With its clusters of houses clinging precariously to the rugged cliffs, the Cinque Terre is definitely one of the most beautiful coastlines of Italy. The five small but cleverly constructed fishing villages were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, but their long history and sheer beauty were attracting people for many years before that. |
Famous for their fresh seafood delicacies and the winding railway line that cuts through the craggy coastline, these picturesque fishing villages are often listed in the top places to visit in Italy. But it’s not all about food and history, hiking in Cinque Terre is hard to beat. Boasting some of the best trails in the world, exploring the region on foot is a great way to experience the amazing flora and fauna, and to get a better sense of the place. If you’re planning on hiking in Cinque Terre, you’ll find there’s something for every skill level.
The Blue Path
The most renowned and longest of trails, the Blue Path spans the length of all five villages. This is a great option if you only have time for a day trip and want to pack in as much as possible. The 12 km route connects Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare and will take about five hours to hike, however this does not include exploring time in each town, so remember to factor that into your day.
Each section of the trail is divided between the villages and they vary in their distance and difficulty. The first two sections are classed as easy, while the second two parts are a little more difficult with steeper climbs, but still not too hard. Plus, they offer spectacular views of the coast! If you only plan for one day hiking in Cinque Terre this is a must.
Remember, to hike the blue trail you’ll have to purchase a ticket as you’ll be required to show this at checkpoints along the way.
The Riomaggiore Ring
If you’re looking for something a little easier, this circular route is perfect. Ideal for novices, the 3.5km trail starts from the village parking and heads clockwise up towards the Sanctuary of Montenero. It’s the perfect combination of culture and nature, with the church offering beautiful architecture under its highly decorated ceiling and you’ll take in stunning views of the sea before you head back down to Riomaggiore.
Corniglia to Manarola
It’s only 5.5km long but when it comes to hiking in Cinque Terre, this trail is often thought to be the hardest. The route takes you from Corniglia to Manarola via the quiet town of Volastra. The beginning is where the trail gets its reputation, thanks to the steep steps, but the sweat is well worth it. You’ll be rewarded with incredible panoramic views of Corniglia and, after another 30 minutes of less strenuous walking, you’ll end the hike with the spectacular view of Manarola.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or are looking for a fun alternative day trip from Florence, hiking Cinque Terre is a great way to explore the beautiful region and see it from another perspective. These are just a few of the beautiful trails on offer and many people return to spend more time exploring these wonderful hikes.
Mauro Bramante is the Director of WalkAbout Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy. We can also help with advice on things like what it’s like to go hiking in Cinque Terre so you can decide when to visit. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous Chianti wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro's company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you're keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.
Related Articles -
hiking, in, Cinque, Terre,