Hiking Cinque Terre: Corniglia to Manarola
Hiking the Cinque Terre: Corniglia - Manarola via Volastra
For hiking in the Cinque Terre on the footpath from Corniglia to Manarola, there are two possibilities:
The Blue Trail No.2 runs along the coast directly from Corniglia to Manarola. But this trail is CLOSED because in 2011 it was damaged from the Cinque Terre storm.
These directions are for the alternative route via Volastra.
Information about the Cinque Terre footpath
Route: CORNIGLIA - VOLASTRA - MANAROLA
Length: 3.5 Km
Height difference: 517 m
Walking time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Level of difficulty: High
The footpath is longer and more exhausting (about 500m height difference), but you will be rewarded with beautiful vineyards and many panoramic views.
Start from Corniglia: hiking Cinque Terre Italy
The Cinque Terre footpath Corniglia Volastra Manarola starts in the center of the village Corniglia, next to the parish church "Parrocchia di San Pietro", which you can find at the beginning of the main street "Via Fieschi".
Follow the direction signs "sentiero 7a" towards Volastra-Manarola.
Just before the trail leaves the village, we can find a general map on a board with detailed information to the hiking trail 7a, which passes the Cinque Terre national park “Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre”:
Corniglia is located about 90 meters above the sea. Our next destination is „Sella Ovest Marverde, which is positioned 607 meters above the sea. From there we will later turn right and follow the path "sentiero 1" to Manarola.
But first we have to climb up - and there are many steps... Therefore, if you choose this trail you need to be fit.
If possible we recommend to start the hiking tour in the morning when the path is still in the shade.
Cinque Terre Hotels
In our opinion one of the most beautiful hotels in the Cinque Terre is the Porto Roca Monterosso which is located directly on the coast and offers a wonderful panoramic terrace overlooking the sea.
From the hotel you can reach Monterosso beach by a short walk.
In front of the Hotel Porto Roca Monterosso passes the blue hiking trail Monterosso Vernazza.
Thus, this hotel is the perfect starting point for a Cinque Terre hiking tour.
Moreover you can find here many other Cinque Terre Hotels selected by us, where the location, service and price will match:
Corniglia - Manarola: Panora of Corniglia
After a short time we will be rewarded with a very nice panoramic view of the village Corniglia. From here you can also see the cemetery of Corniglia on a hill overlooking the sea.
We follow the path further up where we can find numerous wild raspberries - the so-called "more" - a welcome refreshment.
A sign indicates that it should only take 35 minutes to Volastra.
During our hiking tour we meet many tourists – most of them greet with a friendly "Hi" or "Buongiorno" - mostly Americans, German and Italian.
Once again we get a nice panoramic view of Corniglia, where we can recognize particularly good the long stair "Lardarina" which leads from the Corniglia train station up to the village center.
Hiking through olive groves and vineyards
Shortly after the rail of a single track cog railway crosses the trail. The "new generation" of winemakers uses these railways to transport goods to and from the vineyards.
The next surprise is not far away - suddenly the trail leads through the garden of a particularly beautifully restored stone house – it seems to be on private property, but we are right here.
Now we approach the wine growing areas of Volastra and Manarola - the trail leads along the stone terraces, which have been created from the Cinque Terre wine growers.
Thick green and red grapes everywhere - we have to control ourselves, not to steal a few Vermentino grapes. Some wine growers have built fences to prevent the theft of grapes - but you can still reach some grapes.
You should not be afraid of heights and take care: in the origin this was not a hiking trail, but it was used by the farmers to cultivate their vines. There are no railings – the way leads along high dry stone walls and steep stone stairs. Therefore, pay attention "attenzione"!
The next part of the footpath we walk surrounded by vineyards of the Cinque Terre until we reach the village Volastra.
Volastra Sanctuary: break !
The trail brings us right in front of the Sanctuary of Volastra "Nostra Signora della Salute" - more on this you can find in the chapter Manarola.
The square in front of the church is the perfect location to take a break - numerous benches and shady trees are inviting to relax a moment.
After a snack we take a look into the church - and we are surprised by its beauty inside.Just behind the church we can find a bus stop - if you are tired you could go on by bus to Manarola. There is also a small car park for cars and busses.
Way down to Manarola via „Groppo“
Since we are still in force, we follow a piece of the major road. Already after the first curve we see an indication sign to Groppo, but we continue the main road for about 700m till the second sign for Groppo.
We follow the trail that on a stairway within 10 minutes will bring us down to the small village "Groppo". In the village there is a restaurant and a few colorful houses.
After we have crossed Groppo we follow again the major road until till the stone house with the sign "Frantoio Antico Mulino". On the left the trail to Manarola continues.
On the indication sign we read that it only takes 5 minutes to the curve "Tornante di Groppo".
The trail runs along a small river with some pretty stone bridges.
After 5 minutes we reach the curve and with another indication sign: 20 minutes to Manarola. This hiking trail has the new number 506 (before Ex 6).
Hiking in the Cinque Terre: we reach Manarola
We approach Manarola and pass at the car park of Manarola, which is located outside the village.
On the hill on the right above Manarola you can already see some nativity figures from the world's largest exhibition of a Christmas crib called "Presepe" (more on this see Chapter Manarola), which consists of 300 life-size figures.
We follow the footpath to the center of Manarola, until we arrive at the square in front of the church of San Lorenzo "Parrocchiale di San Lorenzo". From this Piazzetta you have already an overview of the village - but we'll show you where you can find a much better viewpoint.
We follow a part of the footpath "sentiero 506" in direction Volastra or Corniglia, which starts right next to the "Piazzetta" in front of the church. The trail passes along the hill of the “Presepe” – right opposite of the center from Manarola.
Gradually you will get a more and more beautiful panoramic view of the bay of Manarola. Particularly impressive are the colorful houses that have been crowded together on the rock.
From here you can make the best photos of Manarola - you can see the historical center of the village, the harbor bay with small fishing boats and a small rocky beach.
View of the bay and the cemetery of Manarola
We are walking around the curve and discover the cemetery of Manarola - located in a beautiful position on another rock overlooking the sea. A stair will bring us down to the level of the cemetery.
Behind of the cemetery there is a playground and another stair that will bring us to the sea.
Optional: Manarola beach
The clear blue sea water attracts us magically - and we decide to go to the small beach of Manarola. There is a rocky sea access just below of the hill with the cemetery. Here you will find less tourists and you can enjoy the atmosphere and find some peace.
From the small beach you have a beautiful view of Corniglia on the rock above the sea.
Direct above the beach you can find the access to the alternative Cinque Terre hiking trail Corniglia Manarola that runs along the coast.
After our refreshment we follow the trail towards Manarola and enjoy a tour through the lively center. Due to lack of space many fishing boats are stored in the main street - so sometimes we have to weave the way through.
Manarola further Cinque Terre hiking tours
If you still have power, you can continue to hike in the Cinque Terre national park to the next village Riomaggiore:
- Footpath Manarola to Riomaggiore: Cinque Terre lovers walk
Manarola train station: return journey by train
If you have walked enough, you can stop at the train station "stazione Manarola" to take the Cinque Terre train. So you can reach quick and easy all the villages of the Cinque Terre.
From Manarola train station you will again enjoy an impressive view of the houses that have been crowded together on the rock of Manarola.
Cinque Terre hiking
Here you can find the most beautiful Cinque Terre hiking trails: