INFO & TIPS FROM OUR ROUTE MANAGER
This info is meant for our clients and all other walkers & hikers on the Cinque Terre, still one of Italy’s iconic walkers’ destinations!
There has been a lot of talk about the accessibility of the trails (the ‘Walk of Love’ being closed for several years now) and the ‘overtourism’, with the National Park wanting to impose limits on visitors with a tourist ‘ticket’ system. Nonetheless, the Cinque Terre are still worth visiting!
First of all some reassuring news: there will certainly be NO limits to those staying in the area (on one of our tours). If at all, local authorities want to ‘rationalise’ (=limit) numbers of ‘day trippers’, tourists flocking to the area from cruise ships, certainly not those staying in the area, bringing in money.
Regarding the accessibility of the footpaths: unfortunately still a few paths are closed. Heavy rain and landslides have hit the region of Liguria several times over the last years. All the problems started back in 2011. In Autumn there were terrible floodings & landslides, which caused much damage to the area, especially in and around Vernazza. Then in September 2012 there have been rockfalls along the famous ‘Sentiero dell’Amore’ – after which the path was closed. The Cinque Terre were not damaged this Winter, but a number of paths can still be closed, for safety reasons.
Already a lot of work has been done, and most of the damage caused over the last years had been repaired. Also most footpaths and trails have been reopened. The National Park & local authorities ensure to keep these paths open. Only in case of predictions (!) of exceptionally heavy rain, called ‘Meteo Alert’, a number of paths can be closed for safety reasons, most often only for a few days. This unfortunately happens pretty often, as nobody wants to take ‘risks’.
Part of the coastal route – from Riomaggiore to Corniglia, including the ‘Sentiero dell’Amore’– will remain closed to the public (according to the latest info from the National Park these trails won’t be re-opened soon- although a huge amount of money, 7 million euro has become available for its restoration). The trail between Corniglia and Vernazza had been re-opened in June 2014 already and will very likely be open also this year, while the path between Monterosso and Vernazza had been re-opened to the public already in Spring 2014 and will also very likely remain open throughout the season. For that reason this path can be really busy!
The Cinque Terre National Park offices and the State Forestry Service are available for detailed information: Cinque Terre National Park: +39 0187 76 26 00 firstname.lastname@example.org -State Forestry C.T.A. email@example.com
The park also tries to give the most up-to-date info on this page of their website: www.parconazionale5terre.it/Esentieri-outdoor.php (in English) – with a list and a map ofthe paths. On this map it is indicated which trails are open and which still closed – and clicking on the name of the paths you’ll find a short description as well as the average walking times. Please note that also the yellow paths (for ‘experienced hikers’) are absolutely feasible for the average client on one of our tours.
Along all paths indicated as ‘closed’ (red), trespassing is still forbidden (and considered a legal offence). We are in continuous contact with our guides and accomodation holders in the area to get the most up-to-date situation, as well as a forecast for the coming days. Some of the guides and hotel owners in the area are themselves doing some trail maintenance, as volunteers.
One of the main problems remains the landslide between Manarola and Corniglia, due to which already last year this path was closed. However, this section can easily be by-passed doing the beautiful walk, with leads through the hamlet of Volastra.
However there are many more beautiful trails in the area, enough to spend a few great days hiking – and as well alternative routes for those paths which are closed now (although rather strenuous – the other alternative is the train). Although many tourists ‘stick’ to the one coastal path, including the world-famous ‘Via dell’Amore’, the Cinque Terre have much more to offer to the avid hiker. It features a whole network of amazing paths.
In all our tours we have included many of these less known, but equally beautiful paths. Have a look at the many possibilities the area has to offer: www.genius-loci.it/tour/independent-walking-hiking
And in the ‘Route Notes’ we prepare for our clients we give always alternatives. Therefore, also for those paths which are still interrupted, there is always a good alternative walk – and for our lazy clients: you can always catch a train….. (preferably using the ‘Cinque Terre Card’).
Do not hesitate to ask us for the most up-to-date information before booking your trip!
To end with some good news:
– the trails leading from Riomaggiore to Portovenere and on the island of Palmaria, included in many of our tours, have suffered very little damage and all paths are open. The same holds true for the footpaths leading from Levanto to the West (Bonassola, Framura, Deiva Marina).
– on the Portofino Peninsula (Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure, San Fruttuoso), included in most of our tours, the damage has been very limited, and all footpaths are open.
We therefore recommend to not limit your tour to the Cinque Terre only, but check out as well these equally beautiful areas.
So do not hesitate to book you Cinque Terre & Liguria Walking Holiday now!
Kind regards / Cordiali saluti,
Peter J. Hoogstaden – Route Manager
Genius Loci Travel The real Spirit of Italy & the Mediterranean