Portofino and the Italian Riviera self-guided walk

Portofino is the star turn of the Italian Riviera, a beautifully preserved fishing village tucked into a perfect bay, but it is only one of the highlights of this fascinating stretch of coastline that sits between Genoa and the Cinque Terre.

The tour starts in Camogli on the west side of the Portofino promontory, a former fishing village (known in medieval times as the 'city of a thousand sails') which was described by Charles Dickens as ‘the feistiest, roughest, most piratical little place I’ve visited’.  It’s a little more couth these days but has lost none of its nautical charm.  The first walk of the tour takes you through the national park that separates Camogli and Portofino following a series of well-marked trails through pine and oak forests above spectacular coastline with some of the most beautiful views in northern Italy.

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Leaving the Portofino peninsula on Day 3 you pick up the ancient pilgrim trails that connected France wth Rome, passing through the hills that wrap around behind the Gulf of Tugullio, dropping down to the lively coastal towns each evening.  The tour finishes at the end of the gulf at the 'Bay of Silence' in Sestri Levante, a delightful summer resort on the Isola Peninsula.

The walks

The walks

This a Grade 3 walk (click here for details). Starting with a walks through the Portofino National Park, this walk picks up the pilgrim trails that ran above the Liguria coast, climbing up into the forested hills each day before dipping down to the bustling coastal towns in the evening.  The trails follow a combination of ancient paved paths and well-marked walking trails.  There are some steep climbs and both the last two days walks are over 15 kms, however, in both cases it is possible to break the walks half way along the route and take a local train to the end of the walk.

The self-guided itineraries are rewalked and the notes updated each year.

The accommodation

The accommodation

You'll be staying in a combination of very good, centrally located three and four star hotels, in comfortable rooms with generous breakfasts, en suite bathrooms and sea views.

The food

The food

Ligurians like to use their own trusted products which come from the 350 kilometres of coastline with its rough, mountainous hinterland or which is fished out of ther own waters.  It is an austere but delicous style of cooking that has produced such specialities as pesto sauce and foccaccia.  Even the wines, grown with great effort on the steep, rocky terraces suit the local food perfectly. 

Dinners are not included in the standard tour, however, if you select the 'Dinners option' (which we recommend) this will include 3 course meals alla carte (ie free choice) in some of the coast's finest restaurants.  The dinner option also means you'll have a guaranteed booking each night.

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This 6 day/5 night walk can be personalised to suit your interests and dates.

  • Cost


    per person
  • Five nights’ accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Reading lists and historical and cultural notes
  • Maps and detailed walking instructions
  • Daily transfers of baggage between hotels
  • 24 hour back-up from local operations manager



Cost Options

$1890 b&b $2140 with dinners included

Single supplement: $550

Portofino extra night : $180 per person (see itinerary for details).



"The walk notes, hotels, restaurants, and maps were all excellent. I think you've got a wonderful product... Lots of good little surprises along the way; tucked away restaurants, misty views through pine forests, and friendly locals."

– Norma D, Portofino

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1. Northern Italy: walking Portofino and the Italian Riviera FAQs

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1. Northern Italy: walking Portofino and the Italian Riviera

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