Hiking is one of the greatest activities you could do in Cinque Terre, but there are some things you need to know before going…
1. Open or Closed?
The first thing you need to prepare for your itinerary is to be aware of the territory’s features. Unfortunately, here in Liguria, it rains a lot during winter (mostly from November to March). For this reason, if you come during the low season some of the trails could be shut down due to landslides or just heavy weather. Conclusion: always check out the status.
Sentiero Azzurro – Via dell’Amore – This trail is probably the most famous. It’s the easiest trail of all and connects the Cinque Terre with a promenade. Due to a flood in 2011, part of it is still in reconstruction:
Riomaggiore–Manarola (Via dell’Amore) – CLOSED. Scheduled opening: April 2021.
Manarola-Corniglia – CLOSED. Scheduled opening: 2022.
Even if these specific sections are closed, the villages are still connected by other trails a bit more uphill.
Even though most of the trails of the Riviera are free, the four that connect the villages of Cinque Terre have an entry fee, from March (15th) to November (15th). The cost would be 7.50€ each, but you can make a good deal by buying the Cinque Terre Card. This card is a complete package for public transport (train) + hiking trails and cultural tours.
3. Recognition System
The majority of Italian trekking paths are organized and set up by the CAI. It stands for Club Alpino Italiano: Italian Alpine Club. Among the services and initiatives promoted by this institution, there is the system of signs for trekking trails. In fact, you will be able to recognize the trail you are following thanks to a red and white sign with a number. It stands for the identification number of the trail. You will see this symbol along the road, painted on rocks, trees, or walls.
4. Length of Trails
Cinque Terre and La Spezia host more than 50 different hiking trails. There is a wide choice of paths depending on length, typology of soil, steepness, and more. As regards the length, you will be able to find trails of about 30 minutes, but also trails of 4 hours. In most cases tourists are not aware of the length of the trail they choose, so check it out before going!
Approximately, from a village to another the length of trails is from 1,5 to 2,5 hours.
If you are a beginner, you should know that the hiking trails of the Riviera could be compared to mountain trails. The reason is the structure of the coastline. There are some easy trails and some just for experts, but the main thing you need to know about hiking here is that paths are often narrow…but don’t worry, you’ll be rewarded by the beauty of the panorama.
6. If You Are With Kids
You can definitely hike with kids! Some of our best trails are good for families too, you just need the right equipment.
Tips by locals:
- Wear hiking boots;
- Get water with you;
- Choose the right season!
- If you need anything as regards the right equipment there is a local shop in Manarola;
- If you have kids, I suggest the trail from Manarola to Corniglia/Vernazza. It’s among the most panoramic but also easiest.