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Ligurian Hills – 6 nights

  • 7 Night Route

    Price: from £1205
  • 8 Night Route

    Price: from £1290
  • 6 Night Route

    Price: from £1075
  • 5 Night Route

    Price: from £945

Across the Apennines to the sea

Back to Routes


Apennine panorama

Apennine panorama

Ligurian riviera

Ligurian riviera



Vines and village

Vines and village

Autumnal produce

Autumnal produce

The afternoon ahead

The afternoon ahead

Easy to follow routes

Easy to follow routes

Monte Castelluzo

Monte Castelluzo

Camogli waterside

Camogli waterside



Colourful Camogli

Colourful Camogli

Ligurian sunset

Ligurian sunset

  • 7 Night Route

    Price: from £1205
  • 8 Night Route

    Price: from £1290
  • 6 Night Route

    Price: from £1075
  • 5 Night Route

    Price: from £945
Price: from £1075
Nights: 6
Walk: 4½-7 hr/day

The scenery was stunning and the sense of remoteness exhilarating. We felt a great sense of achievement at the end of the walk.

Richard Clarke, London, UK - September 2023

We loved the quietness and non-touristy nature of most the walk and the varied and interesting accommodation.

Sheila Martinelli, Warminster, UK - September 2023

Helpful and clear, brilliant walking pack, notes, GPS track. Better than other operators. Each hotel before the end was so generous with food - treating us like royalty. Much appreciated and delicious but sometimes too much and we often did not know what to expect so were brought another 2 courses when we thought we had finished and were full!

Ben Woodhouse, Kent, UK - September 2023

The scenery was stunning and the sense of remoteness exhilarating. We felt a great sense of achievement at the end of the walk.

Richard Clarke, London, UK - September 2023

Thank you for organizing such a brilliant trip. Everything worked beautifully. The walk notes were so good. They gave us confidence and we didn’t get lost once. It was fun staying in such a variety of places. The walks were demanding enough to give us a sense of achievement at the end of each day.The views were spectacular, the history fascinating and the weather was on our side right to the end. Two days of luxury in Camogli and wonderful swimming in the sea were a perfect conclusion.

Sarah, UK - September 2023

We have just returned from our trip to Liguria and and just wanted to say a huge thank you once again for all the excellent organisation that you put into it! We will be back again next year for sure as just love the walking and the amount of details put into all the instructions and organisation that On Foot provide. Truly wonderful.

Clare, UK - September 2023

Each day was entirely satisfying, in hiking, views, culture and hosts. All of our trips with you have been excellent, yet the Ligurian Hills has given us a little something extra that we'll remember for a long time.

Todd Black, Seattle, USA - May 2023

This is a wonderful walk - plaudits to the people who developed it as it doesn't 'leap' off the map. Good challenge but so great to have an objective, ie the walk was from A to B - brilliant job all round.

Celia and Bill Ford, Chippenham, UK - October 2022

It was a great holiday. The walk lengths were challenging but do-able! The GPS was brilliant keeping us on track. The scenery was spectacular and it was very peaceful.

Nicholas Saxby, Monewden, UK - September 2022

Extremely stimulating holiday, getting a real feel for rural Italy and having the opportunity to meet local people and in our pidgin Italian learning about them and their lives. Scenery was beautiful.

Alison Gollins, Heswall, UK - September 2022

This was a really good holiday. Albergo Capanne di Cosola: Unbelievably good food - very sophisticated and a real gourmet blow out.

John Edwards, Clifford, UK - July 2022

More independent feedback
A self-guided walking holiday in the Ligurian Hills of Italy with On Foot Holidays

At a glance

6 nights, (5 walking days, missing walk from Montalto Pavese to Fortunago) and only one night at the end by the sea in Camogli. See 'Prices' tab for what's included.
Suggested route pairing: Lake Maggiore, Southern Tuscany

How much walking?

Full days: 15-24km per day, 4½-7 hrs walking
Using shortening options: 10-17km per day, 2¼-5 hrs (using taxis)

Max. Grade:

From the high Apennines to the stunning Ligurian coast

Following the “Via del Sale” (Salt Road) from “Little Tuscany” or Oltrepo Pavese, this route travels across the foothills of the majestic Apennine chain in its westward extension from Pisa. This is bucolic Italy, fiercely proud of local traditions and in particular local food and wine. The first two days walking in this region is through vineyards and woods, to get you in trim for the next four days of high ridge walking, scene of Hannibal’s march on Rome in 218 BC. From the historic valley town of Varzi on Night 3, you will climb swiftly above the 1000m mark and will stay there for much of the next four days, before tumbling down to the sea at the picturesque fishing port/resort of Camogli, about 30km west of the Cinque Terre and, we think, far more authentic and Italian.

This is a route for the seasoned walker – the views are tremendous but the days are quite long, unless you take our shortening options.  Shorter options are available, but we recommend spending a night at the start in Pavia to take in the historic city with its ancient university, or the lovely monastery at Certosa di Pavia).

Walked by On Foot staff: Simon and Mary

Consider pairing this route with Lake Maggiore (4 hrs by train) or Southern Tuscany (4½ hrs by train) – for more details click here.

REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit

TRAVEL ADVICE: To find the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for UK citizens travelling to Italy, click here. Citizens of other nations will also find it useful, but should always check their appropriate local agency.

Route Highlights

  • The picturesque countryside of the Oltrepo Pavese  – “Little Tuscany”
  • Local wines and sophisticated home cooking
  • Walk in the footsteps of Hannibal
  • Varzi and its historic centre
  • Crossing the Ligurian Apennines
  • Your first glimpse of the blue Mediterranean
  • The harbour and beach at Camogli

This route features the following characteristics and interests: Coast, Mountains, Remote, Villages and farms, Drive to route, Food, Vegan friendly, Wine

Things you should know

  • This is a real ‘walkers’ walk’, with spectacular ridge hiking and long days.
  • There are few villages en-route.
  • A mid-route transfer from Due Ponti to Buffalora is necessary (due to accommodation limitations).

We Recommend

An extra day at the start to visit Pavia, and extra nights at the end to explore the Ligurian coast and the Cinque Terre.

Eating and Drinking

Paolo at Capanne de Cosola, a remote restaurant on a high pass recommends “home-made pasta stuffed with mashed potatoes and topped with melted Montebore, a typical cheese of the Val Borbera. With this dish usually the best wine is the ‘Bonarda’ wine produced in the Oltrepò Pavese.”

However this is also a route where we can now offer a special experience for vegan and vegetarian walkers – we have been assiduous in securing a varied and imaginative diet all the way along the route (though strict vegans will need to miss out a night in Varzi).  The end, Camogli, boasts several restaurants that specialise in vegan dishes. Find out more in our Travellers Blog here, and see some sample dishes here.

How much Walking?

Full days: 15-24km per day, 4½-7 hrs walking
Using shortening options: 10-17km per day, 2¼-5 hrs (using taxis)

Walking on paths and tracks, several prolonged steep sections after leaving Varzi. Paths are well marked. Highest point on route: 1,650m.

Medium-hard: Average cumulative uphill stretches (CUSs) 634m (425m – 1210m) per day.

Some shortening options available, except final two walks (can ride whole way with luggage on these days).

Acrophobia/vertigo warnings: Some tricky descents, and a balcony path to Calcinara which is not avoidable.

GPX file available for handheld GPS or smartphone App for complete route.

Important note: Times given for each day are  walking times for an “average” walker and exclude stops.  “CUSs” stands for “Cumulative Uphill Stretches” and measures the aggregated ascents in each day, expressed in metres of climb.  See “Walk Grading” for more information.

When to go?

The best months to walk: May, first half of June, September

Other possible months: First half of July, end August, October

This is a route that is best walked after the snow has melted from the hills (still a possibility in May). May and June are lovely for flowers – June can start to be hot though height will ameliorate excessive temperatures. Camogli hotels normally ask for minimum stays of more than one night end June and all July.  September can be busy, but October should be glorious, though with the risk of rain.

Start Dates


Weather Chart


Temperature and rainfall chart for Varzi


About the Route

Day 1 - Arrive in Montalto Pavese

Arrive in Montalto Pavese (pre-booked taxi from Voghera station is included in the holiday price), and rest after your journey, explore the surrounds and certainly have a good dinner.

Day 2 - Montalto Pavese to Varzi

Following a lift with your luggage to the ‘Cross on the col’, the walk starts on a track through beech woods along the ridge top of M. Bruno to the castle at Oramala, before descending to the old town of Varzi in the valley. Your next day’s walking rears up ahead of you! (Medium: 2¾ hrs walking (allow 3¾ hrs), 12 km (7½ miles), CUSs 380m) 

Alternatives: Only to miss the walk completely by hitching a lift with the luggage (ask your host).

Day 3 - Varzi to Capanne di Cosola

Start with a sustained climb up to Castellaro (you can ride with the luggage along this section if you prefer), then up the valley of the Fosso. Climbing steeply up through beech woods, you reach the main ridge just before Monte Bogleglio. Then – a long and sometimes dramatic ridge walk, with a possible bagging of Monte Chiappo at the end before your next night’s excellent meal at the mountain lodge at Capanne di Cosola. (Hard: 7 hrs walking (allow 9¼ hrs), 21 km (13 miles), CUSs 1210m). Alternative: ride with the luggage to Castellaro (5 hrs walking (allow 6¾ hrs), 14 km (9 miles), CUSs 900m)

Day 4 - Capanne di Cosola to Due Ponti

This is the majestic day. 14 km of high walking, ending at Capanne de Carrega, with views for ever.  From here you will be following the old road down down to Fascia (centre of resistance in WWII) and further to the valley floor, to your comfortable accommodation at the hamlet of Due Ponti. (Medium-hard: 6 hrs walking (allow 8 hrs), 21 km (13 miles), CUSs 575m) Alternative – two easier shortening options (9 km and 18¾ km), or ride all the way with the luggage.

Day 5 - Buffalora to Calcinara

This gorgeous walk seeks to do the impossible. After a short transfer, climb (gently) up to Monte Lavagnola; the climbing is then all but done and the rest of the walk consists of high contouring – maintaining the same level but with the most stupendous views of a much more cultured landscape than the day before – wooded valleys, small farms and villages. And you even get not one, but two, potential pit stops at good bar-restaurants. Your final walk into Uscio or Calcinara (dependent on available accommodation) will be rewarded by great friendliness, good food and drink – and almost no English!  (Medium-hard: 6 hrs walking (allow 8 hrs), 19 km (12 miles), 490m CUSs). Alternatives: None – except to ride the whole way with the luggage.

Day 6 - Calcinara to Camogli

A wonderful final day – you continue along the ridge eastwards, then southwards to the coast at Camogli. Again the views will never let you down, and the final mountain spur before the end, with the sea on each side, will be much photographed. Your hotels in Camogli are all welcoming, whatever grade you have opted for. (Medium: 5 hrs walking (allow 6¾ hrs), 15 km (9½ miles), 430m CUSs). Alternatives:  None except to ask for a lift with the luggage.

Departure day

Return home – or why not stay a day or two longer?

Travel Information


Nearest railway stations:
Start: Voghera
Finish: Camogli

Sample journeys by rail:

TGV from Paris to Gare de Lyon to Marseille-St-Charles, and a Thello train onwards to Voghera. Alternatively go via Paris to Zurich HB and Milan Centrale – a quicker route but with one more change. ~10 hours

Coming back, consider travelling from Camogli to Paris via either Genoa and Turin or taking a longer route via Milan and Basel. Another choice might be to get to Milan Centrale for the Thello sleeper train to Paris.

We suggest for times, ticket booking and other information.


Your car is best left with our hosts at Cella di Montalto (private parking) or Fortunago (quiet country road outside house). Parking in Varzi also possible (public car park, pay locally tbc). Returning, train to Voghera then taxi (pay locally, see “Prices”).


The best airports are Genoa, Milan (Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo), and Pisa. Flights also possible via Turin.

Land by: 16:00 (Pisa 14:30 and Milan by 15:00 so as not to miss supper) for public transport connections to Voghera.

Return flight earliest: 12:00 (Genoa), 13:00 (Pisa), 15:00 (Milan airports) for train connections from Camogli (see transfer information below).

Land by/earliest return times not applicable if using pre-booked taxi.

Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner (see below) before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights until we have confirmed that we have provisionally reserved accommodation for you.

For up-to-date schedules and flights from all airports check Skyscanner.

See “getting to the start of the walk” below for transfer information.


Getting to the start of the walk

The first accommodation is normally in Montalto Pavese, though the 5-night version starts in Varzi. The last hotel is in Camogli. Transfer times and methods are suggested below for train stations and the three Milan airports, Genoa and Pisa.

Transfers from train stations:

Outwards: From Voghera station to Montalto Pavese or Varzi – pre-booked taxi (included in holiday price)

Return: Camogli station is within walking distance from most hotels

Transfers from airports:

Outwards:  Bus/train then either short taxi (Mornico Losana) or bus or taxi (Varzi) – Milan airports or Genoa 2½ hrs, Pisa 4 hrs, OR pre-bookable taxi transfer from airport to first hotel

Return: Train then Airport bus – Genoa airport 2 hrs, Milan airports 5 hours, Pisa airport 3 hrs

For pre-bookable taxi costs, see “Prices”

Full transfer advice, including timetables, is provided in your Walkers’ Pack. Contact us if you would like additional pre-booking information.

Where You'll Stay

A wonderful range of local accommodation, including the highly stylish, the earnestly mountain and the friendly basic. All are committed to our ideals, and those before the coast all use locally-sourced (or home-grown) food and wine.

Montalto Pavese – Cella di Montalto (dinner, B&B)

Night 1

Montalto Pavese – Cella di Montalto (dinner, B&B)

Real agriturismo in lovely position with eminent kitchen.

Varzi – Locanda Le Cicale (B&B)

Night 2

Varzi – Locanda Le Cicale (B&B)

Lively restaurant with rooms in the heart of Varzi (a small town on the edge of the hills), run by Greta and her family.

Albergo Capanne di Cosola (dinner, B&B)

Night 3

Albergo Capanne di Cosola (dinner, B&B)

Mountain pass restaurant with classic regional cuisine and newly refurbished rooms. Small spa.

Due Ponti – Hotel due Ponti (dinner, B&B)

Night 4

Due Ponti – Hotel due Ponti (dinner, B&B)

Friendly family run old coaching inn with large gardens on banks of the Trebbia.

Calcinara/Uscio – (B&B)

Night 5

Calcinara/Uscio – (B&B)

Simple B&Bs in either Calcinara or nearby Uscio - we will select the best available.

Camogli – La Camogliese (B&B)

Night 6

Camogli – La Camogliese (B&B)

Excellent little B&B near the beach.

Camogli – Cenobio dei Dogi (B&B)

Night 6 (Upgrade)

Camogli – Cenobio dei Dogi (B&B)

Grand old lady of Camogli hotels, overlooking the sea, with pool, terraces, private beach etc. 3 night min stay end June, 5 nights in July and August, 2/3 nights in September and for two nights at weekends in early June.


Price: from £1075 for 6 nights

Total 6 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts, 3 evening meals, 4 picnics, all luggage transfers, pre-booked taxi transfer from Voghera station to Montalto Pavese, and a shortening transfer at the start of the day from Varzi if required; full Walkers Pack with route directions, maps, transfer and background information; local telephone support. Locally levied tourist taxes are not included.

All prices are per person unless otherwise indicated, and are based on a standard booking in early May. Prices may vary seasonally and a fixed price will be given to you before you commit.

Single Room Supplement (SRS): From £125
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS): From £350
Large Party Saving (LPS): Groups of more than 2 people (on an identical itinerary, on the same booking and booked at the same time) – discount of at least £90 per person
Maximum party size: 10


Add Ons

Extra nights in Camogli hotels and/or other stops en route: Contact On Foot Holidays (seasonal pricing)
Upgrade hotels in Camogli: Contact On Foot Holidays (seasonal pricing)
Taxi Milan airports to first hotel: Malpensa from £226 (1-3 pers.), £275(4-8); Linate from £182 (1-3), £220 (4-8); Bergamo from £275 (1-3), £330 (4-8)
Taxi Genoa airport to first hotel: from £231 (1-3 persons) £275 (4-8)
Taxis from/back to Pisa airport: Contact On Foot Holidays
Taxi from Voghera station to Montalto Pavese (pay locally) €55 (1-3 pers.), €72 (4-8); from Pavia station €94 (1-3), €110 (4-8). Voghera to Varzi €85 (1-3); €100 (4-8)
Spa entry at Capanne di Cosola: €16 per person (pay locally)
Sending Walkers Packs to addresses outside the UK: £20-£60 (per pack, location dependent)

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Paul Lizioli / Greta Coperchini

Our local team

Paul Lizioli / Greta Coperchini

Paul is a seasoned voyager and has travelled extensively for both business and pleasure (bleasure!?) to over 50 countries and over 500 places on all continents. Paul created our route through the Ligurian Hills to the sea.

Greta now looks after our walkers on this route from her home in Varzi, where she also operates a restaurant and B&B.

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