Hiking allows you to understand the Cinque Terre and those who live there.
Walking along our paths is the best method to discover history, culture and local traditions, to fall in love with the landscape, to understand the structure of the villages, why we call it heroic agriculture, why our wine has a value that goes far beyond its taste and also why it is not a region suitable for mass tourism.
In short, unless it’s really not your cup of tea, we highly and heartily recommend you hike, which however doesn’t mean walking always and in any case and condition.
That’s why we decided to publish this short article with some details that we tend to take for granted but are not. Simple practical tips that can improve your experience and allow you to live it in safety and serenity.
1. hiking shoes
We apparently are a sea destination, but hiking here is like hiking in the mountains.
Therefore, no flip flops, sandals, ballet flats, or other shoes that are definitely not suitable for this type of walk. What you need are good hiking shoes, with a good sole and ankle support and better if not just purchased. If they were new, at least wear them a few days before, to avoid hurting you on the first path.
We recommend comfortable and light clothing, perhaps applying what we call the “onion strategy”, that is, providing various layers to go from going up the sun to cooler sections in the shade or even chilly at sunset or in case of wind. If we were you we would also think about the swimsuit, because the arrival is always at the sea …
You need the backpack, but a light one. What to put in it?
- the layers of clothing recommended in paragraph 2
- thermal water bottle
- a snack
- sun glasses
- waterproof bag if you plan to swim
- beach towel in the same case, perhaps in microfiber
- second skin patches if the shoes are new
- map and guide if you don’t have one available on your smartphone
- travel charger to prevent problems
- spray against insect bites
- a plastic bag for rubbish, which you can then dispose of when you arrive in one of the villages on your itinerary
4. which path?
The articles on this site, the dedicated page on that of the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, the managers of the accommodation where you are staying and the reception staff at the Park’s tourist offices will be able to give you indications about the difficulty and duration of the individual paths and if you still have doubts or need help write us!
The advice is obviously not to overdo it. If you are not trained and your stay allows it, start with a less demanding and perhaps not too long path, and increase the difficulty day after day. You can also opt for the Via dei Santuari, heading up on a Park shuttle.
Walking with a regular rhythm will then help you avoid breathlessness: small steps uphill and at the cadence that your body suggests. If you are in a company and the others are more trained than you, they will have to adapt and maybe you will laugh together.
5. the weather
With violent rains and weather alerts, the Park stops the sale of the Cinque Terre Card and prohibits access to the SVA path in the section between Monterosso and Corniglia and this so that hikers do not take risks.
The other paths are not closed, but it is a good idea not to walk in adverse weather: the path becomes dangerous and often it is sheer above the sea, visibility drops and in case of a problem even the rescuers struggle to perform their task. In short, we strongly advise against it.
If you have any doubts, we invite you to discuss with the reception staff and with the locals who know the individual paths and the relative risk degree.
But is it worth hiking in the Cinque Terre?
Well, if the introduction has not convinced you, think that walking on the paths has positive effects on both the respiratory and cardio-pulmonary systems, it burns calories and tightens the thighs, calves, and buttocks. Using sticks you’ll also work the upper part of your body.
And truly, there is no better way than hiking to discover the Cinque Terre landscape and understand its beauty, origins, and fragility.
Have a great walk!