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GENOA AND THE CINQUE TERRE:

a 7 days cycling holiday

 

 

From Genoa (Genova) this evocative tour takes you through the Cinque Terre, a wonderful stretch of coast protected by Unesco. The route continues to Portovenere, a charming village standing on a rocky promontory in front of the island of Palmaria, immersed in the scents and intense colours of the Ligurian coast. The tour begins with a visit to Genoa, the main port of Italy and also the city where Cristopher Columbus was born. From Genoa you go by bus (with your bike) to Casella will take you 300m uphill, with beautiful views over the gulf and over the fortresses behind Genoa. The first part of the tour involves some uphill sections, but the effort will be repaid by the scenery, characterised by little old stone villages surrounded by olive groves. In Cicagna there is an 'ecomuseo' about the slate which is so characteristic of the local geology; in the 13th century this slate was used for the façade of the Basilica dei Fieschi in Cogorno. In the green Val Graveglia you can visit the interesting manganese mine of Gambatesa, which is still in use. Finally, it is a downhill cycle to the beautiful village of Portovenere and the sea. The name of Portovenere (Portus Veneris) is believed to date back to a temple dedicated to the goddess Venus, which was sited on the promontory where the church of Peter the Apostle (13th century) now stands. If you have time you can take a boat trip to the island of Palmaria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Programme

 

 

Day 1

Individual arrival in Genoa

Arrival in Genoa, an important seaport in Northern Italy. Genoa has an interesting historical centre with cosy little squares and a ting tangle of alleys. Remains of the old town walls are preserved in the St.Lawrence Cathedral (cattedrale di San Lorenzo; 12th century). Real symbols of the town are the 'Lanterna' (117 m), an old lighthouse, which is visible on sea from 30km distance and the monumental fountain on Piazza de Ferrari, the beating heart of the town. A real attraction is the old fishermen's quarter 'Boccadasse' with its colourful fishermen's boats and delicious ice-cream. Route instructions, maps and bike are handed over. 

 

Day 2

 

Genoa - Casella -Scoffera - Lumarzo- Carasco - Chiavari (km 65/40,4 miles - difference in altitude 500m)

A day full of emotions: from Genoa you go to Casella (410 m. above sea level) through the historic rack railway (as an alternative by bus). Then ready in the saddle up to the mountain pass of the Scoffera, then down along narrow streets among olive trees until the small village of Lumarzo, the birthplace of Frank Sinatra's mother. Finally you arrive in Chiavari, cycling on a nice cyclepath that runs along the Entella river.

Day 3

Chiavari - Val Graveglia - Varese Ligure (km 65/40,4 miles - difference in altitude 800m)

From Chiavari, you cycle back to the hinterland passing through the Basilica dei Fieschi, a Romanesque jewel, then take the quiet Val Graveglia with the Gambatesa manganese mine, still in activity, that you can visit. Arrival in Varese Ligure is a small village (borgo) nestled in the valley 'Val di Vara' and famous because of its fascinating architecture with a circular town plan, unique in Liguria. 

 

Day 4

Varese Ligure - Levanto (km 48/30 miles - difference in altitude 650m) 

After yesterday's hardships, today you descend along the green hinland mountains dotted with delightful villages that resemble the houses of a tale by Tolkien. Then you cycle back to Levanto, which is on the coast, at the end of a valley with olive groves and pine trees. There is a beautiful 13th century church: with is black and white striped facade and magnificent rose window, Sant'Andrea is a good example of the Ligurian Gothic style. Levanto is also a good place to swim or relax in one of the many welcoming coffee bars. 

 

Day 5

Levanto - Cinque Terre by boat and / or on foot 

A day without bikes, entirely dedicated to the Cinque Terre. From Levanto you go by boat to the Cinque Terre (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore) to visit each village; the return journey can be made by boat or on foot along the 'Via dell’Amore' path, a romantic walking path in the shadow of spectacular cliffs with beautiful views of the deep blue sea. Overnight in Levanto. 

 

Day 6 Levanto - Cinque Terre -La Spezia (41 km / 25 miles)

From Levanto you climb slowly towards the sanctuary of Soviore, a welcoming place with a great view of Monterosso, then we continue on an almost flat route along a spectacular road through the mountains. Then you have a breathtaking descent to La Spezia, situated in the most inner part of the Golfo dei Poeti on flat plains that develop in an area limited by the sea and the surrounding hills, lived during the 800's one of the most important periods of its history thanks to the realisation of the Military Shipyard and the Mercantile Port that changed a fishing village into a modern city. Possibility to reach Portovenere by bus or by bike. 

 

Day 7

La Spezia, departure after breakfast and end of our services

 

 

 

 

The tour includes

  • 6 overnight stays with breakfast in *** star hotels

  • luggage transportation

  • route instructions, detailed descriptions (in Italian, German, French or English) and maps

  • tour information

  • Phone assistance during the tour

  • Insurance  

 

 The tour doesn’t include:

  • Travel to the starting and ending places

  • boat ticket to visit the Cinque Terre

  • Bus / train ticket for Genoa to Casella (about 2,50 Euro)

  • everything not specified under "The tour includes"

 

Dates

Every Saturday from 28 March till 26 September

Level 3

Routes on asphalt or dirt roads. The differences in altitudes of this tour requires a fit condition and a basic experience in cycling. Daily distances between 40 and 55 km. Total kilometres: 219 km /136 miles

Participants 

Minimum two persons (travelling alone upon request)

Price p.p. 2020

In double room (2 people)    € 895,00

In double room (4 or more people)    € 690,00

Supplement single room      € 150,00

Supplement travelling alone on request

Bike rental     € 115,00

Upon request

extra nights in Genoa or La Spezia or in any of the towns in between.