The tour begins on a gently ascending road leading towards the gulf of La Spezia. From here one has a good view on the fortress of Umberto I., the Scola Tower and the numerous beaches of the Cala della Fornace. A turn-off leads to a former telegraph station in Roccio, one of Ligurias most beautiful places. In spring, there are red valerians and rock roses flourishing here.
Follow the hilly hiking path towards the south, leading you through a scrubby Mediterranean countryside and a holly oak forest. Then hike the steep slope downhill until you reach the beach of Pozzale and the other dock of Palmaria. If you wish, you can already depart from here with a tourist boat taking you back to Terrizzo or to Porto Venere.
A chilly promenade connects the beaches with the adjacent area of the Portoro marble stone pit. It is nowadays no longer used by humans, but rather functions as a nesting place for European herring gulls.
Continue the tour by keeping the neighbouring island Tino in sight, then follow the path further uphill taking you to the highest point of Palmaria, which is 186m (203 yd) above sea level. From here one can enjoy a breath-taking view on the wide sea and the rocks as well as the cornflowers of Porto Venere. The cornflowers, also known as bluebottles, are a rare species of flowers occurring in this special protection area.
If you reach the road, which is also the starting point for many alternative hiking routes, then turn left towards the Centre for Ecological Education (C.E.A.). Continue on a path opposite the headland of Arpaia, where the San Pietro church is located. Towards the end of the tour you will finally reach sea level again and hike on a sandy path that will take you back to the starting point of your tour in Terrizzo.
- In case of good weather conditions, the hike can also be done without bringing your hiking boots.
Highlights of the tour
The tour offers a hike through the unique vegetation of the island in combination with a view on the open sea and beautiful beach alleys.
Instead of hiking in the direction of Pozzale, in Roccio you can decide to follow the Punta Mariella path, which takes you through the area where the red valerians and rock roses grow, until you get to a popular swimming pool, which is a quiet place as it is only reachable via the seaway or this hiking path.
From the C.E.A. you can directly get back to Terrizzo. This tour might take up to 45 minutes and leads you along plenty of shady trees.
From the C.E.A. there is another path leading back towards Terrizzo. On the right-hand side, you find a hiking path, which leads along the moat of the Forte Cavour. At the end, you follow the path downhill, passing the smelling herbal plants such as periwinkle, thyme, or rue.
Via the Canalone short cut you get from the C.E.A. to Terrizzo. Follow the steps downhill towards the Casa dell'Ammiraglio, noticeable through the monumental pine and then follow the road. Just after a few curves you take the left path. Within 20 minutes you will be in Terrizzo.
The tour starts at Terrizzo on the island of Palmaria. You'll get here by using one of the tourist boats from Porto Venere or La Spezia.