From the French to the Italian Riviera

The Côte d’Azur, Genoa & the Cinque Terre
 

Holiday Highlights

Spectacular vistas | From the bustling port city of Genoa to extraordinary coastal villages.
Menton | The quieter, more authentic face of the French Riviera.
Medieval quarter | Genoa’s labyrinthine Old Town has atmospheric streets and ancient buildings.
Creative gardens | Visits include Jardins de Val Rahmeh and the gardens of the Villa Rothschild.
Cinque Terre | A unique landscape of wild coast, hewn terraces and defensive towers.
From the French to the Italian Riviera. 6 nights
From the French to the Italian Riviera. 6 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A touring holiday by rail along the Riviera

Featuring Menton, the quieter face of the French Riviera; the bustling port city of Genoa, with its labyrinthine medieval quarter; the extraordinary coastal villages of the Cinque Terre; and spectacular train journeys, this is a holiday of striking contrasts, vibrant colours and intriguing history.
The sweeping arc of the French and Italian Rivieras is echoed by interlinking railway lines which squeeze their way between the Ligurian Sea and the mountainous hinterland. Pivoting at Genoa, this extraordinary railway follows the twists and turns of the rocky coast, connecting the coastal villages which, when the land allows, stretch like a ribbon along the shoreline and at other times huddle at the edge of steep ravines. Painted in shades of dusty rose, periwinkle, tangerine, mustard and lemon yellow, they are set against a backdrop of pine trees and olive groves.

This is a journey of the senses. The warm, briny air carries a mix of scents: of resin and mountain herbs, lemon blossom and fragrant basil. In Menton, nestled in France’s southeasternmost corner, the light is warm and luminous, suffusing the streets in a dawn glow of pale orange. Blending French and Italian influences, it’s very much a border town, where bilingual chatter enlivens the streets, and platters of succulent oysters vie with steaming plates of hand-cut pasta. In Genoa, whose focal points are the dense, salty port and the medieval quarter of warren-like streets shaded from the sun, the sense of history is palpable, its wealth of Baroque palaces and Renaissance art built on maritime trade and merchant riches. To the southeast, the five villages of the Cinque Terre beckon: a unique landscape of wild coast and hewn terraces, defensive towers and dramatic vistas.
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Menton
    Night 1: at Hotel Prince de Galles (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Day in Menton
    Spend your day exploring this graceful French town, which uniquely spans the culture of the French and Italian Rivieras. Known as the ‘pearl of France’, Menton’s Italianate skyline and citrus palate anticipate the Ligurian towns to the east, while its broad waterfront is unmistakably grounded in the French Riviera. Celebrated for its benign climate and lemon groves, it will always be associated with Jean Cocteau, who left his imprint on the exquisitely decorated salle des mariages. Follow our self-guided walking tour and you’ll discover the town’s art museums, exotic gardens, its bustling Belle Époque market and the café-lined, plane-shaded squares. Wind up through the medieval heart of the town and you’ll reach a fascinating 19th-century cemetery, the last resting place of some of the Victorian travellers who came to overwinter here.If you have an extra day here, why not head to nearby Monaco by train (pay locally) to potter around the markets and marina.
  • Menton to Genoa
    To head into Italy, you take a morning train from Menton across the border to Ventimiglia, where you change onto another train that meanders through the western Italian Riviera to reach the grand old port of Genoa in time for an afternoon of sightseeing. Your base is the Grand Hotel Savoia, where you spend two nights. (Journey time: 2hrs 45mins)
  • Day in Genoa
    Once the principal city of a maritime trading empire that rivalled Venice, Genoa is a remarkable working port with a vibrant waterfront. Immediately behind the harbour lies a dense maze of medieval alleyways – one of the largest intact medieval quarters in Europe, filled with the scent of freshly baked focaccia and the fragrance of basil, the key ingredient of the city’s signature pesto Genovese. The notes for our walking tour illuminate Genoa’s fascinating history, leading to, among other sights, the church from where Richard the Lionheart set out on the crusades, the 12th-century cathedral, and opulent palaces built by wealthy merchants.
  • Genoa to Monterosso
    Leaving Genoa on the coastal train, you arrive – after a very scenic journey – just before lunchtime in Monterosso, gateway to the Cinque Terre, one of the most celebrated parts of the Ligurian Coast, with national-park status. You stay two nights at the Hotel Porta Roca, set high above the town. There is plenty of time in the afternoon to explore Monterosso, taking in its defensive towers and the splendid rose window of its church. (Journey time: 1hr 45mins)
  • Day in the Cinque Terre
    We recommend that you spend today visiting some of the other four villages of the Cinque Terre, which are quickly and easily accessed by train (pay locally). Although all are characterised by brightly painted houses set against a backdrop of steep, terraced slopes planted with olives and vines, each has its own character. Vernazza is perhaps the prettiest, boasting a superb view from its castle, while neighbouring Corniglia, the only village not to have direct access to the sea, has a wonderfully laid-back atmosphere. Manarola is the centre of production of the region’s sweet Sciacchetrà wine, which you could savour with a dish of pasta on the main street of the fifth village, Riomaggiore, which is brimming with eateries and boasts a tiny, photogenic marina. For a more leisurely day, take a boat ride south from Monterosso to historic Portovenere and call in at one of the Cinque Terre villages on your return journey.
 

Accommodation

You stay in one 5-star and two 4-star hotels, all of which are high-quality and well located for exploring.

In Genoa, we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. Both are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation.
 

Options to extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 6 nights: 02 April 2024 - 31 October 2024 & 01 April 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    2 Apr - 20 May 2024 £1395 £1025
    21 - 28 May 2024 not available not available
    29 May - 10 Sep 2024 £1475 £1110
    11 - 24 Sep 2024 £1700 £1335
    25 - 30 Sep 2024 not available not available
    1 - 25 Oct 2024 £1275 £895
    1 Apr - 20 May 2025 £1455 £1070
    21 - 28 May 2025 not available not available
    29 May - 10 Sep 2025 £1535 £1155
    11 - 24 Sep 2025 £1770 £1390
    25 - 30 Sep 2025 not available not available
    1 - 25 Oct 2025 £1330 £935
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Porto Roca, Monterosso
    Junior suite with balcony & sea view: 02 Apr - 31 Oct 2024 £59
    Junior suite with balcony & sea view: 01 Apr - 31 Oct 2025 £61
    Top floor with terrace and sea view: 02 Apr - 31 Oct 2024 £109
    Top floor with terrace and sea view: 01 Apr - 31 Oct 2025 £113

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Prince de Galles, Menton (B&B) Double room Single room
    02 Apr - 31 May 2024 £114 £198
    01 Jun - 30 Sep 2024 £135 £240
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2024 £101 £168
    01 Apr - 31 May 2025 £119 £206
    01 Jun - 30 Sep 2025 £145 £254
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2025 £105 £175
    Hotel Porto Roca, Monterosso (B&B) Double room Single room
    02 Apr - 30 Sep 2024 £275 £550
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2024 £235 £465
    01 Apr - 30 Sep 2025 £290 £580
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2025 £245 £485
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Nice

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Paris CDG. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Nice easyJet,  jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Nice jet2 
    Birmingham - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Return route Airline
    Genoa - Birmingham (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Pisa - Birmingham jet2 
    Pisa - Birmingham (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Nice easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Genoa - Bristol (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Pisa - Bristol easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Nice easyJet 
    Edinburgh - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Return route Airline
    Genoa - Edinburgh (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Genoa - Edinburgh (via Paris) Air France 
    Pisa - Edinburgh Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Nice (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Nice jet2 
    Return route Airline
    Pisa - Leeds Bradford jet2,  Ryanair 
    Pisa - Leeds Bradford (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Nice easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Pisa - Liverpool Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Nice British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Nice British Airways,  easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Genoa - Gatwick British Airways,  Vueling 
    Genoa - Gatwick (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Pisa - Gatwick easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Nice British Airways 
    Heathrow - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Return route Airline
    Genoa - Heathrow (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Genoa - Heathrow (via Rome Fiumicino) Alitalia 
    Pisa - Heathrow British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Nice easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Pisa - Luton easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Nice Ryanair 
    Stansted - Nice easyJet,  jet2 
    Return route Airline
    Genoa - Stansted Ryanair 
    Pisa - Stansted Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Nice British Airways,  easyJet,  jet2 
    Manchester - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Return route Airline
    Genoa - Manchester Ryanair 
    Pisa - Manchester easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair 
    Pisa - Manchester (via Amsterdam) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Nice easyJet 
    Newcastle - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Return route Airline
    Genoa - Newcastle (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Pisa - Newcastle (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Nice (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Teesside International - Nice (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Return route Airline
    Pisa - Teesside International (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Paris CDG. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Genoa

    Outward route
    not recommended in this direction
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    transfer hotel to station (0h15), rail Monterosso al Mare to Genoa PP (1h30) £14-£15 1200
    direct taxi hotel to Genoa airport (1h45) £145-£155 flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying via Nice

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Nice airport to hotel (1h15) £86-£89 flexible
    airport bus Nice airport to Menton (1h15) £35-£36 1900
    rail Nice Ville to Carnolès (0h35), taxi (0h05, pay locally) or walk (0h10) to hotel £11 2100
    Homeward route
    not recommended in this direction

    Connecting travel options - flying via Pisa

    Outward route
    not recommended in this direction
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Pisa airport (1h45) £145-£155 flexible
    transfer hotel to station (0h15), rail Monterosso al Mare to Pisa Centrale (1h40) £14-£15 1100
What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 6 breakfasts
  • detailed cultural information
  • notes for walking tours for Menton & Genoa
 
Reviews

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, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact us to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Italy, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The principal official language is Italian, though some regions have a second official language, such as South Tyrol, where German is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro. Italian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
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