THE CINQUE TERRE BY BIKE
- Racing bike
- Travel times from the upper road to the villages and return
- Mountain Bike
- Bike and e-bike rental
With the racing bicycle, you can explore the Cinque Terre in a simple way but not without effort! The route is all paved, along the panoramic road of the Cinque Terre (with cars). From Monterosso to Riomaggiore or vice versa, about 28 km of road, almost 700 meters of altitude to be covered calmly in three hours, with breaks and intervals.
The itinerary does not include the descents towards Vernazza, Corniglia and Manarola, in which case it becomes particularly demanding, with considerable slopes up to 16%.
The asphalt is in good condition along the coast road. Going down to the various villages, the road surface worsens, with even sharp bends, guardrails and a becoming more narrow.
The most important difference in height is the initial one, from the center of Monterosso towards the Fegina seafront, then starting the hard climb up to the Gritta hill, at 330 meters. From here, turn right to Vernazza, along the SP38, with beautiful views of Punta Mesco, until you reach the sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Soviore, where you can take a first break. It is the most demanding part, 7 km of ascent to reach almost 500 meters in height.
From here proceed along the up and down road, passing the junction with the sanctuary of the Madonna di Reggio, Drignana, the junction for Corniglia and Vernazza, Fornacchi and starting the descent towards Volastra. The road goes a little inland and then goes towards the sea. It deserves a stop at the beautiful village of Volastra, admiring the terraces of the Cinque Terre and the sanctuary of Our Lady of Health.
Then we go downhill passing from Groppo, the junction for Manarola and then go up again briefly, pass a tunnel of the coast road (poorly lit) and then take the right down towards Riomaggiore.
After visiting the village, the best option is to take a train back to Monterosso, making sure you can load your bike. www.trenitalia.com.
A valid alternative is the Levanto-La Spezia route, especially to find trains on which you can then load the bike. In this case the journey is about 40 km, with the first very demanding stretch, going up from Levanto to the Gritta hill, where it joins the previous itinerary. Instead of going down to Riomaggiore, proceed along the coast road passing through Biassa and continuing the descent to Marola and the La Spezia football stadium. Continue along Via Fieschi, then Via Garibaldi, turn left onto Via Fiume and in Piazza Saint Bon take Via Paleocapa to the station.
TRAVEL TIMES AND DISTANCES BY BIKE FROM THE JUNCTIONS TO THE VILLAGES
The Cinque Terre in MTB are a unique and demanding experience, with treacherous descents, suitable for the more experienced. The route is that of the Alta Via delle 5 Terre, at high altitude, crossing the hilly ridge off-road.
The starting point can be Portovenere, Campiglia, Levanto, Monterosso or directly the Colle di Gritta, located at the beginning of the descent to Monterosso.
The stages of the AV5T are:
598-1 (AV5T 1) Portovenere - Telegrafo
598-2 (AV5T 1) Telegrafo - Cigoletta
598-3 (AV5T 1) Cigoletta - Il Termine
The itinerary proposed here starts from the Colle di Gritta. From here we proceed briefly on an paved road passing from the sanctuary of Soviore to Termine, where the path begins, also used by those who go trekking. The signpost to follow is the AV5T, which climbs uphill along a bumpy path between stones, rocks and roots. At the beginning steep, then becoming slightly uphill for a short distance till it begins to descend reaching the small clearing of Monte Santa Croce.
The beginning of the dirt road AV5T.
Take the path on the left, following the signs for Malpertuso, Cigoletta and Telegrafo. Continue the descent, which becomes more challenging in this first section. The path then widens and becomes more comfortable, until you cross the paved road near Foce Drignana. Continue straight uphill on asphalt for about 400 meters and immediately after a house, take the forest road on the right following the white-red signpost and the signs for the AV5T.
The crossroads where to take the dirt road.
The small road becomes complicated in some places and it may be necessary to continue on foot for a short distance through the woods and then uphill until it intersects a forest road. Continue to the right, slightly uphill, leaving the road after a while to turn right onto the bumpy path of the Alta Via towards the Cigoletta pass, first almost flat and then steeply until you see the sea on the right again and begin to descend to a rest area.
Turn right following the signs for Cigoletta, Malpertuso, Telegrafo, always along a small path. Pass the Malpertuso and descend towards Cigoletta, at 611 meters, exiting the wood and continuing to Sella Marvede. From here it will be necessary to push the bike for a while (about ten minutes) due to the difficulty of the terrain. Then begins an ups and downs with a view of Manarola and Riomaggiore, going down little by little. We always follow the signs of the AV5T going out of the woods and finally returning to see the sea. In short we arrive at a small clearing where we continue as indicated for the Bramapane junction and the Telegrafo. The road becomes wider and easier up to the Bramapane junction. We turn right and beautiful views of the Cinque Terre and the Gulf of Poets opens in front of us. Then we enter the woods until we come out again. The descent towards Colle del Telegrafo begins, treacherous, with large stones in some points and very bumpy.
Here we find a restaurant bar and a network of roads that lead to Volastra, Riomaggiore and the sanctuary of Montenero, or straight on the paved road with the restaurant on the right, continuing the Alta Via delle 5 Terre parallel to the coast.
Continuing along the AV5T, after a while the dirt road returns, at first a bit bumpy, then very comfortable, practically flat, in the middle of the woods, passing by the "Palestra nel Verde" until it crosses the paved road. Turn right on the cobblestones, until you reach a rest area, where there is also the small church of Sant'Antonio.
After the church, the cobblestone road ends and continue straight (the crossroads for Schiara on the right), taking the dirt road back to Campiglia, Portovenere and La Spezia, slightly uphill. After a short stretch, you leave the main road to turn right, following the signs for Campiglia and Portovenere. The path becomes a bit more barren, first uphill, then downhill towards Campiglia, crosses some more complicated points with large stones, where it may be necessary to put your foot on the ground. However, it is a short stretch, then you continue to descend, starting to see the sea and Campiglia. You go along the wall of a private house and go down steeply into the village. You have to be very careful, there are large stones and even stairs, up to the town square with the church.
Between the church and the sea, continue along the AV5T following the signs for Portovenere, Cadimare, Fezzano and Le Grazie, arriving at the old mill of Campiglia. After a while, in a small clearing, you turn left for Portovenere, until you arrive in a few minutes to join the paved road. Follow it for a few hundred meters and then take the dirt path to the right which becomes smaller. You start to go down again until you go along the carriage road again.
From here we recommend proceeding to Portovenere or La Spezia along the paved road, avoiding the path on the right. Some points are very open to the sea and really dangerous with a bike, with too exposed sections and points to be overcome by climbing rocks.
530 Telegrafo - Volastra
From the Telegrafo, the path 530 to Volastra and the crossroads of the Madonna di Montenero is suitable for the less experienced, a wide stretch of 8 km of dirt road mixed with sand and stones.
The route follows the Strada dei Santuari, initially flat and unpaved, after about 800 meters, at the crossroads, you go down to the left, where you find the connection with route 593 for the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Montenero and Riomaggiore. The dirt track continues on a slight slope up to Volastra.
BIKE AND E-BIKE RENTAL
It is possible to rent bicycles, MTBs or E-bikes, but be careful, intermodality by train is not highly recommended. In the stations the lifts are not always working and it is necessary to lift them and take uncomfortable stairs. Also check the possibility of loading bikes on trains on the site of Trenitalia.
Where to rent bikes, MTBs, e-bikes
Cinque Terre Bike Tours
Viale Italia, 51, 19124 La Spezia
Tel: 333 3239005
E Bike 5
Viale Giovanni Amendola 176, 19121 La Spezia
Tel: 347 2515147
Via Garibaldi 63, 19015, Levanto
Tel: 0187 802511