There are multiple trails that connect the five cities of Cinque Terre however the most popular trails are Via dell’Amore (Lover’s Lane) and Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Path). Both of these trails require the Cinque Terre Card which can be purchased on the trails at the ticket booths or at the Cinque Terre train stations. Once the card is purchased, all you need to do is show the ticket to the attendant and you are good to go!
Because of the closures, we hiked alternative trails, which are free and which allowed us to have some amazing views of the Italian Riviera.
Today’s post is a little long, so bear with me, but I wanted to cover hiking Cinque Terre in one day.
RIOMAGGIORE TO MANAROLA
Since Via dell’Amore was closed we hiked the Beccara Trail #531.
We woke up early as the sun was still creeping over the hills and Riomaggiore was still fast asleep. It took us awhile to find Trail #531, but once we did we were on our way.
The hike took about 45 minutes to an hour.
We hiked up a lot of stairs but we eventually got this view. Not too bad. ;)
Looking down into Manarola. Super cute.
It was early so the town was quiet.
We stopped at a little cafe called Aristide and enjoyed some breakfast.
It was a quick stop but we knew we were coming back in the evening for dinner.
Here’s looking back into Manarola.
MANAROLA TO CORNIGLIA (VIA VOLASTRA)
We continued our way to Corniglia by following the arrows.
The hillsides are covered in vineyards…
and olive groves.
In the process of hiking from Manarola to Corniglia, we passed through this small town called Volastra.
There was a little corner store that we stopped in for a snack.
Let me tell you, I am so glad we stopped in here because we had the BEST focaccia we have ever had. It was AMAZING!! We ordered focaccia with green olives and olive oil drizzled over it. The freshness just oozed out of the bread. Can I be transported back there now please?! Why didn’t I take a picture?!! Instead I have a picture of the landscape.
The hike from Manarola to Corniglia is roughly an hour. It entails more stairs but passing through Volastra and being greeted by this gorgeous view is worth it. Trust me.
It took a little while hiking down to Corniglia.
Corniglia is adorable.
Once there, we stopped at a little wine bar, La Scuna Distro. After hiking for so long we needed a restroom break and a drink break so this was the perfect stop! 😉
There was a little grocery store, A Butiega, where we purchased sun dried tomatoes and olives for a snack later in the day. The views were beautiful but we knew we needed to get back on the path and head to our next town, Vernazza.
CORNIGLIA TO VERNAZZA
The Sentiero Azzurro trail was back open for the hike from Corniglia to Vernazza.
By this hour of the day the trail was a little more crowded but it wasn’t bad at all. The weather was absolutely perfect.
Hiking from Corniglia to Vernazza takes about an hour or so.
And when you reach Vernazza you are treated with this.
Vernazza was busy when we eventually made our way into town. It was around lunch time and the main street was packed with tourists.
We stopped in Batti Batti for some more focaccia. 🙂 It was tasty but not nearly as good as the focaccia we ate in Volastra.
My husband decided to take a dip in the sea as I sat and ate the snacks which we purchased in Corniglia.
In our hurry to hang out at the water, eat and get back to hiking we completely forgot to check out the castle!? 😦 I’m pretty bummed about that.
VERNAZZA TO MONTEROSSO
For the last section of the hike we continued on Sentiero Azzurro. We purchased the Cinque Terre Card here (the ticket booth was closed at Corniglia). This is looking back into Vernazza. I’m obsessed.
The hike from Vernazza to Monterosso takes roughly 1.5 – 2 hours.
The weather could not have been more perfect.
Monterosso is another adorable stop. We walked around and ate some gelato.
Unfortunately, our time in Monterosso was cut short. I realized while there that I lost my not-so-cheap scarf and wanted to train it back to Vernazza to look for it. (When leaving Vernazza, olive juice had spilled in our backpack and I remembered exactly where we were when we took everything out.) Anyway, in our process of leaving, we caught this gorgeous sunset.
Overall, hiking Cinque Terre was a total success. We allowed ourselves plenty of time to hike from town to town and enjoy a little bit of each place once there. If we were hiking in the summer then we would have had a little more time due to the sun setting later in the day. We definitely plan on hiking Cinque Terre again. It worked out perfectly that Via dell’Amore was closed because otherwise we would not have passed through Volastra and eaten the most incredible focaccia. Can’t you tell? I’m still writing about it! 😛
Below is a little summary of the hike.
HIKING CINQUE TERRE:
Riomaggiore to Manarola – Via dell’Amore (closed), used the Beccara Trail #531 – Free
Manarola to Corniglia – Via dell’Amore (closed), used Trail 587 and other arrows – Free
Corniglia to Vernazza – Sentiero Azzurro, Requires the Cinque Terre Card
Vernazza to Monterosso – Sentiero Azzurro, Requires the Cinque Terre Card (once purchased, you just show the ticket attendant your card and you are free to pass any trail.)
I hope you enjoy hiking Cinque Terre as much as we did!
xo, Jenneke Rose