The Cinque Terre consists of five fishing villages perched over the sea in the region of Liguria, Italy. This page assumes you haven't walked the easy Blue Trail between villages (If not, see Travel Europe's visual guide to walking the trails of the Cinque Terre).
It's best to reach the Cinque Terre by train. You'll likely change trains in La Spezia if you're coming from other destinations in Tuscany. More on La Spezia below.
(If you have Adobe Flash installed, the Cinque Terre map below will print to the size of your printer paper; just click the print button. Printing in landscape mode will produce the largest map.)
Cinque Terre Hiking Trails: The Map
Notes on Walking the Cinque Terre Trails
The numbers on the map are trail numbers. Trail markers and maps (like the one you can purchase below) will refer to these numbers.
Notice that each town has its local church. Once you've walked the Sentiero Azzuro, you might find it interesting to walk to one or more of the shrines located above each village. (Note that N. S. on the map stands for Nostra Signora):
- Nostra Signora di Soviore
- Nostra Signora di Reggio
- Nostra Signora delle Grazie e di S.Bernardino
- Nostra Signora della Salute
- Nostra Signora di Montenero
The wide Red Path shown in the map is known as the Cinque Terre's High Path or C.A.I. n°1 path. It begins in Portovenere and ends in Levanto, following the spine of the coastal range. There is an 800 meter elevation gain (and loss!) For a good discussion of this trail, see this page. You probably shouldn't try to do the whole walk in one day; it's 40 km long and recommended for experienced walkers. The views are superb.
For more on walking or visiting the Cinque Terre, see GoEuope's Cinque Terre Travel Resources, which contains a visual guide to walking the trails of the Cinque Terre. For hiking times for each leg of a Cinque Terra trek, see Slow Travel's Trail Times.
Guides for Walkers: Planning a Trek
David Downie, writing at Wandering Liguria, offers delicious descriptions of the Best Hikes in the Cinque Terre:
Riomaggiore to La Madonna di Montenero - "One of my favorite adventuresome trails in the Cinque Terre runs uphill at an impressive angle for 45 minutes starting at Riomaggiore, the southernmost of the Cinque Terre villages. It leads to the monastery of the Madonna di Montenero."
Madonna di Montenero to Volastra and Corniglia - "This is one of the top walks in the Cinque Terre. Above the village of Manarola the same ancient hiking trail that links Riomaggiore to La Madonna di Montenero changes directions and cuts midway across the slope to reach the villages of Volastra and Corniglia."
Classic Cinque Terre Coast Walk - "If you have only one day to discover Liguria's Cinque Terre, for sheer hiking pleasure nothing beats the seven-mile coast trail linking all five villages.
Cinque Terre Weather & Climate
See our Cinque Terre Climate page for historical monthly temperatures, rainfall, and current forecast for the Liguria coast and the Cinque Terre.
Hotels and Vacation Rentals in the Cinque Terre Villages
Here are some links to user-rated hotels and Guest Houses for Levanto and the five villages:
La Spezia Province has a number of villas and country cottages in which you can stay in and around the Cinque Terre. See a list of Vacation Rentals in La Spezia Province.
La Spezia, "Gateway to the Cinque Terre"
If you are planning to arrive late, you may wish to stay overnight in La Spezia and make your start to the Cinque Terre early the next morning. In summer, trains from La Spezia to the Cinque Terre tend to be very crowded, and many folks are forced to stand in the aisles. The curious may wish to read the blog post: Rick Steves, his foreskin and the Cinque Terre.
La Spezia train station has a Cinque Terre visitor center where you can get information and pick up a Cinque Terre Card, if it would be of benefit to your stay.
If you need hostel type lodging or less expensive guesthouses, try Hostelbookers La Spezia.
Interesting Cinque Terre Tours
One of the best vantage points you can get of the Cinque Terre Villages is from the sea, and a small and colorful boat might be the way to go. Angelo's boat tours take you around in a gozzo, a traditional, wooden Ligurian fishing boat. There's a daytime tour and a sunset tour.
You can also see the Cinque Terre on a Day Trip from Florence.
Viator also offers Cinque Terre Tours from Florence and Milan.
Paper Maps of the Cinque Terre
I'd try this Cinque Terre Map from TrekTools, a very good supplier of hard-to-find maps.