a VirtualTourist member
Our family will be traveling to Cinque Terre late Dec/early January. Any advice about weather expectations and whether the ferry is in service would be wonderful. We'd like to walk most, if not all, the trail. Is it mostly flat, or are there very steep sections? Any recommemdations for accomodations would be appreciated. Driving time from Florence would be a bonus. Thanx.
oh there are steep and difficult sections - quite narrow sometimes too
the easiest bit is between riomaggiore and manarola - after that it gets tougher and tougher
the stairs up to Corniglia are a bit daunting too
there was a bus up there when we were there in May
we saw a young child being carried out by her parents - she had hurt her knee - screaming with pain
little while later we heard a helicopter - think it must have been carrying her ut
In addition to the flight of stairs mentioned above, the northern end of the walk consists of an immensely long twisty stretch of uneven stone stairs, which is why I always recommend starting from the south, so that you are going down when you reach those stairs.
A lot of the narrow steep bits of the trail are also very uneven and stony, but there are many places to stop and rest along the way.
Be aware that if it is raining a lot at the time you are there, parts of the trail may be closed due to landslides.
Get a daypass for the train with park entrance so you can walk the trail. Walk the parts that are open and take the train to the next part. You may also appreciate the train ride back to your starting point. LOL
If the weather is nice, walking is great because it's not hot and not nearly so many tourists as during the main tourist season.
Driving times and directions are available at http://www.viamichelin.com/
www.baranin.com has excellent accommodations and holiday and winter specials. The paths may not be all open and the ones from Monterosso to Vernazza and then to Corniglia (going down the steps is better) can be quite steep with LOTS of steps. Not to discourage you though it is amazing. Actually one of my favorite places on this earth. Florence to La Spezia and leave your car there as your car is not useful in the Cinque Terre, (we parked outside of Manarola but it was kind of expensive)