When it comes to Cinque Terre, I think I can let the photos speak for themselves — with one major disclaimer: You’re going to feel the burn if you want to experience those views! The current trail detour that takes you from Manarola to Corniglia is hella vertical and we were completely soaked through our jeans by the time we made it up to the vineyards. The trails between the other towns were all pretty challenging as well, though that must partly reflect our state of fitness as we saw some rockstar olderfolks powering up the endless stairs.
Is the climb worth it? Of course. Just take your time. We hiked the trail over two days and rewarded ourselves with cones of gelato or tasty Italian food when we reached each of the five towns (typical, I know). It’s also quite something to look up at the mountain-perched villages from the sea, though they fill the boats to the brim so line up early if you want a prime seat. On the trails themselves, we often found ourselves hiking alone for 20 or even 40 minutes at a time thanks to our off-season visit. In fact, I would highly recommend that you also consider visiting in October — the last month before the boats stop running for winter — despite the risk of rain. The cool temperatures were perfect for hiking and the tourist influx was completely manageable. We even got a fantastic hotel room overlooking the port of Riomaggiore! Enjoy the photos!