Kayaking Cinque Terre - Arrival in Vernezza

Kayaking Cinque Terre – Arrival in Vernezza

Our kayaking Italy – Cinque Terre and Sardinia trip combines the Mediterranean’s best kayaking, scenery and food. Starting in Genoa this inn to inn trip explores Cinque Terre National Park and Sardinia’s Maddalena Archipelago National Park. With a focus on  Italy’s wonderfully rich blend of culture, history, landscape and cuisine our coastal exploration of  Liguria and northern Sardinia stays at boutique hotels and small inns We dine at restaurants that serve authentic locavore food.  This trip includes three UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Genoa’s Old City, Cinque Terre National Park and La Maddalena Archipelago. More

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Arrival in Genoa   Your guides will meet the group in the lobby of our boutique hotel in Genoa’s Port Anticio historical district. We will enjoy the Italian tradition of aperitivo (wine and a light snack) while receiving an orientation on trip details. Once completed we’ll walk through the laneways of the fascinating Porto Antico that date back well over 1000 years. Our destination is a local Genovese restaurant for the first of a series of memorable meals on this trip. (D)

Day 2 – Monterosso al Mar and Cinque Terre  
 Packing our luggage into the support van we’ll walk to Principe station and board the train along the Levanto coast of the Italian Riviera to our launch point at the town of Monterosso al Mar at the western end of the Cinque Terre National Park. After getting set up in the kayaks we’ll head out for our first paddle along this spectacular coastline. After a stop at beautiful Vernazza we land at our destination the village of Corniglia. A ten minute walk takes up through the village past unfolding views of the famous terraced vineyards. Tonight we stay at a charming family run hotel and enjoy a glass of local wine on the terrace before a dinner of typical Ligurian cuisine.  (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Cinque Terre and Portovenere
   With an early start we paddle east along the cliffs of Cinque Terre and an unfolding tableau of scenic vineyard topped hills and almost impossibly beautiful villages set on the edge of the blue Mediterranean Sea. We’ll stop for refreshments in Riomaggiore before continuing to Portovenere the “sixth village” of Cinque Terre (on the New York Times “The 45 Places to Go in 2012” list). Rounding a dramatic point topped by castle walls and a 11th century church we enter the town and there will be time to explore this ancient site that dates back to Roman times and was a favorite of Lord Byron’s.  Returning to Riomaggiore we’ll dine on some of the best seafood in Italy at the harbor-side restaurant of Luca Giaccio, a rising star young chef devoted to the freshest of locally sourced ingredients and classical Ligurian  preparation. (B, L, D)

 Day 4 –  Cinque Terre to Monterosso

   Setting off early with a stop for espresso in Riomaggiore we set off along to the full length of the Cinque Terre coast en route to Monterosso. The morning light reveals colors and details perhaps missed on the previous day’s paddle. Moving at a leisurely pace we explore the villages we passed by earlier and have a change to fully appreciate Cinque Terra’s combination of ancient culture and grandly dynamic natural setting. Arriving in Monterosso al Mar we’ll stay at a boutique hotel in and there will be time to wander the town before dinner at an open air restaurant on the shore. (B, L, D)

Day 5 – Genoa and Departure for Sardinia
   After a leisurely morning we return to Genoa by train.  Arriving we’ll take a brief tour of the Old City, the heart of medieval Genoa and a Unesco World Heritage Site before heading to the Terminal Traghetti to board our overnight ferry to Sardinia. After checking into our staterooms we’ll meet for food, wine and sunset views of Genova as we sail out of the port. (B, L, D)

Days 6 – 8  La Maddalena Archipelago   
We explore the sparsely inhabited La Maddalena Archipelago National Park. With crystal clear water, surreal rock formations and picture perfect coves the Archipelago is widely regarded as the Mediterranean’s best kayaking. We visit isolated islands, swim in warm turquoise water, stay at a tranquil guesthouse and dine on Sardinian cuisine at small restaurants. Short walks take us to ruins that tell the story of a long and varied history. A relaxed pace allows us to experience the life of the “Pastori” and to fully appreciate how Sardinia’s unique blend of land and sea makes it a world apart. (B, L, D)

Day 9 – Sardinian Interior and Ferry to Genoa    
Departing the town of La Maddalena on Isola Maddalena we take the ferry the town of Palau and start a journey through the fragrant hills of northern Sardinia stopping to visit a Nuragic tower, one of the island’s many Bronze Age archeological sites. Arriving in Olbia we board our ferry for the return sailing to Genoa. (B, L, D)

Day 10 
- Genoa   Arriving in the morning we’ll  have a sumptuous breakfast our hotel, a restored Palazzo located at the edge of the Old City. The balance of the morning is a free day to explore some of the many facets of this “City of Culture”.  In the afternoon we’ll have a carefully curated walking tour conducted by an expert in Genoa’s history.  This evening we have a special dinner planned at a waterfront restaurant. A great meal and, of course, one final gelato to wrap up this remarkable trip. (B, D)

Day 11 – Departure  Transfers to the airport (GOA) or the Principe  train station. Arrivederci

Guest Comments

“Great Trip!  I would definitely go with your organization again. Great guides:  helpful, patient, knowledgeable, good sense of humor Good equipment Good drivers and good vans/transportation. Dinners were over the top!  Good food and plenty of it.  Good wine.”
Marlee Chamberlain Nevada City CA
Cinque Terre and Sardinia, September 2013

“The Italy trip was even better than we expected and I want to thank you again for a wonderful vacation!”
CJ Long, Woodinville WA
Cinque Terre and Sardinia, June 2013

“It really was such a lovely experience, Grant — everything about the trip was memorable. and we are committed to future trips because of it!”
Ellen Jo Ljung, Geneva IL
Cinque Terre and Sardinia, June 2013

Departures

2014
May 26 – June 5, 2014
June 10 – 20, 2014
September 2 – 12, 2014
September 15 – 25, 2014

Trip Cost: $4695 US

Single Supplement: Trip cost is based on double occupancy. The supplement for single accommodation for this trip is $600 US

For more information see  Trip Notes for Kayaking Italy

Note: This trip is led by Tofino Expeditions founder Grant Thompson

Kayak Trip dining - Riomaggiore Cinque Terre Italy

Kayak Trip dining – Riomaggiore Cinque Terre

Really enjoyed our Sea of Cortez trip March 17-24. Celebrated my wife’s 65th birthday. Thanks for the birthday cake that Sergio and Marcos baked. The guides were great. The food was great.

Edgar P. Menning, Estes Park, CO

Thanks a lot for spectacular trip, and all the good-spirited and thoughtful support.

Peter Strauss, New York, NY