Hike the Mediterranean Paradise of Cinque Terre

Welcome to Cinque Terre National Park, where the warm Mediterranean gives life to the olive groves and painted towns of the Italian Riviera. Set on the picturesque coastline of Liguria, this string of five traditional fishing villages is your gateway to another, brighter and simpler time.

Step inside a secluded paradise where life unfurls to the rhythm of azure waves lapping the shore and the evening breeze dancing through the pines. When the time comes to say arrivederci to Italy, you’ll understand why they call it Bel Paese—the beautiful country.

This boot is made for hiking—and that’s just what you’ll do

Stretching northeast from the vineyards of Riomaggiore to the sandy beaches of Monterosso, this is a coastal community shaped by its historical isolation. For centuries, the only way in or out of Cinque Terre was via a meandering thread of scenic walking paths.

Those ancient footpaths are the same seaside promenades that flow through the UNESCO-listed site today, forming one of the most celebrated hiking trails in Europe.

  • MESMERIZING SCENERY
  • MEDITERRANEAN COAST
  • VIBRANT ARCHITECTURE
  • RICH HISTORY & CULTURE
  • DELICIOUS CUISINE

A weeklong feast for the senses

SEASIDE STROLLS UNDER THE MEDITERRANEAN SUN

The hamlets of Cinque Terre mushroom out of the cliffs above the Ligurian Sea in splashes of bright pastel, inviting you to explore with abandon. Feel the dolce vita vibes flowing through every cobbled street and cliffside walkway set against this bucket list backdrop.

While the Cinque Terre hike itself is only 11 km long, you’ll get to see the sights and side trails on each stop of the journey. Sample the flavors of local cuisine, amble along vine-strewn terraces, and take in the Ligurian panoramas from hilltop overlooks.

Life on the colorful, busy streets of Cinque Terre
Fresh pizza served in a restaurant on the streets of Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre

A QUINTESSENTIAL QUINTET OF TREKS

Strung together by age-old mule tracks and dusty roads, these rustic locales are imbued with an air of timeless elegance—a perfect setting for hiking and sightseeing.

Between dips in the sea, wine tasting sessions in Levanto and sunset dinners in Vernazza, you’ll visit medieval fortresses, stroll through shaded orchards, and hike on the centuries-old stone terraces carved into the hillside. These sprawling structures are a testament to the ingenuity and spirit of the local people.

Your Italian adventure lies ahead

Take five and enjoy life in Cinque Terre

FEEL THE OLD-TIME CHARM

With its relaxed atmosphere, ancient architecture and total absence of traffic (cars cannot enter the villages), Cinque Terre feels like a portal to a bygone era. There is a 19th century railway line cutting through the hillside, but most of the time you’ll get around like in the old days.

Take a boat ride to the solemn church of Porto Venere where Lord Bryon penned some of his best-known verses. And if that doesn’t whet your spiritual appetite, complete the Way of the Sanctuaries, a special trail that connects the 800-year-old shrines belonging to each of the five villages.

Cave in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, looking out onto the village marina.

DRINK IN THE SUNSET VIEWS

Pay a visit to the tiny village of Corniglia, built by the Roman Empire way back in the 13th century, and take in the view from its 100-meter promontory that descends steeply into the sea. Afterwards, relax on the shore of Monterosso, the setting for Pixar’s animated hit film Luca.

Back in Riomaggiore, bring your seven days of hiking bliss to an end. Nothing beats a refreshing aperitivo from the comfort of your seaside hotel while the golden sun sinks into the sea.

As the locals would say, la vita è bella—life is beautiful.

Aerial view of the village of Monterosso al Mare in Cinque Terre
The village of Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre dyed orange and yellow by the sunset

Your guide

Born and raised in Lucca, Italy, Stefano Lera has been working as an eco-friendly hiking guide since 2013. He leads customized hiking tours all over Central Italy, the Apuan Alps and the Apennines. Stefano is the founder of Wild Trails Hiking Guides, as well as a park guide in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park, where he organizes outdoor activities for local school children.

Lisa

I recently did the guided tour of the cinque terre. I don’t often provide feedback but this tour was amazing. You can’t go wrong when you have a back drop of the cinque terre but what made the tour was the very knowledgable guide Stefano. His knowledge of the Cinque Terre walks, history and nature was fantastic, he was always willing to answer our questions. It was great having an Italian guide, not only did we learn about the region but also Italian culture in general. The food and accommodation was also very good.

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