How many days in cinque terre
( a 2 days itinerary)
Two years have passed since my trip to the National Park of Cinque Terre, but I remember it as if it was yesterday.
These destinations in June, July, and August are a madness as other places in Italy. That's why my personal tip is, if possible, to visit them out of season (September, October, April, May).
I went there in mid-September, and I must say that despite the school was, there still were many tourists, especially in Vernazza, but I assure you that it is doable, there is neither crowd nor chaos.
I would have liked to have more days at disposition but I haven't, so I will give you some indication on a possible itinerary of the Cinque Terre in 2 days!
If you are looking for a hotel in Cinque Terre, read our post with the recommandations.
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1° day - Monterosso, Vernazza
Early in the morning, I arrived at Monterosso. Visiting the whole village, both the old area and the new of Fegina with its beautiful rock-cliff.
If the weather is good the sea exhibits a crystalline water, instead, I found a windy sea but equally have a good time photographing the waves that broke against the rock-cliff creating some real moments of emotion!
What to see in Monterosso
Beach of Fegina with its rock-cliff.
The Giant's statue, anciently it was a terrace shaped as a shell supported by the Giant, after an earthquake it collapsed and now there is only the statue that seems to watch the sea.
The old village of Monterosso, you can do shopping, walking through the narrow streets, and lose you!
Oratorio of the Brotherhood of the Neri Mortis et Orationis, a frightful little church because you will find inside so many symbols of death, a sort of warning to the man on our ephemeral life.
Convent and Church of the Monks Cappuccini
Tower Aurora and the statue of St. Francesco d'Assisi, the tower nothing else other than a private house, therefore, cannot be visited, the statue of St. Francesco is turned toward the sea.
The Bunker, going down from Tower Aurora you'll pass for a path along the sea and looking down after having passed a point "with the bars" you'll notice a bunker built during the Second World War.
Once ended my tour I returned to the station (in Fegina) and took the train for Vernazza.
It was lunch hour and I immediately looked for a spot where to eat, I suggest you try "Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre".
What to see in Vernazza
Best hotels and accomodations in Vernazza
Church of Saint Margherita of Antiochia, practically located on the beach! It is pleasant to enter and walk admiring the sea from the mullioned windows.
Castle Doria, it cost € 2 to see Vernazza in all of its shine from the higher point! There are a lot of staircases to climb but it worth!
But the most beautiful point to see Vernazza from up high is from the path that reaches Monterosso, I did the one that goes back to the train station, and it has been a marvelous experience that I recommend to everybody, it is doable even for people like me that are not used to do trekking.
2° day - Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia
Take the train that directly brings you to Riomaggiore (the train usually stops also to other villages, there is one that stops only to Riomaggiore).
Let's have breakfast and then begin the tour on the outskirts of the village, really a jewel!
What to see in Riomaggiore
Church of St. Giovanni Battista
Tower of the Castle
On the train again heading toward Manarola, I eat something fast like a Focaccia (try it!) and start visiting the village. But it was so hot that I took a bath instead, I had to buy a bathing suit on sale!
In the late afternoon I took the train for Corniglia and once arrived I took a shuttle (included with the Card, read below) that will brings you on top of the inhabited area (the alternative, if you have time, it is to climb the around 300 steps from the station).
I visited the old center in a bit of a rush because it was late (I blame the bath) and had to reenter for dinner, but Corniglia is really a spectacular village!
What to see in Corniglia
Church of St. Pietro
Useful Info and suggestions
the Cinque Terre Card: yes or no?
It includes things as the accesses to the Park, the wifi in the hotspots zones, the buses inside the villages, the paid bathrooms.
On this last I advise you, don't let anyone fool you: I started discussing with a lady that was at the public baths because she wanted to make me pay. Who knows how many foreign tourists she cheats.
From April 1°, 2017 there are 2 types of Cinque Terre Card:
Cinque Terre Train MS Card, the most complete. € 16 per person for one day, it includes all the way (with Trenitalia) from Levanto to La Spezia and vice versa.
Cinque Terre Trekking Card, cheaper but the train is not included.
For more detailed information on the various Card visit the official site.
Where to sleep
How long to hike Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre are indeed a splendid zone of the Liguria, known for their sights, the beaches and the characteristics five small villages that rise on that cliffs.
It is a suggestive line of coast, where these five suburbs, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, from 1997 have become Patrimonies of the humanity of the Unesco.
A thing that not all know, perhaps, is that these five villages are connected by a net of paths, both coastal and inland.
If you like trekking read also: the best hikes in Italy.
Don't think about the fatigue, the landscapes that you will see while walking will be so beautiful that you won't notice all the hard work.
It exists a whole series of inland paths, in the middle of woods and vineyards and the most famous paths on the coast, that will allow you to touch the whole five villages in only one day (if you want).
Personally, I recommend you to divide the trekking in two days, to enjoy at the best the suburbs and, above all, their gastronomic products.
Believe me, the walks will seem more pleasant if you know that a beautiful typical dish is waiting for you.
Hypothesizing to do the whole paths on the coast, it will take around five hours to go from Riomaggiore to Monterosso. However, must be considered that some coastal path, as the famous "Street of the love", results still closed after the flood of 2012.
I recommend you, therefore, to make a mix between coastal paths and inland paths and, I guarantee, it will be a pleasure for the eyes.
The sceneries that can be observed are unique and very suggestive. The paths vary in height and in difficulty (from low to average), but they are all achievable by a normal person in normal/good form, from 3 to 70 years old.
Nevertheless, as always in these cases, I recommend you to put some comfortable shoes and to put the due attention to where you will put the feet.
I suggest articulating your trekking of the Cinque Terre on two days, departing from Monterosso and up to Corniglia on the coastline, for then change to the inland paths from Corniglia to Riomaggiore.
If you discover you are tired, I inform you that there are comfortable regional trains that frequently connect the five villages.
And don't worry to lose you in the inland paths, the paths are marked and you will always find other excursionists as you.
The best program, made by me, it is the following
Day 1 of Trekking
Breakfast at Monterosso al Mare, a stop on the beach and a bath, if the time allows it. Then departure by mid-morning from Monterosso for the coastal trekking up to Vernazza, where you can eat some good "Focaccia" and even a bag of fried clams.
I recommend you to go to the Spiaggetta of Vernazza to have lunch on the shore.
By First-afternoon departure from Vernazza and coastal trekking up to Corniglia, where you will arrive ready for the dinner.
Day 2 of Trekking
At this point, after a good breakfast in Corniglia, you can depart for your inland trekking up to Manarola, and then up to Riomaggiore, in the afternoon, where you will arrive for the sunset.
The environment will slightly change in comparison to the coastal trekking, and you will find you surrounded between beautiful vineyards and blue skies.
The Cinque Terre are one more beautiful than the other, a perfect destination for one long weekend.
Best village to stay in Cinque Terre
In my opinion, Vernazza, read my post on the best places to stay in Vernazza.