Duration: 2 days
Duration: 2 days
The hike follows the long-distance hiking trail that runs above the Cinque Terre. The hike takes two days with an overnight stay above Vernazza / Corniglia in a Bed & Breakfast with comfort and wonderful views. There are a few meters to be overcome and surefootedness is required on some parts (Tips for your trip). Lunch is provided in the Santuario Madonne di Soviore on day 1 and at the Colle del Telegrafo on day 2. Dry weather is a prerequisite for the hike.
From Levanto train station, you can reach the streets of the pedestrian zone through Via Nuova Stazione Ferroviaria and across the bridge. The path leads past ice cream vendors, restaurants, shops, and the focaccia bakeries. The Ligurian coast is famous for its specialty, the focaccia. The salty yeast dough is baked with olive oil and is enjoyed plain or topped (classic with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil or with onions, eggplants, etc.) and briefly warmed before eating. We cross Levanto and reach the beach promenade. We walk a bit southwards, past the swimming pool to the end of the beach, where the Salita di San Giorgio hiking trail begins practically in the archway of a palazzo. The stairs lead to the medieval castle from the 17th century. This was once the seat of power during the Republic of Genoa. The Castel later served as a prison. The stairs end at Via al Mesco, which we walk a little uphill until the actual hiking trail turns. It leads through the forest parallel to the sea towards the south.
On the border between Levanto and Monterosso al Mare are Punta Mesco (crossing Semaforo) and the ruins of the chapel Sant ‘Antonio di Mesco, which was probably founded in the 14th century by Augustinian monks. At Semaforo the path divides and it is possible to descend directly to Monterosso on path no.509 (approx. 1 hour) or continue to our first hiking destination, the Santuario di Soviore monastery above Monterosso (hiking time 3 hours). Through the forest, it goes more or less on a contour line to Colla di Gritta, where there are a restaurant and a bar. At the intersection is the Monterosso – Madonna di Soviore shuttle bus stop. You have to follow the road to the Santuario Madonna di Soviore. The Madonna di Soviore monastery is 466 m above sea level and offers a beautiful view. A bus goes down from the Santuario to Monterosso. After the visit, you can easily interrupt the hike at this point and descend or drive to Monterosso.
The high-altitude hiking trail leads a little further up the street. Shortly before the La Spezia / Pignone crossroads, there is a path on the right that leads down to Madonna di Reggio and Vernazza.
We stay on the high-altitude hiking trail AV5T and go directly at the crossroads into the forest, following the signpost Drignana / Portovenere. The path leads through the forest on the side facing away from the sea. It is wide and leads to the district of Drignana without great height differences, which we pass and continue towards Cigoletta. The path leads all the time through deciduous and chestnut forests. It is shady and therefore easy to walk even in summer. In front of Monte Castello (746 m) there is a rest area (without supply) with an emergency call pillar. At the rest stop, more than half of the way from the crossing to Cigoletta has been accomplished. The highest waypoint is Monte Gaginara (800 m), from which it is about 20 minutes to the Cigoletta intersection. Since there is no kiosk or bar from Madonna di Soviore to San Bernardino, you have to bring enough food and water in your backpack. From Monte Castello, it goes gently downhill in the direction of Cigoletta for about 150 meters.
At the Cigoletta intersection (620 m) trail no. 507 proceeds down to San Bernardino from the main hiking path AT5T Levanto-Portovenere. There is a solar-powered emergency call station. We take this path to the district of Fornacchi, where our accommodation is located. Time to rest and enjoy the great view. In the evening there is a delicious dinner. When the weather is nice you can eat on the terrace. The nights are absolutely quiet in this area and you are played around by the typical scent of the Cinque Terre. This fragrance is unique and can only be experienced in pure form in a few places.
After breakfast the next morning with the house cake, we have to go back up to Colle Cigoletta. From there we continue to follow the path towards Portovenere. The highest climb on this piece is Monte Cuna (776 m). From here it goes slightly downhill and we come across several branches down to Corniglia, Volastra, Manarola, and at La Croce (637 m) on a direct path steeply down to the train station from Riomaggiore (path no. 501, numerous stairs). Undeterred, we follow the main hiking trail, which runs along a contour line and finally leads as a wide path directly to Colle del Telegrafo. Time for a rest and lunch with a view.
The high-altitude hiking trail goes a little further through the forest and then reveals the view of Campiglia (382 m), which is beautifully situated on the ridge between the Gulf of la Spezia and the open sea. The most beautiful and spectacular part of our hike starts from Campiglia. There are two variants: a slightly longer and more comfortable and the shorter, sensational variant high above the coast over the rocks. Shortly before the steep descent to Portovenere, there is a small Rifugio Muzzerone, where there are simple pasta dishes, panini, and drinks. With the beautiful view of the Gulf of la Spezia, this detour is definitely recommended. The area is intended for mountaineers and climbing tours, maps are available at the Rifugio. The descent to Portovenere offers fantastic views over the castle ruins, the island of Palmaria, the headland with the church of San Michele. A long stone staircase at the ruins of the Castello on the eastern side offers a view of the Gulf of Spezia with the military port and the offshore islands before you finally dive into the colorful streets of Portovenere.
We provide a Cinque Terre authorized Mountain Guide that speaks your language. Our guide will accompany you on this hike. He or she will give you interesting details on the way and draws your attention to the special features of the region and the special cuisine. The price includes accommodation with dinner and breakfast and lunches during the hike.
– Accommodation before and after the hike
– Multi-day tour pre-arranged with more overnight stays, guide, meals
– tasting of the Cinque Terre wine with food and olive oil tasting
– Private transfers
– Extension of the trip through Tuscany
The hiking tour is organized only for you and your fellow travelers. They are conducted in the language you choose. We have experienced local guides for German, Italian, English, French. Other languages on request or with an interpreter.
The above price has been calculated for a group of 8 participants on a 2-days hike (only in one direction). For the return, you can go by ship or we organized a private transfer. Please let us know the number of participants and special wishes with your request.
Your guide can meet you at Levanto or at your hotel in the Cinque Terre. We can organize transport to the meeting point and collect you from the endpoint.
Levanto is the next town north of the Cinque Terre. With its beautiful sandy beach, it is very popular as a holiday destination in summer, but also as a starting point for beautiful hikes in the Cinque Terre and on the Ligurian coast in the other seasons. Levanto is sheltered in a valley with pine and olive growing on its slopes.
The sanctuary “Santuario Nostra Signora di Soviore” lies above Monterosso al Mare and is of Romanesque origin. The small church dates from 1300 and the bell tower is in operation. The Santuario Madonna di Soviore has a restaurant and bar for the small hunger as well as a souvenir shop. The place of pilgrimage also offers overnight accommodation
The hill with the radio antennas, Colle del Telegrafo, is located above Riomaggiore. A road from La Spezia leads here. You notice this before you arrive because suddenly you meet people without hiking shoes again. Here is a ristorante with a bar. Time for lunch with a view at lofty heights. There is a homemade cake. Already 15 minutes away, at the small chapel of Sant Antonio, is a nice shady rest area in the forest for families. It is possible to enjoy your packed lunch and buy drinks and ice cream or fresh focaccia at the bar.
The descent to Portovenere offers fantastic views over the ruins of the castle, the island of Palmaria, the headland with the church of San Michele, and finally, immerse yourself in the colorful streets of Portovenere. From Portovenere, there are regular buses from the port towards La Spezia. Portovenere has a port. Ships sail to La Spezia, the Palmar Islands, and along the coast to the Cinque Terre with stops in Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare.
You are welcome to get inspired by our description of this hike. However, we recommend to not hike alone and do not go without an experienced local licensed guide. Mountains are dangerous and you can get lost or surprised by weather. Also, our description might have small errors, be incomplete or outdated. Therefore, we recommend you book the tour with us and let us take care of the organization.