We catch the early-morning train from Monterosso to Riomaggiore (15 minutes) and walk out of town, heading up into the hills.
Train from Monterosso, heading out of Riomaggiore
Path along the sea from Riomaggiore to Portovenere
The path leads up with views of Riomaggiore periodically appearing through the trees. At the top of the first ridge, the path passes through the yard of the Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero, overlooking the city.
Views of Riomaggiore
We follow the ridges along the coast, popping in and out of fields, vineyards, and forests, and descending and climbing as the terrain dictates.
Through the forest
Along the cost
About halfway, the trail passes through the small town of Campiglia and heads back into a peaceful forest path, before the steep descent into Portovenere.
Continuing along the sea
Up and down
After the final descent into Portovenere, we head over to the harbor and reward ourselves with lunch at our favorite restaurant here, al Gabbiano: octopus with potatoes, Portovenere pizza (anchovies, tuna, olives), Mama Mia pizza (sausage and spicy sausage), and a carafe of local white wine. We'd do the hike for this meal any day (or, just the meal or just the hike, but both are even more spectacular together: wow!).
Lunch: octopus and pizzas
After lunch, we take the ferry back to Monterosso, cruising up the coast and viewing the ridgelines over which we just hiked. With stops at each of the cities, we get to revisit the paths of our various hikes, train trips, and meals.
Hiking trails on top
Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza
Arriving back in Monterosso
Another great day in paradise!