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The Italian Riviera

4.0 stars(93 reviews)
Small Group

Uncover the best of the glittering Italian Riviera

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
10 days From £2,195 per person

2023 Tour code: RPS23

About the tour

Discover the colourful villages that cling to the Italian Riviera, with the glittering Mediterranean delivering picture-postcard vistas as we explore the Cinque Terre and Portofino. Get a feel of local life as we explore Pisa and the ancient walled town of Lucca and sample Italian flavours as we enjoy a pesto making experience.


What’s included


Day 1 – London and Turin

Our holiday begins at London St Pancras, where we meet before taking the Eurostar to Paris. Changing trains in the French capital, we continue to Turin for a night in a local hotel.

Please Note: For departure 11/05/2023 and 18/05/2023 you will stay at the Hotel Carlton Lyon in Lyon.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Sestri Levante

You have a free morning in Turin, a beautiful city with both French and Italian influences. You could make a trip to see one of the city's most famous features, the Turin Shroud. Believed to be an imprint of Christ's face after his crucifixion, the shroud has been displayed in Turin since 1578. We continue to Sestri Levante, a town set on a peninsula overlooking the glittering Mediterranean and surrounded by two gorgeous bays.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Sestri Levante

You're free to explore Sestri Levante. On one side you'll find the Bay of Fairytales, named for Hans Christian Anderson who once lived here. With its port, promenade and shops, it's the liveliest part of town. On the other side is the Bay of Silence, also known as Portobello. Considered one of the best beaches in Italy, this is a wonderful spot for a stroll. Perhaps take a walk through the Old Town and explore the intertwining streets lined with rainbow-coloured buildings. There are an abundance of appealing cafés, bars and restaurants you could visit here - maybe to sample the catch of the day or relax with an Aperol Spritz.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Cinque Terre

We explore the Cinque Terre today, a famous collection of picturesque coastal villages set within its own National Park. The villages share UNESCO World Heritage status thanks to their old-world charm and breathtaking scenery, and we begin by travelling by train along the stunning coastline to historic Riomaggiore, where colourful houses rise from the tiny harbour and small beach. We take to the waters next, sailing to elegant Vernazza. Located at the mouth of a river, the town's cobbled streets are lined with quaint cafés and crowned by a medieval castle. Our final visit is to Monterosso. The most northerly of the villages, it's known for its large sandy beach and lemon trees. We have some time to look around with our local guide.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Portofino and San Fruttuoso

We take to the waters on a scenic cruise to Portofino, a glorious fishing village surrounded by olive groves. Highly regarded as one of the most beautiful port towns in the Mediterranean, there's a stunning natural harbour surrounded by pastel-painted houses. We enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, savouring views across the idyllic harbour and blue seas beyond as we dine. We continue to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, a Benedictine monastery set in a stunning bay beneath wooded hillsides. Originally built in the 10th century, the abbey has a rich and fascinating history. Nearby is the underwater statue of 'Christ in the Abyss', said to protect local sailors.

If weather conditions mean the boat can't land at San Fruttuoso, you'll land at Santa Margherita instead, a tranquil, picture-perfect village bursting with old-fashioned Italian charm.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - Sestri Levante

We take a short walk to a traditional trattoria for an insight into the local cuisine, as we take part in a traditional pesto-making workshop. We discover how to make delicious pesto following a traditional Genoese recipe before sitting down to enjoy a mouth-watering pasta lunch. For the rest of the day, you're free to explore Sestri Levante further. Perhaps spend time relaxing and enjoying the hotel's gardens or admire the winding medieval streets, charming buildings and splendid harbour views on a stroll through the town centre.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 – Pisa and Lucca

Travelling to Pisa, a city famed for its Leaning Tower, we set out on a guided tour that includes the Field of Miracles, where we have time to admire the iconic tower, which started to lean as soon as it was built and was used by Galileo to study gravity. We also see the white marble Duomo with its sublime Moorish mosaics before visiting historic Lucca. Here, majestic city walls encircle a Roman and medieval centre packed with piazzas, art galleries and tiny churches - all connected by narrow cobbled streets. You have free time to get some lunch, a great opportunity to sample authentic Tuscan specialties.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – Camogli

We catch a local train to the picturesque fishing village of Camogli, a beautiful town that's been overlooked by its glamorous neighbours. Set on the side of a cliff, the town climbs from a dark pebble beach and beautiful harbour, filled with colourful fishing boats, up to groves of pine and olive trees. After a guided tour of the town centre and beautiful seashore, lined with attractive peachy-hued buildings, we return to our hotel for dinner.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Nice

Travelling west through Italy by rail, we skirt the stunning Ligurian coastline on our way to the French city of Nice, where we spend the night. There's free time to get to know this glamorous resort. Located on the stunning Côte d'Azur, the views are incredible. Perhaps take a stroll along the palm-tree-lined Promenade des Anglais followed by a visit to one of the city's irresistible pavement cafés or enticing bars.

Please Note: For departures 27/04/23, 25/05/23. 01/06/23, 22/06/23, 29/06/23, 24/08/23, 07/09/23, 14/09/23 and 12/10/23 you will overnight at the Best Western Plus Hotel La Marina in St Raphael.

For depatures 11/05/2023, 15/06/2023, 31/08/2023 and 21/09/2023 you will overnight at the Grand Hotel Londra in Sanremo.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – London

Our holiday comes to an end. Bidding farewell to Nice, we take the train to Paris. Here, we join the Eurostar service back to London St Pancras.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Hotel Due Mari, Sestri Levante

Hotel Due Mari, Sestri Levante

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4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 93 reviews

  1. 5 stars
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  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star


5 stars

Submitted 29/May

A wonderful adventure!! We were looked after all the way by our amazing tour manager. The places we visited had been on my bucket list for some time and didn’t disappoint. Our whole group got on really well together. A wonderful experience. It’s our fourth Great Rail Journey’s holiday. Can’t praise them enough.

Collected by Trustpilot

L Field

3 stars

Submitted 13/May

The holiday visited great places and the schedule was fine. The low rating is because the meals at the Hotel Due Marie, was poor and not of the standard I expected with Great Rail.

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C Shead

4 stars

Submitted 30 Oct 2022

Had a very enjoyable holiday. The weather was perfect. Had a good group, and a very good Tour Manager.

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Ms Gillian Pollock

3 stars

Submitted 27 Oct 2022

Hotels were not good standard and as advertised Tour manager not on hand when needed

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Marion Pollard

5 stars

Submitted 27 Oct 2022

Very enjoyable and beautiful places we visited

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Mrs R Keen

4 stars

Submitted 24 Oct 2022

Lovely outings, excellent tour manager, but Sestri Levante hotel not up to the standard I would have expected of the rating someone seems to have awarded it!

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