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Trekking from Riomaggiore... Portovenere through Monesteroli: an amazing path
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Choosing the most beautiful trail in the world is practically impossible. If we talk about hiking itineraries that can be done in one day, however, the path from Riomaggiore to Portovenere passing through Monesteroli really has everything to be on top of the list. First of all, it's in the Italian Riviera!

Riomaggiore and the coast of Cinque Terre, Liguria
Riomaggiore and the coast of Cinque Terre
Secondly, it starts from the Cinque Terre, it offers amazing views over the Ligurian coast, it's full of vineyards and maritime pines, and it allows to have a dip in the beautiful Mediterranean sea... Look at the photos, or, even better, try the path, and then decide if this trekking itinerary is worth to be classified as the most beautiful walk on the planet!
Path near Riomaggiore, Liguria
Along the path over Riomaggiore
The trail can be covered all year round, but on the hottest days of summer it is extremely tiring. The Riomaggiore - Portovenere itinerary is quite beaten by tourists, but it's not crowded at all, and the detour to Monesteroli that we propose allows you to discover beautiful secluded places as well as the most fascinating stairway to the sea in the world.
Path Riomaggiore Monesteroli Portovenere with dogs
The path Riomaggiore - Monesteroli - Portovenere is loved by dogs too!
This is a day trip for an intensely beautiful full day: the path has a lot of ups and downs and the total height difference walked at the end of the day will be about 1000 meters. So this itinerary takes at least 8 hours, including of course breaks for lunch, snacks, photos, relaxation and maybe a dip in the crystal clear waters of Monesteroli.
Between Riomaggiore and Portovenere, Liguria
View over the Italian Riviera stretch of coast between Riomaggiore and Portovenere
The trek starts in Riomaggiore, the easternmost village of the Cinque Terre. From here there are many paths, we are interested in the 593v that goes up towards the sanctuary of Madonna di Montenero.
Getting up quickly along paths and "creuze" (the typical Ligurian alleys that run between the cultivated terraces), you get to the sanctuary (342 meters above sea level) after about one hour
Madonna di Montenero Sanctuary over Riomaggiore, Liguria
The Sanctuary of Madonna di Montenero, in panoramic position over Riomaggiore
The building rises in an extraordinarily panoramic position and the view ranges from the Cinque Terre to Palmaria and Tino, the islands in front of Portovenere. Here one can begin to suspect that this is indeed the most beautiful trail in the world... but is it just the beginning. This trekking itinerary is still long...
A panoramic view towards east from the Sanctuary of Madonna di Montenero, Liguria
A panoramic view towards east from the Sanctuary of Madonna di Montenero
After the sanctuary of Montenero the climb is much less steep and the path goes through some woods and offers spectacular views over the Ligurian coast. The next destination is the Telegrafo (Telegraph) hill, at 513 meters high above sea level: from here, you can not climb any higher. A comfortable path goes from the Telegrafo to Sant'Antonio (AV5T, Alta Via of the Cinque Terre). Once arrived at the Valico of Sant'Antonio, the itinerary to Portovenere continues straight, but we propose an amazing detour. In fact, here you can walk down to Casotti and Fossola, from where you can then walk towards Monesteroli. So leave the path AV5T and take the 534.
Path towards Monesteroli, Liguria
Hiking down from Sant'Antonio to Monesteroli, along the path you cross the tiny village of Casotti
The descent takes place first in the woods, until the sea view opens up again, and what a view! The trail crosses terraced vineyards. The leaves, in autumn, take on a wonderful yellow color that stands out against the blue of the sea.
Fossola, path towards Monesteroli, Liguria
The path proposed here goes through the village of Fossola and is more panoramic than the common itinerary Riomaggiore - Portovenere
Fossola, path towards Monesteroli, Liguria
The tiny church of Fossola
Fossola, path towards Monesteroli, Liguria
Vineyards and Monesteroli in the background
Shortly after passing Casotti, turn left and go through the scattered houses of Fossola... here you stop going down and you continue along the coast on the path 535 up to the stairway which, quite steeply, descends to Monesteroli (path 536). It is a difference in height of about 300 meters, all with irregular steps. The views, however, repay the effort.
The steep path to Monesteroli, Liguria
The steep path to Monesteroli is a beautiful, tiring stairway
You cross picturesque houses and terraces partly cultivated until you reach the sea, where the water is always clear (if there is no wave). If you are still not convinced that it is the most beautiful trail in the world, please dive and refresh your ideas!
The sea of Monesteroli, Liguria
Top view of the sea in Monesteroli
The sea of Monesteroli, Liguria
The sea of Monesteroli pays off for all the energy spent along the trek
The problem is that the ascent from Monesteroli to the same 300 meters of steps will make you change your mind. You will say: "The most fascinating walk in the world can not be so difficult." On the other hand, your butt will become as hard as steel, and when you breathe and admire the view ... well, you'll be convinced again that the hiking route Riomaggiore - Monesteroli - Portovenere may really be the most beautiful trekking on the planet. It all sounds a bit schizophrenic, but it's all right.
View towards Riomaggiore from the path above Monesteroli
View towards Riomaggiore from the path above Monesteroli

You may also decide to divide this beautiful path in a two-day trekking: in this case click here to find the best offers for accomodation.
View towards Portovenere from Monesteroli
View towards Portovenere from Monesteroli
Once you have finished the steps of Monesteroli, you continue to climb along the path 535, also meeting some other steps (but less steep) up to Campiglia, at an altitude of 401 meters. In this small town you can drink a panoramic coffee or a refreshing beer. From here, another splendid stairway goes down to the sea (path 528) to the rocky beach of the Persico. And another path described here: from Campiglia to Schiara is really close in beauty to the one of Monesteroli. However, you can not overdo it for the day: the proposed trek is already quite long in itself and you can keep these trails for another trip, otherwise the most beautiful walk in the world becomes a crazy effort.
Path Riomaggiore Portovenere, Liguria
Another beautiful view over Monesteroli from the path Riomaggiore Portovenere
From Campiglia you take the classic route Riomaggiore - Portovenere along the Alta Via of Cinque Terre. At times you will be in the woods, but most frequently you will be admiring the beautiful views over the cliffs of Tramonti and the Palmaria island. Moreover, at a certain point you will find yourselves on the ridge that divides the Ligurian Sea from the Gulf of La Spezia. From here, you can also admire the Apuan Alps and then the city of La Spezia.
From Campiglia to Portovenere, the cliffs of Muzzerone, Liguria
Along the path from Campiglia to Portovenere you see the impressive cliffs of Tramonti and Muzzerone
If you take on this trekking in autumn or on a beautiful winter day, it is likely you will get to Portovenere almost at sunset. In any case, the wonderful town of Portovenere is the worthy conclusion of the most beautiful trekking in the world... or, anyway, of one of the most memorable paths you will ever find on the sea.
The castle and the church of Portovenere at sunset, Liguria
The castle and the church of Portovenere at sunset
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