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9 days/8 nights – starting in Pisa/finishing in Milan – age: 12+ – Availability: April/May -October/November – Hiking and sightseeing
A 9-day trip to discover the beauties of the Ligurian Coast and Lake Como. An inspiring coastal walk along paths and high ridges with panoramic enchanting views of the Ligurian coast, which takes us from the pretty fishing village of Portovenere, on the Gulf of La Spezia, across vineyards and the Cinque Terre picturesque villages to the hills overlooking the celebrated Ligurian Riviera and the Portofino peninsula. The journey continues to explore the pretty shores of one of the most beautiful and dramatic Italian lakes, Lake Como, with its picturesque villages and world-renowned villas, visiting Genoa en-route.
After visiting the renowned town centre of Pisa and its famous Leaning Tower, we travel by road to Portovenere, an idillyc coastal town right at the extreme point of the peninsula on the Gulf of La Spezia. This charming small marine town was a Roman port and the rocky promontory jutting out into the sea at the end of the town was a fortress called Castrum Vetus. Time to enjoy the town with its churches and 15th century castle.
We drive to Manarola, one of the picturesque villages of the Cinque Terre, to continue on foot through vineyards to the pretty hamlet of Volastra, the town with the highest concentration of vines on its steep terraces of all Cinque Terre villages. From Volastra we follow panoramic paths with open views to the little town of Corniglia, the only Cinque Terre village set away from the sea, a Roman village famed for its wine. 500 m + and 300 m – / approx. 3-4 hrs / lunch in Corniglia.
We drive to Riomaggiore to continue exploring the villages and landscapes of the Cinque Terre. From Riomaggiore we continue on foot to reach the idyllically situated Sanctuary of Montenero, to enjoy extensive and wonderful views onto the coastline of the Cinque Terre. From the sanctuary we follow a narrow panoramic path, rocky and exposed in sections, and start descending towards Portovenere through Mediterranean vegetation. 500 m + – /approx. 4.5-5 hrs / lunch in Campiglia.
We take the boat to Monterosso and admire the beauty of the five villages and the dramatic coastline from the sea. From Monterosso we continue on foot to the pretty and colourful fishing village of Vernazza. The route follows ancient roads with big steps, and then narrower panoramic coastal paths contouring the hills of Vernazza. 200 m + – / 2-3 hrs / lunch in Vernazza.
Boat transfer to Rapallo, on the Ligurian Riviera.
We take the ferry to famous, pretty and colourful Portofino, to start hiking in the enchanting Nature Park of Portofino. The path brings us steeply uphill out of town, through the forest of the Acquaviva valley, to reach an ancient narrower path across the peninsula to descend to the idyllic cliff girt bay of San Fruttuoso. From San Fruttuoso Abbey we continue uphill once again through the park and forest of Portofino and then descend on a rocky path and steps to Camogli. 500 m + – / 6-6.5 hrs / lunch in San Fruttuoso.
We drive to Lake Como stopping off in Genoa en-route, one of the historical and enchanting and historic Italian Maritime Republics, with its cathedral, narrow streets, the ancient harbor and the famous “Rolli” noble palaces, declared Unesco World Heritage Site in 2006. After lunch, our journey continues to Lake Como, our last tour destination.
We walk along the western shore of Lake Como to Villa Balbianello, to enjoy and visit the beautiful gardens of the villa, before continuing exploring other small town and villas along the shores of this dramatic Italian lake.
We take the ferry to Bellagio, the promontory in the middle of the lake, to enjoy some walking in the fishing village of Pescallo, discover the picturesque alleys of Bellagio and the enchanting gardens and botanic garden of the 19th century Villa Melzi. Free time to enjoy Bellagio and shopping in the afternoon.
Transfer to Milan.