Hiking Cinque Terre is a big thing, and there are a lot of trails with a varying degree of difficulty. Hiking from Monterosso to Vernazza is not hard, but you will have to stop and catch your breath once in a while, and the steps on the trail can be very high. The trail from Monterosso to Vernazza is said to be the hardest of the five trails that make out “The blue path” – a 7,5 mile long trail between the picturesque cities Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso on the Italian Riviera. But if you don’t mind steps, there are about 550 of them on the hike from Monterosso to Vernazza, and are in relatively good shape, I don’t think you’ll run into problems. The guidebooks will tell you it takes about two hours to do the hike, which I found to be pretty accurate.
The trail takes you through a very beautiful landscape dominated by wines and olive groves on one side and the crystal clear ocean on the other side.
What to remember when hiking from Monterosso to Vernazza
If you want to hike “The blue path” – or only parts of it – you have to get a trekking card. There are two kinds of cards depending on how many days you want to use it, and if you want to do more than just hike. The cheapest one costs € 7.50, but if you pay € 16, you can travel by train between the five cities an unlimited number of times. To get a full overview of prices and trails, check this website out: trekking card. You can buy the card online or on the trail itself. Before you go, you also have to check to see if any of the trails are closed. The only part of “The blue path” that was open when I visited was the trail from Monterosso to Vernazza. The other four trails were closed due to maintenance etc.
Another thing you have to remember is water. And lots of it. And bring a swimsuit. I didn’t – big mistake. The beach at Monterosso is really inviting, and the blue, clear water is basically just calling for you to get in.
Getting to Cinque Terre
The easiest way to get to Cinque Terre is by far by train, but you can also go by bus. The five cities of Cinque Terre all have a railway station, and the trains run frequently, and the tickets are cheap. There is really no reason to hassle with parking when going to Cinque Terre, as it is so easy to go back and forth between the cities by train. I went to Monterosso from Pisa by train without having to change anywhere, but when I went back to Pisa, I had to take one train from Riomaggiore and change at the station La Spezia Centrale.
Facts about Cinque Terre
- Cinque Terre is a beautiful National Park in Italy attracting millions of tourists every year.
- The main attractions are the five vividly colored villages Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. They are all located near the ocean or on cliffs overlooking the sea.
- Riomaggiore is the first village of the Cinque Terre on the side of La Spezia. The main town is separated from the railway station and the wharf by tunnels. The town has a small beach, but you can’t really swim from it.
- Manarola, the second village of Cinque Terre, is only 500 meters from Riomaggiore, so it is an easy walk.
- Corniglia is the smallest and the highest of the five villages, and it is the only town that does not have a seaport. It is very difficult to reach by car, so the only options available are either by train or by foot.
- Vernazza is probably the most beautiful of all the villages, and if you can get a table overlooking the harbor while drinking cold white wine and eating pasta with seafood, well – what else do you need.
- Monterosso is the biggest, oldest and most visited village in Cinque Terre. Also, the biggest beach of the entire coast is situated here, which means there is more activity during the day and evening.
To get more info on the cities, check out this post: Five places to visit in Cinque Terre.
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