The Portofino Area is a wonderful place to experience the unique landscape. From your sea kayak you will reach places only for a few people.
The Italian Riviera is a wonderful place to experience the unique landscape created thanks to the people working the land, building terraces rising up from the sea to the sky. We will enjoy hiking the vineyards or admiring them from our sea kayaks.
Given the nature of the trip, anyone with a good level of fitness (e.g. being able to walk for 5 miles every day) can participate.
16/17 year olds are welcome if accompanied by their parents or guardian.
A warm, Italian, welcome awaits you in the heart of Sestri Levante. At 5pm we’ll meet and begin chatting about the itinerary over an aperitivo. We’ll bring the maps, the weather forecast and start to create an experience to remember.
So it begins. After a good nights sleep and a capuccino or two at breakfast we’ll drive the picturesque journey to our embarcation point Monterosso al Mare for our paddling day. Once arrived, there will be a practical briefing about how things will happen on the water. Technique, group management and safety issues will all be included.
If you imagine a sea kayak journey in Italy should involve drifting along on azure seas, enjoying soaring cliffs covered with vineyards, you will love the Cinque Terre National Park. A short paddle from Monterosso we’ll find Vernazza. After beaching the boats we’ll walk through the narrow winding streets up to a vineyard to once again witness the views from on high. After lunch we paddle on to Corniglia, a village perched high on it’s own cliffs. As this is the perfect location in which to watch the sunset, we’ll do so, whilst enjoying dinner on the terrace of our hotel.
For our ultimate paddling day, embarcation is from Corniglia. Cruising past both Manarola with its original harbour, and Riomaggiore we end with the stunning passage of cliffs leading down to Portovenere, often known as the 6th of the Five Lands because of its coloured buildings and narrow lanes with shops, restaurants and gelaterie.
After one more breakfast together we say ciao at the train station at La Spezia. From here it’s very easy to get back to Genoa, or connect to other services that travel further into Tuscany. As we know the local area very well, if there are other places that interest you we’ll pass on any knowledge we have of your planned travels.
Your accommodation will be in a double room with private bathroom in characteristic hotels and bed and breakfast located in quiet areas with great sea views where you will be able to rest and relax in company with friends and a local glass of wine.
You take total advantage of being in the country that’s arguably the food capital of the world.
Lunchtime: we take a break from kayaking/hiking where it’s just strolling distance to a village taverna or a market providing fresh, seasonal produce. Not included.
Dinnertime: We will dine in local restaurants tasting local hand made dishes and wines. Included.
One major difference between Italy and some other cultures, such as the USA, is the subject of tips. Italian workers in the tourism industry earn a living wage that is not reliant on tips to bring their wage up to a reasonable level. It’s not that they are insulted if you tip them, it’s just that it is not a requirement to do so. If you feel that you have received good service, it will be seen as very nice of you to show your appreciation by leaving a tip.
I have no kayaking experience; is this trip for me?
Anyone with at least moderate fitness can participate. We only require you to be confident in getting wet for an unexpected swim.
Once on the beach and when you are properly fitted into your kayak, you are given a full safety briefing and basic introduction to the paddling technique. On the water, we paddle as a group. You learn to paddle by doing it under the guide’s coaching tips. We will be kayaking for around one hour, at a relaxed pace, before the first stop.
I am an experienced paddler; will I find this trip challenging enough?
It depends on what challenges you. As an experienced paddler, you will be free to always roam in a safe ‘chatting distance’. While the less-experienced will swim and relax, you might prefer to practice your roll or improve your rescue and paddling technique.
Where do we go?
We discuss the paddling itinerary together on our Saturday meeting.
Where and if we will be able to paddle will depend on the strength and direction of the wind. If the sea conditions are not safe, we enjoy the views while hiking the island!
Are vegetarians welcome?
Every meal will be local, therefore it will be mainly fish and seafood-based dishes.
There are always different options; just let us know.
Are non-paddling partners welcome to join the tour?
Yes. They might need an independent kind of transportation.
What is there to do besides paddling?
Hike one of the many walking trails in and around the villages; go to a different beach every day; hire a mountain bike, scooter, or car; take some photos or draw; go shopping!