We started our hike in Riomaggiore and had orginally planned to go up the coastline. However, due to the flood of 2012 that part of the tail is washed out so we walked a bit more inland. NO ONE in the towns talk about the washout, they make it sound more like a seasonal closure, which was really strange. But then we found out the money raised to repair the trail 'magically disappeared' so it's all hush hush since the tourist tickets made up a majority of the funds.
Our first hike was up the 600 Stairs aka the eternal stairmaster. And no, I’m not exaggerating, there really are 600+ steps up the hillside. The hardest part of the steps was the distance between them. Well, for Le Husband, they were perfect for my smaller legs, but taller people hand to change up their gait.
It was a challenge at first and then we got the hang of it. The trails are right through people’s property, sometimes through the vineyards which was really cool. Check out this contraption they use on the steep inclines.
After we left Riomaggiore we entered Manarola. Again the hike was steep but not awful. We ran into some Canadiens and had a great time chatting in English about the area and also about our honeymoon in Banff. They were quite impressed with our 30 day trip and our move which was nice to hear. The hills kept going up and down and it was incredible to think about how people lived here back before the paths were created. While the weather here was warmer than France, it was still a bit of a coastal wind and without the sun it can be quite chilly. Hence the tank top to long sleeve change.
How beautiful is the town below?! This is what all the Cinque Terre towns look like from above.
Corniglia is the half way point and it was up in the air whether we would finish the whole hike or not. Parts of the trails you have to buy tickets for, which is great to promote the atea, but it was a bit later than we originally imagined and weren’t 100% sure we were mentally up for the rest of the hike. But we decide why not try since we are already halfway through. So try we did and try became we rocked that hike, woohoo! From Corniglia you hit Vernazza and finally end up in Monterosso. We will let the pictures do the rest of the talking from here!
Hiking the five lands is NOT for the faint of heart if you couldn't tell. Cinque Terre is an INCREDIBLE destination but the hiking is not for everyone. We saw quite a few people who were NOT in their element, so if you plan a trip there do your research [aka feel free to ask me] before you start the trek through the different villages. We had the best time and the meal afterwards was just the icing on a fabulous day. Next week I'll be recapping our GELATO tour, yum!