Cinque Terre Travel Guide
The Cinque Terre (five lands) on the Ligurian Riviera in Italy are a paradise for walkers. There is absolutely no doubt that the very best way to discover the Cinque Terre is on foot. Made up of five fishing villages nestled into the steep coastline of the Ligurian Riviera, the Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The five villages are joined by a railway but access by car is severely limited and in the summer non-resident cars are not permitted.
The walking in Cinque Terre is as varied as it is delightful. Ancient walking trails clinging to the steep cliffs link the five villages of the Cinque Terre. Quiet paths made up of thousands of steps twist through the terraced vineyards and pine and chestnut forests of the Cinque Terre National Park hinterland. Known as Italy’s “Flower Riviera” the Ligurian Riviera is a delight for all the senses. Waves crash below coastal footpaths, wild flowers and vineyards surround you & the smell of fresh coffee tempts you into local cafes. The five fishing villages of the Cinque Terre have remained almost untouched by modern developments and are an idyllic location for a walking holiday.
Cinque Terre Walking Holiday Grade
Our walking holidays on the Cinque Terre are graded easy to moderate because although the daily walks are relatively short the terrain is very hilly and summer temperatures can be high. The walks follow ancient footpaths and mule tracks. Many are made up of steep stone staircases and some are literally cut into the cliff so if heights aren’t your thing this may not be the best trip for you.
Most of the walking trails in the Cinque Terre are very well marked and maintained so you should have no problem following the trails. Our walking holidays on the Cinque Terre also include detailed route notes, maps and GPS coordinates.
Walking Trail Closures
Heavy rains, landslides and fires do sometimes close sections of trail, despite the wardens best efforts. Before starting any walks in the Dinque Terre you should check with the local park office who are extremely helpful and will advise of any path closures.
Best time of year to walk in the Cinque Terre
There really is no bad time to be in the Cinque Terre but personally I think that the best time of year is April through June and September until mid October. July and August can be very busy and too hot for walking.
Getting to the Cinque Terre
Getting to Monterosso/ Bonassola: We recommend arriving at either Genoa or Pisa Airports although Florence is also a possibility. (Train 1h20, 2h30 and 3h30 respectively). Tickets can be purchased on arrival or online prior to departure. Visit www.trenitalia.it for times, prices and booking.
Travelling by Car: Much of the Cinque Terre is closed to non residential traffic. There are two guarded car parks in Monterosso where you can leave your car for the duration of your trip.
Travel in the Cinque Terre: The excellent local train service connects all the villages and is what you will use to access many of the walks. Another pleasant alternative is to use the local ferry services to travel between villages.
Cinque Terre Walking Holidays
If you would like to enjoy a great value walking holiday on the Cinque Terre, Macs Adventure offers a range of unbeatable walking here and throughout Italy. You can choose to enjoy over either a 5 or 7 day itinerary. Based in Monterosso and Bonassola you can explore the coast by foot, boat or train and choose from a selection of coastal and mountain walks each day. Our Cinque Terre tours include hand-picked 3 star hotel accommodation, all breakfasts, one evening meal, the Cinque Terre Park Card, luggage transfers, comprehensive route notes and maps and a detailed pre-departure information pack as well as emergency support.