A Beginner’s Guide To Hiking The Cinque Terre

Before we were invited to stay at La Francesca resort, we knew very little about the Cinque Terre, or ‘The Five Lands’. Jutting from the rocks of the rugged Italian coastline, are the small, picturesque fishing villages of Monterosso Al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – which along with the surrounding hillside and vineyards are part of the Cinque Terre National Park and a UNESCO world heritage site.

With settlements dating back to the 11th century, the quaint, multicoloured buildings of the villages are utterly charming and only accessible by boat, train or path.  The lack of cars in the Cinque Terre mean the villages have escaped the corporate pressures and developments of our modern world, so when you step into each of the Cinque Terre villages, it feels like your stepping back in time.


vernazza cinque terre

fruit market cinque terre


Riomaggiore Cinque Terre


We decided to hike between the villages, as the coastal routes between them are absolutely stunning and a great excuse to do some outdoor fitness! Hiking is a great way to burn calories and you can expect to burn between 400-500 calories per hour if you’re hiking on uneven terrain at 4.5 miles per hour. Even if you’re walking at a slower pace, hiking on hills will cause you to engage muscles you didn’t know you had! Our glutes and calves were aching so much after two days in the Cinque Terre, as we were able to work our muscles in a completely different way to what we’re used to.


hiking cinque terre italy

Hiking The Cinque Terre – Tips!


Access Via Railway

You can get easily catch train between each of the Cinque Terre to start your hiking and exploring. They leave every 20 minutes or so and are also really cheap. Alternatively you can take a boat between some of the villages.

Check Which Routes Are Open

There are Information Points at each of the Railway Stations where you can find out about the different hiking routes. Due to the unfortunate floods in the area recently, many trails are closed and it’s important to check before you set out on your hike. For example, we could only hike between Vernazza and Monterosso on the first day and Riomaggiore to Manarola (via the Red Hill route) on the second day because all the other trails were closed.

Use Lots Of Sunscreen

It’s super hot and your shoulders and face will need regularly topping up with sunscreen to avoid burning. We underestimated how much we needed on the first day, especially hiking in the midday sun.


Once you set off there are no shops or stalls on the route. Make sure you have enough water with you and stay hydrated as the Italian heat can get the better of you otherwise. You will sweat A LOT while hiking the trails so stay hydrated.

Wear Good Walking Footwear

The trails are uneven and rocky so good walking footwear is essential. We both wore Trespass Walking Boots, which were sturdy, comfortable and didn’t give us any blisters! They are so lightweight and perfect for hiking in the summer heat. Read our review of the Trespass shoes here.

Bring A Sports Rucksack

And fill it with some snacks, your water bottle and camera! You’ll be awestruck by the scenery so enjoy taking lots of pictures.


manarola hike

trails cinque terre

Riomaggiore Cinque Terre

We had such an amazing time hiking the Cinque Terre and made a video of our Go Pro Footage which you can watch here:


Thanks for reading! If you liked this post, you might also like to read about our stay at La Francesca Resort and our Trespass Walking Boots.


Any questions, please just comment below!