Travel guide to Liguria/Cinque Terre
Liguria Coast stretches from Ventimiglia (French border) to Genoa and then south to La Spezia, north of Tuscany.
Genoa is the largest city, where you can rent a car, that you can also do in La Spezia.
Farther south lies the Cinque Terre, the five villages, Monterosso - Vernazza - Corniglia - Manarola - Riomaggiore.
It is easiest to get to these places by train. Car not required (difficult with parking). Between the villages the trains works very well and smoothly.
The nearest airport is Genova or Pisa. You can also fly to Bergamo or Milan and then take the train to the coast.
The five villages included in the concept of the Cinque Terre are:
Monterosso - Vernazza - Corniglia - Manarola - Riomaggiore.
It is easiest to get to these places by train (difficult with car parking).
In all, the villages has about 5000 inhabitants.
In 1997, Cinque Terre designated a World Heritage site.
Monterosso in the north has a fine sandy beach. South of Monterosso is Vernazza, considered by many as the most beautiful. Corniglia hangs onto a cliff, high up with no contact with the water. Manarola is very nice and Riomaggiore, beautiful as Vernazza and perhaps the most powerful of them all, lies at the bottom, north of Portovenere and La Spezia. The villages work together both in tourism and wine production and marketing themselves as a unit.
The most common hiking trails
Il sentireo Azzurro is the most famous trail. It runs between Monterosso and Riomaggiore, Monterosso is in the north and Riomaggiore in the south, and is 12 km long.
It takes at least 5 hours to walk the entire trail and reasonable fitness required. Expect a full day if you want to stop and look a little in every village. Do not forget to bring water. The trail runs in four stages:
A very beautiful hiking trail is the distance between Levanto and Monterosso (Levanto is a small town just before you get to Monterosso al Mare where you are coming from north)
Riomaggiore - Manarola
Time: 30 min. Difficulty: Easy
The trail is paved and has no height difference to speak of, suitable for both parents with stroller and for those wishing to avoid stairs.
Manarola - Corniglia:
Km: 1, time: 1 h, difficulty: easy
Goes from the trainstation in Manarola, goes along the sea to the stair up to Corniglia. (90m above the sea)
Corniglia – Vernazza
Time: 90 min. Difficulty: easy/medium
Vernazza - Monterosso
Km: 3. Time: 120 min. Difficulty: medium.
The trail goes around 150-200 m above the sea
and it grows grapes and lemon trees everywhere. At the end of the trail, you can choose two trails. Turn left if you want to enter the Monterosso village, the other path leads out to the cliffs.
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