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Cinque Terre Hiking Guide

Sentiero del Crinale (Known as High Path N. 1) or La Spezia's C.A.I.'s N°1 Path      

  • Total Distance: Around 40km or 25 miles       
  • Walking Time: 10h-12h

Make sure to visit the official website of Cinque Terre National Park and see the current status of which trails are open.

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high-trail-vernazza1The hiking trail No 1/High Path (the Red Line in the Hiking map) in Cinque Terre will bring adventurers from the quaint town of Portovenere and will end in the plush town of Levanto. Most that choose to take the hiking path for route or trail one will decidedly begin in Portovenere, where they will find a path that leads along the coastline and will eventually end up in Levanto.

In total this hike is a little more than 40 kilometers (around 25miles) long and of all the paths in the Cinque Terre, this is the one that most find to be most challenging. In fact, many hiking professionals will advise that novice hikers start with one of the simpler paths before taking this one on. Of course, people are free to do as they wish, but should one take on this challenge be sure to dress appropriately for the weather, wear proper hiking shoes and bring plenty of water so that dehydration does not become an issue.

One of the grand things about this particular trail is that is does cut through all five of the Cinque Terre towns and there is plenty to see along the way. Additionally, there is a shorter and less challenging route that one could opt for along this path which will essentially cut out half of the route, totaling 20 kilometers. For the purpose of this article however, we will discuss the best route for the full 40 kilometer hike as that is what most are after so they can have the full experience.

Portovenere to Campiglia

  • Distance: 6km or 3,7 miles
  • Walking Time: Around 2h

high-trail9Your journey will begin in Portovenere and the timeliest and accessible route from this starting point will start there and bring you to the town of Campiglia which is 6km in length and on average takes about two hours to complete. It is one of the steepest paths of your journey, taking you along the coastline, rising and falling as you travel through fields of vegetation and along the rocks of the Muzzarone.

Shortly after you pass these rocks and head into Cigoletto you will have a decision to make as the path will split and there is a choice to take the path n° 7 which will allow you to pass San Bernardino or if you prefer you can take the right hand side path which will lead you to Riccò del Golfo. Either path is a glorious adventure.

Gradually you will come to the town of Campiglia, surrounded by pinewood and vineyards before making your way to Riomaggiore which is a little less than 9 miles from your starting point. Here you will also find great scenery as well as some fantastic cafes where delicious snacks are served and a couple of souvenir shops.

Campiglia to Colle del Telegrafo

  • Distance: 3,2km or 2 miles
  • Walking Time: 1h and 30mins

high-trail2Continuing on your hike, you will want to stay on the path which heads from Campigilia to Colle del Telegrafo. This portion will run about 3.2 km and should take you on an hour and one half hike. There are a myriad of cafes and restaurants in the vicinity so if stopping for refreshments is in the agenda, now would be a great time to indulge!

After walking for a bit and once you pass the cafes you are again able to choose among two hiking paths: either the Sentiero N° 3, which passes by the Sanctuary of Nostra Signori di Montenero, and leads into the town of Riomaggiore or your second option is the sentiero N°1, which will bring you to the Parco Nazionale delle. At the Sella La Croce, you again have the choice to go left towards Riomaggiore via the green path N° 1.

Sella La Croce to La Cigoletta

  • Distance: 3km or 1,85miles
  • Walking Time: 1h and 40mins

high-path3This will lead you to the Sella La Croce and into La Cigoletta on a 3km hike which takes approximately one hour and 40 minutes to complete. This part of the trek is pretty easy and hikers will want to continue following the Sentiero N°1 which brings you along the ridge and further into the Sella della Cigoletta. Here you can find the green Track No 7 which leads to Vernazza.


La Cigoletta to Drignana

  • Distance: 5km or 3,1 miles
  • Walking Time: 2h

Continuing further down this path will bring you to Monterosso by way of the Monte Gaginara, which happens to be the highest point between the towns of Portovenere and Levanto or you can opt for the green Track No 8 which will bring you to Vernazza as well. This portion of the trail will run 5 km and take about two hours in entirety to complete.

Drignana to Soviore

  • Distance: 3,7km or 2,3 miles
  • Walking Time: 1h and 15mins

high-trail3Next hikers should happen upon Drignana and follow the paths towards Soviore which is 3.7 km long and will take an estimated one hour and 15 minutes from start to finish. This path is quite easy and mostly flat with a few twists along the way, but nothing that is too arduous. There you have the option to take the green track No 9 to Monterosso.


Soviore to S. Antonio to Levanto

  • Walking Time: 2h and 30mins

Levanto-high-trailThis will be the tail end of the hike and its conclusion will take approximately two and a half hours to fulfill. This path will also twist and turn in some areas as it leads to Termine and eventually will merge with one of the main roads, passing by Santuario of Soviore.

You will pass several coffee shops and a beautiful pine forest until you come across the Sella di Punta Mesco. Be sure to stop here as the views are amazing and you’ll probably be due for a rest anyway. Continue to follow the pathway where you will reach a point of heading downwards and this will bring you directly into Levanto.

*Original Photos Source*


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