Italy – Cinque Terre, The Five Lands which are actually Seven

Cinque Terre (21 of 22)

Where is it?

Cinque Terre is in Lig­uria the west coast of Italy, 450 km from Rome and 230 from Milano.  It is called Cinque Terre because of the first 5 vil­lages UNESCO enlisted in its her­itage, later adding another two: Mon­terosso al Mare, Ver­nazza, Corniglia, Man­arola, Riomag­giore, Por­tovenere and Tra­monti di Campiglia.

6 solid reasons to see Cinque Terre?Captură de ecran din 2016.07.19 la 19.07.13

  •  it’s a National Park
  • it’s UNESCO Her­itage
  • it’s both land and sea
  • because of the scenic beauty of the Lig­urian sea
  • because of the cli­mate
  • because of the his­tory

Cinque Terre (5 of 22)

Where to stay and means of transport

I have stayed in La Spezia, because I wanted to be close to the park. From the La Spezia train sta­tion, you can reach any of the five lands in a mat­ter of min­utes. You buy a 12 euro card per day, and have free access to trans­porta­tion and the hik­ing trails between the vil­lages. If you do not buy the card you will pay a fee to access the hik­ing trails, and the card will be def­i­nitely worth its price.  Here is a link about the card and one to the train sched­ule.

You can­not buy the card in advance but you will find it in any rail­way sta­tions -, tourist infor­ma­tion cen­ters, bus dri­vers of the Cinque Terre’s vil­lages.

Access by car in the Cinque Terre vil­lages is not rec­om­mended because of the lit­tle num­ber of park­ing places and also because it is restricted in most areas of the vil­lages itself.  So, for­get the car. Let it rest. You deserve it.

Look for accom­mo­da­tion close to the park, one sug­ges­tion is La Spezia in the south or  Levanto in the north, because both are close to the sea and to Cinque Terre.

The Hiking Trails

High heels are not rec­om­mended – says a funny sign you will often see on the trails and that is a sug­ges­tion to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.Cinque Terre (13 of 22)

The hik­ing trails are no easy path, but it is worth every step. Get ready for nar­row, crowded hik­ing trails, espe­cially if you choose to visit the site in high sea­son (June-August). Take your boots or trekking san­dals, water and some choco­late. You will thank me later.

I rec­om­mend you see the vil­lages only by walk­ing on its hik­ing trails that con­nects all the first five: Mon­terosso al Mare, Ver­nazza, Corniglia, Man­arola, Riomag­giore. For Por­tovenere and Tra­monti you need the bus.

Hiking trails length between the villages:

Mon­terosso – Ver­nazza – 3 km, dif­fi­culty mod­er­ate

Ver­nazza-Corniglia – 4 km, dif­fi­culty mod­er­ate

Corniglia – Man­arola – 1,5 km, dif­fi­culty easy

Man­arola – Riomag­giore – closed in 2016 – 1,5 km, dif­fi­culty easy

Golden pieces of advice from Ste­fano my friend from La Spezia:

Start the Cinque Terre tour from Mon­terosso to Ver­nazza, not from RioMag­giore. Why? Most of the travel guides start their tours from  Riomag­giore, so the hik­ing trail is crowded there. Why not be smart?Cinque Terre (16 of 22)

Start any hik­ing route as early in the morn­ing as pos­si­ble, to avoid the crowds. The trains start as early as 5.21 am, so it’s up to you.  I per­son­ally saw arti­cles in the local news­pa­pers talk­ing about the over­crowded trains in high sea­son (June – August) and peo­ple not being able to get on the trains, includ­ing locals who are going to work.

If you can, visit the vil­lages between March-May, Sep­tem­ber-Novem­ber. There are less crowds and the sea is warm enough to bathe in Octo­ber.

What to expect when walking the hiking trails:

a Walt Dis­ney like set with green vine­yards, cloud­less skies, turquoise  sea  plus yel­low from the lemon trees and red from the beau­ti­ful sea-coast  flow­ers that bloom every­where.

 Funny facts

In the train sta­tion, they announce trough the speak­ers that thieves are present on the plat­forms and in the trains, and I find that as a golden reminder for tourists who  day­dream after see­ing the beauty of these places. So thank you Tren­i­talia!

My favorite vil­lages:

Ver­nazza, Man­arola, Tra­monti di Campiglia

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6 Comments Add yours

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