The Best Excursions in Liguria: 15 Unmissable Itineraries

Not many people know this, but the excursions in Liguria they are actually world class. In fact, my region is famous for many things: beaches, seaside villages and the famous Portofino, but here you can find a series of trails of different lengths and difficulty levels, and it is a fabulous playground for those who love to venture into nature. Without a doubt, hiking is one of them best things to do in Liguria.

The Best Excursions in Liguria: 15 Unmissable Itineraries

Having lived in Liguria all my life, I have never missed an opportunity to get out and explore, and every time I am reminded of how much my beloved region has to offer: some coastal paths offer breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, other paths delve into. between gorges and mountains, they bypass lakes and offer glimpses of authentic rural life.

One of the most fascinating ways to explore the Liguria, with its indented territory nestled between sea and mountains, it is therefore the trekking Imagine finding yourself immersed in the woods, but being able to listen to the sound of the sea waves in the distance: what could be more magical?

Il trekking in Liguria it is an unforgettable experience and, certainly, one of the most authentic to discover its incredible natural heritage. In Liguria there is a huge network of trails: there are in fact more than 70 routes to do, but here I will list the ones I love the most, the best in my opinion!

In this article I will therefore suggest you 15 paths and ideas to organize a perfect excursion immersed in Ligurian nature.

If I can recommend a book, Liguria a Zig Zag by Andrea Parodi is a kind of bible for hiking and trails in Liguria!

Alternatively also The 50 most beautiful trails in Liguria by Sergio Grillo is a great guide.

Excursions in Eastern Liguria

1 - The Gulf of Poets: Portovenere - Riomaggiore

The Best Excursions in Liguria: 15 Unmissable Itineraries

Il Gulf of Poets it is one of the most evocative areas in all of Liguria. Here there are 3 natural parks: the Cinque Terre National Park, Portovenere Regional Park and Montemarcello-Magra Regional Park. A real paradise for lovers of trekking and walking.

I will tell you more about the Cinque Terre a few paragraphs below: now I want to recommend an itinerary that starts from another magnificent Ligurian village, Portovenere.

Il path that leads from the village loved by Lord Byron to the first town of the Cinque Terre it is 14 km long and starts from Piazza Bastreri. To travel it will take from 3 to 4 hours depending on the pace.

Immediately after the first climb you will be rewarded by the view of the Palmaria Island: from that moment on the sea will never leave you.

After about 1 hour and a half you will reach the first stop Campiglia, then you will go up to Take the Telegraph, the highest point of the entire route. At this point a descent will begin to Riomaggiore.

It is not an easy trek and it is not suitable for everyone, but it certainly is spectacular.

Distance: 12 km

Travel time: 4 hours 30 min

2 - The Alta Via del Golfo - The Path of the Poets

The Best Excursions in Liguria: 15 Unmissable Itineraries

Remaining in the Gulf of Poets, I cannot fail to suggest theAlta Via del Golfo (reported as AVG and also called the Path of the Poets for his close relationship with the artists who fell in love with these lands and landscapes).

The Alta Via del Golfo is a path that it crosses the entire coast from Portovenere to Bocca di Magra and that in the past allowed the connection of all the small villages that were between the two centers.

The trail is about 44 km long and can be covered in 3 days if you have a good pace.

The first stop is Bocca di Magra / Pietralba (Baccano) and lasts about 7 hours.

The second stage is Pietralba / La Foce and can be done in about 8 and a half hours. Finally, the third stage is La Foce / Portovenere with a duration of about 6 and a half hours.

Along the way you will be able to enjoy ever-changing landscapes, from the woods to the vineyards, to the small villages. The view will always be breathtaking.

3 - The Cinque Terre - The Way of the Sanctuaries

Le Cinque Terre they are one of the most famous places in Liguria and every year they are literally stormed by tourists from all over the world.

To explore the colorful villages of this corner of the Ligurian Riviera you can choose to use the train, the boat or do it on foot. Here, in fact, some of the gods unfold most beautiful trekking in Liguria.

The most famous route in the area is the Blue Path which I will tell you about shortly. The trekking that I recommend now, however, is there Street of the Sanctuaries, a very interesting and different thematic path.

Maybe you might like my complete guide to the Trekking in the Cinque Terre

The trail connects i famous sanctuaries of the Cinque Terre: Our Lady of Health in Manarola, Our Lady of Grace in San Bernardino, Our Lady of Montenero in Riomaggiore, Our Lady of Regio in Vernazza and Our Lady of Soviore in Monterosso.

The path can start right from Monterosso al Mare, following the path 509 towards the Sanctuary of NS di Soviore.

This trek is suitable for the more experienced and takes about 6 hours and 45 minutes.

4 - The Blue Path

The Best Excursions in Liguria: 15 Unmissable Itineraries

Il Blue Path it is the most famous trekking route in the Cinque Terre. The itinerary is about 12 km long and connects Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare passing through the 3 villages of Manarola, Corniglia and Vernazza.

The Sentiero Azzurro could be covered in about 5 hours, but considering the stops in the various villages, it will certainly take longer!

Unlike the Via dei Santuari, this route is paid (5/8 €).

Unfortunately, due to landslides and landslides, some sections are often closed, but this is not a good reason to give up: you can, in fact, take alternative routes or walk only the first part of the path from Monterosso to Vernazza.

5 - Punta Manara (Sestri Levante)

If you are looking for an easy and relaxing trekking, on a well-marked path that develops in the middle of the Mediterranean scrub with beautiful views of the sea, Punta Manara is the right choice.

The only difficulty you will encounter will probably be to immediately find the beginning of the path: the "path" begins in Vico del Bottone, in historic center of Sestri Levante! The path to follow is marked by two red squares and proceeds uphill but with many flat sections where you can catch your breath.

There is another starting point: if you arrive by car from the Sestri Levante tollbooth, proceed towards the center of the town on the southernmost road. After a while you will arrive at the cemetery: you can park nearby. Take the dirt road that goes south and follow the filled red squares that indicate the path.

After the climb you will arrive at the flat path: from here you will see the bay of Sestri Levante that opens up before your eyes, which appears among olive trees, strawberry trees and holm oaks.

The route continues up to Punta Manara: from here you can go down to Ciappa Du Lu for a dip in the sea!

Difference:+ - 200 meters

Travel time: 2.30 hours

Period:  spring / autumn / winter

6 - The Promontory of Portofino - Portofino Vetta

Il Portofino Regional Park it is another natural wonder of Liguria and a real paradise for trekking lovers. In fact, among the greenery of the Portofino Promontory, there are a series of beautiful paths that will allow you to enjoy the woods and the sea at the same time.

One of the most beautiful trails in the area is Portofino Vetta - Portofino Sea: a simple route, lasting about two hours, which will give you the opportunity to admire one of the most beautiful views of Liguria.

The route starts in Portofino Vetta, near the hotel. From here continue in the direction Gaixella and then Narrow Stones. Both of these locations have an equipped area where you can stop and rest.

The path then continues towards the locality Olmi and this is where you will begin to glimpse the sea. When you reach one last detour for Nozarego you will have to continue straight and you will be faced with two possibilities to reach Portofino: left or straight.

Taking the first road you will take a steeper path, but which will give you some unforgettable images of the village as you get closer.

7 - The Abbey of San Fruttuoso di Camogli

The Best Excursions in Liguria: 15 Unmissable Itineraries

by Di Sina Ettmer Photography /

THEAbbey of San Fruttuoso of Camogli it is a real gem: a small stone monastery set among the rocks and overlooking a small beach.

The Abbey can only be reached from the sea or on foot. The latter way is certainly one of the most fascinating.

The paths to reach the church are different depending on the place of departure: you can get to the Abbey from Portofino, Punta Chiappa, Camogli or San Rocco.

The path I suggest is the Path of the narrow stones which starts right from the Church of San Rocco. Once you have taken the path to the left of the crossroads that you will find a few steps from the Church, you will start with a walk through the woods to reach Gaixella.

Once you arrive at the equipped area you will only have to follow the signs for San Fruttuoso di Camogli.

2 - Excursions to Genoa

1 - The Historical Aqueduct of Genoa

The one onHistorical Aqueduct of Genoa it is one of the most famous trekking in Liguria among the Genoese. In fact, in any season of the year, the walk along the ancient stone aqueduct is one of the favorite pastimes for those who love spending their days outdoors.

The trail starts from horsetail and immediately begins with the exciting stone bridge 95 meters long and about 32 meters high.

This trek is suitable for everyone, including children.

2 - Trekking of the forts of Genoa

Genoa is a city squeezed between the sea and the mountains: over the centuries its position has allowed it to be naturally protected by nature from enemy attacks.

On its mountains that protect its shoulders, forts were built: if you come to Genoa a trekking among the forts it is one of the must do things.

You can decide to follow them as you prefer, if you don't want to do them all you can also choose one, but the most famous itinerary is the one that starts from the Church of SS. Annunziata del Chiappeto in San Martino d'Albaro and through a crêuza leads up to the first of the forts, the Forte Richelieu.

From here you will have a truly breathtaking view over the city of Genoa and its sea. On particularly clear days, if you look closely, you can also see the profile of the Corsican coast emerging on the horizon.

Continuing the path you reach the strong Ratti from which you then reach the Church of Bavari.

Another very nice trek is the one that starts from Piazza Manin: take the train of Casella to Campi and from here, with a journey of about 30 minutes you can reach it Forte Diamante.

From the fort you can return to Genoa and take the marked path that leads to Forte Fratello Minore, then to Strong Puin and again towards the great structure of the Fort Sperone.

3 - Excursion to the Gorzente Lakes

Il Naturalistic Path of the Gorzente Lakes it is a route not suitable for everyone given its length: it is in fact a ring route with climbs and descents lasting about 5 hours.

The starting point is from the car park of Prou René in Praglia, reachable from both the Genova Ovest and Bolzaneto toll booths.

The path is well signposted and continue to the first stop: the Long Lake. It then continues in Park of the Capanne di Marcarolo up to the highest point, the Belvedere Bric Nasciu.

The route intersects and includes a section of theAlta Via dei Monti Liguri and it is challenging, so if you are not in good physical shape, consider an easier trek.

Difference:+ - 480 meters

Travel time: 5.30 hours

Period: all the year

3 - Excursions in western Liguria

1 - The Nature Ring

The Best Excursions in Liguria: 15 Unmissable Itineraries

THENature Ring is another excursion in Liguria suitable for anyone. The route develops in a ring from the village of Borgio Verezzi, in the Ligurian Ponente, up to the sea.

The path starts from the center of Borgio, in Via della Cornice. From here, after a stretch of paved road and a dirt road, you can turn left and take the climb.

Along the way you will meet the Church of San Martino Vescovo, the Phoenician Mill and many signs where you can learn the history of the local fauna and flora.

One of the most beautiful things about the whole trail, however, is the view!

Travel time: 3 hours

Period: all the year

2 - Beigua Park

Il Beigua Regional Natural Park offers one of the most interesting opportunities for hikers: the paths that wind through this area are so many and all immersed in the magnificent biodiversity of an area that is still authentic.

The network of trails of the Beigua Park is well developed 500 km and allows not only to admire the natural beauties of the area, but also to know its history: there are, in fact, paths designed specifically to tell the historical events that took place in these parts. The archaeological path and the Napoleonic one are examples of this.

Here you can immerse yourself in a path for the more experienced, but also simply spend a pleasant Sunday with the children.

Suggesting a route rather than another is really complicated and my suggestion is to visit the Beigua Park website to choose the one that's right for you.

3 - Via Iulia Augusta

Another trekking in Liguria that I want to recommend is the Via Iulia Augusta, an itinerary poised between nature and history.

The trail develops between Albenga e Alassio, along the ancient road that once led to Gaul.

Starting from Alassio, the route starts from Piazzale Santa Croce. Along the whole path you will still meet the ancient parts of the paving of the Roman road, while in the middle of the sea you will always notice the small Gallinara island.

Along the way you will meet a necropolis and you will be able to glimpse, within a private property, the amphitheater and an ancient Roman pillar.

This is a perfect trek for archeology lovers!

Difference: + - 100 meters

Travel time: 1.30 hours

Period:  spring / autumn / winter

4 - The Pilgrim's Path

The Best Excursions in Liguria: 15 Unmissable Itineraries

Also called “Varigotti / Noli Traverse” il Path of the Pilgrim it is an ancient path that dates back to the times when there was the need to put the Independent Maritime Republic of Noli in communication with the Marquisate of Finale.

Its name originates from the fact that walking along it you will touch several churches, now deconsecrated: S. Lorenzo di VarigottiS. Giulia e S. Lazzaro di Noli.

It is a fairly simple and not too long itinerary, feasible even with children who are quite used to walking: it takes about two hours to go and two to return (but if you don't feel like returning you can take the bus)

Although it can be traveled in both directions, it is generally traveled starting from Varigotti and precisely from Via Vecchia and then continuing on Via del Capo to reach Via della Costa where you will find a niche with a Madonna.

The views are truly outstanding! In some points the view can range from the Levante to the Ligurian Ponente. Do not miss the viewpoint from which you can the cliff of Punta Crena and the detour to the Grotta dei Briganti.

After passing through churches, stretches between the Mediterranean scrub and bands rich in olive groves, you can reach it Capo Noli and then the top of the mountain and then down to the city.

5 - Coastal Path of the Balzi Rossi

Two suggestive stretches of coastal path, joined by the Via Aurelia, which develop on the westernmost border of Liguria, the one on the border with France. Along this route you will have breathtaking views over Cap Martin e Menton!

Il coastal path of Balzi Rossi it is a truly exceptional itinerary that will allow you to have views, culture (the anthropological museum is beautiful), the Balzi Rossi caves, Villa Hanbury (with its botanical park - try to go there in spring) and beaches where you can take a dip in the sea.

The path starts from the car park from which you get to the museum and the cliff that houses the Balzi Rossi caves and continues towards Ventimiglia along the Coastal Path of Punta Garavano until you reach Villa Hanbury e Capo Mortola.

The return is done on the same path, or if you wish, using the public transport that connects Ventimiglia to Balzi Rossi and to Ponte San Ludovico.

Difference: 100cm

Travel time: 2 hours and 30 just to walk the path

Period: From September to June.

Best time to go trekking in Liguria

If you want to go trekking in Liguria, my advice is generally to avoid the summer months: the climbs can take your breath away. To be honest, however, I must admit that some of the most beautiful excursions in Liguria are those on the sea and generally, at the end of a path there are beautiful beaches, in which to take a dip.

For me, therefore, the best months are undoubtedly May June e September October: October in Liguria still offers hot days in which the bravest could look for a swim in the sea after trekking to escape the heat.

Winter can also be a good season given the mild climate of Liguria, but keep in mind that the days are much shorter, so you will have to choose shorter routes and consider that it could rain a lot.

Tips for trekking in Liguria

I have already recommended two excellent books if you want to go trekking in Liguria, but here I will give you a few more advice I hope it can come in handy!

Meanwhile, the excursions in Liguria are really very beautiful and offer exceptional views of the sea and the mountains: however, keep in mind that many will have to do some climbs so make sure you are in good physical shape.

Wear suitable shoes and clothing so as not to slip. Flip-flops are good for the beach, not for walking along the coast!

Always bring water: on many paths you will not find bars where to buy it.

Follow the directions and never go off the path. You may slip or get lost.

The trails are usually signposted, but it's a good idea download the gps tracks and be able to view them on your smartphone via app such as Google My Maps.

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