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Surrounded by harbours and forgotten villages, head down to the riviera coast where the impressive buildings of northern Tuscany meet the glowing Mediterranean and charming fishing villages.

Price:

From £1,595

Duration: 10. For more information telephone: 01904 734182.
Departures: From 13 April to 28 September
Start point: London St Pancras International Station
End point: London St Pancras International Station
 

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This exciting European rail journey starts at London St Pancras International. If you have some time to explore before boarding your train, we have a comprised a wonderful collection of Greentraveller's Facebook fan suggestions of what to do in the area. Some excellent recommendations include King's Place for a relaxing atmosphere and a cup of coffee, the free exhibitions at the British Library and a tasty lunch at Acorn House. 

The Italian Riviera Tour

Day 1 
Our holiday begins on the Eurostar from St Pancras International to Paris in Standard Premier Class, with a light meal and drinks served on board during the journey. Arriving in the French capital, we cross the city by coach to connect with the high-speed TGV for our onward journey to Mulhouse. We stay overnight at the Mercure Mulhouse Centre Hotel. 

Day 2
This morning we travel in First Class via Basel and through the stunning snow-capped Swiss Alps to Milan. We change trains in Milan and continue by rail to Sestri Levante, a picturesque town set on the coast overlooking the glittering Mediterranean. The town boasts a large beach, with houses built right up to the edge of the sand. On arrival in Sestri Levante we transfer to the beautiful Villa Balbi Hotel, set on the wide promenade facing the Baia delle Favole. After dinner this evening you could take a stroll along the golden beach, sip a drink on the seafront promenade and indulge in a favourite Italian pastime: people-watching.

Day 3
Today you have a free day to explore Sestri Levante. The heart of the town is built on an island, now connected to the mainland, and is crammed with beautiful villas on medieval streets. The Baia delle Favole, situated on one side of the promontory, is the liveliest part of the town, with its port, promenade, and shops. The Baia del Silenzio, on the other side of the island, has a more relaxed atmosphere, and is well-known for the fishing traditions which are still handed down through the generations.

Day 4
This morning we set out after breakfast to explore the Cinque Terre, made up of five incredibly picturesque villages set on the coast: Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola, Corniglia and Riomaggiore. The villages are set within part of a National Park and share UNESCO World Heritage status thanks to the breathtaking scenery along this stretch of the Italian coastline. The regional train (Standard Class) winds its way along the rugged coast, travelling through tunnels carved deep into the rock and emerging into steep wine terraces, with villages clinging precariously to sheer cliffs or wedged between the hills and the beach. We alight in Riomaggiore, where we have the option of joining the 'Via dell'Amore', a winding pathway linking the five villages, for a walk along the cliff top to Manarola, with waves breaking on the rocks far below. We continue by train to the tiny village of Vernazza, enjoying some free time to soak up the atmosphere, possibly with a drink in a waterfront café or restaurant, before returning to Sestri Levante.

Day 5
Today we cruise to the famous resort town of Portofino, a gloriously Italian fishing village surrounded by olive groves and pine trees. Colourful terraces of pastel- painted houses lead down to the semi-circular harbour, which normally contains a contrasting mix of sleek, expensive yachts and simple, wooden fishing boats. It is easy to see why Portofino is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful ports in the Mediterranean. Lunch is in a local restaurant before we continue along the stunning coastline to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso. Here a bronze statue of Christ stands on the sea bed. It is clearly visible when the sea is calm and is said to protect local divers.

Day 6
Today you are free to explore at your own pace. Perhaps journey into Genoa and visit one of the largest aquariums in Europe, home to over one thousand different species including penguins, dolphins and seals. Alternatively, why not take to the water and view the Cinque Terre from a different angle, or travel along the coast to the stunning port town of Santa Margherita Ligure to visit its impressive 16th century castle.

Day 7 
This morning we travel by coach to Pisa, where we enjoy a guided tour that includes the city's beautiful Field of Miracles. Here we see the world-famous Leaning Tower, which began to lean as soon as it was built and was used by Galileo to study gravity. We also see the marvellous white marble Duomo, often overlooked by tourists who flock to see the bell-tower, but a true gem in its own right and one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture, with its beautiful marble façade and sublime Moorish mosaics. This afternoon we visit the city of Lucca - Tuscany's best-kept secret; a place of true beauty that has managed to escape the tourist crowds. Majestic city walls encircle a Roman and Medieval heart packed with piazzas, art galleries and tiny churches, all connected by an intricate network of narrow cobbled streets. Splendid Renaissance architecture mingles with historic buildings from the Middle Ages, making the city a pleasure to explore on foot. We enjoy free time for you to explore or perhaps to enjoy lunch. A stroll around the wide walkways along the top of the ancient ramparts is an excellent way to discover the true charm of the city, while you can get a bird's-eye view of Lucca by climbing the Guinigi Tower. 

Day 8
This morning we travel by regional train to the picturesque fishing village of Camogli. After a guided tour of the centre and the harbour, which is full of colourful fishing boats, we return to Sestri Levante and enjoy dinner in the hotel this evening.

Day 9
This morning we board a regional train and travel via Genoa to Turin. Here we spend the night at the NH Ambasciatori Hotel. This afternoon you have time to explore Turin, which spreads out over a pretty network of avenues and squares from the 17th and 18th century. Visit the Duomo di Torino, the city's Renaissance cathedral, and the Piazza Castello, the heart of Turin.

Day 10
Today we travel in First Class on the high-speed TGV to Paris. On arrival in Paris we cross the city by coach to connect with the Eurostar to London. 

What price includes

 
  • First & Standard Class rail travel
  • 9 nights' hotel accommodation with breakfast each day
  • 1 lunch and 6 dinners
  • 2 full day excursions & 1 half day excursion
  • All transfers
  • Services of your Tour Manager throughout
 

Location

 

Plan your journey by train

Meeting point:
London St Pancras International Station

Nearest train station to meeting point:
London St Pancras International Station

Transfer to meeting point:

St Pancras station is connected both to the national and international train network and London underground (Kings Cross St Pancras station)

 
Plan your journey by train to London St. Pancras
 

Plan your journey by train

Finish point:
London St Pancras International Station

Nearest train station to finish point:
London St Pancras

Transfer to finish point:
Operator drops guests off at station

 
Plan your return train journey from London St Pancras