An Alternative to a Beach weekend at the Ligurian Coast.
The Italian Riviera is probably best known for it’s small colourful and picturesque towns such as the villages of the Cinque Terre and the more fancy Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure, where the glamorous Milanese descend each summer to sample the local seafood and bask under the Mediterranean sun.
For the outdoors community, however, it is better known as the home of two of Italy’s climbing meccas: Finale Ligure and Val Pennavaire. It’s the perfect place to spend an outdoors inspired weekend by the sea, whilst snacking on the delicious local focaccia.
We spent a weekend in late March in Val Pennavaire with friends from our climbing meet-up group where we benefitted from the local expertise of several members.
We opted to stay in a cute B&B in Vasello called La Casa dei Nonni with some of our fellow climbers. Vasello is a small medieval village on top of a hill overlooking a valley and olive groves that produce homemade olive oil served at the B&B. The accommodation was comfortable with an ample breakfast provided with a mix of homemade cakes, yoghurt, fruit, homemade fruit juice and bread served with the delicious home-produced olive oil – yeah, kind of obsessed with that olive oil. All of this to fuel us up ready for a day at the crag, of which there are plenty within literally a 5-10 minute drive.
It might be worth first stopping off at Bar Neva in Cisano Sul Neva to hang out with the rather large gathering of climbers setting out for the day. Here you can grab your sandwich for lunch and get the local intel on the best climbing spots.
Our first crag was a super sunny one close to Colletta di Castelbianco (a sweet village with several good accommodation options), called Falesia Telematica, offering routes from 4b to 6b, great for a mixed ability group, and for those wanting to work on their tan.
Our second crag was a shady one at the bottom of the hill of our B&B called La Ciusa. After a sunny first day, we really appreciated the shade of this crag and it was also a great option for the stronger climbers amongst us due to some overhang routes, however there were also some easier options for less-experienced climbers, and we can always top-rope, right?!
On both Sunday and Saturday we finished the day by the sea, in Alassio and Laigueglia, some were even brave enough to take a dip.
On a warmer weekend kayaking and paddle boarding would definitely be on the cards, or just relaxing on the beach after a hard day’s climb.
If you’re heading back to Milan, be sure to put together a great playlist.. there can be some traffic as the sun-seekers head back to the city, for another week of day dreaming in the office and planning the next trip.