Quite possibly one of the most beautiful coastal walks in Europe or even the world, Cinque Terre or ‘Five Lands’ is a collection of five medieval yet astonishingly beautiful fishing villages located in the province of La Spezia on the Italian Riviera. The coastline, villages and the surrounding hillsides are all encapsulated in the present day national park which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Connected only by the railway back in 1874, the region has few roads even to this day, making this Cinque Terre Hiking trail a walker’s paradise.
Be mesmerised by everything Italian, as you walk along the ancient footpaths and mule trails that connect the towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. Each one of these spectacular small colourful Ligurian towns has something unique to offer you. You won’t be disappointed as you sip the local wine, enjoy the tasty pesto and meander the steep winding cobbled streets while basking in the warm Mediterranean sunshine. Artists, writers and celebrities have been coming to the region for decades now and it’s easy to see why. Cinque Terre, described as ‘a place defying both gravity and time’, certainly maintains its old worldly charm.
Hiking several of the dedicated loop walks in the national park, you will discover the coastline, cliff side towns, sandy coves and beaches, terraced fields and lush woodlands. One of our favourite hikes in the region is Via dell’ Amore or ‘Lover’s Lane’, located between the towns of Riomaggiore and Manarola, is part of our hiking route to the town of Monterosso. The trail retains is romantic allure to this day as it winds its way along the rock face, with many benches on route where you can relax with a loved one, overlooking the beautiful turquoise sea, spectacular cliff views and luscious vineyards. The legend of the pathway goes back to the early 1900’s and the construction of the railway tunnel between the two villages. Workers needed a path to walk between the two villages and legend has it that this path became the meeting point of lovers between the two villages, to which the path now owes its name.
If the lifestyle of the ‘dolce vita’ appeals to you, look no further than this Italian oasis. The perfect mix of challenging treks, tasty Italian cuisine, interesting culture and spectacular views, a hike in Cinque Terre is sure to be one you will dream of forever.
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