I do get excited about small Italian towns and I know I said Portofino takes the cake but this is 5 in one so its in a league of its own. If you hadn’t guessed it or don’t know Italian, Cinque Terre translates to Five Lands or in this case, 5 small fishing villages located along the coast and barely accessible by road. The 5 villages that make up the Cinque Terre are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
Walk the towns by foot
- Train to Monterosso or Riomaggiore and make your way along the tracks between each town. Some of the coastal paths are now closed so you have to walk up and over. It can be steep but seeing the Cinque Terre on foot just amplifies the whole experience. Take plenty of water because it can get hoottt.
- This town has car access so it is a bit more developed but it is the only one with a beach and bright umbrellas. From there we decided to skip straight to Riomaggiore and make our way backwards.
- Make sure you make your way down to the water front and get a view back over the village with all the boats in front
- Walk the track that winds out to the side, there you will find the most picturesque picnic table set up.
- We managed to get ourselves lost on the walk over so only saw Corniglia from a far. Another beaut though I’m sure.
- By this time the heat stroke sets in and you’re about ready to park up. The waterfront is a good spot
Beers on the rocks
- Go back to your favourite town (by train obviously at this point), grab an ice cold Birra Moretti, park up on the rocks in your bathers and indulge. I’d recommend either Manarola or Riomaggiore.
- An old town on the Genova/Portofino side of Cinque Terre where you will find a hostel or a free cosy car parking spot to sleep in.
- La Spezia
- On the otherside of the Cinque Terre with a few more options for sleeping. From both towns you can catch the train to any of the villages.
- Cinque Terre
- There is the option to stay in one of the villages itself but obviously coming with a higher price tag
- 2 nights
- You don’t want to be in a rush so I suggest staying one night, setting of to see the towns early and then staying a 2nd night and heading off early the next morning.