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      our holidays > Walking Holidays > Italy & its Islands > Other Regions > Along the Ligurian Coast

Along the Ligurian Coast

Liguria & the Cinque Terre

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, since 2 October 2015 we have included a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we now publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

Mr D James  Crewe May 2019

Whilst the walking was neither too difficult nor outside our expectations, it can be slightly vertiginous in places. Additionally the weather was ideal for walking but wet at times. This meant that some of the descents were slippery and tricky. We were definitely glad to have our walking poles with us.

Mr M Corfield  Birmingham May 2019

All the hotels were super, with crisp white bed linen and modern bathrooms. All staff were very friendly and helpful. The locations of the hotels were perfect as they were in lively and pretty towns, but not in the overcrowded main tourist areas. Hotel La Colonnina in Monterosso exceeded our expectations for a three star hotel. The roof terrace was delightful where we really enjoyed drinks with lovely views at the end of each day.

The high routes along the coast were really interesting, often through terraced vineyards and quiet lanes, with fantastic views. The Palmaria island ferry service between mid Sep and mid June is very limited (approx every 3 hours).

Mrs L Walton  Leeds May 2019

This is a wonderful trip. Not a much of it involves walking along the Cinque Terre coastal routes and this is good for two reasons. Firstly, they are very busy, even in early May, and secondly, parts are closed. In the first week of May, only the path between Monterosso and Venazza could be walked, but this can change regularly. However, the whole trip is based on varied and interesting paths, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Ms J Pumphrey  Heathfield April 2019

This was a fabulous holiday and I was very impressed with the quality, organisation and overall management by Inntravel, so much so I would be very happy to recommend and use again.

My sister and I loved the fact it was self-guided as we hate group walking and it really is very private and can be done at your own pace, which is a real bonus. There is no fixed time to have bags ready for onward transport to the next hotel and we were able to have a leisurely start to each morning with breakfast which was much needed after the walking efforts of the day before.

Having the freedom to plan our own dinners too and explore the little villages where we stayed was also very special (and the few restaurant recommendations were also much appreciated).

Full credit to Inntravel for the choice of hotels and the plan for the week's walking which gave us the challenge of the Cinque Terre terrain, aspects both in land and coastal, some breathtaking views, the beautiful villages viewed from different perspectives and only one day of rain!

Mrs R Frederick  Australia April 2019

I will not forget the first glimpse of the Cinque Terre coast as we walked from Levanto to Monterosso. It was breathtaking looking at these 5 colourful villages dotted along the edge of the vivid blue ocean. We enjoyed walking along tracks as suggested in the notes that took us away from the main pedestrian tracks through each village. This region is heavily overrun with tourists...even in April.The day we walked through the terraced vineyards was a stand out. Clambering up and down rocks along the sometimes narrow path between Riomaggiore and Portovenere was worth the effort. Again,we were rewarded with magnificent views of the coastline, plus a sense of achievement having negotiated successfully this pathway. Rather than rushing through each walk, we took our time to also relax at various points along the way. The walking notes were very detailed, and enabled us to plan each day to suit us. The food in this region is very tasty, and we appreciated the information in our notes about the local cuisine and suggested restaurants. We had an extra night in Monterosso, which enabled us to have an additional day to enjoy this area. As it turned out, we had one day while here where it was raining, and the extra night meant that we didn't miss any of the suggested walks. Levanto was a lovely village too. If we had time, we felt an extra night here would have been worth it as well.

Mr P Roome  Stamford October 2018

In Levanto, we had excellent dinners in Trattoria Cavour and Le Clarisse, both located in the square behind the Hotel Nazionale.

In Bonassola, we had a lovely lunch at Antico Guetta, in an ideal spot overlooking the sea.

We arrived at Monterosso at luchtime and found Barabba on the seafront. There are plenty of restaurants for dinner in Monterosso, the highlight for us was Ancora della Tortuga, built into the cliff-face.

At Portovenere we found the restaurant 'Portivene un mare si sapori' which had a different and more unusual menu, but the food for dinner lived up to the descriptions and was excellent (and reasonably priced).

We loved the holiday; it was tough walking, but the scenery was spectacular and most rewarding.

Mrs V Harris  Sevenoaks October 2018

Great holiday with welcoming and friendly hotels. The walking was well planned and easy to follow.

Mr I Neville  Barnsley October 2018

Levanto was far nicer than we expected. The walks from Levanto and to Portovenere were the best - aside from high routes we found for ourselves. Breakfast in Paradiso could be improved. We found the service in Il Timone in Portovenere dreadful the night we went and would reccommend Tre Torre in Piazza Basteri instead for quality seafood, service and ambience. Cinque Terre towns (Monterosso aside) are too busy to be enjoyable even in October ... though it was unseasonably brilliant weather. Pisa and Lucca both make for excellent nearby short city breaks.

Colin   October 2018

Loved the hotels in Levanto, Monterosso and Portovenere.  All had character which we liked.  We pushed for rooms on the upper floor to give better view of the sea and Monterosso (Porto Roca)

Mr John Redmond  Bath October 2018

A stunningly beautiful area with a great variety of both walking and accommodation. 

The walks are quite challenging first thing in the morning, but the climbing eases off eventually! 

Mr J Williams  Cardiff October 2018

Restaurant recommendations: Osteria Tumelin in Levanto, Miky in Monterosso, Trattoria Billy in Manarola and La Bocche in Portovenere. Better local maps. A more personalised information pack. 

Smiths   October 2018

This was our first time with Inntravel and to the Italian Cinque Terre. We are experienced walkers (and leaders) in our mid-70s and fit for our age.

Pluses:
In early October we were blessed with gorgeous weather. The scenery is amazing; the towns and villages – and the food! - are delightful. We met many lovely people, locals and visitors alike. Camogli and Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi were perfect for rounding off a great holiday.

Comments/ tips for others:
Being self-led, at first there is quite a bit to familiarise with on this type of holiday (eg buying railway tickets from a slow machine, with people queuing behind and time running out!). But we quickly gained confidence: we didn't get lost, people were very helpful and we found the walking instructions clear and reliable.

The map you provide (Geo4, scale 1:25,000) is good, but some features mentioned in our early walks descriptions don't appear. (Our Day 1 walk is lovely but Salto della Lepre and Carpeneggio are not shown: didn't help our confidence). We also used the free map app, OsmAnd, which does show these places as well as one's location; the detailed OsmAnd maps can be downloaded in advance for use outdoors without a data signal: strongly recommended. Also, the freely available Trekking Nelle Cinque Terre diagrammatic map (in TICS and to download) is worth including in the pack as a good reference.

Minuses:
We read your brochure carefully, but were still surprised by the roughness of the terrain underfoot, the steepness of the paths and the length of ascents. These walks are definitely at the high end of your rating.

Within the Cinque Terre itself, even in October, some of the paths and towns were very busy and overcrowded with large groups: but just outside the Cinque Terre, paths and places of equal attractiveness were deserted.

Over £300/night for B&B for a couple sharing feels expensive (including local travel and baggage transfers, excluding flights & insurance). The premium for the Porta Roca Hotel, Monterosso is excessive – and it is separated from the attractions of the town itself.

Details:
In our itinerary it would be appropriate to note that we needed to start the transfer from Monterosso to Portovenere by rail.

Reading our Day 1 Route Description (p19, Levanto/Bonassola) in advance, 'X-railway line' had us puzzled. Your list of abbreviations gives 'X-' as 'cross'; 'ex-railway line' is what you mean here and much clearer! Also Day 1 description at 6 km (p21), second bullet point needs updating for a new vineyard.

Minimising baggage weight is important: we would have appreciated the offer of an e-copy of the information pack as well as the hard copy.

Inntravel response

We are delighted you had a great holiday, but sorry you didn't feel that it offered good value. As per our more detailed personal correspondence, our holiday prices reflect research and maintenance costs for the itinerary, the production of our detailed route notes, and the financial security offered by booking a full package with us, including the responsibility we assume for the travel arrangements. We are grateful for the suggested updates to our notes, and your thoughts on the information provided.

Anon   September 2018

Absolutely loved Monterosso and Eden Roc hotel. Levanto was fun also and we did walk the tunnels to next village. Cinque Terre over rated in general we think, does not compare to hill towns, Umbria etc. The cinque terre villages all rather the same and walks not to our taste. However we love Inntravel and will be back. This is the first time a walk has not exceeded our expectations and it is made clear it is a busy area.  

 

Mr M Green  Stroud September 2018

Highlights:

Breakfast at La Colonnina was a joy. The lady in charge was passionate about her organic food and home baked cakes. Fantastic.

We highly recommend the Trattoria Ciak La Lampara in Monterosso. Resist the urge to sit outside and take a table indoors. There you will not only enjoy great food but fantastic theatre as the chef creates dishes in front of you eyes. Half way through the evening, he came into the restarant to receive enthusiastic applause from his customers. Unforgettable evening!

Watching the 'harbour theatre' while enjoying an aperitivo on the waterfront at Portovenere.

 

Mrs M Smail  Selkirk September 2018

Our tip: Monterosso was the mid point of the holiday. One of the things that would have been helpful to know beforehand was that there is a laundry in town which will take a basket full of washing in the morning, launder, dry it and then deliver it to your hotel by that evening. Same price whether you you leave 3 items or twenty - can't remember the exact amount but it wasn't much and cut out the droopy wet washing cluttering up the bedroom and shower.

Mr E Miles  Tiverton September 2018

Overall a fantastic holiday in two very picturesque and totally different regions of Northern Italy. The contrast of the dramatic coastal scenery of the Cinque Terre and the vineyards and hazelnut groves of the Piedmont area is amazing. Certainly Piedmont is the region for fantastic gastronomic food!

INNTRAVEL NOTE: These customers combined our walks Along The Ligurian Coast and Piedmont’s Hills & Vineyards

Mrs C Lane  Shrewsbury September 2018

It was a very busy time of year to visit the Cinque Terre but that didn’t detract from the beauty of the area. Our first walk around Bonassola was a treat as we hardly met another soul. 

Restaurants: Levanto - La Loggia - potentially excellent but spoilt by overbooking with staff struggling - we arrived at opening time and our grilled fish took 1 1/2 hours to arrive!

Monterosso: Al Pozzo - opens at 18.30 friendly staff good fish & pasta.

Pizzeria L’Arrembaggio (via Molinelli 39) closed - now La Taverna.

Vernazza - Il  Baretto - delicious Spaghetti ai frutti di mare 

Portovenere: Il Timone - very well run pizzeria on seafront for light meal before standard 1900 hrs opening. L’Antica Osteria del Carugio, via Capellini 66 - lovely old traditional restaurant recently reopened under same management as Timone. Excellent Colli di Luni Vermentino Branco.

Mrs E Arthur  Romsey August 2018

Another wonderful Inntravel walking holiday and the Cinque Terre is amongst one of the most beautiful areas. We really enjoyed the walking challenges each day and one of the best highlights were the views on day 5 looking down along the spectacular coastline towards Potovenere.

We can recommend the following restaurants:

In Levanto:

Da Tapulin - can’t book but easy to get in, seafood skewers were amazing

Osteria Tumelin - excellent food and service, for classy meal

(took published recommendations in Monterossa, Ca du Sciensa, Da Ely & Ristorante al Pozza, and enjoyed all)

In Portovenere:

Enjoyed restaurant food in the hotel Paradiso then had excellent final dinner at Trattoria Tre Torri - seafood was fantastic and service very friendly & efficient. Very well run & great team working. 

We also enjoyed the local wines and tended to stick to the local CinqueTerre white wines with favourite Buranco

Mrs P Armfield  Hoddesdon May 2018

The walking was great and we were grateful for the very efficient train services and luggage transfer. We really enjoyed the boat trip to Palmaria Island and found the Gabbiano Beach restaurant excellent and we recommend it. We also highly recommend Ristorante La Taverna at Monterosso al Mare. We had the best meal, the vegetable and seafood spaghetti were the best ever. All the ice cream tasted was delicious and ice cream bought in England will never be the same again!! 

Anon   May 2018

The whole holiday was wonderful.  We were so glad we were travelling with Inntravel so that we had the chance to see the five villages early in the morning before our walk before they became too crowded or later in the day.  It was good walking up into the terraces and woods.  Some days we met quite a lot of other walkers, some we hardly saw a soul. 

The views were especially astounding on the walk from Manarola to Corniglia via Volastra with lots of contrast on the walk.  On this walk we would thoroughly recommend a coffee stop in Volastra. On entering the village at the T-Junction where you turn left, if you go right for about 20 yards there is a small taverna with a perfect 'table for two' inside (they have a proper restaurant as well) where they very obligingly served us coffee, cake and water.

We visited Portofino by boat and, the next day, the Inntravel walk. We thoroughly agree with your recommendation to visit Castello Brown. We were up there at lunchtime and had it more or less to ourselves (NB: no cafe). The first walk Levanto to Bonassola:  just after reaching Bonassola and shortly after passing Tourist Information (50 yards past and on the right) we would thoroughly recommend Cafe Delle Rose - cool, vine covered and excellent food and service.

Eating out in Portovenere.  We would recommend 3 Torre (Three Towers Restaurant).  This is situated in the main square (to the left of the steps where the walk to Portovenere finishes).   The service and the food were excellent.

 

 

Ms M Northcote  Australia May 2018

We were there last week of May to early June and the timing was good. Not too crowded and great weather. Maybe we were just lucky. Would recommend not staying in Vernazza as that is jam packed full of tourists. Staying just outside of the 5 towns worked well, i.e. Levanto and Porto Venere. 

Mrs J Robinson  Cheltenham May 2018

So difficult to pinpoint just one highlight on this holiday. The busy coastal path was soon left behind as we walked up ancient paths and mule trails covered in wild flowers with fantastic views of the coast and Cinque Terre, visiting serene sanctuaries and little hamlets en route. And at the end of the day, some local seafood and a glass of Vermentino - perfect!

Mrs G Evry  Gloucester May 2018

We were very impressed with the quality of all the hotels, the accuracy of the walking notes and suggested routes, baggage transfers and the organization in general. You clearly have a good working relationship with your partner hotels.  Our first holiday with Inntravel but will not be the last.

INNTRAVEL NOTE: These customers enjoyed a city stay in Pisa following our Along the Ligurian Coast holiday

Mrs C Pendlebury  Ilkley May 2018

In general, the Ligurian Coast is extremely popular therefore some of the coastal paths between the 5 villages and the villages themselves are extremely busy. So much so, that this does detract from the enjoyment of the holiday and perhaps some mention of this could be made in the brochure/website. When we were there not only the coastal path from Manarola to Riomaggiore was closed but also the suggested alternative, the 531, therefore we had to get the train to visit Riomaggiore - but the real find was the Ristorante Accademia in Florence excellent food and service all reasonably priced.

Mrs F Williams  Windsor May 2018

Levanto - ate at La Loggia and Moresco, both very good and reasonably priced. You need to book in advance (we booked before leaving the UK). Monterosso - definitely do not eat at Hotel Porta Roca (probably the worst meal we have ever had on our travels anywhere!). Il Casella was very good, great staff, good position and sea views. Restaurant Moretto, just off the main plaza, was also very good - great staff, lovely covered outside area and quality food and very reasonable prices. Porto Venere - my suggestion is too book before you get there. Many restaurants get only average ratings on trip advisor, those that are better were already full. We ate at the Palmaria Restaurant which is very good, albeit more pricey that others. 

Anon   April 2018

Great holiday. Each days walking was in slightly different terrain and allows time to explore the lovely towns and villages en route. Reggio sanctuary was a wonderful tranquil area for a rest and picnic.  Walk from Manarola to Corniglia via Volastra along the vineyard terraces was picturesque. Some paths are steep and rocky and slippy in wet weather. Sturdy footwear definitely recommended and walking poles useful. Coastal route from Vernazza to Monterosso worth walking but very busy. Definitely recommend the area and Inntravel.  

Mrs H Galley  Alresford October 2017

Luckily the weather was lovely and we had noticed a previous review that mentioned swimming in the sea in October, so we took our swimming gear and swam twice after the days' walks. The views on the walks were amazing, particularly on the way to Corniglia through the vineyards, where the drop was quite dramatic. The hotels were able to tell us which walks were open and were very helpful with information. We ate at the hotel Paradiso on the last night as Saturday night was busy, and the food was excellent.

Mr FJ Cousens  Dawlish October 2017

Although we thoroughly enjoyed the walking in the Cinque Terre, the highlight for us was the extra night in Pisa. It's a compact city and very easy to walk around. And the Leaning Tower is much better than all the pictures you may have seen. It was no problem to get tickets to go up it and a great experience.

Mrs J Barr  London October 2017

It would be nice to have a bit more background info on the area in general.

Hotel Porto Roca an absolute gem.

Fantastic new restaurant in Monterosso called Terre Aurora: quite expensive but up in a high tower, all seats outside, fab views.

Hotel Paradiso: horrible room on floor -2 with barred gate across the door. Felt like a prion! Massive all-day party in common areas on our second day so we couldn't use terrace or lounge area. Disappointing.

Best restaurant in Portovenere is Iseo, overlooking the port

Inntravel response

Thank you for the tips you have provided regarding restaurant experiences, and we're pleased you enjoyed the Hotel Porto Roca so much. The Hotel Paradiso are very sorry to learn of your experience however; the rooms here generally receive very good feedback, and your room hasn't previously attracted similar comments from other occupants. They also apologise for any disruption in public areas; there was no 'party' as such but they are sorry that other guests made these areas feel unwelcoming.

Mrs. Stephens, Bury St. Edmunds   October 2017

The friendliness and helpfulness of the staff at all our B&Bs/hotels set the tone for a happy holiday!

Anon   September 2017

Thjs was our first Inntravel holiday and we were most impressed. As well as the scenery, the food was a highlight and we would like to pass on our recommendations to other travellers.

In Levanto we had a superb meal at L’Articiocca, delicious food, including the pesto sauce being made for us at the table. NB payment by cash only.  Booking advisable. On our walk to Vernazza we had lunch at Il Pirata, just as you come down into the town on the walk, so not near the harbour. The service was friendly and the food felt authentic. We would like to endorse your recommendation of L’Ancora della Toruga in Monterosso, lovely food, friendly service and a nice ambience. We also ate in Miky in Monterosso, the food is very accomplished and it's very stylish. It is expensive and the service is a little offhand but we did enjoy our meal there. En route to Porto Venere we ate at one of your suggestions, Piccolo Blu and enjoyed both the food and the vibe there. At Porto Venere we followed your recommendation and ate at Il Timone - an excellent pick. The pizzas looked good but we had 2 main courses one of which (cuttlefish stew) was the daily special, these were delicious, home cooking at its best. The service was friendly and the atmosphere was good. The next night we ate at one of your other recommendations, Un Mare di Sapori. Whilst the ambience was good and the staff friendly the food didn't live up to expectations; the ingredients were good but the dishes were not more than the sum of their parts. In Camogli we agree that Ristorante da Paolo is a good choice, very classy but simple cooking of excellent ingredients. Booking essential. We also ate at Ostaia do a Sigu, once in the evening sitting outside and then for the last lunch of our holiday sitting inside. All the dishes we tried were delicious, a starter of mussels in curry sauce was one of my favourite dishes of the holiday. Lovely setting and friendly service. Booking essential.

 

INNTRAVEL NOTE: These customers combined the walking holiday Along The Ligurian Coast (Upgrade Option with Hotel Porto Roca) with a stay at Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi in Camogli

Nicole, Canada   September 2017

We had a wonderful trip. Hotels were carefully chosen. We especially appreciated the very quiet Hotel La Colonnina, a family run hotel in Monterosso with impeccable service. We strongly recommend this trip.

anon   September 2017

Great detailed maps which took us away from the busier routes. The directions could not be faulted. We would recommend this holiday to other walkers.

Christine, London   July 2017

This was our first time for this type of holiday - all arrangements worked perfectly and maps and instructions were very clear. We will definitely recommend it to friends and book again with Inntravel ourselves

Mrs L Soloman  Newcastle Upon Tyne June 2017

This was a new area of Italy for us - one that I had had wanted to visit for some time.  My husband was less keen as we holiday in the Alps regularly and he thought it might be too soft an option - neither of us were disappointed!!  The walks were very varied and could be adapted to suit the mood of the day - or the temperature!  They were sufficiently challenging and the views just spectacular. I hadn't known that stephanotis hedges grew in such profusion - beautiful!  We would love to return to the area but perhaps would go earlier in May when it would be a little cooler.

Mr B Knapton  London May 2017

If whilst you are staying in Camogli you are advised of a red carpet walk from Portofino to Rapallo avoid it like the plague unless you enjoy walking on pavements adjoining polluted and busy main roads.  Otherwise all the walking was spectacular.  We particularly enjoyed walking from Riomaggiore to Manarola.  For winding down we found walking around Isola Palmaria a pleasure.

 

  

Mr V Salomonsen  Tiverton May 2017

Week beginning 19th May hot but not too hot. The walk could have been more challenging if later in the year. The crowds in the villages were oppressive and the occasional guided walks on the footpaths very tedious! Levanto and Bonassola were charming and less crowded. Well worth including. The crowds are a real problem.

Jan & Bernie   May 2017

Wonderful scenery, wonderful food, lots of tourists in the towns and quite a lot of walkers on the paths.

Mr D Harper  Southampton May 2017

We arrived in Monterosso on the day of the annual Lemon Festival which was a great way to finish a long walk. There was a real party atmosphere and we have some superb photos to show friends.

One of our favourite walks was from Corniglia to Vernazza along the coast path, not too difficult and with some great scenery and brilliant photo opportunities. After an ice cream we continued on to Monterosso, but the walk was not so good.

Our other favourite walk was around Palmaria Island, finishing with a beer on the beach as we waited for the return ferry to Portovenere.

Mr M Adams  Worcester April 2017

The old town in Monterosso Al Mare is lovely with a excellent choice of restaurants but it is advisable to book. Similarly in Levanto. We were there on the Easter holiday and maybe the restaurants were busier than usual. We imagine it would get very busy indeed in high season.

I suggest you add Trattoria 3 Torri Piazza Bastreri Portovenere to the list of recommended restaurants, good food and frequented by locals including the fisherman and his family we saw unloading his catch in the morning.

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