Hiking the Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre in the Italian Riviera is a beautiful place to visit. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most picturesque in all of Italy. The five quaint fishing villages are covered with colorful houses stacked on top of one another along the rugged coastline. The villages, Monterosso Al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarolo, and Riomaggiore are distinct with their own look and feel. Cinque Terre rivals the Amalfi coast, having some of the most beautiful coastal views of Italy. The best way to explore this coastline, is by setting out on hike that links each village.


Monterosso, Italy

Monterosso, Italy

When to Go

Visit during the summer and fall. Cinque Terre is in Northern Italy, not far from the mountains. It can get cold in the winter, with occasional snow.


How to Get There

Located west of La Spezia, Cinque Terre is easily accessible. The train in La Spezia stops at each village. The villages are accessible by car, however the tiny streets are difficult to navigate and parking is a major problem. Alternatively, you can stay in Monterosso and start the hike from there.


Train Voucher

The all-day train ticket, valid for unlimited use for 24 hours, costs 12 EU.


Where to Stay

Each village has a limited amount of guest houses. The northernmost village, Monterosso Al Mare, has the most options for accommodation. It is also possible to stay in La Spezia and take the train.


Hike Detail – Monterosso to Corniglia

Our Hike: 6.6 Miles, 1,556 feet gain, 3 hours 25 minutes

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate


The Hike

For the best views, hike north to south. Starting in Monterosso, the beginning of the hike is the hardest and steepest section. The initial ascent is mostly steps. Once the trail flattens out, the view of Vernazza is stunning. Just off the main street, in Vernazza, is a small cave with a beautiful beach on the other side.

Vernazza, Italy

Vernazza, Italy

The hike to Corniglia has wonderful views and is not as long and difficult as the previous section. While there we cooled off with some delicious homemade gelato. For several years the trail between Corniglia and Manarolo has been closed. We took the train from Corniglia to Manarolo where we enjoyed an amazing lunch at Cafe Billy.


Vernazza, Italy

Vernazza, Italy

We took the train to Riomaggiore to explore the final village. It is quite possibly the most scenic of all the villages. Although part of the hike in Cinque Terre is closed don’t let the discourage you. We had a wonderful time exploring the area. 


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Visited in September 2015.


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