This walk takes in three of the five villages that make up Cinque Terre. If that wasn’t reason enough, in between the villages you can expect views along the coastline and out into the Mediterranean.
Throngs of walkers tackle this trail every day, and with good reason; it is beautiful! The path is easy to follow sticking to well-established (but narrow!) paths and keeping the azure waters of the Mediterranean on your left.
The best approach to this walk is to take it slowly, stopping in each of the three villages along the way, as each have their own unique characteristics. Corniglia is the only village situated on a clifftop rocky spur – the name probably derives from the Italian word ‘corno’ which means spur.
Vernazza is the most postcard-friendly of the villages, which is a strong claim considering the standard set by the other villages. The painter’s palette of colours will gradually come into focus as you descend on Vernazza from the hills above. Walk to the end of the long arm of the marina for a beautiful view.
Monterosso, where you finish, is the only village with a car park, and therefore the busiest of the five villages, but what better excuse to get lost in the narrow alleys and back streets, or just to sit outside with a gelato watching the world go by.
Stop in the ‘halfway bar’ after 2 kilometres to enjoy refreshments before heading on to Vermazza. There is a lovely terrace with beautiful views to enjoy your drinks/snacks.
There are some exposed and unfenced edges throughout the walk; be careful and remain on the path
There are several stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement. Walk on the left side facing the oncoming traffic, unless there is a verge separated by line-markings that provides space to walk on.
Much of the path is rocky. Bear in mind these may be slippery when wet, place your feet with care, and use the handrail, where one is provided.
The path is narrow in places - sometimes too narrow for two people to pass each other even – and has exposed edges to the side, so it takes cooperation and patience to enjoy this walk safely.
Sturdy hiking boots and a waterproof/wind-break layer are required. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
Make sure you bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of hiking.
Be sure to bring plenty of sun cream and a healthy respect for the sun.
Points of Interest
Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso
There are few ‘points of interest’ that standout drastically in any of the three villages, but that is because the village is a point of interest in its entirety. With each Cinque Terre village you should aim to visit the marina (Corniglia excepted), get lost in the narrow streets and stairways, grab a seat in the piazza, admire the derelict stone guardtowers that fended off raids in bygone years, hear the dull chime of the church bells – Monterosso has a particularly impressive display at 17:30, and find a variety of viewpoints overlooking the cascading colourful houses.
The Convent of Capuchin Monks
The Capuchin Friars have played an important role in the Monterosso community, both economically and spiritually, for nearly 400 years. The convent was closed in 1816 under the Napoleonic laws, remained closed under the 1867 Savoy laws, but was reopened and restored to its original function as a place of spirituality, to the delight of the locals, in 2006.\
Food and Drink
After 2 kilometres you will reach Volastra, which has a small grocery store where you can buy drinks, snacks and order sandwiches and paninis.
Corniglia has lots of places to grab some food, and specialises in Foccacia