Hiking the Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is part of the Italian Riviera and is literally translated as “The Five Lands“. Cinque Terre is one of the best places on the planet to hike. It is a picturesque series of five villages in the region of Liguria along the Italian Riviera.

In each of the five villages in Cinque Terre, at least one public fountain delivers some of the best water for hikers to drink. Therefore, regardless of how long Cinque Terre has been occupied, these villages have been its transportation network, whether for trade of goods or foods. Beyond the use of boats, hikers and visitors have become accustomed to the beloved and well-maintained hiking trails.

 Sunset in Riomaggiore

There are a few hiking trails in the Cinque Terre, available for different purposes. The lower trail, known as the Light Blue trail or the Sentiero Azzuro, is tagged as #2 on walking maps. Via Dell’Amore, also called the Pathway of Love, is the most popular section of this trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola.

The lower trail from Riomaggiore to Monterosso is around 10 km long and can easily be completed in a day by anybody in sound physical condition. Most hikers start in Riomaggiore and walk to the north along the coastline. However, the advice is to walk in the opposite direction (north to south) and after that return to the base by boat. This alternative allows the explorer to see all the towns and villages from the water while heading home. The walk should take about five hours in either direction.

In addition, there are parking sites you can use to walk into the towns; however, there are no droves of drivers to visit these amazing places. The main route around every town is to walk, but trains can stop at every town and hiking trail if you prefer walking to each little community.

In traditional Italian style, the buildings in every town are packed and stacked with their own fishing boats and little harbor on one side, and lush vineyards and mountain cliffs on the opposite side. This is an unquestionable requirement for the photographer, artist or anybody seeking to appreciate the beauty of these five towns.

This article will outline the five small towns in Cinque Terre

  1. Manarola

This village gets its unique characteristics from being built on black rock. It is located in the middle of olive trees and vineyards. The pastel-colored houses run down the precarious hill and neglect a serene swimming bay and harbor. Visit it and appreciate all that Cinque Terre brings to the table, including great hikes, wonderful food, local color, and DOC wine.

  1. Vernazza

This is the most beguiling of all the villages. Many small piazzas and narrow streets make up the town’s character, while pink-roofed houses, a castle, two towers, and a medieval fort add to the ambiance. It is about an hour-and-a-half hike to get to Vernazza, and despite the length, the visit is well-justified.

  1. Corniglia

Considered the most remote of all the villages, Corniglia is roosted high atop a cliff; it is the only village not close to the water. This town consists of narrow stairways and streets that align through hills loaded with vineyards. There is also a fourteenth-century church situated in San Pietro. The view from the top is astonishing if you can make the climb. For those less physically fit, a shuttle van/bus can take you there.

  1. Monterosso al Mare

This village is the largest of all the villages in Cinque Terre. It also contains the primary sandy beach. The water is turquoise and perfectly clear in color, and the cliffs are steep and rugged. It is also loaded with restaurants, as well as small and exquisite hotels. Aurora is the medieval tower that separates the older part of the village from the newer part. You can enjoy more festivals here than in any of the other Ligurian villages.

  1. Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore was established by Greek refugees hoping to escape maltreatment during the Byzantine Empire. This site was chosen because of the harbor created by two huge pieces of mountain. The town is also called the “river major” because it is built into a river gorge. There are many remote rocks for hiking and colorful homes perfect for relaxing, exercising, and sunbathing.

The hiking trails among the five villages (Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso, and Riomaggiore) offer a wide range of landscapes and levels of difficulty. A traveler can share in the experience of early residents, who took these trails not for entertainment, but for their livelihoods.