Hiking the trails (i sentieri) in the Cinque Terre is an awesome adventure, but you have to be prepared for the fact that some of the trails close periodically due to weather or landslides. However, it looks like most of the five trails are open now in 2015, except for the Via Dell’Amore.
It is worth it (vale la pena) to even hike one of the trails because the views of the Ligurian Sea are breathtaking as you climb through vineyards and crisscross around, up and down the sides of the mountains.
If you start at the trailhead in Monterosso, the northernmost Cinque Terre village, you will hike and climb your way to beautiful Vernazza in about 90 minutes.
You can stop for lunch in Vernazza, shop at the quaint shops in the small village, then hike to Corniglia. For your third hike, I have read that the trail from Corniglia to Manarola is officially open also–another 90 minute hike. In the 7 years I have been to the Cinque Terre in September, this Corniglia to Manarola section has never been opened.
The next trail from Manarola to Riomaggiore called Via Dell’Amore (Lovers Lane) is closed as of this post of August 9, 2015. This is the flat side-walk trail that takes 20 minutes to walk. It’s beautiful and easy, but due to the landslide in the Fall of 2012, repairs must be made.
Via Dell’Amore has been closed since October 2012. However, on April 3, 2015 they temporarily re-opened 200 meters of the trail for a few months, starting at Manarola going toward Riomaggiore, but now it is closed again for further repairs. Repairing the Via Dell’Amore is a massive ongoing project and we will just have to be patient. Or, if you’re in Riomaggiore you can try the panoramic walk around the village on via Signorini, which starts near the Riomaggiore train station, reached through the walking tunnel. There is usually a Tourist Information Center near the station. Sometimes the workers there are helpful and often they are not!
The best advice I can give is to be flexible. Hike the Trails from Monterosso to Vernazza, then Vernazza to Corniglia–trails that are usually open unless there is heavy rain. Then, for the safety of all hikers, they close due to muddy and slippery trails. I have hiked muddy trails and just moved more slowly, but only when they were officially open.
Wear good walking shoes or sandals. I have only hiked with Merrell or Ecco sandals made with a back strap, which is necessary. You must be able to climb 700 very uneven steps, up and down on these trails! Wear sunglasses, a hat and suntan lotion! Bring water bottles as there are no watering holes on the trail. One hiker stopped my friend and said they’d give her $10 for a sip of her water!
Just be prepared and you’ll love it. Happy Trails! Buona passeggiata! Enjoy the hiking trails of the Cinque Terre, “the five lands“.
“Traveling is the only thing you spend money on
that makes you richer.”