travel, Uncategorized

Hiking the Cinque Terre


If you know me at all, you know that I am an avid hiker. So when I planned my trip to Italy, I knew I had to check hiking in the Cinque Terre off my bucket list. I am happy to report that I was in fact able to check it off my list, and with a toddler on my back! This hike exceeded my expectations. It had the 3 main things that I want to get out of a hike: a challenge (and boy was it a challenge!), breathtaking views and a sense of serenity.

The Cinque Terre is made up of 5 small seaside villages along the Italian Rivera. I based myself in Monterosso, the largest of the 5 towns. Monterosso is the first of the 5 towns, followed by Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.

View of Monterosso from the trail


The most popular trail to take is Trail #2, also known as the blue trail. If you are up for a challenge, you can hike through all 5 villages in about 6 hours. Many visitors choose to spread it out over the course of a few days. Considering I had an extra 20lbs on my back, I decided to only hike between 2 of the villages. Since I was based in Monterosso, I began my trek there and hiked to Vernazza. This portion of the hike took approximately 2 hours. I was warned that going in this direction was the most challenging compared to starting at the other end; I was warned right. Holy stairs! I thought they were never going to end! If you are only in the Cinque Terre for a couple of days, want to work off all that Italian food you’ve been eating and wish to be rewarded with a magnificent view of Vernazza, then start your voyage from Monterosso!


Hiking in the Cinque Terre is a surreal experience; from the rugged landscape, sounds of the Mediterranean ocean to sweeping view of seaside villages. It is a hike that I want to re-live over and over, no matter how challenging it was! As you can probably tell, I had an amazing experience; however I made several mistakes.

Here is what you should know about hiking the Cinque Terre:

The Terrain is Rugged

There are thousands of stairs. OK, maybe not that many, but there are A LOT. The trail is close to cliffs, filled with rocks and other obstacles and can be muddy. In other words, wear proper shoes and watch where you are going. I made the mistake of not having a decent pair of shoes and I paid for it.

You Need a Hiking Pass

The Cinque Terre is actually considered a National Park. Unfortunately, this means you have to pay. I started off hiking from Monterosso and about 15 minutes in I reached a checkpoint. I was told I needed to purchase the Cinque Terre card to continue on the trail. Bring euros! I only had credit cards with me, which they didn’t accept. Luckily, the nicest Aussie mother and daughter duo lent me euros so that I didn’t have to turn around.

You Don’t Need to Hike Back

Over-exerted yourself? Don’t worry! The regional trains run from town to town and can easily take you back to your home base after your hike. The trains conveniently run about every 20 minutes.

The Trails Close

Depending on the weather and the time of year, it is common for some of the trails to close. Make sure you do your research before you venture out for your hike to ensure the trails you plan on using are open.


Have you hiked in the Cinque Terre? Are you planning a trip? I am already wanting to go back! Cinque Terre, like the rest of Italy, was an amazing place to bring my daughter. Next time my goal is to hike through all 5 towns; with my daughter by my side, not on my back! 😉

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9 thoughts on “Hiking the Cinque Terre”

  1. Definitely agree with hiking down to Monterosso instead of up! When we hiked, we started in Corniglia where we were staying, stopped in Vernazza for lunch, and then finished at the beach in Monterosso. It would’ve been a killer way to start with all of those stairs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m headed there in October with my 5 yro and then 2 yro. She is currently 30 lbs, so probably 32-35 lbs when we get there. What kind of carrier is that and is it comfortable for long treks? For both you and the kid, I mean.
    I know strollers aren’t exactly welcome in many tourists cities in Italy, just wanting to know your opinion

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christine! You will have an incredible time. We were there in October and it was perfect! We didn’t even bring a stroller to Italy, we only used the carrier and I am glad we did. We have an ergo original carrier and love it. We used it all over Italy and for several hours at a time and we were both very comfortable! If you go to my post “4 Tips for Hiking with a Toddler” at I believe I have the exact carrier linked to that blog and some more tips on hiking!


  3. Thank you for all the great information. I’m planning on a solo trip to Cinque Terre for hiking and connecting with nature. Looks wonderful. Trying to figure out best place to stay? Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stella Della Marina in Monterosso! It’s a small and incredibly charming B&B with the most wonderful owner! I highly recommend! It also has a beautiful rooftop terrace that overlooks the ocean!


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