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The Italian Riviera

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4.2 stars(19 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
20212022
10 days From £1,995 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 by rail, 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

4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 19 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (7)
  2. 4 stars
    (9)
  3. 3 stars
    (2)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Mr C Williams

4 stars

Submitted 13 Jul 2019

The holiday overall was fine, as we had done this trip before, two years ago. The Villa Balbi is a very good hotel with excellent facilities and staff. The journey home was not something I would recommend to anyone. It was something that you, Great Rail, could not control; the total cancellation of our train from Sestri Levanti to Milan. We ended up in a coach, driven by someone who in my opinion, was dangerous, and had no knowledge of Milan and the location of our train station at all. We did, eventually, arrive at Mulhouse, after a couple of quick train changes, although rather later than was planned. The following day, when arriving in Paris we thought nothing else could go wrong. On getting ready to get on our Euro Star train we had a last minute alteration to all our tickets as the train had been changed, which meant that we were seated randomly in three different carriages, which spoilt the final journey home. Once again this was out of the control of Great Rail. Let me add that our tour manager, Rosie Sharp, was excellent in calmly dealing with all of the problems we encountered, and also, we were very lucky to have a gentleman on our trip who spoke fluent Italian. This was our thirteenth journey with Great Rail. I have never been superstitious before.?

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr P Reeves

5 stars

Submitted 11 Jul 2019

Everything was excellent from start to finish.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs J Ward

2 stars

Submitted 19 Oct 2018

None the hotels appeared to be aware of food allergies I had previously notified to GRJ and which GRJ had acknowledged

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr W Bower

4 stars

Submitted 18 Oct 2018

Very disappointing room size at the hotel for a gold customer

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs M Steel

5 stars

Submitted 06 Oct 2018

Wonderful holiday - marvellous company. Accommodation and food good. Trips were well organised and interesting, but we also had enough free time.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr P Turner

5 stars

Submitted 27 Sep 2018

The resort, hotel, weather and Tour Manager were all excellent. What more could you want!!

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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Europe by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

The definitive guide to our 2022 summer rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe. When ordering for postal delivery, you will only receive our collection of European holidays. If you are interested in UK holidays, these are available on the website.

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