Cinque Terre Day hikes
View of Vernazza
Most people who visit Cinque Terre walk the coastal Sentiero Azzurro along the Mediterranean. This hike also includes the Via dell´Amore between Riomaggiore and Manarola. There are also some other really nice hikes to do in this area. Below we tell you more about three great hikes and also where to stay and eat.
Cinque Terre means five countries or lands. The villages from north to south are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Monterosso is the only village with a beach (pebblestone) even though it is possible to take a swim also in the other villages except for Corniglia.
Cinque Terre - The five villages
Monterosso / The most northern village with a pebble stone beach
Vernazza / The most photographed village
Corniglia / The most secluded village
Manarola / The most colourful village
Riomaggiore / The most southern and largest village
Sentiero No. 2 or Sentiero Azzurro
This is the most famous hike along Cinque Terre and most people coming here walk all the way from Monterosso to Riomaggiore or part of it. A really nice thing about this place is that you can take the train or boat between the villages if you get tired of walking. Either to the next village or all the way.
Length of time
Fill your bottles when you arrive in the villages
Shoes to choose
Monterosso pebble stone beach
Most of the walk along Sentiero no 2 is easy but there are some more tricky parts. The distances between the villages are:
Monterosso - Vernazza
Vernazza - Cornigliga
Cornigliga - Manarola
Manarola - Riomaggiore
Vía dell´ Amore
You have to buy tickets for the hike and show these in every village you arrive in. This Treno Cinque Terre Card is also valid on the trains connecting the villages. It will cost you about 7,50 Euros (2020). You can buy it at all stations and the tourist offices.
The path along the coast between Riomaggiore and Cornigliga is from time to time closed due to risk of land slides. As for now the Via dell´Amore is closed until April 2021.
But don´t feel bad about that! You can walk part of the coastal path and then either take the train or boat on those parts closed.
Another option is to walk along the mountain ridge above Cinque Terre along Sentiero No. 1, a beautiful path from where you can walk down to each village if you like.
Sentiero No. 1
The main difference between Sentiero No. 1 and 2 is that Sentiero No. 1 requires some more effort since you have quite an ascent up to the mountain ridge. Walking up there will take you about one hour.
The advantage is that Sentiero No. 1 brings lovely views of the coast and passes by wineyards and farms cultivating lemon, olive and pomegranate. Not many tourists choose to go this path so don´t expect to meet a lot of people.
The path is pretty well signed all the way and if it feels too streneous you always have the option to take the train to the next village. This Sentiero has a lot of different numbers: 9, 8/b, 8, 7, 7a etcetera. Our advice is not to bother too much about that. Just walk along the path. If you are unsure about where to go, sooner or later you will cross the road passing on the mountain ridge and from there you can guide yourself in the right direction.
If you decide to take the path following the mountain ridge from Monterosso you will reach a convent at the top - Santuario di Nostra Signora di Soviore. There is a small café. We sat in the garden drinking coffée listening to a choir in the chapel. Magic!
Coffée break by the Santuario di Nostra Signora
above Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso to Levanto
Levanto is a city north of Monterosso and you can easily go there by train in a few minutes. You can also do a lovely hike along the coast. This point to point hike can start either in Monterosso or in Levanto. We started in Monterosso and then took the train back after arriving in Levanto.
View of Monterosso from the north
From Monterosso there is a rather steep ascent although the path is easy to walk and follow since there are stone steps all the way up.
Finally reaching the top you have the perfect view of all the five Cinque Terre villages. There are also ruins from a lighthouse and a chapel. Following the trail it then takes you through a pine forest with breathtaking views.
Approaching Levanto you have a really nice view of Levanto. Following the trail you finally reach the promenade along the beach in Levanto.
From the beach it is about 1,5 kilometres to the train station. It is not very obvious in which direction to go to find the train station so you might have to ask someone to give you the direction. Just knowing that you will then have no problem finding the train station.
How to get to Cinque Terre?
From Pisa airport it is only a 1,5 hours drive to Monterosso, the most northern of the five Italian fishing villages known by the italian name Cinque Terre.
Staying in Cinque Terre means you park your car when you arrive and go by train, boat or hike along the Ligurian coast. There are several trains each day and you never have to wait for long. There are two parking areas in Monterosso, one in each part of the town (old town and new town). The cost for parking is 25 Euros for 24 hours (2019).
Where to stay in Cinque Terre?
We chose to stay in Monterosso because of the beach. We also figured it be a good thing to be at one end of the coast either in Riomaggiore or Monterosso.
Most of the places to stay in are small Bed & Breakfast and we stayed at Villa Accini. It is a simple but really nice small hotel. It has a lovely garden with lemon trees where you can have breakfast in the morning. It is about 5 minutes walk to the beach.
Where to eat in Cinque Terre?
This is a lovely thing about Cinque Terre! There are lots of really nice restaurants in all villages even though the supply of restaurants in Corniglia is smaller.
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