Hiking portions of the Cinque Terra was high on our to-do list and this section from Monterroso to Vernazza is considered a strenuous portion.
We drove to Monterroso from Santa Margherita on windy roads. We secured pay parking for the day which was about $20. It is very difficult to find free parking. Even the pay parking areas fill up so we were happy to get a spot. Any parking near residential areas is reserved for the people that live there. Monterossa is a beautiful seaside town. There are hundreds of tourists coming in off boats and the train and they make for a thriving and bustling area as they wander the charming streets viewing the goods and eat and drink in the many outside cafes. There is also a very beautiful sandy beach and even though it is October, the was was warm enough to swim in.
Once you are ready to start your treck you want to heed their signs and wear the right clothes, shoes, and carry a bottle of water. The cost was $20 for both of us to use the path and you purchase your ticket once you start the trail. The hike is between 3-4 hours return trip and about 13 km. This accounts for time to take a lot of photos and you also must be mindful of the other hikers as the paths are narrow and steep in areas and taking turns on the narrow portions is a necessity.
This trek is a rewarding experience. There are a significant number of steep stairs on the path which offer a strenuous workout. The path is primarily made from cobble stones and large slab rocks. If you have a walking stick, we would suggest bringing it along. We did not have them, but saw many people using them and it would of been helpful on the very steep parts.
The views were incredible and along the way you sometimes get to experience interesting things that present themselves to you.
Always fun on this type of adventure is what you just may happen to find in the middle of nowhere!!! In this case this wonderful old gentleman was offering a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, made there right on the spot. This was about half way into the hike on the side of the mountain. His home was perched on a terrace above the hiking path and for about $2 you could give yourself a little needed boost and quench your thirst.The view from the higher points as we were coming down into Vernazzo were stunning and the bougainville were still in bloom.
Vernazza is a very tiny and picturesque town. Colorful buildings set the mood for a magical experience.
Since leaving Canada we have been hiking daily and we must admit it was a good 2 days of healing time for our legs to recover from this strenuous but very worthwhile hike!