In order to take full advantage to see Cinque Terre, we needed to wake up before the sunrise to catch the first train out of Genoa. After about an hour and a half and one sunrise later, we arrived in Riomaggiore. Our plan was to walk the trail along the coastal cliffs that brings you to each of the five villages. Starting with coffee in Riomaggiore, A small snack in Manarola, lunch in Cornigla, gelato in Vernazza, and ending with a glass of wine in Monterosso. While we did keep up with the eating agenda, our walking agenda turned out to be vastly different. Walking down to the trailhead in Riomaggiore we found the gate closed and locked.....apparently the coastal trail is closed in the winter.
Our only option now was to hike up and over the mountains separating each village. It was a grueling 9 mile trip on steep trails, while carrying a full camera bag. But apart from sore legs, the entire day was incredible. I’m almost happier we took the high road because we got to look down into the villages looking out to the sea.