Less traveled Cinque Terre

Old Apr 3rd, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Less traveled Cinque Terre

Hi folks,

I will be in Camogli from May 18-24, and am interested in some hiking. I have already posted a question about hikes around Camogli, but am also interested in your views on hiking possibilities in and around Cinque Terre.

I will probably end up hiking at least part of the coastal path linking the five towns (maybe the Corniglia - Vernazza segment?), but given the likelihood that the trails will be packed like a sardine can, I am also considering alternative ways of enjoying this beautiful region.

From the reading I've done, there seem to be at least 2 options for hikes to than than within CT: 1) Portovenere to Riomaggiore, 2) Levanto to Monterosso. Option 1 is less accessible from Camogli (I won't have a car), I wonder if it's even doable in one day? Getting to PV would probably entail taking a train to La Spezia then either a bus or a ferry, or possibly a ferry all the way from Camogli. I like the idea of seeing the five towns from the water on the way to PV, then seeing them from above on the hike from PV.

Within CT, some books recommend the high trail (Sentiero Rosso) between the towns as a less traveled alternative to the coastal trail. Also (correct me if I'm wrong), I believe the high path does not require the purchase of a CT card. I imagine getting to it from any of the towns would involve quite a steep initial climb. Perhaps if I started in Levanto (option 2 above), I could just continue on the high path to any of the towns (for example, descending in Vernazza rather than Monterosso).

Anyway, I would appreciate your input on these ideas.
Bopal is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2011, 11:21 AM
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Several years ago we were in Levanto in April. We hiked the Levanto to Monterosso trail the first day there, and I don't recall seeing anyone else. Very nice hike, took a few hours. The next day we did the five towns starting at Riomaggiore. The first section was fairly busy, but the more challenging sections were relatively uncrowded. I suspect May would busier however.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2011, 01:11 PM
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There is a small bus that will bring you up from Vernazza to the sanctuary chapel above the town. A little further up the road, you can pick up the high trail towards the convent in Soviore, from where you can descent to Monterosso.
The bus goes every few hours and I think is free with a CT card. You will find the stop if you head uphill on leaving the train station in Vernazza. The driving style of the bus driver we had could be described as enthusiastic so maybe not too big a breakfast that day...
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Old Apr 3rd, 2011, 02:36 PM
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Hi Bopal,

I've hiked the Riomaggiore - Portovenere section twice, going in the opposite way you propose. Either way the biggest challenge is at the outset with a steep climb. It's a very nice hike and you'll have many good views. About five hours, I think.

I replied to your other post so you might be interested in some of the hikes out of Rapallo. If you take the cable car up into the hills above Rapallo there are trails heading off in every direction. You could easily walk the trail down to Chiavari and train back to Camogli.

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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 08:30 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions. Levanto to Monterosso is still a potential, and I think the sanctuary trail out of Vernazza into Monterosso (as SeeDee suggested) might be a good alternative to the main coastal trail, which looked like this in late May 2009:

The people who took the photo are probably more allergic to crowds that I am (their blog is at http://ga-trip.blogspot.com/2009/05/...-manarola.html), but still...inching along like a human centipede is surely not the best way to experience CT.

Anyway, it seems like the area between the CT villages is criss-crossed by several trails with multiple options - does anyone have a recommendation for a trail guide/map?
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 08:47 PM
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I hadn't considered hikes from Rapallo, mainly because I wsn't aware of them, so thanks for the tip. How would you compare these hikes to Riomaggiore-Portovenere? I'm sure both are worthwhile, though I imagine the scenery and feel are completely different.

I notice you also replied to my other thread on Portofino hikes. If you had to limit yourself to 2-3 day hikes in the region spanning from Camogli to Portovenere (including CT), which ones would you choose?
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 11:49 PM
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Wow, sorry I don't have anything to add to your questions, but just that I did the Cinque Terre in mid-late September a couple of years ago & while it wasn't deserted, there were definitely not as many people as that photo indicates. I would have thought September and May would be reasonably similar crowd-wise, but now I feel really lucky that I had great weather (not too hot for hiking, warm enough to go swimming) and not too many people. I would love to go back again one day, maybe to try some of the alternative routes you're talking about.
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 04:24 AM
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We stayed in Manarola in March, a few years ago, and the paths were fairly busy, mainly with noisy school groups. I think May would be much busier.

When we were there one section of the path was closed due to landslide and we were told that was fairly common. I think having a few back up plans would be good, just in case you can't do the walk you have your heart set on.

There are also coastal walks close to Portofino, which is not that far from Monterrosso (from memory, an hour by train to Santa Margherita then a 20 min bus ride).

I remember the Lonely Planet guidebook has some good maps of the local area with walking paths on it. Might be worth checking in a large bookshop if there is one near you.

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