Hiking in Cinque Terre - Fitness level

Apr 21st, 2003, 05:39 PM
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Hiking in Cinque Terre - Fitness level

Hi - I was wondering how fit does one have to be to hike the Cinque Terre. How long does it take? Is it all uphill or is there a fair amount of plain road?


Curryscurry is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 05:42 PM
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The good news is that there is a trail for every level. The entire trail goes from the first town to the fifth one and would take all day for a very fit person (in my opinion). We hiked from Vernazza to Corniglia (sp?) and I think it took about 2.5 hours. It was up and down and was frankly about enough for me. I understand the first section is the hardest and the last is more like a paved sidewalk. That said, you don't have to do it all. The train stops at each town and you can hike out and train back.
Grasshopper is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 04:06 AM
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From what I remember the hardest part was walking up the many steps in the town of Vernazza (where we were staying) to get to the start of the trail!
After that the trail had some narrow parts, and if it rained could be a bit dicey, but not too hard.
And there is that train that comes every so often to get you back to 'Home"
bmw732002 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 04:29 AM
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We did a combination hiking, train and boat. Views from the trails and boat were great!!
Judy is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 04:59 AM
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If I remember correctly, the first two hikes,starting at Riomaggiore (from south to north), are quite easy. There were families out their Sunday church clothes strolling the first pathway, which is paved and mostly flat. I think the first hike is less than 1/2 hour. The last two hikes are considerably more strenous, a lot of up and down climbing,and will take close to 2 hours each. However anyone in reasonably good shape should be able to handle them all. I think the entire walk took us about 6 hours, with breaks for lunch, wine, gelato, etc.
zootsi is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 06:03 AM
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Judy, I'd like to read more about your train,walk,boat combo. Do you have a trip report somewhere? Thanks, J.
Apr 22nd, 2003, 06:17 AM
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jmw, our Cinque Terra trip was four years ago so there is no trip report, just my poor memory! We started from Levanto, first village west of CT, trained to Riomaggiore, hiked the first three trails, stopping for lunch/wine and caught the boat to Monterosso, then train back to Levanto. It was all very easy to do!
Judy is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 08:08 AM
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The trail is hardest at the N end so start there while you are full of energy! It's just a stroll between Riomagiorre and Manarola and fairly easy between Manarola and Corniglia. It's Corniglia N that gets hard.
Good luck!
e_roz is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 09:53 AM
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From the website e_roz posted, these are the estimated hiking times they give for the four segments.

Riomaggiore - Manarola: 30 minutes
Manarola - Corniglia: 1 hour
Corniglia - Vernazza: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Vernazza - Monterosso: 2 hours

As others have noted, the first two segments above (the southernmost two) are by far the easiest. The only relatively strenuous part about the Manarola-to-Corniglia segment is the series of steep steps leading up to Corniglia.

While it certainly helps to be reasonably fit to hike the northernmost two segments, even if you're not that fit, you can always just take it slower and stop more often to rest. In my opinion, a person would have to be REALLY out of shape to not be able to hike these trails at all.
capo is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 03:27 PM
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Lonely Planet states it can take 2 1/2 to 5 hours according to your fitness levels, but as others here have stated, you can always train it! and stop for lunch and gelatos!
Amanda is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2003, 01:25 PM
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My wife and I did the hike about a week ago, starting in Monterosso. It was 30 minutes of steep uphill, then levels off comfortably. Total time to Vernazza: 1.5 hours. Stop in Vernazza for water and rest. Vernazza to Corniglia, another 30 minutes steep uphill, then fairly comfortable. The rest of the hike is fairly easy - with rest stops and water, it took us 4.5 hours. The nice part was stopping back in Vernazza from the train, buying a bottle of wine and enjoying it at sunset on the waterfront. One tip: wear shorts and carry water with you.
cvn is offline  
Apr 24th, 2003, 08:36 AM
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raerose is offline  
Apr 24th, 2003, 08:55 AM
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Wow, Amanda, I know those Lonely Planet people tend to be younger and more energetic, but to do the whole thing in 2 and a half hours would almost require jogging it --even running in sections, not walking it!
Patrick is offline  
Apr 24th, 2003, 10:57 AM
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I've walked the stretch between Manarola-Corniglia. And like a prior poster mentioned the biggest challenge there was the series of steps that you take to get up to the village of Corniglia. Do be aware that pathway (or at least this one) does have narrow sections; no more than two people abreast. And the trails afford a spectacular view overlooking the water. I'm not someone who's bothered by heights, however I've seen some discussion around that issue if that's a problem for you.
Tess_Durberville is offline  
Apr 24th, 2003, 11:03 AM
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Tracked down a couple older threads re: CT trails.

> > Is Cinque Terra path no-no if one's scared of heights and other is pregnant? < <

> > What do I need to hike in Cinque Terre < <
Tess_Durberville is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 03:24 PM
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To all of you who have hiked the Cinque Terre-We will be there in September. We are reasonably fit and in our mid-50's. My question is-do we need to bring hiking boots or can we do the easy to moderate parts of the trail in good walking sneakers? Thank you!
judith49 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 06:35 PM
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Well, to each his/her own. I wear hiking boots, but we passed a number of people in Nike type shoes, and the ultimate -- a woman wearing beach type "thongs".
Patrick is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 07:21 PM
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I respect Patrick's advice. I plan to take my hiking boots (actually, wear them on the plane,) even though we go to an apartment in Paris for two weeks after the CT. As Patrick said, to each his own. CJ
CarolJean is offline  
Apr 27th, 2003, 05:55 AM
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Judith 49: I am not planning on bringing "trainers" as the Brits would say, cause they take up too much space in my suitcase....and they are not really a part of my fashion ensembles(tee heeh). We are similar to you, early (me) mid(him)50's, relatively fit and will be hiking the Trails in my Reiker black walking shoes(very sturdy and comfy), but I will look dreadfully unfashionable IMO. I will bring shorts however, thanks to CVN, and will carry water too! Judy
Judyrem is offline  
May 6th, 2003, 10:01 PM
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Thanks to all of you for your suggestions... they were all very useful...

Curryscurry is offline  

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