Manarola - Volastra - Corniglia
Country - Italy
Region - Ligurian Coast (including Cinque Terre)
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 7.3 km / 4.6 miles
Ascent - 400 metres / 1320 feet
Time - 3.00 hours
This walk takes you high above the coast to small village of Volastra and avoids many of the crowds using the more popular lower level coastal path. The paths are generally easy to follow but do be aware that some sections require a head for heights. The terrain is mixed with steep terraced vineyards predominant. Using the convenient train service along the coast on completion of the walk you can return to the start in a few minutes!
Start from Manarola railway station and walk through the pedestrian tunnel into the village. Exiting the tunnel, turn right up the hill through the village until you reach the square with its fine church and clock tower. Cross the square and take a small lane signed to Volastra - Grappo which climbs beside a stream and leads to a car park. Go through the car park, bearing right to follow another lane again signed to Volastra - Grappo.
Reaching another car park and go right up some steps - this path is waymarked with a red and white marker and path 6. These steps lead to a lane which you ascend to join a tarmac road. Go straight across and turn left re-joining path 6. This narrow path takes you back to the road. Turn left along this road for a short way to join more steps on your left signed path 6 to Volastra. These steps climb across the steep terraced hillside to reach Volastra.
At the top of the steps in the village turn left along a lane signed 'Sentiero per Coniglia'. Reaching Piazza della Chiesa (the church square) your onward route resumes by an information board with the path contouring across the hillside. You are now on path 6d and at the first junction bear right following path 6d to Corniglia.
The path continues to the hamlet of Porciano. The route passes in front of the houses with the onward route marked by an arrow. The path threads its way through rather sparse woodland, crosses a stream (where you take the lower path) and continues for about another kilometre to reach a prominent signed junction with path 7a. Go left here and descend down a rocky path which is quite steep in places all the way to Corniglia.
The path ends at a lane. Turn right (path 2 - Vernazza) walking past the church to turn left along Via Fieschi to a small square. Continue along the continuation of Via Fieschi on the other side of the square into the centre of the village.
The railway station is about 15 minutes walk from the village centre and is reached by a long flight of steps and is signed from the small square mentioned in the previous paragraph.
- Kompass - Sheet 644 - Cinque Terre - scale 1:50000
French IGN mapping is available in digital format by area and 'cut your own' maps. For more information and availabilty go to the Anquet website.
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