Please note: Though we are offering this tour as a Flex-Guided Adventure for 2020, it is available as a Fully-Guided Adventure for the remainder of 2019.

Take in the colorful, jet-set town of Portofino and traverse the Italian Riviera’s rugged coastline on an inspiring Cinque Terre hiking tour.

In the northwest of Italy, within the Italian Riviera, stands a string of pastel-hued villages linked by ancient coastal and mountain paths. The “Five Lands” of the captivating Cinque Terre have enthralled adventurers since the ancient days of Dante. Follow these timeless trails on a Portofino and Cinque Terre hiking tour that takes you through crooked medieval streets and peaceful terraced gardens to spectacular seaside villages. You’ll journey across a rugged landscape of thrilling coastal views and cliffsides, enriching your adventure even further as you explore the dynamic, jet-set town of Portofino and the ramparts of medieval Lucca. During this grand tour you’ll stay in comfort at exceptional hotels, dining on fresh seafood and delectable local fare while raising glasses of fine Italian wine.

Highlights

  • Cross the Gulf of the Poets—which once inspired Byron, Shelley, and Petrarch—in a vintage wooden speedboat as sunset paints the coast, and toast the view with a chilled aperitivo.
  • Relish the culinary experience of a lifetime in a local restaurant whose acclaimed chef serves fresh seafood from the neighboring docks.
  • Walk to a medieval abbey above the Bay of Fruttuoso before reaching the jet-set resort of Portofino, rewarding yourself with paciugo, a blend of gelato and fresh berries.
  • Stroll medieval ramparts in Lucca, an ancient Tuscan city nestled in a fertile plain on the river Serchio.
On all Flex-Guided Adventures you can count on...
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Expert local guides to introduce you to the best of your destination.
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Opportunities to break away from the group and explore on your own.
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Delicious multi-course meals—a majority are included.
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A maximum of 20 fun-loving fellow travelers to share the journey.
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Gracious accommodations that are a clean, comfortable home away from home.
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Experts to handle all the details.
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Flight + Tour Combos include plane tickets, airport car service, and pre- and post-tour accommodations.

Itinerary

Thu, May 14 to Sat, May 23 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Begin your adventure by departing from a convenient gateway city in the United States or Canada. Spend the first night aloft.

Upon arrival at Florence’s Peretola (formally known as Amerigo Vespucci) Airport, a representative holding a Country Walkers sign meets you as you exit the baggage-claim area. A complimentary small-group transfer is provided to your city center hotel approximately 30 minutes away. The remainder of the day is at your leisure (no meals included).

Accommodation: Hotel Balestri, Florence

Walking tour of Lucca; 2-4 miles, easy

Breakfast is included at your hotel. Your guide(s) meet you at 9:00 a.m. in the lobby of the Hotel Balestri in Florence. Your guide(s) will be wearing a Country Walkers shirt. Please be dressed for walking.

You meet your guides and fellow travelers this morning in Florence and transfer to Lucca, a stunningly preserved Tuscan town surrounded by remarkably intact medieval walls. Henry James famously described this treasure as “overflowing with everything.” During its Renaissance heyday, Lucca grew rich on the supply and production of silk. On arrival, you embark on a walking tour of the town’s charming cobbled streets, its handsome piazzas, and along its majestic fortified city walls that today host a park-like promenade for residents and visitors. You pause at a locally favored restaurant for a delicious welcome lunch of handmade pasta and salads before continuing to the Roman-Byzantine town of Portovenere, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This charming city enjoys a spectacular setting between the azure sea and the nearby Apuan Alps. Its tall, narrow pastel-hued houses strike a colorful pose along an inviting waterfront promenade. Perhaps the town’s most dramatic site is the San Pietro Gothic church, a 13th-century gem adorned in black and white stripes typical of its day. Perched high on a rocky cape overlooking the sea, it has long been a beloved landmark overlooking the spectacular Golfo dei Poeti (Gulf of Poets). The gulf is so named because many writers, including Dante, Petrarch, Byron, and Shelley, have sung its praises – even the boats in the harbor sport romantic names inspired by these poets. Upon arrival, you settle into your hotel and rejoin your group for a scenic boat ride to a special dining venue, where you enjoy a sumptuous feast of freshly caught seafood.

Accommodation: Hotel Paradiso, Portovenere

2.5 miles, easy to moderate, 1,200-ft. elevation gain and loss

Following breakfast on the terrace overlooking the sea, you begin the day’s adventure with a scenic boat ride in the bay that culminates at Isola Palmaria. This beautiful island, declared a Natural Regional Park, boasts a network of walking paths with stunning viewpoints of its dramatic cliffs and nearby Tino Island. Disembarking in the small harbor of Terrizzo, home to the island’s few homes and a restaurant, an easy 20-minute walk leads you to the meticulously restored 19th-century fortress of Umberto I, which now houses a museum dedicated to the oceanography and undersea archaeology of the Mediterranean. From this spectacular viewpoint, the trail gently ascends into a sea of terraced olive groves before leveling off through a forest of holm oak and pinewood. The air is perfumed by sage, broom, and myrtle underfoot as you approach the southern tip of the island. Here lush Mediterranean vegetation is replaced by steep rocky cliffs, deep ravines, and abandoned quarries of the golden-veined black Portoro marble – now home to wild goats and an extensive colony of herring gulls. A challenging, yet short (20-minute), climb leads to the summit where you are rewarded with unsurpassed 360-degree views.

After a snack and water break, a 45-minute descent by way of an asphalt road or a more challenging dirt trail returns you to the hamlet of Terrizzo, where your boat is waiting. Time and weather permitting, you cruise around the island to explore several wonderful grottoes – the famous Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), the Grotta Vulcanica, a volcanic grotto housing an ancient freshwater spring, and the Grotta dei Colombi, where Paleolithic evidence was discovered in the 19th century – before returning to Portovenere for lunch on your own at one of the many seaside trattorias.

Late afternoon, you may accompany your guide(s) on an optional walking tour of Portovenere, whose highlights include the churches of San Pietro and San Lorenzo and the Genovese Doria Castle. This evening, enjoy another delicious meal featuring the bounty of the region.

Accommodation: Hotel Paradiso, Portovenere

glia to Telegrafo via San Antonio

2 miles, easy to moderate. Telegrafo to Riomaggiore; 3 miles, moderate to challenging, 1,475-ft. elevation gain and loss

This morning a short transfer brings you to the town of Campiglia. Situated on the ridge of the western promontory of the Gulf of La Spezia, (at approximately 1,200 feet above the sea), it is also the starting point for the Cinque Terre National Park trails linking Portovenere to Monterosso. The “Five Lands” of the Cinque Terre are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore: five small, remote villages strung along the coast northwest of La Spezia. They are linked by boat, rail, and footpaths, allowing you to customize your walking experience over the next few days. With breathtaking panoramas over the islands of Palmaria and Tino and across the coast, Campiglia also features a 14th-century church and an ancient windmill (located just outside the village). Descending from the village, your trail traces an easy track through cork oak trees, and along undulating terrain until you reach San Antonio. After another half hour, you reach Telegrafo, from where an optional walk continues to Riomaggiore.

Enjoy lunch on your own in Riomaggiore, the southernmost town – recognizable by its characteristic tower homes – or in Manarola, a cozy, classic seaside town and the center of Cinque Terre’s wine production. Afterward, you reunite with the group to travel by train to Monterosso. On arrival to Monterosso, you walk the short distance to your home-away-from-home, located just steps away from the best beach in town. At this popular sandy beach, it’s possible to rent a paddle boat or kayak, stroll the seafront promenade, or simply enjoy a swim in the sea. After settling into your room enjoy an independent evening of exploring and dining.

Accommodation: Hotel Palme, Monterosso

rosso to Vernazza

2.5 miles, moderate to challenging, 700-ft. elevation gain and loss

After breakfast, perhaps enjoyed on the outdoor terrace, you set off on a stunning trail to nearby Vernazza, one of the most charming towns in the Cinque Terre, accessible by boat, rail, or trail. (Please note that your guide may choose to trace the trail beginning in Vernazza and finishing in Monterosso.) Arguably the most spectacular trail through the picturesque “Five Lands,” you trace a well-established footpath offering views of the turquoise sea. After an initial lengthy climb up a steep cliffside stairway of several hundred steps, the trail winds up and down through groves of lemon, orange, and olive trees and beautifully terraced vineyards supported by hundreds of miles of hand-built drystone walls. Known as mura a secco, these walls are a testament to the centuries of labor involved in shaping this fascinating landscape. Traversing extremely narrow trails – perched on terraces with a wall on one side and a drop of 10 to 15 feet on the other – you pass farmers at work using monorail systems to transport grapes and supplies up and down the steep hillsides. (Please note: due to the fragile nature of the Cinque Terre landscape, these trails may be closed in the event of inclement weather or to accommodate necessary repairs. In such circumstances, a comparable walk will be offered.)

A special meal rewards your efforts, and late afternoon you transfer via rail to a seaside resort and your home for the final three nights of the tour. Dinner is on your own this evening, with recommendations from your guides.

Accommodation: Hotel Metropole, Santa Margherita Ligure

Margherita Ligure to Portofino

5 miles, easy to moderate, 885-ft. elevation gain and loss

This morning you linger over a leisurely breakfast and cappuccino at your elegant seaside resort accommodations. Departing from your hotel on foot, you enjoy a scenic walk to the chic resort of Portofino. Your trail traces the seaside promenade and climbs above town. From the charming sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve (situated at 500 feet above sea level), a 10-minute ascent over the luxuriant green hillside, followed by a short level stretch, brings you to the hamlet of Gave and its restored chapel, the Oratorio di San Gerolamo. From here you enjoy a wonderful view over the Abbey of Cervara, an Italian national monument dating to the 14th century, before continuing on to Portofino in one of two directions – the route decided upon by your guide(s).

The first option rewards you with an easy walk along a shaded, cobbled path past farmhouses, through terraced olive groves down to Paraggi, a tiny coastal town bordered by a beautiful sandy beach. A paved promenade, shaded beneath the canopy of a holm oak forest, winds along the sea, delivering you to the cobblestoned streets of Portofino.

The alternative option departs the hamlet of Gave along an undulating path before reaching Acqua Morta and Acqua Viva, two small streams, the second so-called because it gave life to a series of 35 olive, chestnut, and wheat mills (one of which is now a visitors’ center), while the former did not have any mills along its course. Reaching Olmi, the highest point of today’s walk at 885 feet, you begin the long descent down a paved path into Portofino, passing by the chapel of San Sebastiano and enjoying splendid views along the way.

The picturesque village of Portofino, nestled into a cove between hills, was rediscovered by the jet set shortly after World War II and is considered to be among the most beautiful Mediterranean ports. Where once only fishing boats docked in the emerald-green inlet, now yachts arrive from around the world. After a tasty lunch, you may choose to relax at an open-air café in the main piazza overlooking the colorful boats bobbing in the harbor, while indulging in a paciugo – a heavenly cup of strawberry and vanilla gelato (Italian ice cream) topped with fresh berries and cream.

There is also time to independently explore the small streets and browse the town’s boutiques and shops. For stunning views of the entire bay and the Tigullio Gulf, you can walk from the famous village square, simply called La Piazzetta, up to the Church of San Giorgio. Perched high above the town, this church contains relics of St. George, Portofino’s patron saint. From here continue to another lookout point at the Castello Brown, a castle dating to the 16th century, before moving on to the very tip of the promontory, where the Portofino lighthouse is perched on the Punto del Capo.

You return to Santa Margherita via a 20-minute ferry or bus ride (time- and weather-dependent) and enjoy dinner on your own (with recommendations from your guides).

Accommodation: Hotel Metropole, Santa Margherita Ligure

to San Fruttuoso

3.5 miles, moderate to challenging, 750-ft. elevation gain and 1,500-ft. elevation loss. Additional option of San Fruttuoso to Portofino; 3 miles, moderate to challenging

After a satisfying breakfast of coffee, bread, cheese, yogurt, and fruit, you transfer by public bus to the tiny and picturesque village of Ruta. Here, you enter the Regional Park of Portofino for an approximately four-hour morning walk. Your initial 45-minute, 500-foot undulating yet steady ascent along a shady trail is punctuated by a series of rough steps. Along the spectacular ridgeline trail, enjoy commanding views of the Bay of Tigullio to the east and the Bay of Paradise and city of Genova to the west. Continuing beneath a canopy of chestnut, pine, and oak trees, you traverse the Portofino promontory – ascending 160 feet over a 40-minute period – and arrive at Semaforo Nuovo (“New Signal Station”). At 1,300 feet, you are rewarded with radiant coastal views. Refueled with a snack and water break, you set off on a beautiful cliffside path overlooking the Cala dell’Oro Bay and the Bay of San Fruttuoso. The dirt trail – bordered by fragrant Mediterranean macchia, myrtle, and berries – gently climbs and descends for just over an hour, at which point you reach Pietre Strette (“Narrow Stones”), an area of narrow canyons surrounding the 1,500-foot summit of the forested ridge. Over the next hour you descend several stony switchbacks and old mule paths to sea level and the hamlet of San Fruttuoso. This secluded haven, which can only be reached on foot or by boat, is picturesquely situated in a small, rocky cove. Under ownership and protection of the National Trust of Italy, San Fruttuoso has recently begun the process toward recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Following an optional swim in the inviting clear blue waters of the San Fruttuoso Bay, you sit down to a much-anticipated lunch – perhaps a fresh green salad along with the region’s signature dish, homemade pasta with pesto. Following lunch, you may accompany your guide(s) on a fascinating visit to the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso, a 10th-century medieval abbey. This afternoon, you may choose to continue on a scenic two-hour walk to Portofino, indulge in a bit of la dolce vita by taking a boat back to Santa Margherita (with a possible stop in Portofino), pamper yourself with a massage, or relax in the Turkish bath at the hotel.

This evening you reunite for a delectable farewell feast beginning with bountiful seafood antipast i and followed perhaps by the classical Ligurian primo, pansoti con salsa di noci (cheese-filled pasta topped with walnut sauce).

Accommodation: Hotel Metropole, Santa Margherita Ligure

After enjoying breakfast, a complimentary small-group transfer brings you to the Grand Hotel Savoia in Genoa for your post-tour night. (Lunch and dinner are on your own.)

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Savoia, Genoa

Ciao! This morning, a complimentary small-group transfer is provided to Genoa’s Cristoforo Colombo Airport, based on your departure time. (Departure time will be communicated to you by your guides on tour.)

Sat, May 16 to Fri, May 22 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Walking tour of Lucca; 2-4 miles, easy

Your guide(s) meet you at 9:00 a.m. in the lobby of the Hotel Balestri in Florence. Your guide(s) will be wearing a Country Walkers shirt. Please be dressed for walking.

You meet your guides and fellow travelers this morning in Florence and transfer to Lucca, a stunningly preserved Tuscan town surrounded by remarkably intact medieval walls. Henry James famously described this treasure as “overflowing with everything.” During its Renaissance heyday, Lucca grew rich on the supply and production of silk. On arrival, you embark on a walking tour of the town’s charming cobbled streets, its handsome piazzas, and along its majestic fortified city walls that today host a park-like promenade for residents and visitors. You pause at a locally favored restaurant for a delicious welcome lunch of handmade pasta and salads before continuing to the Roman-Byzantine town of Portovenere, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This charming city enjoys a spectacular setting between the azure sea and the nearby Apuan Alps. Its tall, narrow pastel-hued houses strike a colorful pose along an inviting waterfront promenade. Perhaps the town’s most dramatic site is the San Pietro Gothic church, a 13th-century gem adorned in black and white stripes typical of its day. Perched high on a rocky cape overlooking the sea, it has long been a beloved landmark overlooking the spectacular Golfo dei Poeti (Gulf of Poets). The gulf is so named because many writers, including Dante, Petrarch, Byron, and Shelley, have sung its praises – even the boats in the harbor sport romantic names inspired by these poets. Upon arrival, you settle into your hotel and rejoin your group for a scenic boat ride to a special dining venue, where you enjoy a sumptuous feast of freshly caught seafood.

Accommodation: Hotel Paradiso, Portovenere

2.5 miles, easy to moderate, 1,200-ft. elevation gain and loss

Following breakfast on the terrace overlooking the sea, you begin the day’s adventure with a scenic boat ride in the bay that culminates at Isola Palmaria. This beautiful island, declared a Natural Regional Park, boasts a network of walking paths with stunning viewpoints of its dramatic cliffs and nearby Tino Island. Disembarking in the small harbor of Terrizzo, home to the island’s few homes and a restaurant, an easy 20-minute walk leads you to the meticulously restored 19th-century fortress of Umberto I, which now houses a museum dedicated to the oceanography and undersea archaeology of the Mediterranean. From this spectacular viewpoint, the trail gently ascends into a sea of terraced olive groves before leveling off through a forest of holm oak and pinewood. The air is perfumed by sage, broom, and myrtle underfoot as you approach the southern tip of the island. Here lush Mediterranean vegetation is replaced by steep rocky cliffs, deep ravines, and abandoned quarries of the golden-veined black Portoro marble – now home to wild goats and an extensive colony of herring gulls. A challenging, yet short (20-minute), climb leads to the summit where you are rewarded with unsurpassed 360-degree views.

After a snack and water break, a 45-minute descent by way of an asphalt road or a more challenging dirt trail returns you to the hamlet of Terrizzo, where your boat is waiting. Time and weather permitting, you cruise around the island to explore several wonderful grottoes – the famous Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), the Grotta Vulcanica, a volcanic grotto housing an ancient freshwater spring, and the Grotta dei Colombi, where Paleolithic evidence was discovered in the 19th century – before returning to Portovenere for lunch on your own at one of the many seaside trattorias.

Late afternoon, you may accompany your guide(s) on an optional walking tour of Portovenere, whose highlights include the churches of San Pietro and San Lorenzo and the Genovese Doria Castle. This evening, enjoy another delicious meal featuring the bounty of the region.

Accommodation: Hotel Paradiso, Portovenere

glia to Telegrafo via San Antonio

2 miles, easy to moderate. Telegrafo to Riomaggiore; 3 miles, moderate to challenging, 1,475-ft. elevation gain and loss

This morning a short transfer brings you to the town of Campiglia. Situated on the ridge of the western promontory of the Gulf of La Spezia, (at approximately 1,200 feet above the sea), it is also the starting point for the Cinque Terre National Park trails linking Portovenere to Monterosso. The “Five Lands” of the Cinque Terre are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore: five small, remote villages strung along the coast northwest of La Spezia. They are linked by boat, rail, and footpaths, allowing you to customize your walking experience over the next few days. With breathtaking panoramas over the islands of Palmaria and Tino and across the coast, Campiglia also features a 14th-century church and an ancient windmill (located just outside the village). Descending from the village, your trail traces an easy track through cork oak trees, and along undulating terrain until you reach San Antonio. After another half hour, you reach Telegrafo, from where an optional walk continues to Riomaggiore.

Enjoy lunch on your own in Riomaggiore, the southernmost town – recognizable by its characteristic tower homes – or in Manarola, a cozy, classic seaside town and the center of Cinque Terre’s wine production. Afterward, you reunite with the group to travel by train to Monterosso. On arrival to Monterosso, you walk the short distance to your home-away-from-home, located just steps away from the best beach in town. At this popular sandy beach, it’s possible to rent a paddle boat or kayak, stroll the seafront promenade, or simply enjoy a swim in the sea. After settling into your room enjoy an independent evening of exploring and dining.

Accommodation: Hotel Palme, Monterosso

rosso to Vernazza

2.5 miles, moderate to challenging, 700-ft. elevation gain and loss

After breakfast, perhaps enjoyed on the outdoor terrace, you set off on a stunning trail to nearby Vernazza, one of the most charming towns in the Cinque Terre, accessible by boat, rail, or trail. (Please note that your guide may choose to trace the trail beginning in Vernazza and finishing in Monterosso.) Arguably the most spectacular trail through the picturesque “Five Lands,” you trace a well-established footpath offering views of the turquoise sea. After an initial lengthy climb up a steep cliffside stairway of several hundred steps, the trail winds up and down through groves of lemon, orange, and olive trees and beautifully terraced vineyards supported by hundreds of miles of hand-built drystone walls. Known as mura a secco, these walls are a testament to the centuries of labor involved in shaping this fascinating landscape. Traversing extremely narrow trails – perched on terraces with a wall on one side and a drop of 10 to 15 feet on the other – you pass farmers at work using monorail systems to transport grapes and supplies up and down the steep hillsides. (Please note: due to the fragile nature of the Cinque Terre landscape, these trails may be closed in the event of inclement weather or to accommodate necessary repairs. In such circumstances, a comparable walk will be offered.)

A special meal rewards your efforts, and late afternoon you transfer via rail to a seaside resort and your home for the final three nights of the tour. Dinner is on your own this evening, with recommendations from your guides.

Accommodation: Hotel Metropole, Santa Margherita Ligure

Margherita Ligure to Portofino

5 miles, easy to moderate, 885-ft. elevation gain and loss

This morning you linger over a leisurely breakfast and cappuccino at your elegant seaside resort accommodations. Departing from your hotel on foot, you enjoy a scenic walk to the chic resort of Portofino. Your trail traces the seaside promenade and climbs above town. From the charming sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve (situated at 500 feet above sea level), a 10-minute ascent over the luxuriant green hillside, followed by a short level stretch, brings you to the hamlet of Gave and its restored chapel, the Oratorio di San Gerolamo. From here you enjoy a wonderful view over the Abbey of Cervara, an Italian national monument dating to the 14th century, before continuing on to Portofino in one of two directions – the route decided upon by your guide(s).

The first option rewards you with an easy walk along a shaded, cobbled path past farmhouses, through terraced olive groves down to Paraggi, a tiny coastal town bordered by a beautiful sandy beach. A paved promenade, shaded beneath the canopy of a holm oak forest, winds along the sea, delivering you to the cobblestoned streets of Portofino.

The alternative option departs the hamlet of Gave along an undulating path before reaching Acqua Morta and Acqua Viva, two small streams, the second so-called because it gave life to a series of 35 olive, chestnut, and wheat mills (one of which is now a visitors’ center), while the former did not have any mills along its course. Reaching Olmi, the highest point of today’s walk at 885 feet, you begin the long descent down a paved path into Portofino, passing by the chapel of San Sebastiano and enjoying splendid views along the way.

The picturesque village of Portofino, nestled into a cove between hills, was rediscovered by the jet set shortly after World War II and is considered to be among the most beautiful Mediterranean ports. Where once only fishing boats docked in the emerald-green inlet, now yachts arrive from around the world. After a tasty lunch, you may choose to relax at an open-air café in the main piazza overlooking the colorful boats bobbing in the harbor, while indulging in a paciugo – a heavenly cup of strawberry and vanilla gelato (Italian ice cream) topped with fresh berries and cream.

There is also time to independently explore the small streets and browse the town’s boutiques and shops. For stunning views of the entire bay and the Tigullio Gulf, you can walk from the famous village square, simply called La Piazzetta, up to the Church of San Giorgio. Perched high above the town, this church contains relics of St. George, Portofino’s patron saint. From here continue to another lookout point at the Castello Brown, a castle dating to the 16th century, before moving on to the very tip of the promontory, where the Portofino lighthouse is perched on the Punto del Capo.

You return to Santa Margherita via a 20-minute ferry or bus ride (time- and weather-dependent) and enjoy dinner on your own (with recommendations from your guides).

Accommodation: Hotel Metropole, Santa Margherita Ligure

to San Fruttuoso

3.5 miles, moderate to challenging, 750-ft. elevation gain and 1,500-ft. elevation loss. Additional option of San Fruttuoso to Portofino; 3 miles, moderate to challenging

After a satisfying breakfast of coffee, bread, cheese, yogurt, and fruit, you transfer by public bus to the tiny and picturesque village of Ruta. Here, you enter the Regional Park of Portofino for an approximately four-hour morning walk. Your initial 45-minute, 500-foot undulating yet steady ascent along a shady trail is punctuated by a series of rough steps. Along the spectacular ridgeline trail, enjoy commanding views of the Bay of Tigullio to the east and the Bay of Paradise and city of Genova to the west. Continuing beneath a canopy of chestnut, pine, and oak trees, you traverse the Portofino promontory – ascending 160 feet over a 40-minute period – and arrive at Semaforo Nuovo (“New Signal Station”). At 1,300 feet, you are rewarded with radiant coastal views. Refueled with a snack and water break, you set off on a beautiful cliffside path overlooking the Cala dell’Oro Bay and the Bay of San Fruttuoso. The dirt trail – bordered by fragrant Mediterranean macchia, myrtle, and berries – gently climbs and descends for just over an hour, at which point you reach Pietre Strette (“Narrow Stones”), an area of narrow canyons surrounding the 1,500-foot summit of the forested ridge. Over the next hour you descend several stony switchbacks and old mule paths to sea level and the hamlet of San Fruttuoso. This secluded haven, which can only be reached on foot or by boat, is picturesquely situated in a small, rocky cove. Under ownership and protection of the National Trust of Italy, San Fruttuoso has recently begun the process toward recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Following an optional swim in the inviting clear blue waters of the San Fruttuoso Bay, you sit down to a much-anticipated lunch – perhaps a fresh green salad along with the region’s signature dish, homemade pasta with pesto. Following lunch, you may accompany your guide(s) on a fascinating visit to the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso, a 10th-century medieval abbey. This afternoon, you may choose to continue on a scenic two-hour walk to Portofino, indulge in a bit of la dolce vita by taking a boat back to Santa Margherita (with a possible stop in Portofino), pamper yourself with a massage, or relax in the Turkish bath at the hotel.

This evening you reunite for a delectable farewell feast beginning with bountiful seafood antipast i and followed perhaps by the classical Ligurian primo, pansoti con salsa di noci (cheese-filled pasta topped with walnut sauce).

Accommodation: Hotel Metropole, Santa Margherita Ligure

After breakfast, a private transfer brings you to the Grand Hotel Savoia in Genoa by 10:30 a.m., where you continue your explorations or make train or plane connections for your onward travels.

Accommodations

Linger Longer with a Tour Extension

Italy: Portofino & Cinque Terre 1
Pre-Tour
Flight + Tour Combo Only
2020

2020 Pre-Tour Extension - Florence

  • Two nights at the Hotel Balestri
  • Small-group airport and hotel transfers
  • Two breakfasts

2 Nights From $398
per person, double occupancy

Overnight flight from USA to Florence, Italy. Please refer to your air itinerary for your specific flight details.

Upon arrival at Florence’s Peretola (formerly known as Amerigo Vespucci) Airport, a representative holding a Country Walkers sign meets you as you exit the baggage-claim area. A complimentary small-group transfer will be provided to your Florence hotel, approximately 30 minutes away. The remainder of the day is at your leisure (no meals included).

Today, delight in the world-renowned art, history, culture, and cuisine of this legendary city on the Arno River. From the layer-cake jewelry shops of the medieval Ponte Vecchio to the Medici art treasures of the Uffizi Gallery, you have time to experience it all while staying in the city’s historic center.

Dinner is on your own while in Florence and there are many fine restaurants or trattorias to choose from during your stay. Your hotel concierge can assist with recommendations and reservations.

From your centrally located hotel you have ample time today to stroll through the Galleria dell’Accademia to witness Michelangelo’s David and numerous other renaissance masterpieces. This afternoon why not spend time admiring the spectacular architecture of The Duomo, an ornate masterpiece of pink, white, and green marble. In the evening relax and sample local vintages in a quiet wine bar.

A Country Walkers representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Florence.

Italy: Portofino & Cinque Terre
Post-Tour
Flight + Tour Combo Only
2020

2020 Post-Tour Extension - Genoa

  • Two nights at the Grand Hotel Savoia
  • Small-group airport and hotel transfers
  • Two breakfasts

1 Night From $148
per person, double occupancy

Today discover Genoa, with its labyrinthine caruggi (alleyways) and color-saturated buildings. Explore what makes this great city a UNESCO World Heritage site, by perhaps touring its magnificent medieval cathedral and complex of renaissance palaces, the Palazzi dei Rolli. Staying in an excellent hotel in the heart of Genoa, you’re ideally situated to take advantage of the city’s many highlights.

After a leisurely breakfast you have another relaxing day to explore Genoa. Learn about the city’s impressive history of medieval and Renaissance maritime power at Galata Museo del Mare, or simply stroll along the harbor with a gelato. In the afternoon retire to your hotel’s “secret beach” or rooftop hot tub to admire the sunset.

A complimentary small-group transfer is provided to Genoa’s Cristoforo Colombo Airport based upon your departure time. (Transfer time to be communicated by your guides on tour.)

What's Included

Flight + Tour Combo
Tour Only
Exceptional boutique accommodations Check Check
All on-tour meals except 2 lunches and 2 dinners Check Check
Local guides with you throughout tour Check Check
Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary Check Check
Emergency travel assistance hotline available 24/7 Check Check
Roundtrip airfare Check
One extra night in Florence and one extra night in Genoa Check
Airport car service for arrival & departure Check
Pre- and post-tour breakfasts Check
Business-class upgrades available Check
Morocco: Marrakesh, Foothills of the High Atlas & Essaouira

Dates & Prices

Flight + Tour Combo

10 days. Includes round-trip international airfare, airport car service, additional hotel nights with included breakfast, and your tour.

Single Supplement: From $848

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Tour Only

7 days. Includes your tour only.

Single Supplement: From $548

Thu, May 14 - Sat, May 23, 2020

$5,148

Reserve Online

Sat, May 16 - Fri, May 22, 2020

$4,098

Reserve Online

Thu, Jun 11 - Sat, Jun 20, 2020

$5,148

Reserve Online

Sat, Jun 13 - Fri, Jun 19, 2020

$4,098

Reserve Online

Thu, Sep 10 - Sat, Sep 19, 2020

$5,148

Reserve Online

Sat, Sep 12 - Fri, Sep 18, 2020

$4,098

Reserve Online

Thu, Sep 24 - Sat, Oct 3, 2020

$5,148

Reserve Online

Sat, Sep 26 - Fri, Oct 2, 2020

$4,098

Reserve Online

Expert Local Guides

Experience your destination like an insider with people who call it home.

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