Portofino and Italian Riviera self-guided walk itinerary

This wonderful walk picks up ancient pilgrim trails that wind behind the Italian Riviera, with a detour to the Prtofino National Park.

Day 1

Arrive in Camogli on the main La Spezia/Genoa railway line, where you’ll spend your first night in a lovely hotel set in the centre of the town overlooking the sea..

strip 1

Day 2

The first walk leaves Camogli and takes you along the spectacular coastline on the western edge of the Portofino National Park with vast views across the Gulf of Genoa (from here there is an extension to the tip of the point and back, 5 kms, 1.5 hrs) before climbing up into forest and then descending to Portofino.  Your accommodation is in a small family run hotel in the heart of this celebrated village, a short walk from the port.  (8 kms, 3 hrs)

Portofino optional extra day:
Your walk starts with a short ferry ride around the promontory to a beautifully restored 1000 year old abbey tucked in a tiny bay that is only accessible by water or on foot. Medieval stone stairs (used by the monks since the Middle Ages) take up through forest to the top of the national park then down through olive groves into the busy port of Santa Margherita.  From where you can get a bus, ferry or walk back to Portofino (1 hr).  (6 kms, 3 hrs)

Day 3

Today you leave Portofino and take a lovely path that winds above the coast passing through olive groves with views over bays and hidden villas to Santa Margherita Ligure and then on to a neighbouring busy port, picking up the pilgrim trail and entering the town over a Roman bridge that Hannibal and his elephants reputedly crossed…..  your accommodation is an excellent 4-star hotel on the waterfront.  (11 kms, 3.5 hrs).

strip 2

Day 4

This extraordinary walk takes you around the waterfront before climbing a paved trail to a small church high above the coast.  From here you continue along this ancient trail, disappearing into a beautiful forest of pine, oak and centuries old chestnut trees, touching a village and then continuing on a paved trail through olive groves with expansive views.  This pilgrim trail takes you past several other sanctuaries before descending down to the port of Chiarvari, where you stay in a 4-star hotel near the town’s arcaded centre.  (17 kms, 5 hrs). 

It is possible to break the walk half way taking the train for the rest of the walk - 9 kms, 3 hrs.

Day 5

The last walk takes you along the sea front to the neighbouring town before picking up the pilgrim trail again, climbing up into the hills and following the old paved trail until you come and a ruined church with breath-taking views down over Sestri Levante and the Bay of Silences, your last destination.  Your accommodation overlooks the bay, a fitting finale to your walk.  (15 kms, 4.5 hrs).

It is possible to break the walk half way taking the train for the rest of the walk - 11 kms, 3.5 hrs.

strip 3

Day 6

Sestri Levante is on the Genoa/La Spezia line well serviced by regular trains in either direction (including to the Cinque Terre, three stops away to the east).

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This 6 day/5 night walk can be personalised to suit your interests and dates.

  • Cost


    per person
  • Five nights’ accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Reading lists and historical and cultural notes
  • Maps and detailed walking instructions
  • Daily transfers of baggage between hotels
  • 24 hour back-up from local operations manager



Cost Options

$1890 b&b $2140 with dinners included

Single supplement: $550

Portofino extra night : $180 per person (see itinerary for details).



"The walk notes, hotels, restaurants, and maps were all excellent. I think you've got a wonderful product... Lots of good little surprises along the way; tucked away restaurants, misty views through pine forests, and friendly locals."

– Norma D, Portofino

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1. Northern Italy: walking Portofino and the Italian Riviera FAQs

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1. Northern Italy: walking Portofino and the Italian Riviera

November 2018: Picasso in Milan, truffles in Tuscany, birds in the Delta

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