Our first glimpses of Cinque Terre was in Corniglia. The roads were closed driving into Vernazza, so we were dropped off at the closest train station which was in Corniglia. Unlike Riomaggiore, Manarola, and the other villages of Cinque Terre at sea level, Corniglia sits on top of a cliff approximately 100 meters (328 ft) above sea level. You can’t access it by boat, and you are climbing a lot of stairs when traveling by train. The hiking trails to Corniglia on both sides were under construction and also closed during the time we visited (Check the trail conditions before hiking the trails here or here).
People have said if you have to skip one of the towns it would be this one. We enjoyed each part of Cinque Terre. Each village had its own charm, and we were more than happy that we had the time to see all five. No offense to Corniglia, but if we were limited on time, I would agree that I’d opt of out. In my opinion, I would visit Manarola > Vernazza > Riomaggiore > Monterosso Al Mare > Corniglia in that order.
There are quite a few stray cats roaming all over Cinque Terre
One of the reasons why people say you can skip Corniglia is the 382 stairs to get there from the train station.
Corniglia has two exclusive small beaches at each side that you can see from the train station. We were told that Guvano Beach was less touristy and was also a nudist beach, but while we were there both beaches were completely empty.
More tips on traveling in Cinque Terre are here.