Hiking in Cinque Terre

Just back from a trip to Cinque Terre in Liguria, Italy. We went there to hike and eat good food and had a great week! The Cinque Terre is a portion of coast on the Italian Riviera and comprises five small villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The villages are on the coast line and between them is a dramatic landscape with numerous well marked trails, perfect for day trips by foot. There is also a train line connecting the villages so it’s easy to explore the whole area and still stay in one place.

Manarola

Manarola

Vernazza

Vernazza

We flew to Milan (Linate airport) and took a direct train from Milan central station to Levanto where we stayed for the week. There are plenty of guide books about Cinque Terre so I won’t go into details about the trails we hiked. We bought a guide book with map from 2012 by Petra Holecek and Ulli Vogel locally and even if it was a few years old it served our purposes. Below are a few comments on hiking in the area:

  • The trails are well marked but there are a lot of them so a map is very useful
  • Early April is beginning of the main season but the villages were still quite busy, I can imagine that the middle of the summer is very crowded
  • Even if the villages were crowded we met very few people when hiking the higher trails. These trails also offer spectacular views of the coastline so I can really recommend them.
  • Since the villages are on the coastline hiking the higher trails means you will have to ascend a couple of hundred meters to reach them. It was quite a workout now but I guess it can be much worse in the summer heat.
  • Some of the trails run close to edges falling steeply into the ocean. I would use caution and maybe avoid some of the trails if wet.
Cinque Terre

Trail marking which makes it easy to find your way. Just watch out for where they go at intersections and in the villages.

Cinque Terre

Path above Monterosso

We stayed in Levanto just outside actual Cinque Terre and travelled around as follows (if there seems to be an interrest I will add some posts about them later on):

  • Day 1: Levanto to Monterosso
  • Day 2: Monterosso to Corniglia
  • Day 3: Levanto to Bonassola (with surroundings) and back
  • Day 4: Riomaggiore to Manarola
  • Day 5: Riomaggiore to Portovenere
  • Day 6: Vernazza to Monterosso

All of them were very nice but the best one would have to be Riomaggiore to Portovenere which had some spectacular views of the coastline. Vernazza to Monterosso was also very nice and a much easier hike.

Towards Portovenere

Trail towards Portovenere

Cinque Terre

View from above Bonassola

Cinque Terre

Trail towards Portovenere

Above Vernazza

Above Vernazza

Since the whole area is quite small and connected by train it leaves time to explore the villages even when hiking for a couple of hours between them.

Playing

Playing in Volastra

Cinque Terre

In one of the villages of Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

View above Corniglia (I think)

Levanto

Levanto beach at sunset

All in all it was a great week and I can really recommend to go there!

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