Hiking in Cinque Terre

Nestled along the rugged Ligurian coastline, the Cinque Terre is a captivating destination boasting picturesque villages, dramatic cliffs, and breathtaking sea views. This article serves as a guide to exploring this stunning region through hiking, offering insights into its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a casual adventurer, the trails of Cinque Terre promise an unforgettable experience immersed in the beauty of the Italian Riviera.

View above Corniglia, Cinque Terre

Hiking in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is the name given to a particular stretch of the Ligurian coast, spanning 10 km and encompassing those small but enchanting multicolored villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The very existence of these villages is based on heroic viticulture, practised on sheer cliffs overlooking the sea. So, how can you best experience this unique landscape? Naturally, by foot, guided by experts in history, nature, and local culture.

Cinque Terre: A Brief Overview

Cinque Terre, now included in a National Park and a Protected Marine Area safeguarding both its immediate hinterland and rugged coastline, is a collection of small Ligurian villages perched on the sea and closely knit together. Historically devoted to heroic viticulture practised on terraces carved into the harsh geological formations, these villages have added commercial fishing and, in the last 20 years, mass tourism, attracted by the unparalleled charm of this landscape. Ancient fortresses, historic alleyways, white beaches, dark cliffs, Mediterranean scrub, exotic essences, exceptional wines, and generous cuisine are the main ingredients that make Cinque Terre a cornerstone of global tourism, a corner of Mediterranean paradise protected from the north’s cold by the towering mountains behind, and lashed by the warm southern breeze on all sides.

Cinque Terre Map

The Cinque Terre, nestled within a National Park and a Marine Protected Area, boasts a network of approximately 120 km of intricate secondary trails, divided between the sea and the mountains, along with the 812 m high Monte Malpertuso. This network faithfully follows the tracks carved into the mountainside by generations of tireless farmers, representing today the pride of the local cultural heritage, a legacy maintained with dedication and respect for the savoir-faire capable of bringing out the best from this isolated patch of land nestled by the sea.

What Hiking Trails are Open in Cinque Terre?

Four main trails, all running parallel to the sea, offer about 120 km of interconnected secondary trails, weaving between the coast and the mountain, along with the 812 m high Monte Malpertuso. Following faithfully the tracks carved into the mountainside by generations of farmers, this network is today the pride of the local cultural heritage, a legacy maintained with dedication and respect.

Trails in Cinque Terre

Hiking from Corniglia to Manarola

The portion of Cinque Terre we chose to traverse on foot passes through the small village of Volastra, connecting the heart of Corniglia to Manarola and its romantic terrace overlooking the sea. Along this 6 km route, we’ll traverse ancient walls, dense Mediterranean scrub, and ancient vineyards of Sciacchetrà and Cinque Terre Doc, immersing ourselves in the stories and cultures of a historic landscape torn from the wild, still capable of offering the scents, flavours, and colours of true Mediterranean scrubland. To complete the experience, upon arrival in Volastra, we’ll enhance our journey with a tasting break, where we can sample slices of authentic Genoese focaccia and a glass of locally produced Triple A natural wine.

What to wear when Hiking in Cinque Terre?

  • 1 pair of hiking shoes (preferably high-topped)
  • 1 breathable t-shirt
  • 1 spare breathable t-shirt
  • 1 breathable sock
  • 1 spare breathable sock
  • 1 waterproof wind jacket
  • Rain cover for backpack
  • Visor cap
  • Sunglasses
  • At least 1.5 liters of water per person
  • Pocket snacks such as bars, dried fruit, or chocolate
  • Sunscreen and after-sun lotion
  • (Recommended) 2 telescopic hiking poles

Hike and live the Cinque Terre as a local

Exploring the Cinque Terre on foot is a journey through breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re hiking along coastal paths or venturing into the mountains, each step reveals the unique beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the terraced vineyards to the charming villages, every aspect of Cinque Terre invites you to immerse yourself in its timeless allure. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your essentials, and embark on an adventure that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Ready to experience the magic of Cinque Terre firsthand? Book your hiking adventure today and discover the beauty of this Italian gem. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple seeking romance, or a group of friends craving adventure, Cinque Terre offers something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the chance to explore this enchanting coastal paradise on foot. Start planning your unforgettable journey now!

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