Between the Sentiero N°1 (the Red path) and the Sentiero N°2 (the Blue path) you will find many transversal trails. These used to be called the green paths, in line with the colour they had on the old hiking maps. They have their own numbers and connect each of the villages with the Sentiero N° 1 on top of the hills. They all go straight up, reaching a height of 500 metres, over a distance of 3 to 5 km. the average rate of increase ranges from at least 10 to 15%. However, there are also some walks which are not as heavy. The main advantage of this is that the hiking trails there, in almost all cases, much less crowdede than on the coastal road, while the paths are as beautiful as the Sentiero Azzurro.
Watch out : you will need a good condition. These trails bring you up to a height of 500 metres in a few kilometres. You will not always find a place to eat or drink, so be sure to take some food with you, especially when in the heat of the summer.
These are some of the most important trails
You will find a map and GPX-tracks of these trails in our e-book. You will also find several suggestions to combine these trails into circular walks.
The main advantage of these trails is that they are far less crowded than the coastal trails. By using the public transport, you can avoid the steep climb of these trails, so that not only the real hikers can walk them.
Below, we give a detailed description of one of the circular hikes. In fact, it was our first 'hike' in 2008. Some details may have changed in the meantime, but we survived it.
We started in Manarola, taking the main street upwards, passing the church and the car parking. We followed the trails 502 and 506, but more important : the white-red sign of the GR-trail (which is far better marked than the other trails)
After crossing the road, we got into the vineyards. At the split of trail 502 and 506, we choose nr 502 (also GR), which goes steeply up. Do not forget to look back from time to time to enjoy the magnificent views of Manarola below.
After a few hundred meters, the vineyards are replaced by the chestnut woods. The marks have disappeared, so we need to get back a little to find back the trail. We are now in the National Park, we have to cross a fence that has to keep the wild boars in the park. A little futher on, indeed ... a wild boar family, goes on the run when we get too close !
On top of the ridge, no more signs to lead us the way. We trust in the red-white sign of the GR (or in Italy the C.A.I. - Club Alpino Italiano) which later turns out to mark also the Sentiero N° 1.
A little further, we run into some mountainbikers which can re-assure us.
We continue to follow the Sentiero N° 1, the trail between Portovenere and Levanto.
The trail is now rather flat, a welcome rest after the steep climb to this height. After a while , we see the signs for the green path N° 2, leading to Riomaggiore, but our knees prefer to make a detour in order to avoid a steep descent.
Deep down below, beautiful views on the coastline, with Manarola and Riomaggiore, keep coming up !
In a distance, we also see the Santuario Nostra Signori di Montenero.
Going further down, we come in the clearing in the woods. We are now on the Colle di Telegrafo and, miraculously, there happens to be a bar / restaurant. After a banana and a bar of Mars (of course, we forgot to take more food), a few Italian specialities are very welcome.
From the Telegrafo, we follow the green path N°3, which passes the Sanctuory Nostra Signori di Montenero.
From the bench in front of the church, we have a full view on the Cinque Terre coastline. With a little imagination, we even see the five villages in one glance.
The descent brings us further down to the centre of Riomaggiore. Via the Via Dell'Amore, we get back in Manarola (not without a obligatory stop in the Bar dell'Amore)
Distance : 10 miles
Duration : 5 hours (including stops)
In our e-book you will find more trails, just outside of Cinque Terre :
More detail on these trails can be found in our e-book.