On a sunny day in Cinque Terre, we teamed up with Sigeric Tourism for an all-day guided bike tour in the mountains and along the coast of this picturesque region! Our very wonderful and friendly guide Franco met us at our hostel in Biassa, where he brought along our transport for the day - two mountain e-bikes!
Never having used e-bikes before, Franco took the time to explain to us exactly how they can be used and why they are especially helpful around the region of Cinque Terre. As the area is quite mountainous, and lots of up-hill paths, Sigeric offer e-bikes for their customers rather than a standard push-bike. Although it looks like a normal push-bike, the e-bike has the incredible ability to assist you with those up-hill strenuous tracks, so that you can relax a little and enjoy the views. You still pedal along as you usually would, and as you pedal, this generates power in the bike, making it feel as though someone is giving you a little push from behind.. it was awesome!!
The other great thing about the e-bikes is that it had four different levels of power, as well as the option of turning off the assistance all together. So if you’re really super keen for a massive up-hill workout, you can choose this option too.
Our journey started in Biassa, cycling our way up through the mountains, which provided such beautiful views every now and again of the villages and ocean below, but also some nice shade travelling through the forest trees!! Along the way, Franco was excellent in pointing out interesting vegetation, vineyard areas, and giving us lots of history about particular villages and how the Cinque Terre region has evolved over the last few years. With regular stops to enjoy the views and provide us with information, there was also always lots of opportunities to take photographs along the way!
The majority of the trail for the first half of the ride was off the main-road and away from the cars, but on a gravel road generally used by cyclists and hikers - we rarely came across anyone else, and it was amazing to be away from the business of Cinque Terre, and still have the opportunity to soak up the views from above.
We rode past the villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, and Corniglio, and Franco gave us lots of information and recommendations of what to do in each village, and where all of the best hiking and swimming spots were! It was so lovely riding past all of the vineyards, and it was definitely an eye-opener to see how hard the Italian locals work to produce the wine, when they are required to look after their vineyards in such harsh sun conditions, up in the hills along not the most accessible paths! It definitely gave us a new appreciation for the wine that comes from the Cinque Terre region!
Franco gave us lots of information about the wine that is produced here, and he explained how this can differ so significantly depending on whether the grapes are grown up high on the hill, or lower down - he also explained that unfortunately the agriculture in Cinque Terre has changed quite drastically over the years due to tourism. Many of the locals have sadly abandoned their vineyards, and instead, they have decided to generate their income by renting out their properties as guest homes, or setting up a shop / cafe in the main villages during the peak seasons.. it was so interesting to hear all of this, and it was clear that Franco was very passionate about this region and doing his part to educate others about what this could mean for the future.
After reaching the village of Corniglio, we made our way back down towards the village of Manarola - here Franco advised that we would have free time to explore the village and get ourselves some lunch! We had a rest at a little pasta bar, enjoyed an espresso coffee, and after a little while made our way back to where Franco was minding our bikes.
With full bellies and energy levels high again, we started our bike ride up towards a road which provided us once again with the most magnificent coastal views! Before we knew it, we were back at our hostel in Biassa, thanking Franco for what had been a great day exploring Cinque Terre by bike! We had rode in total over 35km’s, but did not even feel exhausted due to the kind assistance of the e-bike function really helping us up those hills - we would recommend this tour to any one, of any age and fitness level, as an e-bike made the cycling journey so relaxing and enjoyable!
Although many people choose to hike between the villages of Cinque Terre, we loved the cycling option as an alternative as we were able to see so much, with more time to enjoy, and all with more energy! There is no way that we would have been able to hike 35km’s with the same energy levels and have the same amount of time to enjoy each individual village along the way.
We think that this tour is especially good for those who may not have the highest of fitness levels, families, or those who don’t have too many days to spend in the Cinque Terre region - you get to see so much in one day, and all away from the crowds!
For more information about this tour and a range of others that Sigeric Tourism offer, go to their website at http://www.sigeric.it for more information!