Why not spice up those long lazy days at the beach with a walk or trek that still allows you to enjoy the sea views, but removed from the crowds and immersed in nature?
Here are five panoramic walks not to miss when at the beach in Italy.
LIGURIA: on the Italian Riviera, from Portovenere to Riomaggiore along the ‘Infinite’ Path
This 14-km trail connects Portovenere with Riomaggiore, the first of the Cinque Terre villages. Plan at least a half day.
Begin at Doria Castle, a stately military fortification built by the powerful Genoa Republic, for an immediate good view over the Gulf of the Poets and the small islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. From here, take the CAI (Club Alpino Italiano, Italian Alpine Club) trail marked in white and red to Campiglia. Climb to Colle Telegrafo (513m), where the views get even more spectacular. Resist the temptation to stop for pasta with pesto at the Colle del Telegrafo restaurant, but perhaps indulge in a slice of cake, then begin the descent to the Cinque Terre National Park, with its typical cultivated terraces and dry stone walls. Stop at the Sanctuary of Nostra Madonna di Montenero, 300 meters above sea level. Finally, head down to ever so charming Riomaggiore and reward yourself with local specialties, including focaccia, seafood and Vermentino wine.
[Trail with sea view in the Cinque Terre National Park.]
MARCHE: Monte Conero, Portonovo loop
This short walk, about an hour, is best enjoyed in the coolest hours of the day in summer. It is easy and encompasses the best of Monte Conero Regional Park, the 572-meter-high mountain that gives the name to the stretch of coast just south of Ancona in Le Marche.
It departs at the small square in Portonovo, following the signs for Hotel Fortino Napoleonico and on to Lago Grande, edged by luxuriant rushes. Then begin the views, which include the landmark Two Sisters, two white faraglioni, sea stacks, jutting out of the sea at one end of the small cove, the symbol of the Conero; and, in the distance, the Grotta del Mortarolo.
[View from the Portonovo loop of the Two Sisters faraglioni rocks.]
From the beach, go up to the Church of Santa Maria, the turning point in the trail heading back to Lago Profondo. From its right bank departs the path leading back to the square in Portonovo.
CAMPANIA: Amalfi Coast, Sentiero degli Dei
Among Italy’s most scenic coastal walking trails, the nine-kilometer (5.6 miles) ‘Pathway of the Gods’ (Sentiero degli Dei) winds its way through vertical cliffs and man-made terraces hundreds of meters above the sparkling waters of the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy.
It begins at the main square, Piazza Capasso, in the tiny village of Bomerano, where you’ll find signs for ‘Sentiero degli Dei’ (CAI n.327), and ends in Nocelle, just above Positano.
You’ll be immersed among Mediterranean scrub and vines, citrus fruits, figs and apple trees, and be able to experience a farming culture that still survive.
[The view along the Sentiero degli Dei in the Amalfi Coast.]
SICILY: Aeolian Islands, Stromboli – from San Vincenzo to the volcano crater
Visitors wishing to reach ‘Iddu’, or Stromboli, the still active volcano that gives the name to this Aeolian island off the northern coast of Sicily, must hire a guide. Many associations based in San Vincenzo organize walks to the volcano, even at night.
It takes about three hours on a steep trail to reach the crater, 900 meters above sea level, and guides will entertain you with information about the island and the local geology. Rumblings and small explosions will likely accompany the hike, and from 600 meters up, thin, rust-colored lava flows dot the trail.
[On the Stromboli volcano, which you can access only accompanied by a guide.]
From the natural amphitheater known as Pizzo, the view is truly breathtaking; on clear days, you can see all the way to another volcano, the Etna.
Unpredictable intensity of explosions and their frequency, which rhythm the ascent to the Pizzo, an amphitheater unique in the world from which to admire the stromboli in all its strength.
SARDINIA: Buggerru-Masua, The Coast of Mines
A trek that combines sea views with archeology, where it’s possible to see the fossil remains of the first signs of life on the planet, and history, as the area, now a popular surfers’ spot, was a center of mining between the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The walk starts at Buggerru in southern Sardinia where, right above the village, is the entrance to the ‘Galleria Henry’, a mine 50 meters above sea level that cuts the rock for about a kilometer, with windows opening onto views of the sea. So big it was that even a steam locomotive could pass through it.
[The beach at Buggerru in Sardinia, where a mine-themed trail departs.]
The abandoned village of Planu Sartu regals walkers with beautiful sea view. The trail continues onto the foot of Mount La Palma and down a canal immersed among juniper trees to the sea. At Punta Cubedda, a cave is crossed by the sea from side to side. A scenic road continues to cliff of the Canal Grande. he next stop is the tower of Cala Domestica, Walking along an ancient road once frequented by miners, the trail reaches Calsa Domestica, a splendid bay framed by high cliffs overlooked by a Spanish tower. Up until the 1940s, minerals were mined and loaded onto ships here.
Following the CAI red and white signs, you reach a large zinc mine at Masua, the end of the itinerary, with a museum of mining machinery. And what better way to end than with a splash into the azure waters of the Sardinian sea, the most beautiful in Italy.
Source: Touring Club.