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Hiking the Italian Riviera

From Chiavari to Montallegro with views over Portofino
Travel itineraries, hiking, kayaking and sailing in Italy and around the world

The path from Chiavari to Montallegro isn't very famous nor crowded, but it is one of the most fascinating of the Italian Riviera. Thanks to this trekking itinerary, and to the many others nearby, such as the ones on the promontory of Portofino, you can really appreciate the best parts of Liguria. (The other option is kayaking, to live some unique experiences!)

Path from Chiavari to Montallegro
Path from Chiavari to Montallegro
There are several access points to the path from Chiavari to Montallegro. The most beautiful is the one at the end of the sea promenade of Chiavari, in the western part of town. By following the road, you will get to a U-shaped turn above the railway, where you will take a not so promising path.

Instead, in a few minutes you will start having beautiful sea views and you will get to the sanctuary of Le Grazie, that offers a beautiful panorama. Then, with a short and quick ascent that begins to the right of the sanctuary (when you watch it) you climb to a couple of picturesque stone houses that have an even better view.
Path of Le Grazie from Chiavari to Montallegro
Path of Le Grazie from Chiavari to Montallegro
The hill of Le Grazie, that you can explore thanks to the omonymous path, allows you to see this king of views over Chiavari, Portofino and the Ligurian Sea, while you walk among olive trees.
Path of Le Grazie from Chiavari to Montallegro
Panoramic view from the old housed on the hill of Le Grazie, near Chiavari

From the path of Le Grazie you can continue hiking to Montallegro by going west, towards Mount Telegrafo and Zoagli. You will pass behind some nice villages such as Sant'Andrea di Rovereto. The itinerary is well marked, and, after Mount Telegrafo, the signs will point to Mount Anchetta and then Montallegro, with some more bucolic views over the sea.
Path of Le Grazie from Chiavari to Montallegro
Panorama from the hill between Chiavari and Zoagli
If you miss the deviation to Montallegro, you will end up in Zoagli, another great walk, between small alleys, olive trees, panoramic churches and villas with a sea view. In some place you have to cross the road, but it is worth it, also because at the end you will be on te beach of Zoagli.

But we are interested in the hiking itinerary to Montallegro, so to proceed towards the Sanctuary, the path climbs up in the nature, far from traffic, in woods with many panoramic points over the sea and the mountains of Liguria.
Liguria viewed from the path from Chiavari to Montallegro
Liguria viewed from the path from Chiavari to Montallegro
This is the beauty of Liguria, with views ranging from the sea to the mountains. You just need to turn the head slightly.
The Gulf of Tigullio viewed from the path from Chiavari to Montallegro
The Gulf of Tigullio viewed from the path from Chiavari to Montallegro
Approaching Montallegro, the views move towards the Promontory of Portofino, and what a view!
Portofino viewed from the path from Chiavari to Montallegro
Portofino viewed from the path from Chiavari to Montallegro
You never get tired of these views, and depending on the season and the time, the colors and the light change. When you get close to the sanctuary, you come across a picturesque building, the Pellegrino hotel, very scenic, where you can drink and eat something: it depends a lot on your pace and breaks, but 4 hours of trekking can be one reasonable time to get here from Chiavari.
Portofino viewed from the path from Chiavari to Montallegro
Portofino viewed from the path from Chiavari to Montallegro
Portofino viewed from the path from Chiavari to Montallegro
Portofino viewed from the path from Chiavari to Montallegro
The sanctuary of the Madonna di Montallegro stands majestically above Rapallo, at an altitude of 612 meters above sea level.
The sanctuary of Madonna di Montallegro
The sanctuary of Madonna di Montallegro
At this point, to return to Chiavari, if you do not want to repeat the same itinerary, you can hike down to Rapallo along a long and wide stairway (downhill, this part of the trek takes about an hour) to Rapallo station where you can take the train or a bus. This path is not as fascinating as the one from Chiavari, but it offers some nice views, especially at sunset.
Hiking between Rapallo and the sanctuary of Madonna di Montallegro
Hiking at sunset to Rapallo from the sanctuary of Madonna di Montallegro
Alternatively, a cableway (not always open) connects Rapallo and Montallegro; obviously, there is even the paved road, if you find a passage.
There are other routes to get to Montallegro: as well as from Rapallo or the hills above Recco, you can also start from Maxena (a fraction of Chiavari) or from Leivi. The path described here starting from Chiavari, as well as having the advantage of being comfortable with public transport, it is in my opinion the most intense and fascinating, one of the most beautiful paths in Liguria, so... have a good trip!
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