Hiking Vernazza – Monterosso
I was really happy to be hiking the trails of Cinque Terre. I think the best time to go here for hiking is in the spring, like always, not too hot, not too cold. There are not only hikes along the ocean but also further inland. But since it was summer when I visited, a small hike between two towns was just enough. The trail between Vernazza and Monterosso is about 3,3 km.
I was planning to go up early in the morning and get an early start hiking so it wouldn’t be too hot outside. Unfortunately the ticket office (at the train station) didn’t open until 9 am, and you need tickets to hike the trails. The first day I bought the pass for only the hiking trail which gave me access to all the trails during one day, it was 10,5 euro. There’s a pass for 16 euro that gives you access to unlimited travel with the train between the villages as well.
Well, I finally got started and it was a bit cloudy, perfect for hiking. I actually thought it was a bit hard to find the starting point, but from the train station just walk in to the village and go upwards and you will get there. At the beginning of the trail there’s a ticket officer checking your ticket and you are on your way! The first parts of the trail you have a fine view over Vernazza looking back.
The trail is easy walkable and you walk between terraced vineyards that produces local wine.
After a while you will see Monterosso al Mar, beautifully located in the bay. On the way down there you pass more of the terraced vineyards.
Monterosso al Mar
Monterosso is the biggest of all the villages in Cinque Terre and also the oldest one. When you reach Monterosso from the hiking trail you get to the old part of Monterosso. Here you find many churches, cute alleys and restaurants. Here’s also a small beach and harbour.
Monterosso is divided in two parts and the new part is north of the old one. The new part has the longest beach in the area and restaurants along it. It’s here you find all the famous pictures of parasols on the beach and the cliff in the sea.
Between the old and new town is a big hill with a monastery and big graveyard on top. From here you get a nice view over the surrounding hills and sea.
I spent the rest of the afternoon here, having lunch and walking around. Since it has such a long beach and much more activities during the night than the other towns this is where I recommend one staying if you are in the area for some longer time. The transportation between the towns are very easy with the train so you have no trouble going on day trips to the other towns. From Monterosso you are also closer to the towns in the north outside Cinque Terre. There seem to be so many beautiful towns in the area. Next time I am there I will visit Portofino, it is a bit west of Monterosso and looks beautiful.