Le Cinque Terre dotted with various trails that wind along the cliffs on the coast or inland in the fertile land from where you can admire this lovely area. The paths have been used for centuries by locals for getting from one fishing village to another, and to reach the vines and lemon groves clinging to the steep hills.
To preserve and protect the five cities, they have introduced fees for use of the trails in the national park Le Cinque Terre. You can buy a "Cinque Terre Card" that applies, depending on how many trips you buy. Trains run between Levanto and La Spezia are also included in the Cinque Terre Card. For prices and more information regarding this card, you can contact the ticket booths at the train stations of the Cinque Terre towns or cities' tourist offices.
This is the most famous and demanding of all the trails of Cinque Terre. The trail was once the only road that connected the five coastal towns, starting in Riomaggiore and ended in Monterosso. Along this 12 km long tour (about 5 hours to go), you will pass through all the five towns, and get an incredibly wonderful experience of the area. You can also choose to take the trip in stages, or take the train part of the way.
First stage: This section goes from Riomaggiore to Manarola, and is also known as Via dell'Amore This is the lightest stage, as it is only 1 km long (approx 30 min walk). Parts of this trail had been dug out of the mountain between 1926 and 1928 and was used by rail workers to get between Riomaggiore and Manarola. Today it is a wonderful and romantic trail, most can go along without effort.
Second leg: This section proceeding from Manarola to Corniglia, is approximately 2 km long and takes about 1 hour to go. Starting off at Manarola train station and ends at Corniglia beach, where you can take a well deserved swim or walk on up to the city center. This stage is relatively simple to implement, but from Corniglia beach and up to the city there are some stairs to consider.
NB: This stretch has been closed for a long time. It is uncertain when it will reopen. As a little more challenging alternative, we propose the stretch Manarola -> Volastra -> Corniglia, a longer but more panoramic route that goes up the hill through Volastra.
Third Stage: This section runs from Corniglia to Vernazza and although it is 4 km long, it is a single leg which takes around 1.5 hours. When you come out of Corniglia climbs you continue to Il Sentiero Azzuro 's highest point at Prevo; 208 meters above sea level Once you have come up here, the last part of the trip on to Vernazza runs through olive groves and vineyards.
Fourth Stage: This section runs from Vernazza to Monterosso and the 3 kilometers takes about 2 hours to go. It is classified as intermediate. The journey begins with a climb from Vernazza up to 150-200 meters altitude. The area is adorned with vines and olive trees and offers several viewpoints before you arrive to Monterosso, where you can choose to go right into the city center or to the left and down the beach.
This hiking trail runs between the different churches in the five cities. The route is also a large part of the area's history, as the path probably dates back to the Bronze Age (1800-900 BC). The oldest churches are found in Monterosso, Vernazza and Volastra above Manarola. This trail provides for a story filled with experience characterized by enchanting views, where you on a clear day you can see all the way to Corsica.
The various other tour options you might wan to explore are:
- Riomaggiore - Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero (takes about 1.5 hours and is 3.5 km long)
- Manarola - Santuario di Nostra Signora della Salute (takes about 1.5 hours and is 2.5 km long)
- Santuario di Nostra Signora delle Salute (Volastra) -> Case Pianca -> Corniglia -> Santuario di Nostra Signora delle Grazie (San Bernardino) (takes approximately 2 hours and is about 3 km long)
- Santuario di Nostra Signora delle Grazie (San Bernardino) -> Santuraio di Nostra Signora di Reggio (Vernazza) -> Santuario di Nostra Signora di Soviore (Monterosso) (takes about 3 hours and is 4 km long)
Please ask one of our experienced travel consultants for tips and advice regarding lodging in Le Cinque Terre.