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Nice tour with great views!
This was such a fun tour! My husband and I were placed in a group led by Chris who was not only an experienced hiker but also had a wealth of knowledge about the area. We had an amazing lunch with the group, overlooking the gorgeous sea. It was great that the hike was at-your-own-pace as we finished a bit early and had time to jump in the sea in one of the towns and wine taste with our new friends in another town all in time for the perfect ending to the day--a boat ride back to Riomaggiore! We would highly recommend this tour to anyone who is up for a bit of exercise to burn off all the pasta you'll be eating while in Italy!
Can't say enough about this tour! Our guides Chris and Alessandro were absolutely amazing, in my opinion the best we have ever had for any tour. Both were extremely energetic, passionate, and knowledgeable.
This was a great way to get a feel for Cinque Terre when your schedule doesn't allow for an extended stay. It's an aggressive itinerary that visits all five villages. Our trip began in village 2 Manarola, we hiked to village 4 Vernazza, via Corniglia, took a train to 5 Monterossa al Mare, then a boat back to 1Riomaggiore, but allows for a little downtime along the way. The hike is only a few miles, but it can be very hot and does involve some climbs, but it is optional. Our guide asked us to try to stay together for the first mile or so, after which, the group could proceed at its own pace since there were fewer turns where someone could get off the trail.
The trip began with two guides, Alessandro and Stefano, giving us details about the Italian countryside between Florence and Cinque Terre. As we neared our destination, the group was then split in half with each half being assigned one of the two guides. Our party was with Stefano, who was an energetic and charismatic young Italian who kept a smile on his face the entire time except when he was doing head counts, and then he temporarily had an anxious look--hopeful that he had not lost anyone.
The villages of Cinque Terre were extremely crowded, but the trail connecting them was not. Note, the entire trail is around eight miles long, but we only hiked about three miles. There are opportunities for swimming at the end of the trail, which at least one member of our party did for a few minutes. The optional lunch was at an open air restaurant, after the first leg of the hike. It was quite good and offered a view of the ocean. We had the choice of pasta with seafood or with tomato sauce. The seafood goes beyond my taste and includes octopus and mussels. But both choices were taken at our table and everyone loved their meal. At this point, if someone didn't want to attempt the rest of the hike, they could retrace their steps and take the train and meet us in the next village.
Getting to take the boat back to the first village is dependent upon weather and ocean conditions. If either are uncooperative, you take a train back. We really enjoyed the boat ride. As always, the first ones in get the best seating, but we eventually made our way up to the upper deck and stood braced against a solid object so we could take pictures.
The lady at our hotel desk in Florence felt like this trip would not allow us to fully experience Cinque Terre and while I can't argue her perspective, with the guided tour, we did get to see a lot more than we might have if we had just showed up for the day and tried to figure out where to go on our own.
Stefano did a great job and was patient with the slower hikers. Maybe it's a requirement for tour guides, but I was amazed how quickly he learned the names of the 20 members of our group. To my knowledge, you won't know your guide when you first book your tour, but if you find you've gotten Stefano, it's going to be a good day.
This was such an amazing excursion. Martina and Alessandro were incredibly knowledgeable, fun and attentive. The lunch was the best I’ve had in Italy so far and you can’t beat the views from that hike. I would absolutely recommend anyone going to Florence to check this out. Walkabout Florence rocks!!!
Stefano and Olivia were amazing!The tour was so well organized and we felt totally cared for.Best thing we did while in Italy!
Absolutely amazing tour with great tour guides in Martina and Chris. Very knowledgeable about Cinque Terre, as well as, the Tuscany region on the bus ride to the hiking tour. Includes all transportation and alternatives shuttles, trains, etc. if the hike turns out to be too difficult. But be warned, it is not a walk in the park. It is a decent hike. The lunch was great fish appetizer and pasta with pesto, which is the area's specialty. Lucked out with the weather and got to take the boat ride which was a great way to get to the last village and see the coast on the way. Martina and Chris knew everything there is to know about each village, the shops to go to, the shops and places to avoid and directed you accordingly. In the village before the boat ride, Martina gave the group the option of a quick walk/hike up to a viewing area, which we took her up on and it was a great view and way to finish the tour. It is a long day, but that is unavoidable given the amount of hiking, sightseeing, swimming and shopping you will be doing. Would recommend this to anyone going to Florence!!
Fantastic day! Our tour guides, Fabio and Alessandro, were very helpful and made the day a wonderful experience. Definitely wear good shoes and if you're going in the summer, make sure you're dressed appropriately. Most certainly one of the highlights of my trip!
Loved it, such beauty! The hike was hard, but well worth it! Wish we could spend more time at each stop to enjoy the place, but knowing that it's hard due to the distance.
Amazing day!!! Was supposed to go with my family- husband and two kids age 20 and 14 but they became concerned about all of the walking and heat and cancelled. Honestly it would have been too much for them. I decided to go anyway and I’m so happy I did. Martina and Chris were the guides and they were amazing. Shared information all along the way. I was in Martina’s group and I have to say this group tour ran so smoothly. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about how it was organized. Others on the trip were so friendly. The views were absolutely incredible and worth all the steps you take to see it. Afterwards you can treat yourself to something yummy. Definitely need comfortable sneakers, water, sunscreen and a hat. Many things I’d say you can do on your own but with the bus, train, boat and hiking to coordinate it’s better to go with an expert of the area. Do it and enjoy!
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