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What are the best paths of Cinque Terre?
The footpaths are one of the most important things to see in Cinque Terre. The most popular trail is Sentiero Azzurro. The main part goes to the foot of the cliffs by the sea. For this reason, after the rains of November, this path need some fixes, so it’s often closed. It's hard to say what will happen next year, but in Spring the main parts of the path are already waiting for tourists. If you want to walk on this path, you need to buy Cinque Terre Card.
For this reason, the experts and local people always advise to pay attention to other less known paths that are almost always available. Here you can find less tourists, so you can walk without any crowd. They are free and here you can have a very nice view of the whole coast. Here are some recommended trails.
Corniglia - Volastra – Manarola
It’s a very interesting path, consisting of the paths 7a, 6d and 6. It is about 5.5 km long and it takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to get to the end. On the side of Corniglia, there’s a light climb, but if you are on the side of Manarola, you should take a bus to Volastra because these two towns are linked by a path which consists of 1,200 steps of uphill and downhill.


Riomaggiore ring and the Sanctuary
You should use path 3 to get to the Sanctuary and to go back from it. It takes about an hour to get to the end of the path (total length: 3 km). From the sanctuary terrace you can see a wonderful view of Riomaggiore and Cinque Terre.

Monterosso - Punta Mesco – Levanto
You can reach the top of the mountain with path 10, which is 2,2 km long and it takes less than an hour to get to the end. You can go on with Levanto along path 1 for 5 km (2 hours) or you can go back to Monterosso.
 
Riomaggiore – Portovenere
It’s a very and beautiful path, but it’s very long. You can take path 3 and 1. The total length is 12 km and it takes about 5 hours to get to the end.

 

The name Cinque Terre refers to an area that includes part of the Riviera di Levante. Located in the Province of La Spezia, this area includes five small villages or, as they were called in ancient times, lands: Monterosso, Corniglia, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore. While Monterosso, Vernazza and Riomaggiore are real cities, Manarola and Corniglia are suburbs, belonging respectively to the towns of Riomaggiore and Vernazza.
The context in which the five small villages are placed is very peculiar: it’s a harsh and rugged hilly land, which man has managed to make hospitable, without changing its natural balance and beauty. Just because of this special features, the Cinque Terre are one of the major attractions in Liguria.
The terraces are some examples of human intervention: this was necessary in order to practice agriculture in these lands with steep slopes. Terraces have become one of the best features of Cinque Terre.
As you can guess from the previous, brief introduction about Cinque Terre, the area is mainly mountainous and hilly, with wonderful scenery of high cliffs overlooking the sea, which alternate rocky and rugged areas on the coast. The altitude of the mountains isn’t too high: Mount Malpertuso is 815 m above sea level and Mount Vè is 486 m above sea level. The few sandy or pebbly beaches are close to the countries of Monterosso, Corniglia and of Riomaggiore. Along the coast you can find many coves and bays; also some small islands are not far from the coast.
The sea and the mountains are very close, so the streams are fairly short and have a torrential regime. The maximum flow occurs in spring and autumn, and the minimum, of course, in summer. There aren’t many water catchment areas and they have a limited extension, again because of the conformation of the landscape. The man-made canals are very important to irrigate the terraces and the crops.

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