Cinque Terre

Your practical guide

Five small villages spread over a distance of 10 km along the immense coast of Italy, which has a length of 7,600 km.

The villages were only discovered by tourists at the end of the 20th century, but in a short time they acquired a popular attraction that even threatens their authenticity.

You should thoroughly prepare for a visit to Cinque Terre. Fortunately, information is abundantly available, thoughs not always up-to-date on the internet. So beware is the message.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, with a short answer. More detailed information can be found on our website and in our guideboo.

On our website and in our unique (self-assembled) guidebook you will find everything you need to really discover Cinque Terre. We wish you a lot of fun with it.

Where is Cinque Terre situated ?


Kaart Cinque Terre

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Cinque Terre guidebook

The 5 villages

The Cinque Terre, or the five villages, lie on a fairly inaccessible coast and were virtually closed to the outside world until the middle of the 19th century. The path along the coast was the only link between the villages.

When in the mid-19th century a railway was built between Rome and Genoa, they did get a station, but it remained fairly quiet there. It was not until the end of the 20th century that tourism got underway after an iconic photo of Vernazza was shown in large format at New York airport.

The success continued. In 2017, plans were even put on the table to limit the number of visitors. In the first place, this would be a measure to protect the area, which is highly susceptible to erosion. A noble intention, but according to ancient Italian tradition, the plans were quickly put away because of a lack of consensus.

Which villages should you visit? 

For each of the villages, take an hour for a walk in the villages and to visit the sights (a bit more for Monterosso), of course excluding the meals and the terraces.

Our favorite combination for a day trip : by car to Manarola, walking to Corniglia via Volastra, walking to Vernazza (or by train), by boat to Monterosso, by train to Manarola.

How do you get from one village to another?

Riomaggiore vanop de SP370

Riomaggiore

  • Riomaggiore is the first train stop on the connection between La Spezia and Levanto.
  • It is spread over two valleys that are connected by a small tunnel.
  • There are numerous shops and bars along the main street, which runs up steeply.
  • In the harbor you can rent a boat or a canoe.
  • Riomaggiore is easily accessible by car from La Spezia.
  • At the top of the village is a spacious parking garage.
  • The walk along the coast to Manarola, Via dell'Amore, has been closed for many years.
  • Several hiking trails (including the National Park) are open, but go up steeply.

Manarola vanop de SP370

Manarola

  • From the station you enter the main street via a tunnel.
  • Manarola still has a small fishing port.
  • The boats lie along the main street that slowly goes up.
  • For the best view you have to go up in the little harbor keeping right.
  • Manarola is easily accessible by car from La Spezia.
  • At the top of the village are spacious parking lots.
  • The hiking trails along the coast, to Riomaggiore (Via dell'Amore) and Corniglia, are closed.
  • Several hiking trails (including the National Park and the villages of Groppo and Volastra) are open, but go up steeply.
Corniglia vanop de SP370

Corniglia

  • From the station you have to climb 382 steps to reach the center of the village. As a result, it is usually a little quieter in the village, especially in the evening.
  • The narrow main street, full of shops and bars, runs along a cozy square to a beautiful vantage point.
  • Corniglia is accessible by car, but the road is slightly narrower.
  • Before entering Corniglia, there is a small parking lot, where there is usually space.
  • The hiking path to Vernazza is open.
Vernazza vanop de SP370

Vernazza

  • The station is at the top of the main street, which runs slowly downwards
  • Vernazza has a cozy square at the sheltered harbor, where you can rent a boat. There is even a small sandy beach.
  • Vernazza is accessible by car, but the road is very narrow and runs down steeply.
  • There is only a small parking lot. So you'd better not go to Vernazza by car.
  • The coastal walk to Corniglia and Monterosso is open.
Monterosso vanop de SP370

Monterosso

  • Monterosso has 2 village centers. The station is in the new core. The historical center can be reached along the promenade or through a tunnel.
  • It is 'different' than the other four villages and has a beautiful beach.
  • Monterosso can be reached by car, via wide roads. Parking is possible along the road or in the parking garage.
  • In the new core there is even room for campers, near the beach.
  • The coastal hiking trail to Vernazza and Levanto is open.

Hiking in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre owes a large part of its appeal to its hiking trails, especially the walking path along the coast. Long ago this was the only link between the villages.

However, there are dozens of paths in the mountains, most of which are no wider than half a meter. Some linger between the vineyards, others go steeply up to the National Park of the Cinque Terre, a protected natural park in the hills above the villages.

Many paths are vulnerable due to erosion. There have been many landslides in recent years, especially after the memorable storm of October 25, 2011. Some paths and even roads were completely washed away. The damage has since been repaired, but in heavy rain the paths are preventively closed. You can check this on the Parco Nazionale website . In practice, the paths are not really closed. You can alway walk but 'at your own risk'.

Order the hiking map

Hiking Map
Sentiero Azzurro

Sentiero Azzurro (SVA)

  • This is the walking path that connects the villages along the coast. It has a length of 10 km and is divided into 4 parts.
  • Nowadays the path is marked with SVA (Sentiero Verde Azzurro), and it is part of a longer walking path between Portovenere and Genoa.
  • The Via dell'Amore, the sector between Riomaggiore and Manarola and barely 1 km long, has been closed since 2012, after several Australian tourists were struck by fallen boulders.
  • Between Manarola and Corniglia (about 2 km) the path is closed because of some landslides.
  • The most beautiful part, between Corniglia and Vernazza (3km) and between Vernazza and Monterosso (4km) is open.
  • To walk on the path you need a Cinque Terre Card . You can purchase the card at the beginning of the path. It is not necessary to do that in advance, unless you also want to use it to travel by train.
AV5T

Sentiero N°1 (AV5T)

  • This is the walking path that connects Portovenere with Levanto. It has a length of 38 km and runs through the National Park Cinque Terre.
  • Nowadays the path is called AV5T (Alta Via Cinque Terre - High Way Cinque Terre).
  • The most popular route runs from Portovenere to Riomaggiore and offers beautiful views. The path rises to 500 meters. A good condition is therefore required.
  • The route between Levanto and La Soviore is also very beautiful.
  • The route between the Colle di Telegrafo and La Soviore is rarely walked. It rises to 700 meters.
  • This path is freely accessible.
AV5T

More than 50 hiking trails

  • In the hills behind the 5 villages are more than 200 km of signposted hiking trails, they are indicated with numbers from 500 to 599, according to the terminology of the CAI - Club Alpino Italiano.
  • They have the advantage that it is much quieter than on the coastal trail.
  • The disadvantage is that they are a lot heavier, with height differences that go up to 500 meters.
  • You do not have to pay for these paths.
  • After heavy rainfall, some of these paths may be closed. You can check this on the website of the Parco Nazionale .

The Cinque Terre area

When you visit Cinque Terre you almost inevitably end up in one or more of the neighboring villages.

Within a radius of 100 kilometers around Cinque Terre, you have numerous sites where you can spend at least a day. Enough for a 7-day trip

Carrara

Carrara

Marble mines in a beautiful mountain landscape

Pisa

Pisa

The Piazza dei Miracoli

Lucca

Lucca

A walled city

Portofino

Portofino

Saint-Tropez on the Ligurian Coast

Genua

Lerici

and the Parco Regionale Montemarcello

In our travel guide you will find a detailed description of all these destinations.

Order our guidebook

In our guidebook, you will find ways to discover Cinque Terre off the beaten track.
Whether your visit is for one week or for just a day, it will help you to make the right choices.
Just consider what it's worth not to lose an hour every day, just by making the right choices.

Our e-guidebook

guidebook

Bestseller since 2010, updated every year,
120 pages,
PDF-format, readable on tablet and smartphone,
can be downloaded on multiple devices.

Hiking map

map cinque terre

Scale 1:25000,
120 trails along the coast and into the hills le long de la côte et dans les collines,
sent worldwide.

Map of the villages

city maps

Folder with maps of the 5 villages, Portovenere, Levanto & Bonassola,
sent worldwide

Booklet

booklet cinque terre

Booklet with description and pictures of photos of the 5 villages, Portovenere and Levanto,
48 pages,
English,

Order our guidebook





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