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The Italian Riviera

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3.9 stars(49 reviews)
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Small Group

Uncover the best of the glittering Italian Riviera

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
10 days From £2,395 per person

2022 Tour code: RPS22

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.

Something Special Badge

Our Something Special collection features accommodation in 4 and 5-star hotels known for their scenic locations and excellent facilities.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

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 the handsome Italian city of Turin, where we spend the night in a local hotel.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Sestri Levante

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

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Sestri Levante

You're free to explore Sestri Levante. On one side of the town is the Bay of Fairytales, named Hans Christian Anderson who once lived in the town. 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, exploring the intertwining streets lined with rainbow-coloured buildings. There's 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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Cinque Terre

We explore the Cinque Terre, a famous collection of picturesque coastal villages set within a National Park. The villages share UNESCO World Heritage status thanks to their old-world charm and breathtaking scenery. We travel 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 explore here with our local guide.

Includes
  • 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, the town has a stunning natural harbour surrounded by pastel-painted houses. We enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, savouring views across the idyllic harbour and ocean beyond as we dine. We continue to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, a stunning abbey hidden in a stunning bay. Originally built in the 10th century, the abbey has a rich and fascinating history. Underwater, near the abbey, is a statue of 'Christ in the Abyss', said to protect local sailors.

*landing at San Fruttuoso is dependent on weather. If it is not possible, the boat will land at Santa Margherita.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - Sestri Levante

This morning, we take a short walk to a traditional trattoria for an insight into local cuisine, as we're treated to a pesto making lesson. 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 the day relaxing and enjoying the hotel's gardens. Or, admire the winding medieval streets, charming buildings and splendid harbour views on a walk through the town centre.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 – Pisa and Lucca

We travel to Pisa, a city famed for its Leaning Tower, which started to lean as soon as it was built and was used by Galileo to study gravity. Our guided tour here takes us to the Field of Miracles, where we have time to admire the iconic tower, as well as the white marble Duomo with its sublime Moorish mosaics. This afternoon we pay a visit to Lucca. Here, majestic city walls encircle a Roman and medieval centre packed with piazzas, art galleries and tiny churches, connected by narrow cobbled streets. You have free time to grab lunch, a great opportunity to sample some Tuscan specialties.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – Camogli

We travel by rail to the picturesque fishing village of Camogli, a beautiful town that's slightly more overlooked than its more 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 harbour area, lined with attractive peachy-hued buildings, we return to our hotel in Sestri Levante for dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Nice

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

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 – London

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

Includes
  • 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.

Hotels

Grand Hotel Villa Balbi, Sestri Levante

Grand Hotel Villa Balbi, Sestri Levante

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Hotel Due Mari, Sestri Levante

Hotel Due Mari, Sestri Levante

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Trains

Eurostar
TGV

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Upgrade your room at Sestri Levante
Extending your European holiday in Paris
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

3.9 stars3.9 / 5 · 49 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (16)
  2. 4 stars
    (21)
  3. 3 stars
    (4)
  4. 2 stars
    (6)
  5. 1 star
    (2)

D Denman

4 stars

Submitted 30/Jun

I don’t want to

Collected by Trustpilot

Dadamac Connect

3 stars

Submitted 26/Jun

Our tour guide was great but the hotels and the whole experience wasn't 4 star. This was our second trip with Great Rail Journeys our first to Lake Garda was fantastic. Not sure if we'll be going with them again next time unless they improve which is a shame.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr Roger West

2 stars

Submitted 25/Jun

Rail travel was at times stressful, with strikes, delays,breakdowns and accidents- no fault of the holiday company. The Travel Manager was extremely helpful and efficient throughout the holiday. Hotels in Turin and Nice had excellent facilities and breakfasts. The Hotel du Marie in Sestri Levante was a big disappointment.The room was tired,noisy with faulty air conditioning and a bathroom tiny and old.The food was awful and the staff were not very friendly.The garden and swimming pool were nice and of a three star standard. Trips were generally good although the three villages in one day was a test of endurance.More time in Luca would have been good. The holiday was below our expectations for the thousands of pounds it cost.

Collected by Trustpilot

MRS M THOMPSON

4 stars

Submitted 23/Jun

We enjoyed our trip to the Italian Riviera. Excellent journey and good hotels. The tour guide was excellent and went out of his way to be helpful. We couldn't fault the hotels in Turin and Nice The hotel in Sestri Levante was very comfortable, in an excellent position and with beautiful gardens. While the breakfast was excellent we found the evening meal to be very disappointing - little choice. poor quality and indifferent service. We observed locals receiving much better service and meals .- the sort we expected in a hotel of this quality. We enjoyed all the tours on offer . We were surprised that there was no transport on the 2 occasions we travelled from Sestri station- very tiring after a long hot day. The end of our journey was spoilt by the non appearance of a coach to transport us across Paris. Michael seemed unable to rectify the situation and we had a very stressful journey by taxi in a thunderstorm - only just catching our Eurostar train. We are surprised that no one has offered an explanation or apology for this. We were very impressed by the luggage service which was very efficient and useful.

Collected by Trustpilot

C Dawson

2 stars

Submitted 19/Jun

Great Rail Journeys is advertised as a company with attention to detail, comfort and style, first class travel. Don’t be fooled by this as my experience was not that. The first problem is we were downgraded on the second leg of the journey and promised a refund which I still haven’t received at the point of writing. There were so many times we stood waiting for connections and coaches used when rail was what we thought we were getting. The hotel in Sestri Levante, Due Mari, was far from adequate and the food was not good, definitely not a 4 *establishment. I was asked if I was a vegetarian prior to travel and there was no purpose as they were not prepared for it. Italy is known for its great food, but not in our hotel. Some of our group( I can’t speak for all) felt we were treated like 2nd class citizens and some staff got cross if we tried to enjoy our breakfast in the garden as that wasn’t for us. Not a place to recommend. If it hadn’t been for our tour guide Emilie, I don’t know what we’d have done. She was fantastic. A letter has gone to the company explaining issues, I’m wanting compensation for an inferior trip..we shall see!

Collected by Trustpilot

J Turner

2 stars

Submitted 18/Jun

Not a good experience! No promised First Class travel through France, hotels definitely not 4* - rooms small, bathrooms even smaller and the food in the hotels awful! Everything was badly organised/co-ordinated resulting in delays with coach transfers etc. The only saving grace was our tour guide Emilie - a lovely lady, who did her very best in trying circumstances - she gets 5*! Still awaiting a promised £45 refund for 2nd class travel instead of 1st and intend to pursue compensation for a very poor holiday. Would not recommend this trip at all, and will not be booking another trip with GRJ.

Collected by Trustpilot

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Europe by Rail 2022

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