When you buy through links highlighted with an asterisk (*) on this site, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no cost to you.
The Vernazza to Corniglia Hike is one of the most popular of the Cinque Terre hiking trails, and deservedly so, though perhaps a little crowded.
Vernazza to Corniglia Hike Route Map
Get the route by downloading the .gpx or .kml file below. For navigation with Maps.me on your mobile phone, simply download the .kml file and open to add it to the Maps.me bookmarks.
This hike starts in the main square of Vernazza. It’s not far from the train station, or you can hike here from Monterosso.
Alternatively, you can catch the ferry to Vernazza from the other Cinque Terre Villages (€7-€25). These run from April to October inclusive and are cancelled in bad weather.
If you arrive by car, there’s no car park in Vernazza. Instead, you must park high above on the road and either walk or get the bus into the town. Buses leave roughly every 20 minutes and the journey takes just 5 minutes. Or, the walk is roughly 10 minutes downhill and 15 minutes on the way back up.
Onward from Corniglia
This hike ends at Corniglia. There’s a train station here, from where it’s easy to return to Vernazza or elsewhere. Alternatively, you can hike onward to Riomaggiore. We spent a long day hiking from Monterosso to Vernazza, Vernazza to Corniglia (described here), and still further to Riomaggiore. It was a tiring but great day and we slept well that night in Riomaggiore.
- Start early in the day to avoid the heat and the crowds.
- Make sure to have enough water with you, as well as a sun hat.
- There’s food on this hike in Vernazza, Corniglia, or a cafe halfway along the route (Il Gabbiano).
- You need to pay the hiking fee (€7.50 per adult) to hike this trail from Vernazza to Corniglia. It’s easiest to pay at the booth directly on the trail. If you hike both on the same day, your ticket covers you for this hike and the section of coastline from Monterosso to Vernazza. No payment is needed from Nov-Mar.
- To get to Vernazza, there’s another short hike from Monterosso, the first of the Cinque Terre villages.
- Continue on from Corniglia by hiking to Riomaggiore via Manarola.
- Offline maps app Maps.me works well for this walk.
- Find other nearby hikes on our Italy Hiking Page.
Vernazza to Corniglia Hiking Route
Walking through Vernazza
From Vernazza main square, make sure to pop into the church. It’s a very old church, and one of my favourites in the Cinque Terre. After visiting the church, walk out onto the seaside promenade on the edge of the harbour. There are great views from here back to the town.
Return to the square and head right, up the narrow steps towards Doria Castle (open 10am-7pm). You have to pay to go in, but even if you don’t visit, walk through the cute backstreets up near the castle. It’s a bit of a maze, but try to stay high while heading out towards the back of the village.
Into the Countryside of the Cinque Terre
The path becomes narrow and the houses on the lower side disappear at the edge of town. Look out for the steps on the right heading slightly backwards. It’s signposted Corniglia and there is a small red and white sign, but it can be easy to miss if you’re not concentrating.
The path continues upwards and soon you reach the payment booth, where you can buy a day hiking ticket for €7.50 per adult. The gentle climb keeps on going, passing through a mix of woodland and terraces. There are some really great views.
Soon you’ll reach a small collection of houses. Here is Bar Il Gabbiano, a place serving both delicious fresh juices and tasty goodies such as cake and pizza. There’s also an amazing view from the seating area.
Walking down to Corniglia
After the bar, it’s basically all downhill into Corniglia. You can see the town from here, perched on the hillside on the other side of the bay. After heading down through vineyards, the path broadens and soon you reach a road. Head straight across to continue along the path on the other side. This path bends around the corner, from where you have close views of Corniglia. Soon you’ll reach a church and a square, at the top part of Corniglia’s main town.
This is where the Vernazza to Corniglia hike ends. To discover more about Corniglia, read our post about hiking onwards from Corniglia to Riomaggiore. Meanwhile, take a break and have a drink, snack or lunch in the town.
If you want to get a guidebook to the region, the Bradt Liguria Guide and Lonely Planet Pocket Guide both include the Cinque Terre and hiking routes. The Cicerone Walking in Cinque Terre Guide covers this hike and many others in the Cinque Terre region.
Check out the walk from Levanto to Monterosso, Monterosso to Vernazza, Corniglia to Riomaggiore, or our other walks nearby in Italy.