Corniglia to Manarola (via Volastra), 6km (Route 587, 586, 506)

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  • Friday 12th September, 2014
  • Distance 5.8km, 2hr (Routes 587, 586 & 506)

After wandering around Corniglia, I got a little lost trying to find the alternative path (Route 587) to Manarola so I asked a local man and he walked with me for about 5 minutes and took me right to the beginning of the path, it was very kind of him! His English was terrific and we spoke about the landslides that the region had experienced back in 2011, his opinion was that the Azzure path between Corniglia and Riomaggiore probably wouldn’t re-open… When we arrived at the entrance to the path he said it would take about 30 minutes to get to the top of this very steep trail and then I would be on a flat path for the next 1.5hr or so.

All I can say is that I’m glad it only took 23 minutes to get to the top but it was a very long 23 minutes and I could hear my heart beating, reminiscent of being on the Shikoku walk again! It was so tough!

After the turn-off to Volastra on Route 586, the path flattened out but was still quite challenging with incredibly narrow parts (impossible to pass someone), rocky and uneven terrain and scary drop-offs to the sea below.

Soon I was in Volastra, a small hill-top town with a dominating church and a very handy bar to get another large bottle of water! And then I was off again and walking through the middle of vineyards, surrounded by grapes and the locals harvesting them.

And before I knew it, it was time to go down. Not just any down. DOWN! Down approximately 1,000,000 (I lost count) steps, but at least they were evenly placed so I could go down quite quickly. I had to stop a few times and my legs wobbled like jelly each time. Sometimes seeing the destination that you’re walking towards helps, but Manarola was like a mirage that never got any closer, no matter how many steps I went down.

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10 responses to “Corniglia to Manarola (via Volastra), 6km (Route 587, 586, 506)

  1. I hiked the CT in 2013 and fell hopelessly in love with it – it was a great appetizer for the Camino de Santiago! Out of curiousity, can you recall where you saw the Camino sign? I did the same route and can’t recall it. Thanks!

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    • Hi kristaspurr,
      Thanks for your comment 🙂
      Cinque Terre is a beautiful place, I was constantly stopping and taking photos of the views all day!
      The camino shell was on the alternate high path (Route 587) between Corniglia and Volastra, just after the turn off to Volastra which is route 586. Apparently the shell and the Via della Costa route is a 12 stage 355km coastal route forming part of the Via Francigena pilgrimage, something I would love to do!

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  2. Thank you for this post. I am in Cinque Terre and wanted to walk to all the 5 towns but the first two parts of the coastal trail was still closed. I came across your blog and decided to use this alternate route, as well as the one to Riomaggiore I managed to walk to all the towns in a day and I have to say this was probably my favourite part of the walk – Corniglia to Volastra. Walking among the vineyards and trees with no one else around was great. Using the coastal track between Monterosso and Corniglia was way too crowded for my liking – views were still spectacular but feeling like part of human train just kind of took the enjoyment out of it for me. Thank you once again for your post.

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  3. Love Cingue Terre. We just got back from Italy and when we were in Cingue Terre, we did the hike from Corniglia to Manarola. It was brutal. We are a couple of 50-ish women who have been cough potatoes for too many years but we did it and I loved it and felt so proud after. Stiff and sore that evening but amazingly fine the following day.

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  4. Hi there!! Though it was 2 years ago, I wonder if you have any thoughts on how to guide us to find the beginning of the trail in Corniglia? You mention its a bit tricky to find.

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    • Hi Deb,
      I’m afraid I don’t remember and I didn’t take my GPS unfortunately so I can’t send you the track. There’s an information centre at Monterosso Al Mare so if you’re starting there pop in and ask for a map as well as detailed directions to that part of the trail. I hope you have a wonderful time, it’s an incredibly beautiful part of the world!

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