Firstly, 5Terre or Cinque Terre are 5 little villages in the northwest of Italy by the Ligurian Sea. These villages are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The 5 villages are linked with different hiking roads. You can find a suitable path for every type of hiker. There are trails that are more challenging, but there are also paths suitable for walking with flip-flops.
When we first arrived
So we prepared the sandwiches for the next day and planned to go early in the morning of the 16th. Unfortunately, since we had too much wine the night before, we slept in. We should have woke up at 6.30 to catch a train, but we manage to sleep until 9. So we did some additional research and decided to go to 5Terre by car. It turned out also to be a little cheaper to pay for the toll roads, fuel
It was 1,5-hour drive via highway and when we arrived (around 12.00), the road was full of cars parked there. The police did not allow us to drive to Monterosso al Mare, so we needed to park 3 km from the city and walk or go by bus. We decided to walk. Since the hiking trail map we got from the information center was basically useless, for the first hour we were looking for the right way to get down to town. So we walked already at least 6 km to get to the Monterosso al Mare and from there the hiking trail started.
Monterosso al Mare did not impress us a lot. It was very touristy, a lot of people with busses, trains, and boats traveling back and forth. There was a big beach and also a huge parking lot – so we did not understand why we were not allowed into the town to park there. This was quite confusing
When we managed to find the right trail towards Vernazza, we were greeted by the ticket counter at the beginning of the road. The ticket to the road was 7,50 – this was a surprise for us. Later on, when talking with Mari, she said that some of the trails are for a fee, but some are not. So we managed to take the “right” one. When we were already at the ticket counter, we saw no other option than to buy the ticket and make the best of the trail.
The trail itself was quite difficult, with a lot of stairs climbing up. People were not allowed with flip-flops to this trail. We managed to start our walk
Vernazza itself was much nicer than Monterosso al Mare. The narrow streets in the old town, colorful houses and beautiful small harbor was exactly like we had seen pictures about the 5Terre. We took some time off in Vernazza, had lunch and a quick swim. It was soo hot that the swim in the sea was not cooling us down even a little. The first rail from Monterosso to Vernazza was already challenging, so we were quite doubtful whether we should do the next trail from Vernazza to Corniglia. But since we still had some time left and we did not want to go back the same trail, we decided to hike the next trail as well and return to Monterosso with the train.
We were glad to have taken the second trail as
The third village, Corniglia was actually on a top of a cliff. Since we were a little under time pressure and we were also quite tired, we decided not to go walking around on the streets of the Corniglia.
So we went directly towards the train station and we hopped on the next train to Monterosso al Mare. The train ride itself was very nice because the train went right by
When we arrived
In total, it took us the whole day to drive and hike in 5Terre. We managed to see a little bit of the 3 towns, so we still have 2 more to go at some point if we come back. We heard later in the third town that some trails between the last two towns are also closed, so we were quite lucky that we decided to do the trip starting from Monterosso al Mare and not the other way around.
When going to 5Terre, we certainly would recommend