People often ask me this question: "Should we take our bikes to the Cinque Terre?" Well, my short answer is "no". My longer answer is "maybe, it depends". If you are staying in Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia or Vernazza, don't take it. These villages are full of steep streets and stairs, not ideal for bikes. If you have to bring your bicycle with you, by all means, because – let's say – you are travelling to Tuscany or Lake Garda afterwards, make sure you book an accommodation which is not at the top of those 100 steps, and check with your accommodation provider if you could store the bikes in the room or apartment. I can help you find a place to stay where it is not a problem, just send me an e-mail. If you are staying in Monterosso or Levanto, the situation is better, as those villages are more flat and local people cycle around as well.
The area is mainly for hiking but if you are in excellent shape and don't mind really steep and long climbs with your bike, you could basically cycle on the car road above the Cinque Terre villages. There are also some good trails for mountain biking, ask for information at the local offices of the National Park. If you'd rather go with a local guide, I recommend this mountain bike tour. Your guide will also provide mountain bikes if you don't have your own. An easier option is the EBike tour, where you will bike above Levanto, Bonassola and Framura.
There is one activity I recommend to everyone, regardless of age or fitness level: ride on the bicycle path from Levanto to Framura. (See the photo at the top of this page, and also the one below.) It's scenic, flat, easy and fun! It's about 5.5 km long and takes about 30 minutes if you don't stop anywhere. Take the train to Levanto and rent a bike there. I like Fabio's "Sensafreni Bike Shop" on Piazza del Popolo. Their phone number is +39 0187 807128. It's better to book your bikes ahead, especially in the main season. If you are on your honeymoon, I recommend their tandem bikes. These are their rental prices for 2015 for city bikes:
Once you have your bike and get to the beach, turn right, and at the end of Levanto you will find the start of the path. This bike road was opened in 2010, following the old, 19th-century railway tracks. It's a wonderful experience, the path goes all along the sea, through many tunnels. Kids will love it as well! You can also go running or walking there. Along the path, you will find some tiny bays, perfect for a swim. I love these beaches as they can only be reached by boat or bike, so they are not so crowded. The path is really good quality. You need lights for the tunnels and also take a pullover as it can be cool in there even on hot summer days. It's a great half-day trip but you can also make it a full-day excursion: visit Levanto, bike to Bonassola, visit Bonassola, go for a swim and have lunch there, bike to Framura, visit Framura and have a drink there, then ride back to Levanto. There are plans to make this path longer, all the way from Monterosso to Deiva Marina. I can't wait!