Italy is full of great places, though my history with Cinque Terre was a sort of exceptional attraction. I just saw a picture in an article, and the same moment I knew I am gonna go there in a very soon time. It became my real dream.
According to Wikipedia, The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia.
“The Five Lands” comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia,Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I stayed in a lovely village called Manarola, which is the second most southern village of Cinque Terre. It is surrounded by two hills covered fully with vineyards.
Manarola doesn’t offer sand or gravel beach, so majority of people go sunbathing on the rocks and enjoy extreme diving into the perfectly clear blue sea.
Cinque Terre villages are connected by train rails, in the high season regional trains go almost every 15 minutes. It takes 20 minutes to get from the first village – Monterosso to the last one – Riomaggiore. I must admit trains is the most comfortable and easy way of travelling in the area.
Riomaggiore, in my opinion is the most touristic village, it offers nice gravel beaches, though due to the big crowd density one probably not enjoy that much of nature.
I liked Vernazza the most, because the shape of the bay with its castle in the fortress. The place has two beaches, one – with open sea – very nice gravel and amazing waves. The second one is separated from open sea and it is quite calm and warm there, probably it’s the best for families. The fact that different people may be interested in different types of beaches is very positive. Going to the open sea bay one can avoid noises and screams of kids.
As a recommended activity in Cinque Terre I would promote hiking. Each villages is connected with the neighboring ones by walking paths. There is a lot of them, with different difficulty levels. The average distance by the villages is around 2 km, so it may take about 2-3 hours to hike from one village to the other. Some paths are dangerous and require certain level of physical health to complete the walk. There are inspection booths on the touristic paths and they usually collect the daily fee of 7.80 Euro per person.
Cinque Terre is just awesome, I recommend everyone to go there and stay for at least 4-5 days to see around, enjoy some yummy food and wine, and of course chill out for a couple of days just by the sea, enjoying the mild warm sun and listening to the sound of breaking waves. Check out the video as well, it will give more perception of what that lovely area is about.