Cinque Terre, which means “Five lands”, is an area of 5 towns Riomaggiore, Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, Vernazza and Corniglia. All this beauty is located on the coast of the Ligurian sea in Northern Italy. The popularity of Cinque Terre hike is so great that in the summer months its infrastructure can barely cope with the influx of visitors. So from this point it is better to go there when the tourist season has not begun yet. But it also should be takining in account that in autumn and winter trails are not always available because of the weather and climate. After all the good time for visit depends on your preferences and what do you want to see.
If you would like to enjoy the sea, then go Cinque Terre hike in the period from mid-may to the end of September.
Even in January you can meet tourists who are fond of Cinque Terre hike. In winter, it is known for the world’s largest Praezaepe. Which is performing Christmas scenes. The biggest Praesaepe in the world is constructed every year in Manarola, and is solemnly opened on 8 December. The closing date varies constantly, but usually it is January 31 or the first days of February.
How to get to Cinque Terre
Despite the terribly rugged land relief, the transport communication of the Cinque Terre is very well established.
Most tourists come here by train. Trains run there rather often — both local and interregional. Through impenetrable steeps the tunnels are laid. And 80% of time the trains goe through them, only for a second emerging from the mountains to disembark the tourists on the stations. The interval between trains is not more than half an hour, from one town to another — five to seven minutes. This is a good way to to see all the “Five lands” even in one day.
Many people use excursion boats. They are more expensive than the train, but one can enjoy the views. And that’s the thing people come here for. Boats go from La Spezia, Lerici, Levanto, Monterosso and many other places. Departures are made approximately once an hour. You can buy a so-called single ticket. It allows to take off to any pierce, walk there as much as you want, and then float further. However, it should be remembered that the service stops at about seven o’clock in the evening.
Buses and cars
These are not popular kinds of transport to go to the Cinque Terre. Because they are least comfortable. The road is quite narrow and has many spiral turns and it is hard to drive. Besides, in the Cinque Terre Park and on the nearest roads there are no petrol stations. You better care about it in advance. And almost all residents use methane, so even in an emergency it is hard to find petrol. But buses, of course, have an advantage from this point.
Cinque Terre hike
This way is the most appropriate. Because in this case tourists less depend on transports and can make their own trails. And the most important advantage is the ability to fully enjoy the scenes, as Cinque Terre hiking trails are the attractions hemselves.
Cinque Terre hiking trails
The two main and most popular trails are The Blue Trail and The High Trail. They can be passed without much difficulty. But due to the terrain of the zone certain weather conditions can cause difficulties to overcome some sections of the trails.
in fact, there are a lot more trails. One can easily find them during the walk in the Ligurian mountains. There are many splits-off and crossings from one path to another. In addition, modern technology allows to get enough detailed information with the help of online maps.
The Blue Trail
The Blue trail is the easiest and most famous. Most tourists prefere to explore the Cinque Terreby this route.
Entrance required the charge even if you go by yourself. It is so, because often after autumn rains the trail have to be closed to repair some of its parts. The cost depends on the number of open parts and is usually 5-7 euros. Current information about the prices is here.
The Blue trail is divided into four segments and unites all five villages of the Cinque Terre. Its total length is 12 km. You may need about five hours to pass it. However, the journey can be divided into four parts. One can pass some of them by taking the train or boat to miss the most difficult areas.
The High Path
The High Path is the second most visited trail. It is quite an interesting road that crosses the entire Cinque Terre and connects Portovenere with the Levant.
It can be divided into five segments, the total length of which is about 35 km. So it can be passed only in several days.
It mainly consists of the coastal landscapes. But you can also see the stunning views of the valley behind. In terms of tourism, it is one of the most exciting adventures. As well as many other trails, it has many additional entrances and exits. So tourists can walk only some parts of this trail and then return back to one of the towns of the Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre hotels to overnight
Officially spending the night in nature is prohibited here. But finding a place to overnight while Cinque Terre hike is not a problem. You can spend the night in the towns.
It is recommended to book accommodation in advance. As hotel rooms are booked very quickly, especially in the summer months. This not only makes you sure you have a place to overnight, but also allows to save money. Most hotels do not impose fines in case of cancellation. Pay attention to the hotels in La Spezia. It is a big city that has rather cheap accommodations.