A short train ride brings you to Riomaggiore, the southernmost of the five villages. Here you will start the most famous of all walks in the area: the classic coastal walk that links the five villages. Begin with a short stroll through Riomaggiore and along a short stretch of the ‘Via dell'Amore'. Next is a beautiful but strenuous trail through the vineyards (train ride optional). This takes you to Manarola, an attractive little village with steep multi-coloured houses overlooking a rocky port. From Manarola, make your way up through a stunning terraced landscape to the village of Volastra, then continue your walk along one of the most beautiful trails in the area. Through terraced vineyards and the occasional bit of forest, you approach Corniglia, perched on a ridge overlooking the sea.
Next is the little hamlet of Prevo, walking through terraced vineyards and the occasional citrus grove. Enjoy some of the best views in the region as you approach Vernazza, which is dominated by its old fortress. Follow the contours of the hillside on a narrow track that leads you up and down, before a fairly steep descent takes you into the village itself. After a day of walking, perhaps wind down with a drink in Vernazza, on the wonderful town square at the harbour, resplendent with its brightly painted boats. In the late afternoon you will take the train back to Levanto. (B)