The Cinque Terre walk (Italy) can be completed within a day. The route takes in the 5 pretty villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and finally Riomaggiore.
Taking some time to stop in each, the route is likely to take about 7 hours (5 hours walking and 2 hours for sight seeing and refuelling. You may wish to base yourself in Monterosso and start the walk from there as early as you can. We would advise starting at 7:30am as the first part of the walk is most difficult and you will want to avoid the heat of the day. Once you reach the end, you can get the train back and enjoy a well earned dinner and cocktails.
Alternatively, the easier route is Riomaggiore to Monterosso (you can catch the train to Riomaggiore in the morning if staying in Monterosso) but the difficult bit is towards the end and the best views are behind you!
Where to stay in Monterosso
The hidden gem – Hotel Ristorante Marina
The one with the pool – Hotel Porto Roca
The friendly modern one – Hotel Souvenir
Where to eat
As you will most likely be starting early, you may not have time for much of a breakfast. In any event, you may choose to eat something light as the first part of the walk to Vernazza is the toughest section. However, you can reward your efforts upon arrival by visiting Panifacio Focacceria, the town’s best bakery. Pick up some pastries and head to the harbour to enjoy the view, food and achievement.
By the time you arrive in Corniglia, you may have worked up a small appetite. We wouldn’t usually suggest only indulging in sweet treats, but as you’re working so hard, you deserve to treat yourself to some of the best ice-cream in Italy at Un Mare di Yogurt.
The last part of the walk is relatively gentle and by the time you arrive in Riomaggiore, you may be ready for a late lunch. Il Pescato Cucinato is the perfect place to stop, being located close to the harbour and the train station. It serves fabulous sea food in paper cones which you can take out into the sun to enjoy the view.
And don’t forget the lemonade stop on the route……you will regret missing out!