Experience the Cinque Terre and beyond while enjoying the ease of following a local guide. These excursions range from 1 to 3 hours and are the perfect way to immerse yourself in a more intimate setting off the beaten path.
Why tour with Caroline?
Caroline's love for Italy was nurtured gradually over years of visiting with her family as a young girl. She graduated Cum Laude from the Lorenzo de' Medici Institute in Florence, majoring in Italian Language. After 3 years living and studying in Florence she moved to Monterosso al Mare (one of the Cinque Terre) for three more years. She has spent the last year and a half living in La Spezia, a port city near the Cinque Terre. Her friendships and intimate knowledge of local restaurants, events, train, boat, and bus schedules make her a perfect guide to make your time in the villages the best it can be.
Seaside Panoramic Bike Tour
Morning or Sunset
WHAT WE'LL DO
We will meet at the train station in Levanto, a seaside town 5 minutes from the Cinque Terre by train, only one stop from Monterosso. We will pick up our bike rentals just 5 minutes from the station.
The path is entirely flat & winds through former train tunnels from the 1800s that run along the Ligurian Sea. It connects the charming seaside towns of Levanto, Bonassola & Framura. The ride is completely smooth, flat and paved & stretches about 5 kilometers from Levanto to Framura. We will stop in Bonassola to walk to a panoramic viewpoint on a cliff (2.5 km total, includes stairs & paved road) & again in Framura to walk to a hidden beach (2km total) and then head back to Levanto. We will also have a special local snack along the way! 10km total biking. 4.5km total walking.
The towns of Bonassola and Framura haven't been affected by tourism like the Cinque Terre have so it is quite special to visit such serene & charming seaside towns. Experience them as they always were, quiet oases on the sea, touched only by nature & enjoyed almost exclusively by the local people.
The exhilaration of riding through old train tunnels, breathtaking sea views, the picturesque beaches & villages along the way all make for a very memorable experience.
For the sunset evening tour we will enjoy incredible views of the sunset & have a glass of wine on a hidden beach at the peak hour of sunset.
WHERE WE'LL BE
The bike path itself is something known almost exclusively by locals. I will be giving you an exclusive tour off the beaten path on a seaside trail you would unlikely discover on your own. In Bonassola we will visit a panoramic viewpoint on a cliff & in Framura I will show you a beautiful hidden pathway that wraps around the coast & leads to a serene and picturesque hidden beach. This beach is so hidden that only the locals know how to find.
Guests should be comfortable riding a bicycle and be able to ride at a steady and moderate pace to stay with the group. Guests should also be able to walk and climb stairs at a moderate pace. The tour is not suitable for children under the age of 10.All guests will be expected to stay with the group from start to finish of the bicycle tour. The bike ride is all flat and we will ride at a steady and moderate pace with stops along the way. 10km riding, 4.5km walking. Steps are included in the walking portion. Please wear closed shoes.
Cost & Duration
Activity Level: Moderate (mostly flat bike path)
Starting Point: Levanto
Guide Language: English
Time: 3 hours
PRIVATE tours available for groups 7+
WHAT GUESTS SHOULD BRING:
- Light jacket (it can be chilly in the train tunnels)
- CLOSED shoes comfortable for biking & walking
- Sunglasses (tunnels can be windy)
What I Provide
I will bring along a delicious local treat for you to enjoy during the tour. Please let me know if you have any allergies to: GLUTEN, DAIRY, NUTS, ETC. I am more than happy to provide a different snack for you!
Wine and Other
Water: One bottle of still water per guest / Wine: One glass of white wine for guests to enjoy (ONLY on the evening sunset bike tour)
Sports equipment, Safety equipment and Other
Bicycles: All bikes include a gear shift, basket, lock, and (optional) helmet.
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Private Guided Full Day Tours
BOOKING EVENTS, HOTELS, BOAT TOURS...50EU per hour
Caroline can book local activities for you so you don't have to find these on your own. She knows which are the best locations for a quiet nights sleep, a tour along the coast on a sunset cruise and where to make your own pesto! She can meet you and take you to your reserved activity or hotel.
GUIDED TOURS...50EU per hour per person
This is if you want a more personal experience and have Caroline with you during your activities.
SUNSET BOAT CRUISE...100 EU per person
Caroline will meet you at a designated agreed upon spot. She will walk you to the pier to meet your Captain. You will board the two story fishing boat (maximum capacity 12 persons). There may be others on board if your group is less than 12. You will cruise along the coast to see all five of the Cinque Terre towns from the water. You are served a delicious variety of local foods and wine, beer, water as you take in the views. There is a bathroom on board. This tour is weather dependent. If water rough at all, the Captain will not go out. You will be refunded your money, minus Caroline's time for booking.
WINE TASTINGS...25EU per person
There are several small wineries in the area. The typical local wine is a white, dry one with a mineral finish. It is made from three locally grown grapes: Vermentino, Albarola & Bosco. It pairs wonderfully with the local seafood, pesto & pasta dishes. The tastings last about an hour and usually include a taste of some local specialty from focaccia, bruschetta or a sweeet. Caroline can reserve spots for you and take you to the tasting location. Once there, you will be on your own to experience the tasting.
PESTO CLASS...50EU per person
This class is a unique one as you are outside overlooking the pastel colored village and the sea as you are given instructions by an entertaining local on how to make the aromatic delicious sauce. After making your own pesto, you will be served a delicious charcuterie board of meats, cheeses, bread, olives and the local white wine. 10am-12pm (good weather only)
COOKING CLASS...125EU per person
Hands on preparation of several courses which you sit down and enjoy at the end of class. This is a longer experience (10am-3pm) The class is held indoors at a restaurant overlooking Monterosso.
GUIDED HIKES...50EU per person per hour
There are many different hikes in the region from easy, moderate to more challenging. Caroline has experienced all of them and can help you choose which ones are right for you. The typical hike includes: many steps up & down, dirt pathways, views of the sea, vineyards, lemon & olive groves.
It is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE national park and there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. An easy hike would involve taking a small bus to the top of the mountain where you hike along the ridge with no steps but beautiful vistas. You can then turn around at any point, instead of going downhill and take the bus back down. Caroline's 85 year old grama did this hike. Unlimited choices and beauty. Don't miss a hiking opportunity! It is what the Cinque Terre is known for.
TRAIN, BUS, PARK ENTRY...
Local trains are 4EU between the villages. The bus is 2EU each way. Park Entry
costs 7EU per person. Caroline can buy you a day pass for unlimited hikes, trains & buses between the villages. The price is 16EU per person.
GASTRONOMIC WALKING TOUR...35EU per person
Come hungry as Caroline gives you a bit of history and takes you to her favorite local spots to sample the best of Liguria. You will sample farinata, pesto, foccacia, gelato & more. As you wander the quaint streets of Monterosso you will experience the local culture through its food. The tour can include a walk up above the town to the Convent of the Capuchin Monks where you have a lovely vista of the area and burn some calories. (About 2 hours) Small groups only 4-6 people
All payments are preferred in cash only in Euros. PayPal is possible with an additional 5% processing fee.