Finale Ligure is the capital of what Italians call Outdoor, which means anything you can do on a bicycle. For years, the town has been a mecca for everyone who loves mountain biking
, freeriding, enduro, and the bike world in general.
But Finale Ligure isn't just about cycling. There are loads of other things to do in the area, from aquatic sports and climbing to trekking and parascending.
The countryside around Finale offers many all-year round trekking routes. Hotel San Guiseppe can provide help, maps, route information and organise guided walks.trekking
Here are a few of the most interesting walks in the area:
- The Beretta Way: This 10k walk takes you through interesting natural surroundings and past castles and other historic buildings. This walk, which climbs 450m, can be taken all year round apart from the very hottest days. Leaving Finalborgo, you pass the Gavone Castle and then the hamlet of Perti and the famous Five Towers church. Passing the hanging valley of Montesordo and its little village, you walk through oak woodland to the meadows of Pian Marino. Just after the former quarry of Bric del Frate you reach the highest point of the walk from where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the wild valleys of the Finalese countryside. As you descend, we suggest you visit the ruins of the Roman Castrum Perticae and the church of S. Antonino, which has a grotto in its crypt.
- The high plains of Le Manie:This walk, which you can do all year round, rises by 280m and is around 11k long. It follows routes made famous by international bikers. Le Manie is a haven for local flora and fauna and the path winds between vines, through oak spinneys, caves, ancient churches and clumps of the richly coloured violet-blue campanula which only grows in this area. The sea is visible all the time over the roofs of the old buildings of Finale and the Saracen houses of Varigotti.
- From Giogo di Toirano to Colle del Melogno: This longer walk takes around five hours and climbs by 600m. It is particularly enjoyable in spring and autumn. The route goes through Bardineto, Monte Carmo, the Colle del Melogno, the Barbottino woods, Calizzano and the Conca dei Carbonari. It provides spectacular views, wild scenery, thick woodland and medieval villages.
There are a number of organisations licensed to run guided tours and outings, and we have selected the following:
Climbing in Finale Ligure: There are more than 2,700 routes on three main rock faces and 130 climbing sectors.
The rock faces around Finale Ligure are made from marine limestone, which provides a wide range of climbing surfaces, ranging from plates to cliffs, and horizontal as well as steep vertical sections.
You can climb all year round, following the direction of the sun on the rocks. If the weather is rainy, you can go to the Amphitheatre of Monte Cucco, and on days when there is strong wind, the Rocca di Corno, Monte Sordo or the Silent Cliff at Rian Cornei.
Our hotel can provide help, maps and routes and organise guides.
Here are some listings provided by Marco Tommasini in Finale by Thomas
- Rocca di Perti: Winter cliffs, characterised by 15 sections ranging between 15 and 30 metres long;
- Bric Scimarco: Winter climbs characterised by 18 sections ranging from 10 to 25 metres;
- Placca dei Maleducati: Spring climb with 45 routes of all types;
- Bocca di Bacco: Summer climb. This is a cave honeycombed with large holes and routes containing overhangs, especially in the last few metres:
- Rian Cornei: An autumn-winter climb, with 32 sections varying between 10 and 22 metres;
- Rocca di Corno: A winter section, with 11 routes inside a red cave;
- Lacremà: A very low vertical wall, characterised by 11 sections, each around 20 metres long.
There is a specialist climbing shop in Finalborgo, where climbers meet. For courses and climbing lessons, contact Blumountain Guide Alpine +39 019 68 16 276 email@example.com.
Finale Ligure has always had strong links with the sea and seafaring.
Sailing:changeable winds make sailing all year round possible. The port of Capo San Donato is the base for sailing in the Finale area. There are lots of sailing associations which run regattas and courses, and give visitors the chance to do trips guided by expert skippers.
We recommend the daily excursions to the islands of Bergeggi and Gallinara, as well as two day trips to Portofino and Santa Margherita and the crossing to Corsica.
Windsurfing and kitesurfing: Finale Ligure provides the optimum conditions for these sports, especially in the winter months, when the Tramontana (north) wind blows for up to a week at a time. The long beaches of the Finale area also mean it was one of the first places where kitesurfing was developed.
The beach at Finale is suitable for expert surfers, with slalom conditions towards the Caprazoppa point, where there are good surfing waves. In summer, the thermals transform this area into an ideal place for learners.
The best known surfing is at Noli, where the prevailing north-west wind between October and April creates enjoyable slalom conditions.
Windsurfing: The ideal times to windsurf in Finale are the autumn and early spring, when the winds are south-easterly or from the south-west. Local weather means that there are several regular spots where the surfing is particularly good. These are at the Saracens' Bay in Varigotti, the port at Finale Ligure and in Pietra Ligure.
Diving: A strong sub-acqua tradition has grown up due to rocks such as those at Capo Noli and numerous shoals and wrecks in the area, and off the coast at Finale Ligure. There are a number of centres which specialise in diving, from beginners to expert.
The sub-acqua schools can provide everything needed to ensure that even the most difficult dives can be undertaken in complete safety. They also run courses at all levels, using the international Padi protocols. There are specialised dives such as deep water navigation, night time and nature.
Diving is possible all year round. The best places for diving are on the tract of coast between the islands of Bergeggi and Gallinara. You will leave from Capo San Donato port in Finale, where you can also hire all the necessary equipment.
Hang gliding and paragliding
The constant breeze and air currents around Finale make it a great place for all types of gliding, including hang gliding and paragliding.
There are lots of good take-off points from panoramic hilltops and promontories. These include:
- The high plateau of Le Manie, where some days it is possible to glide over the whole coast from Capo Noli to Monte Caprazoppa. Pilots mostly prefer to land on the beach at Varigotti but, thanks to a favourable wind from the south-east, it is also possible to descend onto the beach at Finale Ligure. The flight does not present any special problems, but pilots should be familiar with specialist techniques used for flying in strong winds.
- he flight from the Semaforo at Le Manie is not very long and is only suitable for one glider at a time, but provides a lovely slope. When conditions are right, it is possible to fly to the Capo Noli promontory and over the castle above the town, or to get as far as Spotorno. The beach at Noli is very big, but it is advisable to land on the area towards the south-east, which is less crowded and is near a large parking area.
- Verezzi has a wide take-off area ending in a small cliff face. Two or three people can take off at the same time. You can fly over the ridge and, when conditions are right, you can turn eastwards, going over Monte Caprazoppa and landing on the beach at Finale. For those landing for the first time, the recommended landing place is by the level crossing at Borgio, where there is plenty of beach and a car park nearby.