Cinque Terre Hiking

From: $3,499

per person dbl occ

Dates: May-Oct - see all dates

Total Days: 7

Activity Level: 3

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

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Price:

2014

REI member: $3,499

Non-member: $3,900

2015

REI member: $3,699

Non-member: $4,075

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $799

Trip Dates:

2014

  • May 18–24 Sold out
  • May 25–31
  • Jun 1–7 Sold out
  • Jun 8–14
  • Jun 15–21
  • Sep 7–13
  • Sep 9–15
  • Sep 14–20
  • Sep 21–27
  • Sep 28 – Oct 4
  • Sep 30 – Oct 6
  • Oct 12–18

2015

  • May 3–9
  • May 17–23
  • May 31 – Jun 6
  • Jun 14–20
  • Sep 6–12
  • Sep 13–19
  • Sep 27 – Oct 3
  • Oct 11–17

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-14

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Hiking

Accommodations:

Small hotels, 6 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the colorful villages of Italy's picturesque Cinque Terre
  • Walk between tiny fishing ports, medieval fortresses, and lively harbors
  • Follow local, expert guides who bring Italy to life
  • See life in rustic hamlets, taste fresh cuisine, and relax at charming inns

The Cinque Terre: It could be a painting by Picasso—five picturesque fishing villages perched on Mediterranean hillsides, splendidly brushed in sun-washed colors. Medieval fortresses and ripe, plentiful vineyards contrast with harbors filled with gleaming yachts. This enticing vision exists on the Italian Riviera between Genoa and La Spezia. From tiny fishing ports teeming with colorful boats, our walking adventure spans some of the most glorious terrain in Italy.

We hike steep, ancient trails connecting the villages of the Cinque Terre, led by knowledgeable guides who give us glimpses into rustic hamlet life. The fragrant sea air and gentle climate of the Ligurian Coast refresh our spirits and at night we enjoy freshly prepared, local cuisine while relaxing at hillside inns that overlook the sea.

See more trips in Italy.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - A warm-up hike offers dramatic views of the sparkling Ligurian Sea.
  • Day 2 - Hiking along the cliffs of the Italian Riviera leads to colorful Portofino.
  • Day 3 - Walk from Levanto to Vernazza with views of the Cinque Terre coast.
  • Day 4 - We take the high route from Vernazza to Manarola
  • Day 5 - Hike through chestnut and pine forests to lovely Portovenere.
  • Day 6 - Hike on the island of Palmaria, a short boat ride from Portovenere.
  • Day 7 - Arrivederci to our traveling companions as our trip ends in La Spezia.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - A warm-up hike offers dramatic views of the sparkling Ligurian Sea.

    Your trip begins today in Santa Margherita, Italy. Arrive in Santa Margherita and transfer to our hotel on your own. Santa Margherita, known for its orange blossoms and beachfront promenade, is a lovely coastal town on the Ligurian Sea approximately twenty miles southeast of Genoa. Please plan to arrive early in the day, as you will be meeting your trip leader and traveling companions at 2:30 p.m. for a warm-up hike which will take us up and over the hill to Portofino. Our start time of 2:30 p.m. allows you to depart Rome or Milan this morning and arrive in Santa Margherita in time for the hike. A formal group orientation will be held this evening during dinner. Overnight in Santa Margherita for the next two nights. Hotel & dinner included.

    Hiking: 2 hours; Terrain: steep trail sections and stairs.

  • Day 2 - Hiking along the cliffs of the Italian Riviera leads to colorful Portofino.

    This morning we have a short train transfer to the town of Camogli from where we set off for a full day hike along the seaside cliffs of the Italian Riviera. Weather permitting, we descend to the 13th –century Abbey of San Fruttuoso where we enjoy lunch and a swim at this exquisite beach and bay that is only accessible by foot or by boat. Afterwards we take a boat back to Santa Margherita. If the sea is too rough for the boat, we continue our hike by staying high up on a scenic ridge with magnificent views that alternate between the sea and the coastal mountain range whose flank is dotted with villages and hamlets. Our route serves as the perfect scenic introduction to this marvelous region. Breakfast and dinner included.

    Hiking: 5.5 hours; Terrain: rolling as well as some steep trail sections.

  • Day 3 - Walk from Levanto to Vernazza with views of the Cinque Terre coast.

    A transfer by train this morning brings us to the village of Levanto, once a walled town and major stronghold of the Genoese. We leave Levanto on foot and walk via Monterosso to Vernazza. The walk takes us gradually up and over a peninsula, rewarding us first with fine views over Levanto's medieval walls and tiled roofs, and eventually the whole stretch of the Cinque Terre coast is laid out before us. We'll arrive in Monterosso mid-day with plenty of time to eat lunch and explore this little village before continuing on to Vernazza, one of the most photographed villages in the Cinque Terre. We return to Monterosso by train where we will spend the next 2 nights. Once back in Monterosso you can enjoy a swim at the sandy beach or wander through the quaint streets to find a pleasant cafe where you can watch the world go by. Tonight we have a pesto-making demonstration followed by dinner. Breakfast and dinner included.

    Hiking: 4.5 hours; Terrain: some long, steep trail sections (45 minutes continuous uphill) and some rolling terrain.

  • Day 4 - We take the high route from Vernazza to Manarola

    This morning we'll take a short train ride back to Vernazza to continue our walk along the coast. Our first stop is Corniglia, the middle village of the famed "Cinque Terre" villages. Our hike takes us along the high route to Manarola with breathtaking views over the Cinque Terre and through the ancient village of Volastra. After lunch we will hike back down to the seaside village of Manarola where we have time for a gelato before taking the train back to our hotel in Monterosso. We dine independently tonight giving us the opportunity to choose from a variety of authentic local trattorias and cafes. Breakfast included.

    Hiking: 3 ½ - 4 hours; Terrain: some long, steep trail sections (45 minutes continuous uphill) as well as some steep stair sections.

  • Day 5 - Hike through chestnut and pine forests to lovely Portovenere.

    We begin the day with a short train transfer to Riomaggiore, the starting point of our hike to Portovenere. Our route takes us through majestic pine and chestnut forests, we hike past cork trees, a medieval sanctuary, and finally to a 16th-century Genovese naval fortress that once protected Portovenere from marauding corsair pirates. In late afternoon, we check into our hotel and have some free time to explore the cobbled streets of this picturesque seaside village. Dramatic cliffs plunge into the blue waters of the Mediterranean in a setting so beautiful that Byron, Shelley and D.H. Lawrence succumbed to its charms. Overnight in Portovenere. Breakfast and dinner included.

    Hiking: 5 hours; Terrain: rolling as well as some steep trail sections.

  • Day 6 - Hike on the island of Palmaria, a short boat ride from Portovenere.

    Our final day starts with a boat ride around the nearby island of Palmaria and smaller islands of Tino and Tinetto. Landing on Palmaria, we walk around the island on a wooded path passing Napoleonic-era forts and an ancient marble quarry which for centuries provided the rock for La Spezia's grand Palazzi. We'll return to Portovenere mid-day and have some free time before dinner to explore or go for a swim in the "Poet's Grotto". Tonight, we'll drink a toast celebrating new friendships before enjoying dinner together at one of the lively restaurants in town. Overnight in Portovenere. Breakfast and dinner included.

    Hiking: 2-3 hours; Terrain: short steep trail sections.

  • Day 7 - Arrivederci to our traveling companions as our trip ends in La Spezia.

    After breakfast, our adventure ends with a private transfer to the La Spezia train station, arriving La Spezia at approximately 9:45 a.m. Please do not schedule rail departures prior to 10 a.m. Breakfast included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate. 

Price Includes

Hotel accommodations with private baths; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; guide/leadership; luggage transportation; all transportation including trains, boats and buses as per the itinerary; group transfer from Portovenere to La Spezia train station at trip's end.

Not Included

Air transportation to Italy; transfer to hotel in Santa Margherita and from La Spezia to departure airport; entrance to museums, theaters, visitor centers; 5 lunches and 1 dinner; gratuities; alcoholic beverages and other items of a personal nature.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Some prior hiking experience is beneficial and all participants should plan on engaging in a regular exercise regimen beginning at least 2-3 months prior to departure. As many of the hikes include long ascents and descents along stone stairs, stair climbing is an excellent way to prepare for this adventure in addition to walking, hiking and/or running. A typical dayhike will average 4-9 miles in length with potentially warm weather and some steep terrain as we hike from seaside villages up stone paths into the surrounding hillsides and back down again.  On most days, trip members will have the option to shorten their hikes by taking local train/ferry service between villages instead of walking.

Weather

In May and June, the climate is generally sunny and warm with daytime temperatures in the 80s and evening temperatures dropping 10-20 degrees. Rain showers are a possibility but typically do not last longer than a few hours. September and October weather is similar, but temperatures can be slightly cooler with fewer daylight hours.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Cinque Terre Hiking Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets
Luggage
  • Soft sided suitcase or duffel bag, wheeled luggage is okay
  • Daypack to carry your camera, water bottles, extra clothing
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
  • Passport pouch or money belt
Casual Clothes
  • Bring a few lightweight easily washable items for travel and evening wear
Clothing
  • Hiking pants, synthetic, quick-drying
  • Hiking shorts, synthetic, quick-drying
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Hiking socks
  • Liner socks, synthetic
  • Underwear
  • Swimsuit
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Bandana
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket, waterproof and breathable
  • Rain pants, waterproof and breathable
  • Lightweight jacket or sweater
Footwear
  • Sturdy hiking boots, lightweight, broken in, aggressive tread
  • Comfortable shoes for evenings and travel wear
Travel Accessories
  • Two one-quart water bottles or hydration system
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Toiletry kit
  • Handi-Wipes
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer gel
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera, film / media card & spare batteries
  • Spare contact lenses or glasses
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Knee supports
  • Hiking staff or trekking poles (highly recommended)
  • Electrical adapter plug
  • Favorite energy snacks
  • Flashlight
  • Tupperware container for lunch items

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing, hiking boots and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene®, MTS® and Thermax®.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Make sure boots are broken-in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
  • The restaurants have a very nice, pleasant atmosphere, but are not “stuffy”. You will feel quite comfortable in casual clothes for these meals. We suggest bringing slacks, shorts that are mid-thigh or longer, skirts, summer dresses, etc. in fabrics that are easy to wash and wear.
  • Many participants mention the value of having trekking poles on this trip to alleviate stress on their knees on the extended sets of stairs—especially coming down. Based on this common feedback, we highly recommend bringing trekking poles.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresCinque Terre Hiking
 
4.8

(based on 12 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Guides (12)
  • Activity level (11)
  • Well organized itinerary (11)
  • Food (9)
  • Group camaraderie (9)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (6), Avid adventurer (3)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (11), All the details planned for me (10), Destination (10), I liked the itinerary (7), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (6)

      Reviewed by 12 customers

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      5.0

      Stepping through the Cinque Terre

      By Walking Travelers

      from California sierras

      About Me Third Rei Expereince

      See all my reviews

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Cinque Terre Hiking:

          What has made this and the past two REI experiences is the itinerary, the guides, and the people that we meet. Of course, the accommodations, food, and extra help from the guides is also a plus. The guides were more than happy to help everyone with other itineraries. This included help with purchase of train tickets. A great experience!!!

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • It was a trekking experience through a part of Italy that we had not visited.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • The great vistas of the small towns and the ocean before we descend down into the small villages
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • If you go on this trip, you need to have the knees in great shape. This could have been rated a 4 due to the 45- 60 minutes of straight up stairs!

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Beautiful hiking

          By bruce01

          from Philadelphia, PA

          About Me Casual Adventurer

          See all my reviews

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Guides
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Cinque Terre Hiking:

              This trip was well planned. It may seem odd that our lodging, in Santa Margherita Ligure, Levanto, and Portovenere, are not actually in Cinque Terre. Nevertheless, these were the best places to stay. The five villages actually are nice to visit as part of a hike, but too compact to be as interesting as the three villages where we stayed.

              The meals were good, and we liked the hotels. The hotel in Levanto was a bit quirky--I have never seen a hotel kitchen run out of eggs before. Traveling is always a route to new experiences.

              Of course, the hikes were wonderful, if one doesn't object to "up."

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • I like hiking in Italy!
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • Portovenere, including the hike that we took approaching it.
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • We enjoyed the trip in early May. The trails were no crowded and the weather was perfect. It was a good time for the trip.

              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Amazing

              By presenescence

              from Pittsburgh, PA

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              See all my reviews

              Site Member

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Food
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Cinque Terre Hiking:

                  An amazing experience with great local guides, superb cuisine, a fascinating and charming locale, lovely lodgings and enough daily physical activity to sate me. Cinque Terre is a remarkable locale; a series of ancient seaside villages perched beneath the Appenines which tumble down to the shore line. Most travel is by foot, rail or ferry which makes the towns very low key and with more of an ancient feel. You are clearly in a very old culture, remarkably unchanged over time especially in certain towns on the itinerary. This is not a leisurely walk! The hiking is vigorous but not excessively so, if you are a daily fitness enthusiast with a modicum of cardiovascular fitness you'll do fine. If not, I suspect much of the charm of the hikes will be lost in a haze of blisters, sore muscles and shortness of breath. The trails are well marked although rocky at times, and there is a more than trivial amount of daily elevation gain/loss (although this is not the alps) The hotels we stayed in ranged from nice to luxurious, and every meal was amazing. The local guides were charming, well informed, congenial and very well organized. If you are looking for a reasonably vigorous week of hiking in one of the most remarkable locales in the world and with added creature comforts, this trip is an excellent choice.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • I wanted to experience Cinque Terre and have an active vacation.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • An afternoon in Monterosso Al Mare spent exploring on my own, the ligurian coast, the lovely and charming guides
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • Be in good shape, the hiking is not arduous if you are reasonably fit.

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Making for a Perfect 40th Anniversary

                  By Tiger Mtn Tom

                  from Issaquah, WA

                  About Me First time with REI trip

                  Site Member

                  Pros

                  • Activity Level
                  • Food
                  • Group Camaraderie
                  • Guides
                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures Cinque Terre Hiking:

                      I can't imagine taking bus or train from town to town and spending time just looking around town. The hiking between the villages gave us wonderful views, and let the endorphins flow. The use of guides kept us on the right track (there are some branches going off trail) and let us know where to stop for the clean restrooms. The evening meals together were excellent (and kept us up way past our bedtime - like we were young again).

                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                      • Active Adventures
                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                      • We chose this trip because it was an active trip (the hiking), in a place we like (Mediterranean area), at a time we wanted (40th anniversary).
                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                      • The hikes, the guides, and getting to know the small group hiking with us. It all starts with our guides - Stephanie [@] and Marco [@] - who had great attitudes, and who's planning ahead eliminated the wasted time and confusion that we would have experienced on our own.
                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                      • Take your debit card. They don't use credit careds as much as us.

                      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Hands down....BEST TRIP EVER!

                      By JOE

                      from Minneapolis, MN

                      About Me First-Time Adventurer

                      Pros

                      • Accommodations
                      • Activity Level
                      • Exceeded Expectations
                      • Food
                      • Group Camaraderie
                      • Guides
                      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about REI Adventures Cinque Terre Hiking:

                          Hands down, this was the best trip every. I would take a trip like this over 5 beach vacations, any day. Amazing experience. You'll come back a changed individual! Request Marco! He was the best guide I can imagine!

                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Recommended by a Friend
                          • Why did you choose this trip?:
                          • Wanted to see Europe. We heard a lot of good things about Italy.
                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                          • Waaaay more scenic than I expected! that and it was perfectly planned!
                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                          • If you add on days outside the trip, make it at the end of your trip. That way your with the guide from day one to learn how to get by easily in a foreign country...

                          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Best Trip Ever!

                          By O

                          from Minneapolis, MN

                          About Me Casual Adventurer

                          Pros

                          • Accommodations
                          • Activity Level
                          • Exceeded Expectations
                          • Food
                          • Group Camaraderie
                          • Guides
                          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                          • Quality Equipment Provided
                          • Well Organized Itinerary

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about REI Adventures Cinque Terre Hiking:

                              I'm now looking into my next trip with REI in the next 6 months-I'm hooked! I loved our guide, Marco. He was so fun and helped us to really enjoy our hiking, followed by a ton of food and wine. I can't say a bad thing about the trip.

                              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                              • Recommended by a Friend
                              • Why did you choose this trip?:
                              • I have been wanting to see Italy and had a friend who toured with REI to Greece and she loved it! I thought it would be the best way to see more than just the typical tourist spots of Italy.
                              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                              • I also toured Rome and Florence without the group prior to meeting up for our hiking trip but I have to say the group hiking was amazing! I have never been on a hiking trip and was just amazed. I couldn't imagine a better trip.
                              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                              • Just do it! Don't be worried about going alone. The group and guide are amazing-just go for it!

                              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              What an incredibly beautiful place

                              By David in Montana

                              from Helena, Montana

                              About Me Avid Adventurer

                              Pros

                              • Accommodations
                              • Activity Level
                              • Exceeded Expectations
                              • Food
                              • Group Camaraderie
                              • Guides
                              • Well Organized Itinerary

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about REI Adventures Cinque Terre Hiking:

                                  I was glad that I'd talked to other hiking friends who had taken this trip later in the summer and told me to beware of the heat and humidity. I'm a 65 to 70 degree (F.) guy, so I was sooo glad I chose the early May iteration of this trip. The amount of time at each hotel (2 nights) along the way was well thought out, as was the hiking to towns immediately north and south of the Cinque Terre National Park itself. Once back home, I have to look at my several hundred photos to remind me that the beautiful Cinque Terre was not a dream.

                                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Recommended by a Friend, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                  • I first bumped into the Cinque Terre researching a hiking trip to the Alps in 1982, but the Cinque Terre didn't fit my plans then (too far south). It took me until 2011 to get there but I'm very glad I did. So I chose the Cinque Terre because I've known about it for 29 years and to test my postoperative knees (very well thank you).
                                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                  • The highlight of the trip were several: hiking in the cool mornings along the Italian coast, the camaraderie of our small group (5 of us, plus the guide), and the guide herself, Emanuela ("Manu"), who couldn't have been more spirited and more generous.
                                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                  • First, make sure you're in good physical shape to handle the up and down hiking; second, remember you're not at home or in a 5 star hotel every night (remember, this is an adventure!); third, wear hiking boots with a stiff enough sole to handle all the rock and not leave you with sore feet at the end of a day; and last, bring those trekking poles! Advanced photographers, remember to bring your UV haze filter and your polarizing screen!

                                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  4.0

                                  Maltobueno! Viva Italia!

                                  By Nordichic

                                  from Fresno, CA

                                  About Me Casual Adventurer

                                  Pros

                                  • Accommodations
                                  • Activity Level
                                  • Food
                                  • Group Camaraderie
                                  • Guides
                                  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures Cinque Terre Hiking:

                                      Overall the pros far outweighed the cons. The guides, Luca and Ilaria, were fun, knowledgeable and well prepared. The meals were good and our guides took us to out the way places that tourists on their own might not know about. Our group got along well and we had lots of fun together. Most of the overnight accommodations were wonderful. Towards the end of the trip I was getting tired of the dinky showers. The beds tended to be on the firm side. One thing I would have preferred is to have a day or two of downtime scheduled during the hiking trip. I felt we were on a pretty tight itinerary. But, I was grateful we didn't start our days too early, usually around 9 am. As far as the hiking part, certain sections on the trail were pretty crowded with tourists. I liked the hiking days that had less crowds. I tried to pack my walking poles but they wouldn't fit in my suitcase. It would have been nice for the guides to provide walking poles for those who wanted them, just for use while on the trip.

                                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Recommended by a Friend
                                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                      • I went with two of my close, active-minded girlfriends. This was a 50th BD dream trip for one of them.
                                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                      • There were so many things it's hard to choose just one. The scenery of course, the quaint villages and ancient churches and castles, the people, the hikes, the food, the gelato. One night we toured a local vineyard followed by wine tasting with delicious appetizers. That was very special. I loved Porto Venere our last village.
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • REI is right on track when describing the the level of hiking and fitness training required. There is a lot of steep climbing but it's not at a high elevation so didn't seem as difficult. We went in September and the temps were still pretty warm (80's). It's also more humid than the dry climate I live in. I sweated profusely! I would have preferred to hike in cooler weather, maybe late Oct. or November?

                                      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Best vacation experience I've had

                                      By Bay Area Hiker 22

                                      from Burlingame, CA

                                      About Me Casual Adventurer

                                      Pros

                                      • Exceeded Expectations
                                      • Guides
                                      • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                                      Cons

                                      • Jam-packed Itinerary

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about REI Adventures Cinque Terre Hiking:

                                        I went on this trip in Sept 07 with a friend from college. We both have not had a better trip before or since. The location was out of this world, the hiking was superb, and the guides, Sagra and Claudia, made the trip so much fun. The accomodations were higher quality than I expected. The food was good but it's true that there was not a lot of variety. The itinerary did feel a bit rushed - ideally, I think you would want to have an extra day in each location to take a break from hiking and enjoy some of the sights on your own. Overall, an amazing experience and well worth the price.

                                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination
                                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                        • Desire for an active vacation with a small group
                                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                        • The whole trip was a highlight - the guides were stellar, so much fun, and the scenery was incredible
                                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                        • The intensity of hiking was more than I expected - lots of steep up- and downhills. Train ahead of time and make time for stretching on the trail.

                                        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        4.0

                                        Memorable trip

                                        By lilly

                                        from New York, NY

                                        About Me Casual Adventurer

                                        Pros

                                        • Accommodations
                                        • Activity Level
                                        • Food
                                        • Group Camaraderie
                                        • Guides
                                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                                        Cons

                                        • Extras

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about REI Adventures Cinque Terre Hiking:

                                          Although the food was plentiful and many courses were offered I would have preferred the option of being able to pick your own food choices for at least a couple of nights. The menu is already chosen for you and we were not allowed to choose from the regular menus. In addition, coffees, cappucino's , wine was not included. It would have been nice to include a house wine or a one drink minimun on some of the evenings. We were told the reason they do not do so is in the past other tours have abused this policy making it cost prohibitive to pick up these incidentials. The solution would be to cap it, put a one drink minimum on or order a house carafe either nightly or a couple of times on the trip. Same with allowing one to pick from the menu. The tour could allow you to choose from the pre-selected menu or have a $dollar amount to choose from the regular menu.

                                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                          • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                          • We had wanted to visit this area of Italy and was looking for group travel with an adventure flair to it.
                                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                          • Our guide, CLaudia, was sweet, knowledgeable and a pleasure to our small group. THe hiking, definitely challenging, led us to spectacular vistas and made the sweat well worth it! We loved the daily hikes, walking through people's garden's, backyards and made us feel like we were really connecting with the region and seeing it "like a local would".
                                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                          • Be prepared for the hiking. It is like being on a stairmaster for hours on end. One gets used to it once you see the rewards at the top!. The trails were breathtaking and were well worth the soreness we felt at the end of the day. The hotels were fine. Clean and efficient and small but be prepared for hard beds and tiny showers.

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