Walking Liguria's extensive network of trails while taking in the gorgeous views is a major outdoor activity and regional attraction. The mild climate and laid-back state of mind can lull you into underestimating just how strenuous such walks can be. Wear good shoes, use sunscreen, and carry plenty of water—you'll be glad you did. Trail maps are available from tourist information offices, or upon entry to the Cinque Terre National Park.
On the Portofino promontory, the relatively easy walk to the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso is popular, and there's a more challenging hike from Ruta to the top of Monte Portofino and back down to Camogli. From Genoa, you can take the Zecca–Righi funicular up to Righi and walk along the ring of fortresses that used to defend the city.
Walking tours can introduce you to lesser-known aspects of the region. For the Cinque Terre and the rest of the Province of La Spezia, the Cooperativa Arte e Natura (Viale Amendola 172, La Spezia 0187/739410 www.cinqueterrexperience.com) is a good source for English-speaking guides as well as other languages. A full day costs €255, and a three-hour tour is €170; these prices are for a group of up to 35 people.