|Aktivitets nivå :||Flere aktiviteter - Fotturer - Kultur & Tema reiser (enkelt)|
Arriving in Pisa, we transfer to the Cinque Terre Coast and our base for the week, the pretty seaside village of Bonassola. The Cinque Terre, or Five Lands, is named after the string of five fishing villages which nestle at the foot of the plunging cliffs along this section of the Italian Riviera. It is a National Park and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Renowned for its beauty, the region has a wild and rugged coastline with breath-taking harbours and carefully built terraces, cultivating grapes and olives. An ancient system of footpaths and mule tracks connects the five villages and it is these you will explore during your week on the Ligurian coast. We stay at the welcoming family-run Pensione Moderna, located just a few minutes' walk from the beach, bars and restaurants of the village and the nearby train station which provides us with easy access to the walking routes along the coast.
The first part of today's walk is flat and takes us along the route of the old coastal rail line from Bonassola to the small town of Levanto. Sections of the route pass through some long (and well-lit!) tunnels hewn out of the rocky cliffs. Levanto is a town of pre-Roman origins situated at the northern end of the Cinque Terre. We take some time to look around the pretty painted villas, beautiful piazza and 13th century loggia before continuing on the coastal path to Monterosso. Initially ascending on stone steps out of the town, we soon join the main trail and ascend, quite steeply in places, on an undulating and sometimes rocky trail to a high point of around 300 metres. Part of the trail passes through cool woods of ilex and other Mediterranean species. From the open sections there are great views south along the Cinque Terre coast. The descending trail into Monterosso is steep in places with the final section on a series of steps down to the town and beach. Monterosso is the largest of the Cinque Terre villages and has a beautiful old centre and, typical to the Cinque Terre, rows of brightly coloured terraced houses. We head straight to the old part of the village, dominated by the ruins of a Genoese castle, for an exploration of the 'caruggi' - medieval narrow alleys and backstreets that make up the area. There should be time for a quick swim on the beautiful sandy beach at Monterosso before catching a train back to Bonassola for the evening. Today's nine kilometre walk is graded Moderate and expected to take around five to six hours with a total ascent and descent of 380 metres.
Our walk today takes us from Corniglia (accessed by train from Bonassola), via Vernazza and then back to Monterosso. This is a lovely section of the Cinque Terre coastal trail that leads us through vineyards, olive and lemon groves, giving a true feel for the agriculture of the region. We will see how skillfully the trees and vines have been terraced along the hillside, making the most of the difficult growing landscape. Unlike the other towns and villages of the Cinque Terre, Corniglia is not directly adjacent to the sea, it is set around 100 metres up the cliff side and surrounded by terracing. The first part of the walk ascends a series of 370 steps from the station up to the village. We'll take our time and there are resting points on the way up allowing a chance to take in the coastal views. There's time to take a look around before embarking on the main trail towards Vernazza, climbing slowly on a sometimes rocky path from Corniglia to reach a lovely view point back to the town. The trail then undulates until the hamlet of Prevo before the descent, which includes some sections on rocky steps, into Vernazza. We'll stop for lunch here and some free time for a wander or even a dip in the sea if the weather is good, before continuing on to Monterosso from where we catch a train back to Bonassola. Today's seven kilometre walk is graded Moderate and expected to take around four hours with a total ascent and descent of 405 metres.
Today we will spend time exploring the paths around Bonassola. Walking directly from the hotel we ascend through vineyards and woodland into small hamlets and villages that show the true nature of the Cinque Terre. Away from the more tourism influenced areas, we see how the locals live and work in this beautiful yet rugged region. Our walk is circular with some stunning views of the coastline and cliff sides and returns us back to Bonassola for the afternoon. The village has a beautiful long sandy beach on which you could spend some time relaxing, or you could visit the Chiesetta della Madonnina della Punta, a tiny chapel overlooking the sea. For those with a sweet tooth Bonassola is also home to some marvellous gelato (Italian ice cream) parlours. Later there will also be the opportunity for us to enjoy some local wine tasting (optional) to round off the day. Today's eight kilometre circular walk is graded Easy and expected to take around three-and-a-half hours with a total ascent and descent of 320 metres.
Today has been left free for further personal exploration of this spectacularly scenic area. You may choose to relax in Bonassola, or take the local train to La Spezia or Genoa, to get lost in their winding alleys and bustling ports whilst taking time to try some of the local specialities; breads, wines and pestos. It is also possible to continue your walking adventure and take to some of the other local walking trails in the surrounding area.
This morning we board the train once more, alighting at the pretty fishing town of Santa Margherita to start our mornings' walk. Our walk takes us, initially along the coast, on an undulating and gradually ascending trail to San Fruttuoso a small and beautiful bay that is home to three slightly ramshackle houses, a Benedictine Abbey, a church and its 16th century watchtower. We will take a little time to relax in this tiny hamlet, take a look around and maybe grab a coffee in the one restaurant serving the area. From San Fruttuoso we walk over the headland before descending to the chic and fashionable town of Portofino. With its beautiful harbour and multi-coloured houses, Portofino really is a sight to behold. A wonderful place to people watch, Portofino has been attracting the rich and famous since the late 19th century. We have the option to either walk back to Santa Margherita or take a bus (paid locally) before returning by train to Bonassola. Today's ten kilometre walk is graded Easy and is expected to take around four hours with a total ascent of 320 metres.
This morning we take the train to Riomaggiore, the most southerly of the Cinque Terre villages, known for its wine grown on the local terraced vineyards. After time to look around, we ascend slowly from the village onto the main 'Azure Trail' footpath that links the Cinque Terre villages and walk along the rugged coast to the stunningly located Portovenere. This is the longest walk of the week and the trail takes us through a variety of landscapes from terraced fields to forest. Some parts of the trail are quite rocky underfoot with the trickiest section being the descent into Portovenere. As always, we will take our time on these sections. A small town with an extremely picturesque harbour of painted houses, Portovenere comprises of three villages; Fezzano, Le Grazie and Porto Venere. The ancient Portus Veneris is believed to date back to at least the middle of the 1st century BC. and it is believed that the name refers to a temple to the goddess Venus which was sited on the spectacular rocky outcrop where the church of Peter the Apostle now stands, jutting straight into the sea. The town was a favourite haunt of the poet Lord Byron who used to swim across the bay to meet his friend and fellow poet Percy Shelley. We will spend time in Portovenere, relaxing after our walk and exploring the beautiful town and churches before boarding a local bus to take us to La Spezia and then on, by train, back to Bonassola. Today's 15 kilometre walk is graded Moderate and is expected to take around five hours with a total ascent of 385 metres and descent of 300 metres .
Today we depart the Ligurian coast and drive back to Pisa airport where our trip finishes at 1045. For those of you that have an afternoon or evening flight, there is the opportunity to travel into nearby Pisa before returning to the airport for your flight. The airport has luggage storage facilities and regular, inexpensive shuttle buses into town which take around 10 minutes. This is at your own expense and unaccompanied but the leader will be able to assist with information and what better way to finish a trip to Tuscany than visiting Pisa!
Packed with adventure, these tours offer inspiring destinations and authentic travel experiences at a reasonable price. Using all kinds of transport and accommodation, we’ll take you off the beaten track to discover the true heart of the people and places you visit.
7 Break Fast(s) 2 Lunch(es)
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