Hiking the Cinque Terre in Northern Italy

Hiking the Cinque Terre in Northern Italy

Cinque Terre in the Italian Riviera is a beautiful place to visit. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most picturesque in all of Italy. The five quaint fishing villages are covered with colorful houses stacked on top of one another along the rugged coastline. The villages, Monterosso Al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarolo, and Riomaggiore are distinct with their own look and feel.

Cinque Terre rivals the Amalfi coast, having some of the most beautiful coastal views in Italy. The best way to explore this coastline is by setting out on a hike that links each village.

Hiking the Cinque Terre: Monterroso
Monterosso, Italy

Content and photographs provided by Yana Kogan and Timon.

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About Cinque Terre

When to Visit

Visit during the summer and fall. Cinque Terre is in Northern Italy, not far from the mountains. It can get cold in the winter, with occasional snow.

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How to Get There

Cinque Terre Hiking Guide

Located west of La Spezia, Cinque Terre is easily accessible. The train in La Spezia stops at each village. The villages are accessible by car; however, the tiny streets are difficult to navigate and parking is a major problem. Alternatively, you can stay in Monterosso and start the hike from there.

Cinque Terre Card

The Cinque Terre Card is an all-inclusive ticket that gives you access to the Sentiero Azzurro trail, free bus rides in all the Cinque Terre villages, access to Wi-Fi at the train stations, free use of public restrooms, and discounts in most museums. You can get tickets for one day or one-day ticket with train access. You can find more information here about the Cinque Terre Card.

Where to Stay

Cinque Trail Hiking Trails

Each village has a limited amount of guesthouses. The northernmost village, Monterosso Al Mare, has the most options for accommodation. It is also possible to stay in La Spezia and take the train.

Search for Cinque Terre Hotels:


Monterosso to Corniglia

Hike Details

Our Hike: 6.6 Miles, 1,556 feet gain, 3 hours 25 minutes

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

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The Hike

Cinque Terre Trail: Vernazza
Vernazza, Italy

For the best views, hike north to south. Starting in Monterosso, the beginning of the hike is the hardest and steepest section. The first ascent is mostly steps. Once the trail flattens out, the view of Vernazza is stunning. Just off the main street, in Vernazza, is a small cave with a beautiful beach on the other side.

The hike to Corniglia has wonderful views and is not as long and difficult as the previous section. While there, we cooled off with some delicious homemade gelato. For several years, the trail between Corniglia and Manarola has been closed. We took the train from Corniglia to Manarola where we enjoyed an amazing lunch at Cafe Billy.

Cinque Trail Hiking Trails: Vernazza
Vernazza, Italy

We took the train to Riomaggiore to explore the last village. It is quite possibly the most scenic of all the villages. Although part of the hike in Cinque Terre is closed, don’t let that discourage you. We had a wonderful time exploring the area.

That’s it – we hope you have a wonderful time in your The Cinque Terre Hike!

Planning a trip to Italy? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!

About the Author:

  • Yana and Timon

    Yana & Timon met at college in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating, they started their professional careers. They moved to San Francisco in 2010, a city they loved living in for nearly six years.

    After working and saving up money for several years, they quit their jobs and set off on an adventure of a lifetime. They started living a nomadic lifestyle in December 2015 and have not looked back since.

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