $2100 with breakfasts included per person
Section 2, Sestri Levante to Portovenere (9 days/8 nights): $2800 with breakfasts and dinners included per person or $2350 with breakfasts included per person
Single supplement per Section: $750.
1. Northern Italy: Italian Riviera 1 and 2, a 15-day walk Genoa to Portovenere: Overview FAQs
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