Hiking Cinque Terre
The mountainous terrain of the Cinque Terre region draws visitors from all over the globe for some of the world’s best hiking views. There are hikes geared toward the novice and expert hiker alike in Cinque Terre. If you’re worried about your ability to hike some more challenging trails in Cinque Terre, then it’s best to have a look at which ones offer the best views at the least effort. However, if you’re up for the more intense hiking Cinque Terre has to offer, the views are worth it!
Cinque Terre Hiking Checklist
- Lightweight daypack or backpack
- Two bottles of water
- Small pack of food (jerky or granola are my favorite for short hikes)
- Comfortable shoes you don’t mind getting dirty
- Clothing that can stretch or is non-restrictive and is comfortable
- Light jacket (depending on season, it can get cold on top of the hilly terrain)
Trail 531 is very old path that connects Manarola to Riomaggiore. It is a near-vertical, sometimes-scary climb that is only for those able to do steep climbs. You can see hikers of all ages climbing up and down this trail, but don’t be fooled. If you get easily winded or are scared of heights, this is one to avoid.
Since it’s not immediately obvious when you arrive in Riomaggiore, below is a handy guide on how to get there.
Getting to Trail 531
Getting to Trail 531 from Riomaggiore side can be a little confusing. When you leave the main station, you’ll not walk right, toward the covered tunnel where the main street is, but straight, through what appears to be a residential street. After walking for about 5 minutes up the slightly inclined street, you take a sharp right to continue up the street. Then you take one more sharp turn, left, on what appears to be a small paved walking path. You are almost there. You should start to see the path, it will start on your side and then veer off across a bridge before running up a hill to start your hike.
Also connecting Manarola to Riomaggiore, the Villa Dell’amore is the easiest trail that you could technically consider hiking Cinque Terre. It’s more of just a pedestrian walkway than a hike, which makes it is one of the most frequently photographed paths in all of the five villages. Do not revolve your trip around walking this path because the path is often closed due to landslides. For up-to-date status reports on the Villa Dell’amore, try asking the nice people of Riomaggiore Reservations on their FaceBook. They were very helpful in not only our accommodation, but also our questions on the area.
If you are looking to travel between Riomaggiore and Manarola and you don’t want to hike up the hill and the Villa Dell’amore is closed, you’ll have to take the train.
I’ve only personally hiked the trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola because after we got done with that, we decided that was enough for us, then proceeded to get wastey on wine and pesto pasta.
If you’ve got further experience with trails 593, 506, 586, 687 or 598 please let us know! The trails connecting the villages are fascinating and if I had more time I would have hiked them all. The highest rated book I’ve come across is one on Amazon called Cinque Terre and the Riviera di Levante Walks and it’s likely your safest bet if you plan on making larger hiking or walking treks in the Ligurian coast.