Whether you are going to Monterosso Al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, or Riomaggiore, there’s no doubt you will enjoy your stay in Cinque Terre. Each village has unique characteristics, but they are close enough to visit each one via trail or train.
Hiking in the Cinque Terre:
Five main foot paths link each of the towns of the Cinque Terre. They vary in length and degree of physical effort, and are often uneven and include lots of stairs. We’ve listed the approximate time required and level of difficulty for each. Don’t forget, you need to have a Cinque Terre Card to use the paths, and be prepared: wear comfortable walking / hiking shoes, bring water, and do not liter.
- Riomaggiore to Manarola– 25 minutes – easy walk
The famous Via del amore, paved trail cut into the cliff.
- Manarola to Corniglia– 1 hour and 10 minutes- easy to moderate
A broad and scenic low trail past a beach.
- Corniglia to Vernazza– 1 hour and 45 minutes – Strenuous hike
The greenest hike of the coast, steep at times.
- Vernazza to Monterosso– 2 hours and 15 minutes – Strenuous hike
Rough narrow trail, steep at times. Beautiful views of Vernazza.
Swimming in the Cinque Terre:
There are beaches in every town of the Cinque Terre. Americans can expect small and crowded beaches and not always sandy. Some beaches cost money to use like the one in Monterosso Al Mare in the old section with the umbrellas. There is a free beach right next to the paid beach tucked against the cliffs. This beach is considerably more crowded and is rockier.
The first one is opposite the train station in Monterosso. It has deck chairs, changing rooms, snack bars and a life guard. Do not swim if the red flag is flying!
- The second beach is in a beautiful, secluded valley between Corniglia and Vernazza. Not many tourists know how to get to it. Guvano beach has none of the facilities of the Monterosso beach and is so secluded that some people bathe nude, but you do not have to. Guvano is an official nudist beach.
- Riomaggiore also has a beach that is free, but very rocky. This beach can get busy in the summer time and offers great swimming. Rio’s beach is beyond the ferry dock around the corner. Many tourists don’t even know its there. Most opt for what they can see, which is the Monterosso Al Mare touristy beach. We recommend the Riomaggiore Beach. Wear your shoes though, its rocky (water shoes are recommended).
- If you are adventurous, you can walk down in certain parts along the main trail of the Cinque Terre and layout on large rock clusters. Cap the afternoon off with a dip into the deep blue of the Ligurian Sea. There are several spots along the Via Del Amore we recommend for swimming and tanning.