Trail of Cinque Terre in Liguria, Italy
Beautiful view of the sea and village below on Cinque Terre trail in Liguria, Italy

Cinque Terre hike

Liguria
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Beautiful beach in one of small Italian villages along Cinque Terre hike in LiguriaBeach of Monterosso al Mare on Cinque Terre hike in Liguria, ItalyMap of Cinque Terre Walking TrailsWW2 turrets along the trail of Cinque Terre hike in Liguria, ItalyCinque Terre hike in Liguria leads along the beautiful beach of MonterossoViews of Monterosso on Cinque Terre trail in Liguria, ItalyGrape harvesting machine in the vineyard on Cinque Terre hike in Liguria, ItalySmall bay and beautiful Italian villages along the coast of Cinque Terre hike in Liguria, ItalyBeautiful views of the sea from the overlook of Cinque Terre hike in Liguria, ItalyPath along the sea on Cinque Terre hike in Liguria, ItalyLooking towards Monterosso near Vernazza on Cinque Terre hike in Liguria, ItalyLooking down on Vernazza from the Cinque Terre hiking pathVernazza and boats in the cove on Cinque Terre hike in Liguria, ItalyThe narrow streets of Vernazza in Cinque TerreVernazza views from the shoreline on Cinque Terre hike in Liguria, ItalyLooking back on the stunning village of Vernazza on the Cinque Terre hikeCorniglia in the distance on the walk along Cinque Terre in ItalyOlive groves and Corniglia on Cinque Terre hike in Liguria, ItalyApproaching Corniglia on Cinque Terre trail in Liguria region, ItalyHigh path to Manarola on Cinque Terre trail in Liguria region, ItalyWalking through vineyards on Cinque Terre trail in Liguria region, ItalyVineyards on Cinque Terre trail in Liguria region, ItalyManarola view from the hike of Cinque Terre in LiguriaManarola Village on Cinque Terre trail in Liguria region, Italy

Cinque Terre hike

Distance: 8.7mi
Elevation: 4,541ft
Time: 5 - 7h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.6 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

Hiking the Sentiero Azzurro trail linking the stunning villages that make up Cinque Terre is on most hikers’ bucket list for good reason. The colourful seaside villages and stunning views from the cliffside, looking over terraced vineyards and fishing harbors makes for a perfect day out in Italy.

Cinque Terre hike Map

Getting there

From La Spezia head to Monterosso by train; try to leave early to escape the heat. The train is mostly in tunnels, so no need to fuss about which seat you get. There are a few quick views out the left-hand windows near train stations in each town. At the Monterosso station take the stairs down and exit on to the seafront. Turn left and begin the walk.

I’ve done this 29 people have done this
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About

When to do

Year-round, best in spring and autumn.

Backcountry Campsites

No

Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly

Older Children only

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

One Way


Cinque Terre
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Cinque Terre

A day hike along Cinque Terre is incredible. While we describe the route from Monterosso to Manarola, many people choose to only do shorter sections. If you’re looking at doing a shorter distance, here are the various options to walk between Cinque Terre villages:

  • Monterosso to Vernazza: 1.9mi, 1.5-2 hours walk
  • Vernazza to Corniglia: 2.5mi, 1.5-2.5 hours walk
  • Corniglia to Manarola: 1.2mi, 1-1.5 hours walk (note the main route is currently closed, you’ll need to do a longer variant in the hills)
  • Manarola to Riomaggiore: 1.2mi, 1 hour to walk (note this is currently closed)

To do the complete route from Monterosso to Manarola, the most famous trail is the Sentiero Azzurro (the Blue trail, also known as trail #2). We like to start at Monterosso train station and walk back to Manarola, however you can go either way.

From the Monterosso train station, taking a left from the station, you will be walking along the seafront on Via Fegina. After 5 minutes you will come to a tunnel, but don’t take it. Continue on the path to the right called Salita dei Cappuccini, passing Torre Aurora. The path will once again become Via Fegina and then Via Corone.

Continue along this path exploring the lovely town of Monterosso al Mare. As you leave town, along Via Corone, you will pass Hotel Porto Roca. Take the path going down to the right, just before the hotel, signed for Vernazza. After the hotel you will come to a cross path and go right.

Soon after you can buy your pass to hike Cinque Terre. You can’t hike the trails along Cinque Terre without a trail pass. Unfortunately they don’t take credit cards, so have cash to pay for your pass. You can also pre-purchase your hiking cards online here.

After paying for your pass, get ready to climb up steps. Many people go slow and if you start late, you can expect a lineup here. The path is quite narrow with many low hanging branches.

In general, the trails along this section of the Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail, or trail #2) are narrow, rocky, and there are drop offs on the right-hand side. Passing other walkers can be a challenge at some points, and if you have extreme vertigo you may not love this part of the walk.

Continue along the path to Vernazza, and before you know it, you are in Vernazza. Here the path turns into a narrow alleyway (via e. Vernazza) that you follow until it becomes Via Agostino del Santo. Continue along this road until you reach a T-junction with Via M. Carattino. The path to Corniglia is to the left, however Vernazza is to the right, and it is a lovely little town to explore.

To get into Vernazza, go right towards the harbour and a main square. Continue all the way down the jetty then come back and go up the street to the train station.

When you are ready to continue on to Corniglia, make your way back to the t- junction with Via Agostino del Santo and Via M. Carattino, but this time go straight. After about 90 m, there will be a path to your right to continue to Corniglia. As you pass Ristorante La Torre, about another 90 m down the path, there are great views back over Vernazza to Monterosso.

About 1.2mi in, you pass a little cafe bar called Bar Il Gabbiano, should you need a drink or snack. There are very good views from the upper terrace and views forward to Corniglia.

As you approach Corniglia, you pass a rare bit of flat ground, and go through a small olive grove. When you reach a road, cross it and take small path down into town. At a bar with outside seating (A’ Caneva) go right and walk down into Corniglia. Remember this point, as you will need it to continue on the route, you’ll need to come back here and go straight.

Corniglia is another pretty village in the Cinque Terre region, with good options for lodging and restaurants, should you want to stay here for the night.

The beautiful path along the sea to Manarola is closed, likely until mid-2021. While many walkers simply get on the train, there is a stunning walk that goes up through the vineyards to get to Manarola. To take this walk, head back to A’ Caneva, the bar where you turned into town. Now go right on the path and then take your first left. This is route 587 and it starts going up right away. If you’ve taken some breaks during the day, you’ll love that this path starts in delightful midday shade.

After the path cuts back, go for a few minutes until you come to an obvious junction. Go right on path 586, signed for Volastra (0.35 hr). Soon there is a tricky set of narrow stairs to climb.

When you come to a small valley, take the trail that goes off to the right. Here there is more shade as you walk beside a fine stone wall. Roughly 20 minutes after turning on path 586, you will come to a few homes. Go beside the first and down and then left. Some of best views are just past these homes looking back at Corniglia and Monterosso. Look ahead to Manarola and the incredibly terraced vineyards. Walk along terraced vineyards with a drop off on the right-hand side – it can be quite high at times.

Soon you come out of the vineyards and olive groves to Volastra. Go past the church then take a right and quickly head to the left onto Via Montello, then take the path on the right. At the next pathway, go left, then right, signed for Manarola. You immediately go through an olive grove, and then go down some steps, then where a path goes off to right signed to Manarola (15 mins), take it.

Quickly you come to another junction, where you go right on a narrow path. Walk through vineyards toward a large sign. Go around the sign on the path. Don’t go left and down. Your path will take you in front of the sign.

Continue on this path, and go left when you come to a wide crossing path just above Manarola. When the path splits, go right and down, soon reaching the road (Via Antonio Discovolo). Go right on the road and head down. At the bottom take the tunnel to left and towards the train station.

Hurray, you’ve just walked the epic Cinque Terre! Trains back to La Spezia are typically at platform 1, but check just in case.

Insider Hints

  • Buy your Cinque Terre Hiking Pass ahead of time online here.

  • Many people aim to walk this route as fast as possible. Instead, plan on making a day of it. Start early and enjoy breaks in each village. Beware that lunch-time rushes are heavy, so if possible, aim to eat a bit early or a bit late.

  • This route can be very hot and there is not much shade. Be sure to leave early and bring plenty of water.

  • The path can be narrow and along cliffs, making it difficult to pass the many other people on the trail. Be prepared to wait at certain points. If you have vertigo some parts may make you uncomfortable.

  • Cinque Terre hike is often named as one of the best hikes in the world.

Comments

Udo Huber 1 year ago

A bit difficult in some rocky and steep trails. Mesmerizing view of the colourful villages by the sea.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
6h 00m Time Taken
Antoanette Lavroutte 1 year ago

You must visit all the 5 small cities of Cinque Terre. There you have some walking trails between them

9.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
5h 5m Time Taken
Zachary L. 1 year ago

It was a pleasant hike with a remarkable view of the seaside village. Made it to the summit just before the golden hour. Loved the dramatic scenery. Simply breathtaking.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Slavka Pochodi 1 year ago

We were lucky to have excellent weather, The views are amazing! I will definitely come back.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Alexis Schweitzer 1 year ago

Great hiking. Beautiful hiking between the towns!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
6h 30m Time Taken
FdChiking 1 year ago

Some trails were steep and rocky, but the views and the whole experience were well worth it.

10.0 Overall Rating
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MountainPaw 1 year ago

Beautiful walk along the hike. Stunning views of the Cinque Terre. Very fun trip

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
6h 00m Time Taken
Francesco D. 1 year ago

Beautiful village tour and don't forget to chill out towards the sea

10.0 Overall Rating
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8 Comments

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