With swathes of picturesque scenery and sweeping sea views, walking the scenic trails of Terre Cinque is a must-do. Once, years ago, walking was the only way to travel between the villages, despite the rugged conditions of some of the paths. The popular Sentiero Azzurro, also known as the Blue Trail, was once a mule path that connected all villages together and boasts breathtaking coastal scenery. The trail is not too difficult for most people, though more experienced hikers can find alternative, more challenging, routes. You could also seek out the Catholic sanctuaries that perch on cliff tops at each village, for a steep, yet rewarding, walk.
Get to know the villages
All equally as beautiful in their own way, stopping by each of the five villages of Cinque Terre is essential. If you take the easiest route, it will take about five hours to reach all five villages, not including your stops, so a few days may be required to fully immerse yourself in all there is to see. Some areas can be very steep, so be prepared for some slightly challenging inclines, though you will be rewarded with stunning views, relaxed waterfronts and a taste of authentic Italy at the end...
The largest village, Monterosso, is the flattest and most easily accessible, comprising a delightful old town and a lively modern area which are linked by an underground tunnel. While here, you can visit the gothic Church of San Giovanni Battista and the unusual Statue of the Giant looking down from the cliffs. You will also find a great beach here – the only sandy one in the area – plus crystal-clear waters lapping the shore.
The scenic village of Vernazza involves some steep hiking but is popular for its beautiful views and charming waterfront. Its small harbour is the only secure landing point, offering a gateway to perhaps the quaintest of the five villages. The old Castello Doria extends out across the water, standing as the oldest fortification in Cinque Terre, making a delightful landmark on this historic fishing village.
Corniglia is smaller and quieter, being perched 100-metres-high up on a cliff overlooking the sea and cocooned by vineyards. The only one of the five villages without direct sea access, be prepared for some steep climbs, though it is worth it for the stunning sunset views and brilliant vantage point across the rest of the Cinque Terre villages.
Manarola is where you will find iconic Cinque Terre scenes of colourful houses cascading down to the sea. It is also blessed with more grapevines than any other village in Cinque Terre, so it is celebrated for its famous sweet wines. With plenty of scenic views, Manarola is popular for its walking trails and Medieval relics – it is said to be the oldest of the villages.
The southernmost village of Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore is the first village you will encounter when you arrive in from La Spezia. Boasting romantic views of pastel-toned houses, which illuminate as the sun sets, it’s tempting to want to stay here and admire the stunning views all day.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
British Airways from London Gatwick and London Heathrow to Pisa.
From London to Pisa: 2 hours, 10 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.