On our Italy roadtrip we had five major stops (I count a major stop as somewhere we stayed overnight) and I had only been to two of them before this trip. Cinque Terre was one of the new spots so I did a ton of research. before we arrived which started with my quickly learning that Cinque Terre is not technically a singular location. In fact, it is a very large national park and on the Western edge are five adorable seaside towns, hence the name which translates into “five lands”. We stayed in the southernmost of the towns Riomaggiore and one very adventurous day hiked all five towns.
If you talk to anyone who has done this trek, the easiest and most common route is called the Blue Trail, a 11 km path connecting all five of the towns with gorgeous coastal views the whole way. And if you google “cinque terre blue path” the auto suggestion is “cinque terre blue path closed” because the quite a bit of it is closed (and has been for years). Pieces are set to open in 2021 and 2022 so check before you go but for our adventure only one of the segments was the easier Blue trial, the other three were quite steep hikes!
We left early in the morning and went from Riomaggiore to Manarola and then onwards to the middle town of Corniglia. Here we stopped for a picnic lunch which we had brought before continuing to Vernazza and finally to Monterosso al Mare. Our paths had a great deal more elevation than the blue trail and our trek was just over 16 kilometers but the views were certainly worth it! And as I mentioned on Instagram while I saw at least a few girls in each town all dolled up and taking photos I certainly could not be counted among them. I was in athletic gear and by the end of trek was sweaty from head to toe. Speaking of what I was wearing – you do not need to have hiking boots (though some people were wearing them) – sneakers are fine but make sure they have a decent tread, the ground is rocky and quite uneven!
As mentioned, we did bits and pieces of trails but you could spend days in Cinque Terre National Park as there are 48 different hiking trails and no entrance fee for most. However, for two parts of the blue trail, Monterosso to Vernazza and Vernazza to Corniglia, you do need to buy the Cinque Terre Card. The card is 8 euro per adult and no need to buy it ahead of time, you can do so on the trail but make sure you have cash on you! Hopefully this was helpful and you now feel up for you very own journey to this gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What do you think of these Cinque Terre hiking shots?