The Cinque Terre hike is sooooo incredibly beautiful. It was hands down one of the best experiences I had during my trip to Italy last August! You will love this charming and breathtaking hike along Italy’s coastline. It’s an absolute must do!
The Cinque Terre is located in the Liguria region along the coast of Italy and is made up of five towns, thus it is called the “Cinque Terre”. They’re stunning and quaint fishing villages that have become tourist destinations over the years. The Cinque Terre are the more rustic villages of the Italian Riviera, each with its own charm. I’ll be posting my Cinque Terre Travel Guide soon with much more information/tips and recommendations so stay tuned for that!
Hiking the Cinque Terre – Quick Facts
The best way to explain the Cinque Terre hike is that you’ll be hiking along footpaths that connect each of the five towns. The trail begins at Monterroso El Mare, which is the northernmost town in the Cinque Terre. The next is the town of Vernazza, followed by Corniglia, Manarola and Riomagiorre. You can choose to start at any of the towns and hike as much or as little as you’d like (depending on trail closures).
The best way to tackle the hike is to start in one town and hike your way through to the next. When you’re finished hiking, simply catch the train in whichever town you’ve stopped. It’s very easy to travel between the towns via train and the distances between each are fairly short.
Monterosso to Vernazza
We began our hike in Monterosso and worked our way down to Cornigilia. Monterosso to Vernazza is one of the tougher sections of the Cinque Terre hike and it’s quite steep. It’s takes about 1.5 hours to reach the town of Vernazza. The views are stunning along the entire hike and you’ll come across that “money shot” that you see all over Instagram just as you’re nearing Vernazza; you’ll see a view of the town from above and with a rickety fence in front of the best vantage point.
Vernazza to Corniglia
This next section of this hike is moderate in terms of difficulty and it’ll take approx. 2 hours to reach the town of Corniglia.
Cornigilia to Manarola
This part of the trail was closed during our visit. It’s about 1 hour to Corniglia and this section is fairly easy, nothing too intense.
Manarola to Riomaggiore
This section was also closed during our visit, so we were only able to hike up to Corniglia. It’s about 30 minutes to the town of Riomaggiore.
Before beginning your hike, it’s important to check what parts of the hike (footpaths) are open and which are closed. When my husband and I were visiting last August, a portion of the trail was closed because of a landslide. You can find information about trail closures online at the following website: http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en/cinque-terre-current-situation.
Our Airbnb was in the town of Vernazza (which I highly highly recommend by the way. More about that in my Cinque Terre guide coming up soon). We spent about a half day or about 4 hours total hiking along the trail with plenty of breaks for photos and stops in each of the towns.
I definitely recommend taking a break in each town and grabbing a foccia or gelato for a quick snack.
Based on the time of year, the weather could be very hot, July and August in particular. Come prepared with water and sun protection. Wear sturdy walking shoes, hiking boots are not needed.
Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoy the hike and have fun exploring each of the towns! Let me know which town of the Cinque Terre is your favourite in the comments below! Be sure to subscribe to my blog if you haven’t already for travel posts straight to your inbox. Stay tuned for more Italy, Greece and London travel guides coming your way soon!
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