Walking through Cinque Terre | Five beautiful villages along the Italian coast
If you’re an real Instagram user, then you’ve most likely seen a photo or two coming by of marvelous Cinque Terre, five little villages on the north-west coast of Italy. The villages are connected by a walking route along the coastline. Put on your hiking shoes because here you’ll need to be ready for cliffs, staircases, and steep pathways!
The most beautiful village in Cinque Terre
I had read that Vernazza was the true gem of these five villages; so, I wanted to end our walking route there. We were staying in Forte dei Marmi on the Tuscan coast and drove to La Spezia station where we could park the car. On the station platform is a special ticket office (with a long queue!) where you can buy a train ticket including entrance to the walking routes. With this ticket, you can travel unlimited from place to place to walk (a part of) the trail. Or you can also opt to take the train from station to station to just visit the villages. They also have information there on which trails are currently accessible. Sometimes trails are blocked or inaccesible due to heavy rains or earthquakes.
You might be expecting beautiful views during the train ride, but the majority of the journey is through tunnels. Every once in a while you’ll get a glimpse of the beautiful coastline. That’s why it’s definitely recommended to walk some of the trail. We had heard that it can be quite busy during the summer, but in early June the route was still fairly peaceful.
Starting point in Corniglia
We chose to walk from Corniglia to Vernazza, which takes about two hours (including a small lunch break and plenty of photo stops on the way). To reach this village, you have to take walk up quite a massive flight of stairs from the station. Corniglia was still very tranquil in the morning. That’s the best tip: get started early! In Corniglia, we got sandwiches for the journey: fresh mozzarella with tomato…yummy! Then, we had to search around for which direction we needed to go. At first, we were walking in the wrong direction through all the tiny streets. There are small signs hanging on the front of houses to show you the way. But, once you’re finally on the path, it’s clear from there.
On the way, you’ve got views over the sea and cliffs as you walk through the nature. We saw people walking the trail in flip-flops, but it’s really much better to put on a good pair of hiking shoes. Especially, if it’s been raining because the trail can get pretty slippery.
Vernazza, Cinque Terre
After walking for nearly two hours, the view of Vernazza in the distance is a beautiful sight. Vernazza is genuinely beautiful, but also really crowded! So, we were glad we started our route in Corniglia. For a beautiful and classic shot of Vernazza, you can walk a little bit further towards Monterosso. We went back right after with the train, but you can of course also walk a bit further to the next station. Happy trails!