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Hiking in Cinque Terre: A Day Trip from Florence

Hiking in Cinque Terre.

If you’re visiting Florence and looking for the perfect day trip, your search ends here. Hiking in Cinque Terre is the answer.

If you didn’t already know, the Italian word cinque means five. There are five villages in Cinque Terre, and in just one day, you can experience them all, by hiking or taking the regional train from one village to the next.

And that’s exactly what we did, on our Cinque Terre Trek with a company called Walkabout Florence.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Hiking in Cinque Terre.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

We booked Walkabout’s Cinque Terre Trek, which ensured a seamless day trip from Florence, filled with beautiful beaches, coastal hiking, a knowledgable guide, and lots of gelato — of course!

If you’re planning on hiking in Cinque Terre, you should consider booking a tour with Walkabout Florence. Here’s what you can expect from the Cinque Terre Trek

Hiking in Cinque Terre.

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

Manarola

Along the azure waters of the Ligurian Sea, bright-colored buildings burst with color and gardening terraces line the lush, green cliffs of Manarola. As soon as we stepped off the train from La Spezia, I fell for Cinque Terre. Hard.

Our time in Manarola, a village of 400 inhabitants, began with a guided walk. We meandered through the town and the garden terraces, way up high. As we walked and gawked at sweeping views of pink, blood orange, and yellow houses, with the shining sea in the background, our guide, Fabian, told us interesting stories and facts about Manarola.

Hiking in Cinque Terre.

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

At the end of our guided walk, Fabian brought us to the most spectacular viewing point of Manarola, before leaving us for free time in which we could check out the local shops or watch beachgoers plummeting from high rocks into the inviting ocean water.

After our free time was up, we hopped aboard a five-minute train for Corniglia.

Hiking in Cinque Terre

Corniglia, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

Corniglia

After a quick walk through Corniglia, we headed up to a family-run restaurant called Ristorante Cecio, which features incredible views over the small seaside village.

Originally, pesto comes from Liguria, so we indulged in a fresh pesto pasta with potatoes and a beautiful plate of mixed, freshly caught seafood for lunch. A big, hearty lunch was necessary to energize us for the hike to come! (And it was included in the tour price!)

Hiking in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

From Corniglia, we hiked to Vernazza! After spending so many days in Florence, doing nothing but consuming tons of gelati, pastas, pizzas, and panini, we were ready for some exercise.

The hike wasn’t too terribly difficult, but it was a scorching day, which made the hike all the more challenging. The views during the hike, however, were unbeatable. For miles, we saw the lush Ligurian coastline with colorful villages scattered here and there, azure waters, and wisps of clouds. Nothing else. By far, the hike was the greatest part of the tour!

It took us 45 minutes to reach Vernazza, but others needed a lot more time. For us, hiking quicker meant more free time in Vernazza!

Hiking in Cinque Terre.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

Vernazza

Once in Vernazza, we had only one thing on our minds: gelato.

Our guide, Fabian, recommended a little gelato shop along the harbor, claiming their cinnamon gelato is the best ever. It really was lovely, but the kiwi-banana flavor was to die for.

Hiking in Cinque Terre.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

Next, we stripped off our sweaty clothes, threw on our bathing suits, and sprinted for the water.

After that long, sweaty hike, the sea water couldn’t have been more refreshing. It was the perfect temperature.

We swam and tanned for a bit, and then decided we should dry off and have a glass of white wine, hailing from Liguria. It was  just what we needed!

After exploring Liguria’s shops for a few minutes, we caught the next train to Monterosso.

Hiking in Cinque Terre.

Monterosso, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

Monterosso

Monterosso’s Old Town is absolutely magical, so as soon as we hopped off the train from Vernazza, we beelined for it!

We spent about 30 minutes browsing the shops and snapping photos of the quaint streets, draped with clotheslines.

Something about Cinque Terre’s rustic shutters, its old, peeling paint, and its many balconies lined with bright flowers and drying clothes, just makes me smile. It’s almost too damn beautiful to be real. Almost.

Hiking in Cinque Terre.

Monterosso, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

With a bit of free time left, we kicked back at the beach and had some more white wine. Because how could we resist — especially on such a hot day?

Usually, at this point in the tour, Walkabout Florence arranges a boat from Monterosso to Riomaggiore, for beautiful views of Cinque Terre from the sea. Unfortunately for us, though, the water was too rough for the boat ride, so we took the train. Yet that meant one important thing: more free time in both towns! So we were more than okay with that.

Hiking in Cinque Terre.

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

Riomaggiore

When it comes to Riomaggiore, I’m torn. I can’t decide which is more beautiful, Riomaggiore or Manarola. It’s safe to say that they’re both incredibly beautiful, and they’re usually the favorites of those lucky enough to visit Cinque Terre.

While in Riomaggiore, we did nothing but admire the views. We kicked back on the rocks surrounding the harbor, and we simply watched people happily swimming below as the waves rolled gently in.

Just before we caught the train back to La Spezia, where we’d hop back on the bus to Florence, there was one thing left to do: eat more fresh seafood.

We needed calamari, smothered in lemon juice. And so that’s exactly what we got. Mmmmmm.

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

Hiking in Cinque Terre

If it wasn’t clear enough already, hiking in Cinque Terre with Walkabout Florence is a must during your trip to Italy. It’s a long day, full of stunning vistas, fresh, tasty food, exploring, and hiking. On a trip to Italy, what more could you ask for?

Nothing.

So then it’s decided, when you visit Florence next, you’re heading for the sea, and hiking in Cinque Terre!

All the details:

  • The price is €90 for adults and €85 for youth.
  • The tour is 12 hours long.
  • The tour departs from, and arrives back at, the Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station.
  • The tour runs every day, March through November.
  • You can book your Cinque Terre Trek with Walkabout Florence here.
Hiking in Cinque Terre.

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy.

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Planning to take a day trip from Florence? Hiking in Cinque Terre is the perfect choice! Beautiful beaches, colorful houses, hiking trails, and gelato await! And the best part? On this hiking trip, you can visit all five seaside villages in one day. Planning to take a day trip from Florence? Hiking in Cinque Terre is the perfect choice! Beautiful beaches, colorful houses, hiking trails, and gelato await! And the best part? On this hiking trip, you can visit all five seaside villages in one day.

Have you been hiking in Cinque Terre? Which village is your favorite?

*This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase through the links on our website, we will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. These commissions help keep Travel Alphas up and running, and we thank you for your support!

Travel Alphas went hiking in Cinque Terre as guests of Walkabout Florence. As always, all opinions are our own.


Maddy Cornelius

Maddy is the co-founder and editor of Travel Alphas. Mint tea, handmade pasta, gelato, and red wine are among her favorite treats. New York City, Budapest, Bali, and Florence are a few of her most-loved destinations.

  • Kassie

    I loved hiking Cinque Terre! It was one of my favorite day trips I took in Italy! The area is breathtakingly beautiful! I hiked from Vernazza to Monterosso but I would love to go back and hike the portion your did!

    August 2, 2016 at 9:23 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Agreed! Next time we’d love to hike all of the trails!

      August 7, 2016 at 3:54 pm Reply
  • Chiara

    I love Cinque Terre! It’s so pretty and there isn’t anywhere quite like it – I’m dying to go back :-)

    August 4, 2016 at 9:34 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Totally agree! We can’t wait to go back… someday! :)

      August 7, 2016 at 3:53 pm Reply
  • Mikéla

    As always, awesome photos! Really wish I could have done this when I was in Italy.

    August 5, 2016 at 12:50 pm Reply
  • kenza

    Totally loveeeee this place ! And I had the best Ice Cream in Corniglia, though I think 4 days in Cinque Terre was waaaaay to short to explore it properly !

    Thank you for sharing :)

    Kenza from http://travelwithkenza.blogspot.fr/

    August 9, 2016 at 9:04 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      That’s awesome! Glad to hear you had a good time! Though I have to disagree with you. I think 4 days in Cinque Terre would be WAY too long, unless you want to lay on the beach, just relax, and do basically nothing else during that time. For us, 1 day was perfect because once you see each town, go to the beach, eat the seafood, savor the gelato, there’s not much else to do…

      August 9, 2016 at 11:43 pm Reply
  • Laura @ Our Next Adventure

    Beautiful photos! We’ll be visiting Cinque Terre in April and I just can’t wait! Did you find the train to be pretty crowded or was it not too bad? We’ll have a little one, so we won’t be able to do much hiking.

    February 10, 2017 at 3:58 pm Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      The trains were not crowded. But if they are, it will be okay, as the train rides are only a few minutes from town to town!

      February 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm Reply
  • jex

    That’s so cool! My family and I are going there for spring break and I can’t wait! I really like all of your posts and you guys inspired me to write a blog about travel. Could you check mine out?

    March 5, 2017 at 8:26 am Reply
    • Maddy & Mauricio

      Hi Jex! Your blog is AWESOME! I really like the layout, and your perspective on the world. How old are you?! I read your post about Reykjavik; Iceland is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. Keep up the great work. I can see that you have a bright blogging future ahead of you. And thanks for dropping by.
      – Maddy

      March 5, 2017 at 8:37 am Reply
      • jex

        Thank you! I’m 11 :)

        March 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm Reply
      • jex

        Thank you so much! I’m 11. I really think you guys would love Iceland because you seem very adventurous :)

        March 9, 2017 at 3:20 pm Reply
        • Maddy & Mauricio

          You’re 11? Wow! Way to go, buddy!
          We’ve decided to go to Iceland in November 2017. We are very excited! :)

          March 9, 2017 at 3:41 pm Reply

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