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"Quattro Pietre"/"Four Stones" - Private Tour in Liguria, Italy

8 days / 7nights from $ 1,950 pp
private tour in Liguria
    Apricale            Dolceacqua            Seborga                 Triora
A magic vacation off the beaten track! The “Quattro Pietre” is a one week journey to the world of tranquillity and beauty, where the time has stopped…

Most people know Liguria by its fine beaches and coast cities.This itinerary “Quattro Pietre” – “Four Stones” (Apricale, Dolceacqua, Seborga, Triora) invites you to discover another, unknown Liguria: its beautiful medieval villages, hidden in the hills, places with a great heritage of history, art and traditions. For the most part, those sites are cut off from the main tourist flows. Situated just few km from busy coastal areas they seem to be part of another reality. Just pass through the ancient gates and you will find yourself in distant past, about 600 years ago… Let yourself get lost in the labyrinth of the tiny streets bringing you to the central piazza filled with sunlight, the laughter of the kids and the smell of espresso coming from the local bar…

This tour includes visits to four of the most beautiful villages of western Liguria – Apricale, Dolceacqua, Seborga and Triora. We will alternate trips to these magic places with relax on the beaches of Liguria and visits to famous cities of Italian and French Riviera: Sanremo, Albenga, Montecarlo and Nice.

Brief program

Detailed Program

  • Day 1. Arrival to Apricale, hotel accommodation.

    Apricale is a beautiful village situated at 291 m above sea level and is part of “Borghi piu’ belli d’Italia” ("The most beautiful villages in Italy") Club - a project promoting small Italian towns rich of history, art, culture, traditions and natural environment.

    The origins of the village are very ancient, the first settlements of Celti-Liguri are dating back to late Bronze age (XIV-XIII cent. B.C.).

    Watching from a distance Apricale is appearing like a beautiful cascade of ancient stone houses scrambling steep slopes, crowned by the Castel.
    The name of the village comes from latin apricus, which means sunny, exposed to the sun. Protected by the Maritime Alps, Apricale has an excellent climate favourable for the production of an extra virgin olive oil of exceptional quality.

  • Day 2. Excursion in Apricale and Dolceacqua, oil tasting.

    In the morning we will walk along tiny streets of Apricale, will see the castle, the main square, the churches, stone houses, medieval gates and beautiful panoramas…

    Apricale is famous for its excellent olive oil, one of the best in Liguria and probably in all Italy. In the afternoon we invite you to the oil tasting arranged by one of the local oil producers, just few km from the village. During the visit we will discover all the phases of the olive pressing process and the secrets for a good extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil tasting is accompanied by some local olive oil-based delicatessen.

    In the afternoon we will visit Dolceacqua - another beautiful village just few km from Apricale. The word dolceacqua literally means “sweet water”. The village stretches along the banks of the river Nervia. Two parts of Dolceacqua separated by the river are connected with a beautiful bridge, built in XV century. The architectonic center of the place is the medieval castel Doria, built in XIII century. Despite destructions caused by wars and earthquakes we can still admire its ancient walls and majestic towers surrounded by a beautiful landscape of green hills, blue sky and stone houses reflected in the river… Famous French artist, Claude Monet, in 1884 was visiting this area and, inspired by the beauty of the place, portrayed it in some of his paintings.

  • Day 3. Еxcursion to Hanbury Botanical Gardens and Seborga

    Amazing gardens of Villa Hanbury are well-known by botanists and lovers of nature.

    Nowadays about 2500 species of plants are growing over 18 hectares of steep promontory jutting from an altitude of about 100 meters down into the Mediterranean Sea. Plants are coming from tropical and sub-tropical parts all over the world. The gardens contain a number of interesting sites: stretch of Roman road; little temple of four seasons, grottos, sculptures and reliefs, fountains; a bronze dragon from Kyoto and a Japanese bell dated 1764 which comes from a Buddhist temple.

    In the afternoon we will visit Seborga, fascinating ancient town at 600 m above the sea level with breathtaking sea-views, many flowers, clean cosy streets, tiny squares, welcoming people… Despite the small size of the town, locals claim Seborga to be independent from Italy as the sovereign Principality of Seborga, even if the Principality has only a symbolic value. Another interesting thing about Seborga is that there’re many images and symbols related to the Templars. Legends say that once the town was home to 9 knights Templars, now this fact is symbolized with 9 blue strips on the flag of Seborga. The memory about khights-monks is still kept by inhabitants of Seborga, walking on the streets you can find the images of the khights decorating the walls of the stone houses.

  • Day 4. Еxcursion to Sanremo, Bussana Vecchia and Triora

    Sanremo, “the city of Flowers” is the second large city in western Liguria, famous for its Music Festival and international flower market. Nice beaches, beautiful long promenades along the sea, a splendid bicycle lane 24 km long and a picturesque historic center make Sanremo one of the main tourist destinations of the Italian Riviera.

    After a tour in Sanremo we will go to Bussana Vecchia – “old Bussana” - an ancient village, a refuge for artists and poets. The earthquake of 1887 caused a huge damage to Bussana, its ancient castle, houses and churches were completely destroyed. Inhabitants abandoned the village and for about 60 years Bussana was a ‘dead city’; the artists and craftsmen were the first who brought the life to the village in 1950-s, and since then started the second life of Bussana. The atmosphere of freedom and creativity as well as of mystery and isolation is always attracting to Bussana travelers, artists, and all those who seek inspiration and tranquility.

    Right after Bussana Vecchia, we’ll visit Triora, a beautiful village in the mountains, 780 m above the sea level. Triora is also member of I Borghi Piú Belli d'Italia Club.

    The origins of the village are going back to very remote times between 3800 and 3000 B.C. A well known fact about Triora is that it was the site of one of the most famous witch trials held by Inquisition in the end of 16-th century. The process against witches involved many women and five of those were condemned to death. This part of Triora’s history made it nowadays a place for events like a witchcraft festival (in August) and, of course, Halloween. There is even a museum of witchcraft, definitely a must see! Walking through this mysterious and beautiful village is like going back in time, immersing into the world of legends and fascination of the past.

  • Day 5. Full day to Nice and Monaco

    Our day will start with a visit to Nice, a pearl of French Riviera, called Nice la Belle - “Nice the Beautiful”.

    The area of today’s Nice is among the oldest human settlements in Europe, there have been founded traces of human settlements dated about 230,000 years old!

    Through the centuries Nice has belonged to Greeks, to Romans, Lombards, Saracens, has been part of Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont and become part of France in 1860. Every nation left its trace on the culture and architecture of the city. The spectacular beauty of the nature of the Nice area, its mild Mediterranean climate, its rich history, charming streets of Old City, beautiful panoramas along the coast and, of course, beaches made it the second-most visited place in France after Paris, receiving millions of tourists every year.

    Then we’ll visit the Principality of Monaco, which lies between the Maritime Alps and the sea. Monaco legendary attractions, palaces, churches, museums, gardens, restaurants, nightlife, hotels and shopping make it one of Europe's leading luxury tourist resorts. After the Vatican, Monaco is the second smallest independent state in the world and the world's most densely populated independent country. We are going to visit Monte Carlo and we’ll also take a walk through Monaco-Ville, a picturesque medieval village in the heart of Monaco, will see Prince's Palace, the Cathedral, and the Saint Martin Gardens. Also worth a visit are Jardin Exotique (Exotic Gardens) one of the famous tourist attractions of Monaco.

  • Day 6. Excursion to Cervo, Albenga, and Grotte di Toirano (Toirano Caves).

    The elegant fishermen village on the cliff, Cervo, is offering to visitors beautiful panoramas: green background of olives and pines, majestic church on the top of the hill surrounded by cascade of ancient houses going down to the sea; neither modern buildings nor asphalted streets are disturbing its harmonic and beautiful visual symphony. Unlike majority of coastal cities, modern, noisy and crowded, Cervo keeps its authenticity, its ancient architecture, traditions and old fashioned measured style of life, attracting the travelers who appreciate its beauty and serenity.

    Albenga is one of the biggest cities of western Liguria. In contrast with the rest of the city, modern and dynamic, the beautiful historic center of Albenga, a jewel mounted by ancient walls, brings you back to the Middle age. It preserves ancient architecture: beautiful tall and narrow medieval towers, ancient cathedral, baptistery with mosaic decoration going back to V-VI centuries, a XIII-th century medieval bridge, ancient streets, pavements decorated by kids and artists, characteristic shops, cosy restaurants… Wandering in historic center of Albenga it’s difficult to imagine that just at short distance there’s the sea and completely different reality of a modern city.

    Close to Albenga there are famous Toirano Caves – Grotte di Toirano, inviting us to make a trip to prehistory, to follow the path in the womb of Mother Earth, along the “alleys” of stalactites and stalagmites and amazing rock formations, to discover the traces of human life of 12000 years ago and cave bear about 25000 years ago.

  • Day 7. Free day.

    This day is at leisure and the plans are on your choice: relaxing on the beach, renting a bicycle or walking on a beautiful long promenade along the sea, exploring the stunning hills of Liguria, enjoying sun, wind and breathtaking sea views, tasting some traditional ligurian culinary delights at family-run trattorias… We hope this last day of your trip as well as all the others will offer you a lot to discover, to taste, to enjoy, to experience.

  • Day 8. Transfer to the airport.

    After the breakfast we depart. Transfer to the airport are available on request. We hope that seven days of this tour will inspire you to return again to beautiful Liguria, flourishing, welcoming land filled with magic of the past and dynamic of the present.

The Tour Includes
  • Private transportation by car or minibus with air conditioning
  • Hotel accommodation including breakfast
  • Multilingual tour escort during the tour
  • Sightseeing and excursions mentioned in the program
 Not Included
  • Air fare
  • Airport transfers
  • Tips, beverages and extra services
  • Entrance fees (unless specified)
  • Everything not mentioned in the program.