Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Cinque Terre Hike to Vernazza and Corniglia

We've been coming back to Cinque Terre every year for the last seven years.  And, our first hike is always the same, Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza.  If we get in early enough, we head over on the afternoon of our arrival to start to settle in.  Since we arrive about 9pm this year, we'll trek to Vernazza the next morning and then continue to Corniglia, returning to Vernazza by train for lunch.

The views of the Mediterranean, as we climb up out of Monterosso, are spectacular.  First, the stairs up to the trail entrance booth, where we pay for one day's hiking.

  Leaving Monterosso al Mare at the public beach

Heading up and up

Then, along the ridge

The first part of the trail winds along the coast with great views of Monterosso getting smaller in the distance, the Mediterranean, and vineyards and olive groves along the way.  Close to the beginning, an accordion player provides music to walk by and later along the path, an entrepreneur with a battery operated juicer sells fresh orange juice, while another sells jewelry, perhaps to reward oneself for the trek up to shopping.

Monterosso in the distance, getting progressively farther away

Proceeding along the Mediterranean

Olive groves and vineyards along the trail

 Entrepreneurs setting up shop

As we pass the half-way point, Vernazza starts to appear in the distance and slowly grows larger and more distinct.

Vernazza appearing in the distance (still a ways to go)

 Vernazza getting closer

Descending into Vernazza

Then, before we know it, we're descending into the narrow streets of Vernazza, taking the stairs down into town, heading over to the train station, and then climbing back up out of town.

Wandering through the streets of Vernazza

Vernazza main street from the train station to the harbor

We'll be back for lunch, but, first, we're off to the next town, Corniglia.

 Up the steps, leaving Vernazza

 Vernazza getting smaller as we climb

Monterosso even farther away, Vernazza in the foreground

We return to the top of the ridge and continue along the Mediterranean toward Corniglia.

 Up, then along the path to Corniglia

As we go up, we pass one of the small tractors used to bring provisions up the stone steps to houses and restaurants.  And, at the half-way point, a small bar.  Very civilized!

 How to bring big/heavy items up the steps

 Potential refreshments halfway to Corniglia

Corniglia is small, perched on the top of a hill, with steps down to the train station and no ferry stop.  All the other Cinque Terre towns are served by both train and ferry, except Corniglia, which does not have a harbor..

 Entering Corniglia

 Steps down to the train station

 Reaching the station, catching the train back to Vernazza

Today's walk took us about 2.5 hours and it is time for lunch.  We head back to Vernazza, to Bar de la Torre, that we passed as we climbed up from Vernazza on our way to Corniglia.

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