A cycling tour of the Ligurian Riviera and the high mountains of the interior...
Category 3 Riding Level (Difficult)
Price: $2,499 6 days/5 nights
(guided with vehicle support)
Average daily ride: 65km/40 miles
Terrain: rolling hills and challenging climbs
*Available from April through October
- Welcome lunch overlooking the hills and seaside featuring Ligurian specialties
- Visit the historic centers and beautiful beaches of Santa Margherita Ligure, Sestri Levante, Levanto, and the famous Cinque Terre.
- Cooking course in a private home in historic center of Levanto dated from medieval times along with paring of Ligurian wines for each dish
- Evening private boat ride from Levanto to Vernazza, the most beautiful village in the Cinque Terre
- Hike from Levanto to Monterosso in the Cinque Terre
Camogli - Santa Margherita Ligure
To kick off this tour we meet in Camogli, a lovely fishing village with scenic rocky beaches and colorful buildings. After a welcome lunch of classic Ligurian fare we will head out on a short but sweet ride that will bring us to the famous town of Portofino where people come to see and be seen. Have a gelato in the main square, take in the views of small fishing boats contrasted by mega yachts and then continue to the harbor in Santa Margherita Ligure where we will stay in a family run boutique hotel. Tonight is a fresh seafood dinner in a secret local perched up in the hills where we must take a short walk to get to through the olive groves.
Santa Margherita Ligure - Sestri Levante
We ride out today on the famous and stunning view heavy Via Aurelia, an ancient road constructed during the Imperialistic Roman era. The road twists and turns through coastal villages and towns and goes up and down along guardrailed cliffsides passing stately Italian villas all the while. We eventually deviate and take the high road through the vast olive groves that peer out over the beaches before descending into the quiet and wooded Val di Graveglia area. One last big climb brings us to a thrilling descent and back to the seaside and to our home for the next two nights, Sestri Levante. Our stay is in a cyclist friendly small family run boutique hotel with sea views and a swimming pool.
Sestri Levante Loop
We embark on a spin through the often overlooked mountainous interior of Liguria today. Our ride will take us past small and colorful villages as the climb gently weaves up and ever higher. At the summit we break for a coffee and snack at a Religious Sanctuary before eating up some kilometers during the long and gentle descent through woodlands and farm country. After some down time at the pool or exploring the historic center of Sestri we will conduct our special Ligurian cooking course and wine pairing in a private home tonight in nearby Levanto.
Sestri Levante - Levanto
We depart today for the gateway to the Cinque Terre. The ride begins with a long but gentle mountain pass (Passo del Bracco) which starts immediately from the drive of our hotel! The pass is a favorite of ours as it offers little traffic and lots of views from the craggy mountains to the deep blue sea during almost the entirety of the ride. At the summit the scenery continues at its very best and as we descend along serpentine like roads with countless hairpins to the village of Framura our journey will take an unlikely turn as we utilize one of the most amazing cycling paths in all of Italy. This old train line turned cycling path and will transport us via long but not too dark tunnels past hidden beaches and to the pedestrian and cyclist friendly town of Levanto. Our accommodation is in a quiet location perched up above the town. Whether in your room, in the indoor/outdoor dining hall or at the infinity pool you wont believe the stunning views of the sea!
Levanto Loop via Monterosso
We take on more elevation gains today as we head out toward the UNESCO world heritage site that is the Cinque Terre. The name means the Five Lands which refer to the five fishing villages. Each one is a unique and colorful mediterranean gem. In the not so distant past the villages were only connected to each other and the outside world via boat and the sea or by donkey and the trails. At the summit of our climb we will descend into Monterosso al Mare, the only village in the Cinque Terre with a sandy beach. Post lunch and exploring the outdoor market in Monterosso we will climb away from the sea from the older part of Monterosso on surprisingly gentle grades. After a long descent back to Sestri and time off at the pool we will head out on an adventurous sunset boat ride to Vernazza another of the Cinque Terre and in our opinion the most beautiful. After an aperitivo during our journey by boat we will arrive into the small and quant port of Vernazza. From here we go by foot on a 15 minute hike into the hills to get to one the tiniest restaurants in Italy where we will dine on the terraces of the Cinque Terre.
Trek to the Cinque Terre
On our last day we thought it fitting to hike into the Cinque Terre as this the classic way to see the area. From the door of our hotel we access the foot path that brings us back to Monterosso. After walking for about 1.5 hours we arrive in Monterosso. From here we continue for another hour through the terraced vineyards to Vernazza. Due to recent flooding and mudslides the other sections of trail are currently closed. We will return to Levanto via a 5 minute train ride. Enjoy some more time at the pool before heading back home or onto the next adventure!
*Want to customize this trip or make it private? This itinerary can be shortened or can also be done in reverse! Ask us about all the possibilities!