I have been so eager and excited to write this post and share these memories with you all! Hiking the Cinque Terre trail was one of my favorite experiences during our month long trip to Europe. Being a Colorado native, it's only natural that I enjoy hiking, but the views and terrain on this trail was like nothing I have ever experienced before. It was truly breathtaking. If you do not already know, Cinque Terre is on the coast of northern Italy on the western side. Cinque Terre stands for "five towns" because it is made up of five small fishing towns across the coastline. The towns are known for ( especially on Pinterest ) their brightly colored buildings spread across the steep, rocky terrain and the colorful fishing boats that sit in the harbor of each town. We stayed in Vernazza, which is the second town in the bunch. According to Rick Steves, a travel guru, Vernazza is the best of the five towns to stay in. I will eventually do a post on our experience staying in Vernazza but for now we will focus on the hike.
Since there are five towns with hiking trails in between each of them, there are many different trails to choose from. We chose to do the hike from Vernazza to Monterosso, which is the most northern of the five towns. The hike is said to be about 90 minutes long, but it took us about a hour and 45 minutes since we stopped often to take pictures. The hike was decently difficult I would say, I broke a sweat and felt like I got a good workout. There is a lot of steep uphill trekking on the hike since it is across a mountain. If you were to hike from Monterosso to Vernazza it would be even more difficult because that direction has more uphill than the route we took. The scenery throughout the hike is breathtaking! It is so green and lush the entire hike, with beautiful vineyards that pop up here and there. Like I mentioned before, Cinque Terre is on the coastline, so the hike is filled with stunning views of the sea. The pictures below will help you to better envision the scenery. Many parts of the hike allow you to see the towns from a distance, which makes for great photos. My suggestion would be not to hike this trail without a camera.
We started the hike around 9am. I suggest getting out early to beat the heat. The hike is hard enough as it is, you will not want to be overheated during it. The evening might also be a perfect time to hike the trail. Mid-day would just be too hot, especially in August when we went. Something you should know is that to hike the trail you need a ticket, and the ticket costs money. Click HERE to get all the details on pricing. Trust me, it was so worth it! You can purchase the tickets at the start of each trail. You have the option to buy a train ticket ( your ride back) and the hike, or just the hike. We chose to buy just the hike ticket because we took the boat back to Vernazza.
One thing I wish we would have done is brought a swimsuit and towel. The beach at Monterosso looked so lovely and after a long hike, hopping in the brisk water sounded so refreshing. Since we did not prepare for a beach day in Monterosso, we opted for the next best refreshing thing... gelato! We got some gelato and wandered around town. Monterosso was very different from Vernazza, so it was nice to spend time exploring the village. When we were ready to head back to Vernazza, after about a hour of exploring, we bought tickets for the boat ride. The boat will take you from town to town. I would absolutely recommend this. The views from the sea were stunning and the transportation was incredibly quick. The sea breeze from the boat ride felt great after a long morning of hiking.
Writing this post makes me miss Cinque Terre so much. I am so grateful we had the opportunity to travel there and explore the quaint towns. I would absolutely recommend you add this to your must see in Italy list! Of all the places we have seen in Italy, this is one of my favorite. I hope you found this post helpful and make sure to comment below and let me know about your next adventure!