Just Returned From → Hornby Island, British Columbia. Headed To → Boston, Massachusetts.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from my adventurous life—it’s how to BE PREPARED.

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Hiking Town-to-Town in Cinque Terre, Italy

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Avventura Outdoors Sale

Italy’s most famous national park merges quality hikes with tasty pizza and decadent wines.

In This Italy Travel Article You Will Discover:

  • Advice for Hiking in Cinque Terre
  • The Beauty of the National Park
  • Pitfalls to Avoid
  • And More!

I was pronouncing Cinque Terre incorrectly for a long time before someone turned me around.

It was so bad that when asked if I would be visiting “Chin’kway Tar’ay,” I would shake my head no.

I will be going to Sink Tare, though!

Learning some basic Italian is sound advice before heading to Italy. The language gap between English speakers and Italians is often huge. It pays dividends to try, even if you butcher it.

I’m a hiker. And I knew on this particular trip, we’d be spending most of our time in cafes, browsing city streets and at my sister-in-law’s wedding, of course.

But it also overlapped my birthday. On your birthday, you get what you want. And I wanted to hike town-to-town in Cinque Terre.

Well, we were hit with some disappointment right off the bat. The famous Lover’s Lane pathway from Riomaggiore to Manarola was closed. (I heard through the grapevine it’s open now.)

So we day-tripped those two towns, then on my b-day, we hopped a train to Monterosso al Mare and started hiking southeast for as long as daylight allowed.

Join me?

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Riomaggiore is popular for good reason. It’s likely what you picture when you think of Cinque Terre. This view from the waterfront is classic Italy. Just behind the red building, you see people hiking towards Lover’s Lane. They, like us, were disappointed that day. But it’s open now.

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Up in the hills you’ll find the more challenging and uber-scenic High Path (Trail #1) of Cinque Terre. When I return—and I will—I’ll likely challenge those routes. For this trip, I wanted to hike the iconic seaside trail to take in those coastal views. (Riomaggiore pictured.)

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Picking a favourite town in Cinque Terre is like picking a favourite Italian wine. You can narrow it down to two, at best. But if I had to choose, Manarola might be it.

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We rode a train from Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare (pictured) with the goal of hiking back through as many towns as we could. It’s actually only 11 kilometres end-to-end—easily done in a day, even with the steep climbs out of each town. The problem lies in that when you arrive in these charming villages, you dawdle… and willingly burn daylight.

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The view back towards Monterosso—immediately classic Cinque Terre. This is why we chose the seaside route—a.k.a. the “Blue Path,” or Trail 2. Once again, the grapevine (not the ones pictured here, the metaphorical grapevine) is saying some sections of this trail are closed now, even though Lover’s Lane is actually open. Hey—it’s tough maintaining a 1,000-year-old pathway.

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It’s not wilderness. Far from it. But it still offers some wonderful views of the Mediterranean coastline; replete with lemon trees, vineyards, ancient stone paths and moody skies.

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Descending into Vernazza—another classic view lies right around this corner. En route, you’ll pass funky little houses that seem like they’re about to crumble into the Mediterranean, random accordion-playing buskers, a cat sanctuary and lemon trees just begging to be picked (but don’t, they’re not yours).

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It’s steep, at times. And it kind of lulls you, as it’s so developed and well-travelled. But a rolled-ankle or tumble in sections like this would be a disaster. It’s wise to take it slow. (Wondering where our supplies are? They’re on my back. Yeah… I guess being the birthday boy isn’t all roses.)

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That’s the view—we snapped about 10 photos here. Wait long enough and a fellow hiker will stop by; you can trade photo-for-photo to get a cutesy pic of you and your travelling companion. The backdrop makes the ideal humblebraggy desktop picture.

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The stone walls of Corniglia await. Unlike the rest of the towns, Corniglia is set high above the water—almost like a fortress. It has a distinct look and feel. While towns like Manarola and Riomaggiore are basically twinsies, Corniglia is unmistakable. It was my wife’s favourite. Not mine. I like the seaside.

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Looking southeast from Corniglia. This was as far as we got that day. Too much window-shopping in Monterosso. Too long a lunch in Vernazza. And by Corniglia, we were just too tired. (OK, maybe the wine and gelato had something to do with it.) We hoped the train was just around the corner, but it was a staggering 300 steps down from town. Knees, don’t fail me now… Needless to say, the 200 stone-steps at our hotel lost their novelty that day.

Benefit to all this climbing? Eat as much pasta as you like.

(As if I wasn’t going to anyway.)

About the author: David Webb is a Vancouver, BC-based travel writer, photographer and magazine editor.

23 comments… add one
  • Wonderful place to enjoy hinking, Thanks for sharing this amazing experience of hiking in italy. Cinque Terre is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline.

  • Carter Perry Oct 25, 2018

    Just wanted to let you know I’m really, thankful of your for sharing such an amazing topic. It’s so insightful and unique perspective. Thanks a ton. Keep up the superb work.

  • Fiona Manonn Sep 17, 2018

    hey,
    I have read this blog your information is really helpful
    Thanks for sharing information!
    Great Work!
    Keep it up!

  • Rashi Sep 13, 2018

    Amazing beauty of nature.

  • Great post & love the snaps, i would love to visit this place. thanks for sharing this post.

  • Kimi Soni Sep 2, 2018

    Really Thanks a lot for this informative Post with images. Italy is a nice place and I have no any idea about these places but after reading this post and see images I feel wow its amazing place. And really I will go there in these places with my friends.

  • Farenexus Nexus Aug 30, 2018

    Great post, you shared great information about hiking.

  • farenexus Aug 29, 2018

    It really looks like a very nice place to visit. Now after reading your blog and seeing these pictures this place is on my bucket list. Please also have a look at our travelling blog on our website. I Hope you will like it!!

  • David Webb Aug 29, 2018

    I wouldn’t take a tent at all. You can hike it end to end in one day. Stay at a hotel or guest house!

  • Such a great detail about hiking. You shared awesome information and pictures of that place. Loved this. I would love to go there and visit this place. Thank you so much!
    Great job!

  • Taj Mahal Tour Guide Aug 19, 2018

    Great post, you shared an amazing experience of your hiking. This blog has an amazing information about the hiking. The posts and blogs are very unique. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

  • What a great adventure and experiences you shared. Such a awesome trip and pictures you captured. Thanks a lot to share a nice information.
    Keep sharing!

  • Such a amazing place you visited. Italy looks beautiful in your pictures. This is so useful and so excited after seeing all your updates! its things are so amazing to enjoy. Thank you so much for sharing your travels.

  • Elyn Mckenzie Aug 15, 2018

    Loved your blog. It was inspiring. I have yet to visit the Italy, although it’s on my ‘must visit’ list. I prefer the Caribbean. We visited the St. Barts last year. The people are warm, the food is amazing and the beaches are beautiful. Some of the larger Caribbean islands are a bit crowded at times, but if you head to St Barts, you mix with a different crowd.

  • Such a beautiful destination! This place looks beautiful and you captured ultimate pictures. I really want to visit this place in future. Thanks a lot to share great post and information about this place.
    Great job!

  • Adren Aug 13, 2018

    Italy is most beautiful pace for the honeymoon. I also going many times there. Thanks for the other related information.

  • agra taxi hire Aug 10, 2018

    What a great destination/ Italy is the beautiful place to explore. You captured awesome pictures in your travel trip. Thank you so much for sharing this post and experiences of Cinque Terre.

  • Issie Aug 10, 2018

    Hi David. How Great experience of you! It can be said that Italy is a destination of many travelers from everywhere. Thank you for sharing your experience in Cinque Terre, David! It would be my guide making a good plan to visit Italy. By the way, could you give me suggestion for a beginner of hiking and visiting Italy first time? I’m looking for backpacking tent as shown here http://www.pirt.org/best-backpacking-tent/. What do you think about that? Should I take with me? Thank you in advance for your suggestion.

  • Travoline Aug 2, 2018

    Really very calm place to refresh our mind!! beautiful nature

  • Getz Destinations Jul 27, 2018

    Italy is the place which comes first in foreign destinations travel bucket list for me. The place you explored i heard about that but never dig out how is the place for hiking but the way you explained is really very inspiring. Thanks for motivating us.

  • Mai Jul 25, 2018

    Cinque Terre is very comforting. Indeed! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Madonna Grill Jul 17, 2018

    Beccara Trails is one of the most challenging trails in the Cinque Terre, so only embark on this if you are an experienced hiker with the proper shoes and are prepared to climb about 600 sone steps.

  • Thank you for sharing your experience in Cinque Terre, David!

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