hiking the Cinque Terre, Italy

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Though Buzz of the Adventure Running blog disparaged the Cinque Terre as a … “girlfriend hike”, I loved it. As does almost everyone.

Alas, I had no lass.

I walked the Cinque Terre, solo.

Since it was my first time there, I did the classic Sentiero Azzurro (Trail #2) route. (Or Blue Path or Azure Path or Light Blue Path)

12km (7.5mi)
Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare
easy with difficult sections, some exposure

Lonely Planet Hiking in Italy:

There’s a reason why the Sentiero Azzurro is one of Italy’s most crowded trails, and the only one you’ll have to pay cash to enter. …

… the route follows an ancient network of walking paths that has linked the five Cinque Terre villages together for over a millennium.

Studded with panoramic vistas, it traverses windswept olive groves and seemingly impregnable vineyards, before dipping serendipitously into each of the flavourful maritime villages …

It starts with a jolt. Check out the first village, Riomaggiore.

Cinque Terre hike, Italy

I picked up some wonderful fresh bread in a bakery here.

Cinque Terre hike, Italy

Next up, Via dell’ Amore … Does that translate to Way of Love?

Cinque Terre hike, Italy

Lonely Planet should have encouraged me to bring a love lock and some spray paint for tagging. 🙂

Love padlocks - Cinque Terre hike, Italy

Love padlocks - Cinque Terre hike, Italy

graffiti - Cinque Terre hike, Italy

I did meet one goddess on the trail.

Cinque Terre hike, Italy

Wow. The scenery was stunning, even on an overcast day.

Cinque Terre hike, Italy

Vernazza was my favourite of the five towns. Gorgeous.

Cinque Terre hike, Italy

Cinque Terre hike, Italy

Check how narrow the footpath is at this point. (And it’s a long drop if you misstep.)

Cinque Terre hike, Italy

It was much later in the afternoon than I expected when finally arriving in the last village, Monterosso al Mare.

Cinque Terre hike, Italy

But I’d highly recommend you continue through town to check out a truly interesting building / statue – The Giant.

You can’t miss it.

Though the Cinque Terre is crowded, everyone loves this walk. (But you’ll love it more if you bring someone special along.)

There are other great trails, too. Next time I’ll go for either the Sentierro Rosso (38km) or, even better, the Promotario de Portofino Circuit (18km). I’ll stay in one of the two hostels on the coast, booking weeks in advance to be sure of space.

… Wait a minute. I did have a girlfriend in nearby La Spezia. Her name is Hotel Diana.

Diana Hotel - La Spezia, Italy

Expensive at 60EU / night, the most I paid for it in Italy.

See the rest of my photos from this hike.

3 Replies to “hiking the Cinque Terre, Italy”

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