Day 1 Genoa
Make your own way to Genoa, where you can meet us for the scheduled group transfers to your hotel. You'll meet your travelling companions over a drink and dinner this evening.
Day 2 Palmaria Island
Walk 5km/3mi - 2hrs
After breakfast we will travel by bus to Portovenere and board a ferry to the island of Palmaria, the largest of the three islands in the Gulf of La Spezia. Boasting a scenic landscape and beautiful beaches, it's here where the first of our guided walks takes place. Along the way we'll stop to enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to Portovenere by ferry. We'll spend some time exploring this lovely town, which is said to have once provided inspiration to the 19th century poet Lord Byron. Highlights are a picturesque harbour lined with brightly coloured houses and an impressive stone-built castle.
Day 3 Le Grazie - at Leisure
The choice is yours today, you can spend some time at leisure with your travelling companions or join an optional excursion. This one is rather tempting, as it takes you to see the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. One of four buildings which make up the cathedral complex and what is known as the Field of Miracles, the tower took 176 years to complete and began to lean shortly after construction.
If you opt to join us today you'll also visit Lucca. Said to be one of Tuscany's best-kept secrets, it boasts some of Italy's finest examples of medieval and Renaissance architecture. The town is famous as the birthplace of the composer Puccini and is the home of the Volto Santo relic. This wooden sculpture of Christ is kept in Lucca's beautiful cathedral.
Day 4 Cinque Terre
Walk 7km/4.4 mi - 4hrs
Today we're going to explore the enchanting area known as the Cinque Terre on foot. Five villages perch precariously on the cliffs high above the Mediterranean Sea and are almost all inaccessible by road. We'll follow a trail connecting the villages and will take in amazing views as we walk from Corniglia to Vernazza and then on to Monterosso. If the weather is on our side today, we'll also take a scenic ferry ride.
Day 5 Le Grazie - at Leisure
Walk 9km/5.5mi - 4hrs
You're free to relax at leisure today, or why not join an optional walk. Our walk today begins at the Sanctuary of Montenero, which offers panoramic views over the Cinque Terre and Palmaria Island. We'll set off towards the spectacular Muzzerone cliff, a wild and beautiful spot towering above the sea, and then head to the imposing castle of Portovenere, a fine example of Genoese military architecture. A picnic lunch is included today.
Day 6 Santa Margherita & Portofino walk
Optional walk 5km/3 mi - 2hrs
Setting off from Santa Margherita, we'll make our way through the towns of Nozarego and Gave to Portofino with a stop at the Il Mulino del Gassetta for lunch. What used to be a tiny fishing port is now the Italian Riviera's most exclusive resort offering designer boutiques and a fine selection of cafés and bars. Enjoy some free time to make your own discoveries before we return to Santa Margherita by boat.
Day 7 Le Grazie - at Leisure
Optional walk 7km/4.4 mi - 3hrs
If you want to head off the beaten track, today's optional excursion is for you. Travelling by train, we'll head back to the Cinque Terre and then walk along one of the lesser-known trails passing vineyards, sanctuaries and ancient houses on our way from Corniglia to Volastra and Manarola.
Day 8 Departure
At the end of your tour, scheduled group transfers are available to the airport, please see www.justyou.com/transfers
There will be plenty of rest stops and time to enjoy the local scenery. Most walks take place on paths and tracks. Some will be more strenous and may involve moderate slopes, high rocky steps and terrain, cliff trails with no handrails, hills, stiles and foot bridges which may be rough underfoot at times. Sturdy hiking boots are essential.