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Home Italy Kayaking Tours Kayaking Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera

Kayaking Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera

June and September
8 Days
Genoa GOA


Cinque Terre and the Riviera

Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera – La Riviera di Levante or Golfo Paradiso  is one of the most magically beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. Steeped in history and set against a rough mountain background, the towns of the Riviera seem like pastel gems set against the vivid blue of the Mediterranean. On the New York Times list, "52 Places to Go in 2019"



Life of the Sea

To explore this area by kayak is to experience the life of the sea that is at the heart and soul of this special place. Warm water, sun drenched beaches, great food, and the harmony of life at the sea’s edge has attracted artists, poets, and writers for over two centuries. Byron, Shelley, D.H. Lawrence, Hans Christian Andersen, and Virginia Woolf came here to write, and today, visitors from all over the world are drawn by the Riviera lifestyle.

Culture and Cuisine

Kayaking the Riviera lets us observe both the subtle details and the grand vistas of this unique place and at a pace that also allows us the time to immerse ourselves in the culture. With a focus on locally sourced Mediterranean cuisine, this trip is really a feast for the senses. We take time to enjoy crisp, warm, freshly baked focaccia scented with rosemary, a glass of chilled local white wine, and the very best reward at the end of a paddling day – a frosted cup of gelato! 

Incomparable Cinque Terre

To kayak the coast of the five villages in the Cinque Terre is to step back in time – tiny medieval villages tucked into ravines of this steep coastline thatched with vineyards, where each of the Cinque Terre has a distinct dialect and atmosphere. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, in large part because of the extensive system of contoured terraces and muretti (low stone walls) that span this dramatic landscape, you’ll also visit the sixth “Terre” – Portovenere – and the jet-set haven of Portofino, both of which date back to Roman times.
Kayaking Vernazza Harbor

Slow Life Down

Clear warm water invites us to swim at nearly every stop and each afternoon finds us in a beautiful town with winding streets to wander and make discoveries, while every evening we go out to an intimate local restaurant to sample the best food the area has to offer. This summer – take time to slow life down to the pace of a paddle stroke and experience the beauty and culture of Italy from a truly unique perspective.
Evening Sun, Riomaggiore


Day 1

Arrival in Genoa

Your guides will meet the group at 5:30 PM 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 lane ways 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. 
Overnight: Best Western Porto Antico
Meals: Dinner
Day 2

Recco, Camogli, and the Abbey of San Fruttuoso

Boarding our van, we will drive along the Riviera through beautiful beach towns and past pastel colored villas all the while enjoying enticing glimpses of Mediterranean blue waters of the Gulf of Genoa. Arriving at our launch point at the town of Recco, we’ll have a brief but comprehensive introduction to the kayaks before setting off. Our first stop is the town of Camogli and after a stop for refreshment, we’ll continue along the coast to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso that dates from the 13th century. A short paddle takes us to Stella Maris, an historical residence that has been converted to a boutique hotel. One of the most magical spots on the Riviera, the current structure is built on the ruins of a monastery from the 8th century, and it was here in 1821 Lord Byron wrote:
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more, From these our interviews, in which I steal From all I may be, or have been before, To mingle with the Universe, and feel What I can ne’er express, Yet cannot all conceal.
Overnight: Storica Residenza Stella Maris
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3

Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure and Sestri Levante

Setting off along the coast of Parco Naturale Regionale Portofino, our first destination is famous Portofino. Dating from Roman times, it has long been Italy’s premier coastal resort and still attracts celebrities from around the world. We’ll paddle into the famously beautiful harbor and stop for a gelato before continuing along to our take-out at the Santa Margherita Ligure. A short drive takes us to the charming town of Sestri Levante. This charming seaside town has a history that dates back to the Roman empire. There will be time to wander the town before dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Villa Bardi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4

Cinque Terre: Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza

Setting off after breakfast we’ll drive along the Riviera coast to Monterosso al Mare, the first of the five towns that comprise the Cinque Terre. Launching the kayaks we'll paddle to our first stop the picturesque village of Vernazza. After landing on the beach in the town’s small harbor, we’ll explore narrow alleyways and climb into the vineyards for a view that captures the iconic scenery of Cinque Terre. Kayaking beyond Vernazza we'll get a sense of the grand expanse of Cinque Terre. Our home for tonight is Corniglia where we will enjoy a sunset dinner on a terrace with spectacular views of the sea and this hilltop village.
Overnight: Hotel Cecio
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5

Cinque Terre: Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore

After breakfast, we’ll load our kayaks and continue to paddle the coast of Cinque Terre National Park. As we glide through warm blue water, the panorama of Cinque Terre unfolds before us – steep cliffs topped with vineyards along which the towns are set a few kilometers apart.  As we skirt the shoreline, Corniglia reveals itself like a castle set atop the cliffs overlooking the sea. Our destination are the villages of Manarola and Riomaggiore. There will be time to explore the final two of the five villages of Cinque Terre.  This evening we’ll enjoy local wine and dining on the terrace of a seafood restaurant in Riomaggiore. 
Overnight: Hotel Cecio
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6


After breakfast we board our van to climb along the high road above the Cinque Terre. The drive affords spectacular sweeping views on the way to Portovenere, the “sixth village” of Cinque Terre. Launching the kayaks we make a short crossing to the island of Palmaria and a stop at the beach Spiaggia del Pozzale for lunch. Paddling around the island we reach the dramatic entry to the harbor of Portovenre (the Port of Venus) that is marked by the soaring walls of Castle Doria and an 11th century gothic church build on a much older Roman site. Our ultimate destination is our waterfront hotel. After landing there will be time to explore winding lanes and castle ramparts of the town before our final Riviera dinner.
Overnight: Le Terrazze
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7

Portovenere and La Spezia

After a relaxed breakfast on the hotel’s terrace, we’ll transfer to La Spezia Centrale railway station. From this rail hub, it is possible to easily return to Genoa or continue on to popular destinations in Tuscany and beyond. Your guides will ensure that you make the right connection to the next part of your Italian journey. Arrivederci! 
Overnight: N/A
Meals: Breakfast


Best Western Porto Antico, Genoa

A beautifully renovated old building located in the heart of Genoa’s Old City is an ideal starting point for our journey. Nicely appointed comfortable rooms along with very friendly helpful staff are what we like the most about this hotel.

Villa Bardi

A beautiful family run Agriturismo overlooking the sea.  True farm to table cuisine.


Hotel Cecio, Corniglia

Cecio is a local family owned and operated hotel with simply the very best views in all Corniglia. Dinner on the terrazzo at Cecio is one of the highlights of the trip.

Le Terrazze, Portovenere

Set on the water’s edge, Le Terrazze has a private beach and sweeping views of Portovenere and the Golfo La Spezia – “The Poets Gulf”. A modern hotel that is designed to mirror the tall multihued buildings of Portovenere, Le Terrazze has comfortable rooms and a very good restaurant.

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At this time we do not offer any extensions for this trip but please feel free to call us about added travel options at 1-800-677-0877. We have spent a lot of time in and around the destinations we offer and are more than happy to share our experience.

Dates & Availability

Trip Length
6/3/24 - 6/10/24
6/3/24 6/10/24 8 days
9/8/24 - 9/13/24
9/8/24 9/13/24 7 days
2024 Departure
NOTE: Trips showing as 'Available' have at least 4 places open. All prices are $USD unless otherwise stated.

What Is Included

  • All accommodations as specified in Itinerary
  • All meals as specified in Itinerary
  • Train station transfer on the last day of scheduled itinerary
  • Ground transportation and attraction entry fees
  • Expedition sea kayaks and equipment including PFDs
  • Safety equipment including medical kit, radios, and cell phones
  • Support van and luggage transfers

What Is Not Included

  • Airfares
  • Meals other than specified in the trip itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages and items of a personal nature
  • Tipping of guides
  • Single Supplement - $850 US
  • Insurance of any kind (we strongly suggest that you purchase travel insurance)
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NOTE - A trip showing as 'Available' has at least 4 places open.
Total Deposit: $ 75000 USD
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