Explore one of the most scenic coastlines on the Italian peninsula! The Ligurian coast runs from the French border all the way to Tuscany, and this tour will take you to some of the best-known and least-visited gems of this exquisite region. A local guide will introduce you to the famous food shops of the historic port city of Genoa, some of which have been in operation for over a hundred years! From Genoa you’ll work your way down the coast and experience the iconic town of Santa Margherita Ligure, with it’s amazing location, laid-back vibe, and trails with no end of wonderful views. You’ll hike across the beautiful Portofino peninsula, a striking contrast of forested mountains meeting sparkling blue sea, with the tiny chic harbor of Portofino nestled in its bay. Breathtaking vistas await you around every bend in the trail as it winds through the vineyards and olive groves on the trails above the Cinque Terre. You’ll have panoramic views of the five stunning towns perched on seaside cliffs overlooking the cobalt Mediterranean Sea. For hikers, this remarkable area typifies the best northern Italy has to offer in scenery, culture, food and wine.
You’ll relax in 4-Star hotels in the historic center of Genoa and in sea-view rooms on the coast, enjoy the company of your private guides, and dine on plenty of regional cuisine to help you recharge. Plan to fall in love with the landscape, the towns, the food, and most of all, the people!
Tour Dates & Pricing
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Day 1 - Ben Venuti in Italia!
Your Italian adventure starts today in the historic port of Genova. Known as La Superba (The Proud), Genova was a great maritime power in the 13th century. A network of fortresses protected the city, and were connected by a wall second in length only to the Great Wall of China. Genova's bankers, merchants and princes adorned the city with palaces, churches and impressive art collections. With more than 2,000 years of history producing countless magnificent buildings, museums, and the largest medieval city center in Europe, Genova's cobblestone streets will provide plenty of opportunity for wandering, shopping, and just getting lost!
You should plan to arrive in Genova by midday and make your way to your 4-Star hotel, perfectly located in the city center. In the afternoon you'll meet your private tour guide at the hotel, and with her you’ll have a private walking tour of the historical center of Genoa discovering the most famous monuments of the town. Wandering through the “Carrugi” alleys is a unique experience and we believe that by just walking through this maze of historical streets, you’ll find the “real” Genoa essence. You’ll discover the largest medieval old town in Europe, walk along its narrow alleyways, stop in the squares and in the Renaissance streets of the historical town. You’ll walk in Via Garibaldi, a Unesco World Heritage Site which will leave you speechless with its painted palaces built by noble families in XV century. In a couple of
hours, following our insider track, you will discover the most authentic soul of this unique town!
Tonight you'll walk to one of our favorite nearby spots for our welcome dinner. We'll begin with an introduction to the wonderful vintages of the region, then you'll be treated to some of the areas wonderful cuisine...relax and enjoy!
You might consider an after-dinner stroll in the piazza near the hotel to cap off your first day on the Italian Riviera.
Day 2 - Genova
After breakfast this morning you'll meet your local guide to begin a fascinating walking tour through the streets and neighborhoods of this captivating city. As you wind through the ancient streets of the old city, you'll be enthralled by the combination of historic monuments and grand buildings surrounded by a sea of small shops and stores, still very much alive and bustling, much as they have been for over a thousand years.
Like all seafaring cultures, Genova benefited from the vast variety of foodstuffs its fleet supplied. In addition, fresh fruits and vegetables from the surrounding hills, dairy from the rich mountain pastures, and seafood from the fishing boats still provide the basis for the wonderful cuisine of the area. One of the delightful aspects of Genova is the century old tradition of the friggitorie, or fast food restaurants, Genova-style! A small storefront with an even smaller kitchen will turn out delicacies to eat in or take away...you can buy a slice of torta pasqualina, farinata, or focaccia slathered with local olive oil. You'll visit the prestigious old pastry cafè where the famous composer Giuseppe Verdi loved to spend his time tasting the pastries and then, the unique “Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano” 200-year-old shop. Genova has one of the largest collection of Ultra-Centenarian (continuously in operation for over a hundred years) food shops in all of Europe. Explore and enjoy!
Your morning continues with a special pesto class. Our local culinary expert will welcome you to a noble palace to participate in a pesto sauce lesson with mortar and pestle, just as the tradition wants. After the pesto class, you will taste the fruit of your labor with pasta and some other local specialties.
This afternoon you're free to wander and explore Genoa on your own. As you navigate the winding streets, keep your eyes open for the perfect spot for dinner tonight.
Day 3 - San Fruttuoso
This morning you'll check out and have a private transfer to the charming seaside town of Santa Margherita Ligure, to check into your sea view rooms at a gorgeous 4-Star hotel. Here you'll meet your private tour guide for a special hiking gourmet experience in Portofino. Your hiking guide will accompany you on a short private transfer you'll walk into one of Liguria's most beautiful natural areas, Portofino National Park. Suffice to say you'll enjoy excellent views along winding coastal paths, immersed in gorgeous landscapes and peaceful horizons, with the vista changing at every bend in the trail. After you've worked up an appetite, you'll be treated to one of the most unique, and picturesque, cooking class/lunches you'll find! At an agriturismo nestled in the hills overlooking San Fruttuoso Bay, a local chef will take you through his herb garden to show you how his family has used local products in their cuisine for generations. Then, of course, another phenomenal meal will appear in front of you!
After lunch we'll have a relaxed walk through the forest to the stunningly picturesque abbey of San Fruttuoso, nestled in a small bay on the far southern shore of the promontory. After exploring the abbey you'll board a ferry for the scenic ride back to Santa Margherita. Tonight you are free to explore the town and find the perfect little seaside ristorante.
Todays hike is 5 kilometers, with an elevation gain of 200 meters, and about 450 meters feet of elevation loss (downhill). The trail surface involves mostly narrow, rocky paths and forest pathways. This hike is considered EASY to MODERATE
Non-hiking options: If you decide to opt out of todays hike, the town of Santa Margherita Ligure can easily provide a day's entertainment with its myriad of small streets lined with shops and its beautiful seaside promenade. You could spend some time at Villa Durazzo, a beautiful villa, castle, museum, and seventeenth century park with an Italian garden and paths. The church of San Giacomo di Corte has some excellent frescoes that are worth a visit, too. Or consider a public bus or taxi to the nearby town of Portofino, where you can hang out with the yachting set. Maybe the most relaxing option is to take advantage of the many beaches of Santa Margherita Ligure...rocky beaches, gravel beaches, sand beaches...free beaches and beaches with chairs and umbrellas...you can find them all here!
Day 4 - Portovenere
After breakfast today you'll have a private transfer to the tiny town of Campiglia, the trailhead for today. Your path today will take you along the spine of the Portovenere peninsula, far above the sparkling blue sea. This hike offers breathtaking panoramas over the Tino islands and all over the coast. It is one of the most beautiful in the area. As you approach the postcard-pretty town of Portovenere, the views of the town, the boats, nearby Palmaria Island and the ever-present ocean will keep your eyes occupied. Your guide will give you a tour of Portovenere and then turn you loose to wander on your own.
By the end of the day you'll be ready to relax for your private transfer back to Santa Margherita Ligure.
Tonight you'll again be treated to wonderful meal in a lovely local restaurant. But don't stay out too late! You'll need to get a good night's sleep tonight, you have an exciting day tomorrow!
Todays hike is 7.8 kilometers, with an elevation gain of only 80 meters, and about 500 meters feet of elevation loss (downhill). The trail surface involves mostly narrow, rocky paths and stairways. This hike is considered MODERATE to CHALLENGING
Non-hiking options: If you decide to opt out of todays hike you might consider purchasing a ticket on a local train to Portovenere, then spending some time there exploring the town. While in Portovenere a boat over to picturesque Palmaria island takes only 5 minutes. You can train back, or you can try to meet your hiking group when they arrive in Portovenere and ride back on the private transfer with them. (It will be your responsibility to meet the group at the designated location and time.)
Day 5 - The Cinque Terre
After breakfast today your guide will ride with you on your private transfer to the town of Manarola, where your odyssey begins. Today's hike features some of the most scenic trails to be found between the five villages,...you'll be treated to enchanting views around every bend. You'll use the coastal paths and the higher Alta Via paths to work your way from Manarola to Corniglia, with time to explore the towns as you go. In Corniglia you'll enjoy an excellent lunch in a local trattoria, featuring some of the dishes the villages are famous for. Taking the stairway (382 steps) down to the seaside train station you'll board the local train again for the short ride to the nearby town of Monterosso. Lots of shops and a gorgeous seaside location are what Monterosso is known for...a great place to stroll and explore! Later in the afternoon you'll again board your local train for your return to Santa Margherita Ligure.
Todays hike is 6 kilometers, with an elevation gain of 350 meters, and about 350 meters feet of elevation loss (downhill). The trail surface involves mostly narrow, rocky paths and stairways. This hike is considered MODERATE
Non-hiking options: If you decide to opt out of todays hike, you could consider riding with the group to Manarola, then when they do their hike you can purchase a train ticket to visit the other Cinque Terre towns on your own, working your through Riomaggiore, Vernazza and Monterosso. (You may want to avoid Corniglia due to the long climb up to the town from the train station.)
Day 6 - Portofino Natural Park
After breakfast today you'll meet your hiking guide for your day of adventure along the coast. The trail will wind along the Portofino peninsula, offering some of the best view of local wildlife and Mediterranean vegetation which can be seen on the Italian Riviera. Your day continues when you’ll reach a renovated old mill where you’ll have a typical Ligurian lunch with genuine traditional dishes! You’ll be welcomed by the owners and relax enjoying the food and wine of this area! After your meal a ferry ride will return you to Santa Margherita Ligure.
Tonight you'll have a special dinner in at one of your guide's favorite spots...bring an appetite! It's a time for exchanging pictures and emails, a time for remembering all the good times and amazing experiences of the journey and a time for heartfelt goodbyes to all your new lifelong friends.
Todays hike is 6.5 kilometers, with an elevation gain of 250 meters, and about 250 meters feet of elevation loss (downhill). The trail surface involves mostly narrow, rocky paths, forest pathways, and some stone stairways. This hike is considered EASY to MODERATE
Non-hiking options: If you decide to opt out of todays hike, you might consider purchasing a train ticket to visit some of the other beautiful and lively towns along the coast...Sestri Levante, Camogli, Bonassola, Levanto, and many others have wonderful pedestrian areas and almost all have beaches as well! Your tour guide can advise you as to which might be best for whatever your interests are.
Day 7 - Arrivederci Italia
This morning after breakfast your Go Get Lost adventure will end. You can use the excellent local train system to journey to Genova, La Spezia, Milan or Pisa.
Due to availability at the time of booking, hotels listed may change to similar hotels
Genoa - 4 Star Hotel Bristol Palace The Bristol Palace is an elegant, 4 star hotel in the heart of Genoa, not far from the Ducal Palace, the Carlo Felice Theatre and the most significant museums and historical buildings. It is perfectly positioned for anyone wishing to get to the Old Port, the Genoa Aquarium, and the Galata museum.
Santa Margherita Ligure – 4 Star Hotel Continental An elegant 4-star hotel situated in a beautiful setting overlooking the Gulf of Santa Margherita. It has a gorgeous garden with the best panorama of Portofino and Santa Margherita, private rocky beach, two restaurants overlooking the sea, one of which is on the private beach, and a brand new fitness centre with calidarium and panoramic gym.
- 2 night at 4 star Bristol Hotel in Genoa (double standard)
- 4 nights at 4 star hotel Continental Hotel in Santa Margherita Ligure (sea view rooms)
- Daily breakfast
- Meals as specified: 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners, 1 wine tasting and 1 cooking class (all group meals include water and local wine)
- Pesto class in Genoa
- Private local tour guide on your Genoa historical center tour
- Private local tour guide on your Portofino – San Fruttuoso hiking tour
- Cooking lesson in an agriturismo followed by lunch during your Portofino hiking tour
- Private local tour guide on your Portofino Natural Park hiking tour
- Lunch in an old mill on Portofino Natural park
- Private local tour guide on your Campiglia – Portovenere hiking tour
- Private local tour guide on your Cinque Terre hiking tour
- 1 lunch in Genoa typical trattoria
- 1 lunch in Cinque Terre
- 2 dinners in Santa Margherita Ligure
- Cinque Terre card
- Opportunities to Visit Lots of Unique Villages – Volastra, Monterosso, Corniglia, etc.
- Transportation once the tour has begun.
- All train, ferry, hydrofoil, coach, and taxi transfers as specified in itinerary.
- Sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in itinerary
- Completely escorted by a local Italian Go Get Lost Tour Leader with additional guides at specified sites throughout the itinerary
- All gratuities for waiters, drivers, and local guides EXCEPT your two primary local tour leaders
- A lifetime of unforgettable memories!
What´s not Included
- Airfare package
- Arrival transfers and departure transfers, tour begins at the hotel in Genova on the afternoon of Day 1, and the tour ends at the hotel in Santa Margherita Ligure on the morning of day 7
- Gratuity for two primary local tour guides
- Visa fees, if applicable
- Meals not specified in itinerary
- Beverages at meals unless specified in itinerary (all group meals include water and local wine)
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Medical Insurance (strongly recommended), call for details
- Single supplement charge
- Items of a personal nature; phone calls, laundry, etc.