Although Italian Riviera is made up of numerous romantic and quaint villages and towns, the highlights of this area remain the 5 Cinque Terre villages. Once upon a time, these villages were isolated and offered a remote authenticity to the travelers but now there are a few roads connecting them for easier access.
However, you will still find several mountain trails and coastal trails which allow the travelers to walk through the Cinque Terre villages for a real feel of the place.
How to Reach Cinque Terre Villages
Earlier the Cinque Terre Villages’ ruggedness posed challenges for its accessibility but now tourists and travelers can easily reach this place via car. However, the roads are quite narrow and twisting and one has to pay hefty parking charges in the villages so, it is better to park the car at the train station’s parking facility.
The easiest and most convenient way to travel to all the 5 Cinque Terre villages is by taking a train as they are all connected by a train line. One can also arrive here by sea using a ferry from Easter to September.
Cinque Terre Villages (South to North)
Riomaggiore is the first Cinque Terre village from where you can observe the beautiful and glowing pastel-colored buildings from afar, making it one of the most romantic sights from the sea.
Manarola is situated on a hill, surrounded by grapevines which are used for producing wine here. You will find fishing boats lined here and bustling streets which gives a reminder of common village life.
Next village is Corniglia, which sits on top of a 100-m rocky raised land and doesn’t have direct access to the sea. You can climb on to a sea-facing terrace here which will give you an unrestricted view of all the 5 Cinque Terre villages.
Vernazza has a small harbour which is picturesque but it’s the sea-facing amphitheatre which will take your breath away.
Finally, Monterosso is the only Cinque Terre village with a strip of beach where you can just relax and work on your tan.
For a long time, walking trails were the only way to explore and travel between the Cinque Terre villages. You would walk here accompanied by the sea or through the beautiful coastal forests and terraced farms.
Popularly known as the Blue Trail, this is a 12 km mule path which is narrow but offers some spectacular coastal views to the travelers. This is a low-level difficulty trail but requires a lot of stamina and could easily take around 4-5 hours for non-experienced hikers.
This is a 35-km walking route from Porto Venere to Levante which forms a high arc over the 5 Cinque Terre villages. This legendary trail is also known as High Trail and is marked No 1 on the maps and goes through tree-covered areas. You will also encounter a few bars and restaurants on the way but it is relatively empty than Azzurro trail.