Join me on a panoramic trail run in the wild side of Finale Ligure. We meet up on the beach in Noli.
We start from Noli and run the classic hiking trails high above the turquoise sea. We move through some of the most beautiful terrain in the Mediterranean. The trail undulates and we pass interesting old chapel, a bewitched tower and the stunning Grotta dei Falsari, a cave with stupendous sea views, also known as Grotta dei Briganti. This first part of the trail is near on transcendent and it is named il Sentiero del Pellegrino, the pilgrim’s path, taking us eventually to Varigotti the quaint seaside hamlet of Finale Ligure.
Back down on the beach of Varigotti we have the option to grab a brioche or focaccia and a quick coffee ‘al banco’ in the Italian style. Re-energised, we climb up into the steep hills behind the beach on the winding trails, all the way up to Altopiano de Le Manie. If you wish to take it easy, here we have an option to stop and sit down for lunch or to explore one of the largest caves in Finale area, Arma delle Manie.
I will make a choice for us according to the weather conditions if we dive into an adventurous river valley. It has three limestone caves and we’ll end up doing a little riverbed exploration to exit the valley. Alternatively we take a high path to avoid getting our feet wet.
Our run continues on a highway Julia Augusta that dates back to the antiquity (13-12 BC). In its day it connected Piacenza to the South of France and it was developed as an inland path in order to avoid the cliffs of Capo Noli. This Roman road is in fact now completely covered in the green dense vegetation of the Mediterranean forests. Our trail crosses over two of the five impressive Roman bridges and we can pop up to explore the caves where the stones were excavated for these incredible feats of antique engineering
The trail continues through pretty forested paths, quaint farmhouses and terraces into Boragni village. From this medieval hamlet we climb up to one of the most stunning carstic formations of Finale Ligure, deep in the woods of Val di Nava. We scramble through two caves and climb up to a prehistoric worship place on a breathtaking ridge above the caves.
From here we run along the rock ridge, sometimes just a meter away from the steep 60m drop of the Boragni cliffs. Our trail takes us past quaint houses of Orco before climbing up to Orco castle ruins at San Lorenzino and a chapel, from where we get one final glimpse of the sea for the day. We’ll finish the day in the Basecamp Cucco bar.
You can stay in the camping, in a B&B in Orco or after a celebratory drink in Orco we can take the bus together back to Noli. Alternatively I can drive 2 people back to their cars in Noli.
It is also possible to start from Orco and run over the hills down to the coast for less ascent.
This itinerary is also available as fast walking day for experienced hikers.
We meet in Noli parking lot
20km trails, medium difficulty
1180m ascent and 890m descent
Easy to medium running pace
Materials you need to take
- Good grippy trail running shoes
- Water bottle and a small pack for food and drink
- Energy bars and/or snacks for the day
- Sun hat and suncream, ideally factor 50SPF
- Windproof layer
What is included:
The guiding for the day by Kirsti, who has been living and running in Finale Ligure for the past 11 years. Read more
Search and rescue insurance during the activity.
Help with the shuttle or bus transport arrangements.
What is not included:
Your medical, activity or travel insurances.
Lunch, snacks or drinks.
Accommodation (contact me for recommendations)
Transport – we will coordinate either bus connection or car sharing.
Minimum 3 people to form a group, to be confirmed at latest 24h before the departure. If we need to cancel the day due to low numbers, we will issue a full refund or arrange for an alternative day if you prefer.
Normal rainy day is not grounds for cancellation, please remember to bring waterproof clothing if needed.
We can meet in the morning with prior agreement either in Basecamp Cucco or Finale Ligure train station.