Cinque Terre Coastal Walk
Isolated from the rest of Italy by the impressive landscape, you’re here to hike. The rugged villages of Cinque Terre still remain a world away from the bustle of Rome. Follow coastal trails and discover villages clustered on windswept cliffs, perched above beautiful coastlines. Hike and swim by day and sample the fresh seafood and local delicacies by night. For the active traveller who wants to experience a real slice of Italian life, this compact adventure tops the menu.
Cinque Terre National Park 3-day pass. Riomaggiore-Monterosso coastal trail hike. Higher-level full-day walk in the national park.
Walk narrow coastal trails with magnificent sea views, sample the local cuisine and wines, stay in a Cinque Terre village.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1) WALKING NOTES:
This is a walking trip, with hikes of up to 7-8 hours involving some ascents and descents of over 600 metres (2000ft).Please be prepared in particular for some steep downhill and stone steps.
Please note that the walks may vary due to weather and/or path conditions. There are plenty of other walks in the region that can be recommended by your CEO and enjoyed on the free day.
2) LUGGAGE: In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.
3) FLOODING: Two of the Cinque Terre towns (Vernazza and Monterosso) have suffered flood damage in recent years, in particular in 2011. There could be repair works in progress. Three towns – Riomaggiore, Manarola and Corniglia were unaffected.
In terms of the hiking routes, the coastal path between the towns is not all open at the moment. During the storms some damage was done to the paths and work to restore them is ongoing, so while Riomaggiore-Manarola, Monterosso-Levanto, the higher level path Manarola-Corniglia via Volastra and Riomaggiore-Portovenere are all open, the sections Corniglia-Vernazza-Monterosso are not at time of writing. However, restoration work is under way and the National Park is committed to opening the routes as quickly as it can safely be done. Regardless of whether the entire coastal path will be open, there are many alternative paths available and there will be plenty of hiking opportunities.
The Cinque Terre villages are very keen to encourage people to visit the area and support the local economy and the environment (which we do with every Cinque Terre National Park pass we buy for this tour). While some effects of the flood will remain and some path diversions may be in place, the area remains beautiful, welcoming and rewarding to visit; and we strongly wish to support the local community and environment, now more than ever.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our CEOs (Chief Experience Officer). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
Group Size Notes
Max 12, Avg 10
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
About our Transportation
All transportation during this trip is by means of short journeys on local buses and trains. These are frequent and convenient, but can often (especially in summer) become very crowded. Be prepared to stand on some short bus and train journeys (up to 20 minutes)
If required all local flights are included in the cost of your tours unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Small locally owned simple pension (4 nts)
This is a centre based tour and you will spend all four nights in the same accommodation. This has the great advantage that you are located right in the Cinque Terre and only need to take your luggage up the stairs once.
Our accommodation is clean, simple and centrally located with all rooms having a cozy ensuite bathroom.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.
GETTING TO HOTEL VILLA ARGENTINA:
*The nearest airport is Pisa or Genoa but connections can also be made from Rome or Milan.
Take an Italian regional train to La Spezia Centrale station. Ticket machines in Italian stations have an English language facility and will give you the journey details. There are train connections approximately each hour. Timetables and connections can be found online at www.trenitalia.com.
*Please note that if you are arriving from the north (ie Genova or Milan), trains pass through the Cinque Terre villages but rarely stop. You will probably need to proceed to La Spezia and change there. However, on rare occasions you may be able to depart directly in Riomaggiore.
From La Spezia train station to Riomaggiore you can take a taxi directly to the hotel in Riomaggiore. This will cost approximately 40EUR. There may be a supplement for large amounts of luggage or late arrivals. Taxis will be found outside the station.
You may alternatively catch a local train to Riomaggiore Station from La Spezia Station. Journey time is roughly 8 minutes. From there, proceed on foot or by shuttle bus to the hotel. The Hotel Villa Argentina lies in the via de Gasperi at 170 in Riomaggiore, which is the upper part of the village. The shortest and most comfortable way to reach it by foot is by crossing the tunnel which leads from the railway station to the centre of the main village (about 100 m). Thereafter, follow the main road (Via Colombo) up to the top of the village. There is a parking garage on the right. In front stands a little information centre for the National park of the Cinque Terre. From the front of the Information centre turn left. This is the via de Gasperi. After about 150 m you will find the Hotel on your right side.
There are also occasional minibuses departing from the main street of Riomaggiore (Via Colombo) to the hotel. These run several times in the morning and again after 4pm or so in the afternoon.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO. If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (manned UK 8am – 8pm)
+44 (0) 2072439878
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
Finishing Point Instructions
as for joining point instructions, take a train from La Spezia to your destination in Italy
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. You must be prepared to carry your luggage up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels (max 15-20 mins.)
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (See also “What to Take” and “Local Dress” sections of this dossier)
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Watch or alarm clock
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine,
Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect
repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. Alternatively, ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is.
Visas and Entry Requirements
Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.
For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.
Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.
A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Italy is in the Eurozone and the unit of the currency is the Euro.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Italy – check with your bank. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Euros, traveller’s cheques and cards is best. Avoid relying on traveller’s cheques alone as these are less and less readily cashed as clients use them very little.
Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Usually included in international air ticket, check with your air travel agent.
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2).
Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program, and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day, depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €30-40 per person, per week can be used.
Train fare to Pisa – €12 rtn
Leaning Tower climb – €15
Cathedral, Baptistry and Museum – €12
Sea Kayak Hire – €5/hr
Mountain bike hire – Half day €4, Full day €6, 1 hour €1.50
Boat ride – €7- €20 (various options)
Portofino – €10 (rtn train and bus fare)
Florence – €18 (rtn train fare)
Genoa – €12 (rtn train fare)
Pesto making class – €10
All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. For travellers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
In Italy, shoulders should be covered while visiting churches and cathedrals. Ask your CEO for more specific advice.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
PRODUCT_LINE: EICW, ID: 23289
Day 1 Riomaggiore
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.
Tonight, the adventure begins. Feel free to explore — but make sure you’re back in time to meet your group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your trip.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Riomaggiore (1B)
Head out into the Cinque Terre National Park to walk the original coastal trail from Riomaggiore to Monterosso. Enjoy spectacular views while passing through all five of the beautiful Cinque Terre villages.
The walking trails connecting each village to its neighbours are well-marked and provide stunning views of the National Park and the Ligurian Sea. The picturesque coastal trail winds along the shore, varying in nature and difficulty from an easy stroll to a rough and, on occasion, physically challenging hike.
There is plenty of time to stop en route and explore each village, taste some fresh seafood and local specialties at lunchtime, and perhaps round off the afternoon with a glass of local limoncello or wine straight from the vineyards that line the route.
Riomaggiore to Manarola Hike
Manarola to Corniglia Hike
Corniglia to Vernazza Hike
Vernazza to Monterosso Hike
Day 3 Riomaggiore (1B)
Hike the higher trails of the Cinque Terre coast, taking the less trodden paths to unspoiled villages.
Cinque Terre Inland Hike
Day 4 Riomaggiore (1B)
There are countless optional activities to suit all interests: hiking, biking, boat trips, diving, relaxing on the beach, or perhaps taking a cooking class in typical Ligurian cuisine.
There are also opportunities to hop on a boat to Palmaria Island in the Gulf of La Spezia, or “Gulf of Poets”, and Portovenere, the pretty town at the end of the Cinque Terre Peninsula.
The National Park has much to offer. Take an optional guided excursion within the park: try diving in the Puntamesco Marine Reserve, cruise by traditional boat, or perhaps visit Portofino for a walk to the beautiful nearby San Fruttuoso Sanctuary.
Opt for a day trip by train to one of Central Italy’s renowned cultural centres: Florence, Lucca, or Genoa. Or, there’s always the beach…
Day 5 Riomaggiore (1B)
Depart at any time.