Everything you need to know about hiking Cinque Terre

Everything you need to know about hiking Cinque Terre

One of my favorite holiday destinations is Italy. I love their culture, cuisine and amazing landscapes. Italy has something for everyone. I have done quite a lot of traveling in this beautiful country, and I have to admit that hiking Cinque Terre was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done (my other¬†favorite hike was Trolltunga). I would recommend this hike to everyone, you will be stunned by the amazing nature and cosy coastal towns!

When is the best time to hike Cinque Terre?

I went there in April, when the weather is already very pleasant in Italy. I would recommend going from April to October since there is less chance of rain or bad weather. Anyone who’s into hiking knows that weather is a very important factor, so you want to make sure you can enjoy this beautiful walk in all its glory. You won’t enjoy it in the rain!

Also be aware of the fact that it gets insanely crowded during July and August. If you’re not a big fan of big crowds of people, then April, May, June, September or October might be better for you.

How long does hiking Cinque Terre take?

Cinque Terre consists of, as the name already suggests, 5 towns. All these five towns are connected via a hiking trail or a railroad. If you decide to walk from town to town, it will most likely take you about 6 hours. This, of course, depends on your fitness level. You also have to take into account that you will most likely spend some time strolling in the streets of the beautiful towns. This could easily make your hike take up to 7 hours or more.

However, be aware of the fact that at this moment the hiking trails between Riomaggiore and Manarola and between Manarola and Corniglia are closed. If you want to check what the current situation is like, I recommend visiting this website.

Where do you start the hike?

You can start your hike from both sides. Either you leave from Monterosso al Mare (up north) or from Riomaggiore (south). I opted to depart from Monterosso al Mare, which proved to be quite challenging at times. The trail is quite steep and in the beginning you have to walk up a lot of steps. If you prefer a slow and easy start, Riomaggiore might be your thing. The roads are paved and very easily accessible.

Is it easy to find the trail?

Yes. The trail, which is called the “Sentiero Azzurro” (or Blue Trail), is marked well. If you’re leaving from Monterrosso, you will see signs which say “Per Vernazza”, which is the second town you will visit on your trip. Just follow these signs and you will easily find the trail. Be aware that it can be quite steep, there are lots of steps which make it quite challenging and intense. However, the whole trek is so stunning you will easily forget about your painful knees or feet.

Do you have to pay money to hike Cinque Terre?

If you decide to hike from town to town, you have to purchase an entrance ticket which costs you about 7,5 euros. You can buy this pass at the information offices of all 5 towns or in the railway stations of Levanto & La Spezia.

Do you have to bring any special equipment?

Hiking Cinque Terre isn’t exactly the same as hiking in the Alps. However, I would advise you to wear good shoes. Don’t wear your flip flops! Make sure you’re wearing good workout shoes or hiking boots. Other than that, you don’t have to bring any special equipment.

Stack up on water and some snacks, but since you will be visiting 5 towns, you will have plenty of opportunities to buy more things in case you run out. However, buying anything in the towns will obviously be very expensive. If you want to avoid spending too much money on overpriced drinks and snacks, make sure you bring everything before you start the hike.

Also, don’t forget to bring sunscreen!


Can you visit Cinque Terre without hiking?

Do not despair if you’re not a big fan of hiking because this doesn’t mean you don’t get the chance to visit the amazing coastal towns! There’s a train that takes you to all five towns. A 75-minute ticket will cost you 2,10 euros. You can also decide to hike parts of the trail and then take a train to get from one town to the other. You can basically decide for yourself how you visit Cinque Terre. An other option is visiting the towns by boat.

Can you bring your dog on the hike?

Yes, when I hiked Cinque Terre I brought my dog with me. Just bear in mind that you have to keep your dog on leash and he/she isn’t allowed on the beaches.

Have you been thinking about hiking Cinque Terre? Is there anything else you’d like to know before going? Please feel free to leave a comment!