Krystianna from Volumes and Voyages is sharing all her suggestions in terms of visiting Cinque Terre!
Cinque Terre is actually paradise on Earth. It’s a set of 5 villages (therefore the title, “Cinque Terre”) positioned proper on the Mediterranean Beach. Although there are 5 villages, they’re quaint, so you may simply spend only a day or two right here. If you happen to’re like me and like to calm down in your journeys, choose to remain somewhat longer!
Throughout spring 2019, I used to be fortunate sufficient to study abroad in Dublin, and I knew that I wished to go to Italy. In fact, Cinque Terre was on the high of my listing due to its pure magnificence.
I couldn’t consider that a spot like this actually exists. I’m right here to let you know that it’s truthfully much more attractive than any picture depicts!
I visited Cinque Terre from Florence and beloved my time there. Actually, I can say that it’s one of many best places to visit in Italy.
I used to be fortunate sufficient to have a tour information for a few of my time there, which helped me study extra in regards to the historical past and tradition of the world. This isn’t mandatory however absolutely can solely add to your expertise.
With out additional ado, right here’s the last word information to visiting Cinque Terre!
The Finest Time to Go to
Like most locations, Cinque Terre has its peak season. The 5 villages are busiest from Might to August. I visited on the very starting of Might, and although it was busy, I used to be not overwhelmed by the variety of individuals by any means.
Lodging costs are usually highest throughout this time, however the climate is great, and every part is open.
To go to with fewer individuals, choose to journey to Cinque Terre in both September or October. Throughout this time, every part continues to be open, however most vacationers aren’t right here as a result of the coast will get barely cooler.
I don’t suggest visiting within the winter months, from November to February until you’re ready to have numerous the favored points of interest closed. Even some eating places received’t be open throughout this time as a result of there are barely any vacationers.
Find out how to Get to Cinque Terre
There aren’t many roads in Cinque Terre, so one of the best ways to get there may be by both boat or prepare. I took the prepare, however I’m certain that the boat route is simply as scenic. Under, discover how one can get to Cinque Terre from among the hottest cities in Italy.
To get to Cinque Terre from Florence, you’ll wish to take the prepare from Santa Maria Novella station to Monterosso (or whichever different village you’d like to go to). You might have to make a couple of prepare modifications, so simply take note of the stops.
This journey with take anyplace from 2.5 to three hours, relying on the place the stopovers are. For instance, my prepare went straight to Pisa, after which there was a changeover there to a different prepare. I utilized this time to cease and discover Pisa for 2 hours!
One other common spot to journey from is Milan, which is best to get to by prepare. You may hop proper on the prepare at Milano Centrale station and take the prepare to Cinque Terre. The journey ought to take about three hours.
If you happen to occur to be coming to Cinque Terre from Rome, you’ll additionally wish to make the most of the prepare for the quickest journey! You need to take the prepare from Roma Termini station straight to Cinque Terre. It will take round Four to 4.5 hours, so it’s possible you’ll wish to take an earlier prepare to make sure that you could totally discover the world.
By a Boat
There are additionally choices to take a ship, however that is primarily for the locations nearer to Cinque Terre, equivalent to Portovenere, Levanto, or La Spezia. You may even take a ship between the villages!
The 5 Cities of Cinque Terre
Riomaggiore is probably the most jap city in all of Cinque Terre! It’s the very first cease on the prepare from La Spezia and is the city that I recommend you discover first.
This city is most well-known for being the beginning of the well-known Lover’s Lane, or By way of dell’Amore, path. It leads straight to Manarola!
Manarola is genuinely the city that everybody needs to see after they go to Cinque Terre, and with good cause. Historians consider that this was the primary city of Cinque Terre, and it’s probably the most picturesque of all of the cities right here.
Many individuals additionally say that Manarola is probably the most romantic city, so when you’re seeking to go on a date, that is the city to go to!
Monterosso al Mare
Although everybody tends to go to Cinque Terre primarily to see Manarola, most individuals will depart these villages deciding that Monterosso al Mare is definitely their favourite!
If you happen to’re seeking to go swimming, that is the place you’ll wish to keep. It’s the solely city in all of Cinque Terre that has a sandy seashore!
Not like the opposite cities of Cinque Terre, Corniglia is positioned a bit larger on a hill and isn’t proper on the water. Nevertheless, it nonetheless presents sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea.
This city is most well-known for a wine known as Vernaccia di Corniglia, so make sure to attempt that right here! Remember the fact that you do should climb up 365 stairs to get to Corniglia after getting off the prepare, or you may pay for a bus to convey you to the highest.
Out of all of the cities, I discovered this one to be my favourite! Vernazza is exceptionally colourful and distinctive as a result of it really has its personal church that’s free to go to that’s positioned immediately on the water. You may look proper out the window to the ocean!
A few of Cinque Terre’s most glorious delicacies are right here, together with focaccia bread pizza, gelato, and pesto, that are among the best foods to eat in Italy.
Find out how to Get Round Cinque Terre
The best option to get round Cinque Terre is by prepare. There’s a prepare service that fortunately connects all 5 cities, however watch out which prepare you get on. Not each prepare will cease in each city!
These trains also can get tremendous packed throughout peak season, which isn’t that enjoyable. Oftentimes, you’ll have to face on the prepare simply to get from place to put. Fortunately, the journeys are solely about 10 to 15 minutes most.
You might additionally contemplate exploring by bus. Remember the fact that these buses solely function inside every city, nonetheless, and don’t join any cities. You’ll should make the most of one other mode of transportation to get from city to city.
One of the scenic choices to take is exploring by boat! There are ferries that can get you from city to city, which supplies you a novel view of every of the cities from a bit farther out.
One factor to bear in mind is that the boat actually solely operates between April and October but additionally received’t run if the ocean isn’t secure. This selection normally has the least quantity of individuals, although!
Certainly probably the most enjoyable option to discover Cinque Terre is by mountaineering. Even when you contemplate one of many cities your private home base, you may get to any of the opposite villages in simply over an hour or two by mountaineering, and also you’ll have wonderful coastal views alongside the best way!
The place to Keep
Cinque Terre shouldn’t be as modernized as another greater cities in Italy, so there are solely a minimal quantity of resorts obtainable. These can solely be present in Riomaggiore and Monterosso al Mare as a result of they’re a bit greater.
For probably the most half, you may solely keep in villas and guesthouses. You may as well hire residences by means of Airbnb, which is what I recommend doing. That is the proper option to expertise life in Cinque Terre, however I like to recommend you e-book your keep properly upfront! These are inclined to get booked fairly rapidly.
Nearly all of guests will choose to remain in both Riomaggiore or Monterosso al Mare. If you happen to desire to remain in a quieter city, attempt to keep in Corniglia. Vernazza and Manarola additionally don’t are usually tremendous busy, particularly within the night.
The easiest way to resolve precisely what city to remain in is by a map and attempting to decide on which one you’d almost certainly wish to situate your self in as a house base.
What to Do + Highlights
Adventurous Actions: Mountaineering + Cliff-Leaping
Hike the Blue Path, which is the preferred path in Cinque Terre. It’s cut up into 4 completely different elements, with probably the most scenic and romantic half being the Lover’s Lane stroll.
Attempt your hand at cliff-jumping in Riomaggiore. I noticed some individuals doing this whereas I used to be visiting, however I simply couldn’t convey myself to do it! If you happen to’re an adrenaline junkie, that is certain to present you a rush.
Go to the Picturesque City of Manarola
Go to Manarola at sundown or dawn to get an epic view and picture. Manarola is genuinely probably the most picturesque city, and you may get an much more rewarding view by visiting in both early morning or at night time.
Take a Swim at Monterosso al Mare
Swim on the seashore in Monterosso al Mare. How are you going to go to this attractive city and never swim at the least as soon as? Monterosso al Mare has probably the most swimming-friendly seashore, so simply go, calm down, and float within the Mediterranean Sea!
Discover the Vineyards
Go to the vineyards of Cinque Terre. There are fairly a couple of vineyards within the space, although the best to discover might be those above Manarola. You may simply stroll as much as them on a tiny path!
Take a Ferry
Take the ferry at the least as soon as. If you happen to’re in search of a panoramic view, you’re certain to seek out it on the boat. From the ferry, you may get a extra distinctive perspective than you’d get from the prepare!
Eat All the Delights
Eat all the gelato. It’s usually warm in Cinque Terre unless you visit in the off-season, so you’re going to want to cool down with gelato. I recommend checking out Gelateria II Porticciolo in Vernazza for gelato, one of my favorite gelato spots in the whole country.
Taste pesto, which originated nearby in Liguria. No matter what you try pesto on — bruschetta, pasta, a panini — it’s genuinely better here. Don’t believe me? Then try it!
Have dinner at Nessun Dorma in Manarola. My tour guide let me know that this is one of the best restaurants in Cinque Terre. Plus, it honestly has the best view of Manarola! Most items on their menu are quite affordable too.
Eat at Tutti Fritti in Riomaggiore for the best seafood in the area. Seafood is another specialty of the area, mainly since Cinque Terre is located right on the water. If you love seafood, you have to try it at Tutti Fritti! You can even just walk right up and take it to go.
Cinque Terre 3-Day Itinerary
One of the easiest ways to explore Cinque Terre is actually from either bottom to top or top to bottom on a map! I recommend starting at the bottom so that when you finally get to Monterosso al Mare, you can relax!
Day 1: Riomaggiore and Manarola
The first day should be spent exploring Riomaggiore and Manarola! Start in Riomaggiore, which is one of the bigger towns in Cinque Terre. Since this is most likely the day that you arrived, you’ll be hungry! Grab some local seafood at Tutti Fritti.
Afterward, walk the tiny streets of Riomaggiore and start to get acquainted with the beautiful town. Be sure to end your walk by stopping at the harbor, which is truly spectacular. You can climb down on the rocks to get some fantastic views. If you’re feeling up to it, you could even go cliff jumping.
Once you’ve finished enjoying your view, hop on a boat over to Manarola. This is one of the most beautiful ways to explore Cinque Terre and is a fun way to get from town to town.
By the time you get to Manarola, it’ll most likely start to get dark. If you have time, make a quick hike up to the vineyards to see what a vineyard in this area of Italy looks like. From the vineyards, you can also get a great view of the Mediterranean Sea.
End off your night by dining at Nessun Dorma. Be sure to catch the sunset over Manarola.
The beach at Vernazza
Day 2: Corniglia and Vernazza
The second day of a trip to Cinque Terre is the perfect time to start exploring Corniglia and Vernazza. Start in Corniglia, which is one of the underrated places to visit in Cinque Terre. Take the train here from wherever you’re staying and prepare yourself to walk up 300+ steps to the top.
Since Corniglia is a bit smaller and is a bit harder to get to, it will most likely be a lot less busy than other towns in Cinque Terre. The best way to explore Corniglia is honestly to go without a plan – just spend a few hours walking around and exploring.
The streets here are quaint and you get amazing views of the sea.
From Corniglia, hike over to Vernazza. This takes about an hour, but it is quite scenic. As soon as you make it to Vernazza, find a place to grab some focaccia bread pizza, and treat yourself to some gelato. This town has the best food in all of Cinque Terre, in my opinion!
While in Vernazza, be sure to check out the Doria Castle Tower and the Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia. The church is located right on the water! End your night by watching the sunset here or at your accommodation.
Day 3: Monterosso al Mare
The best way to spend the last day is without a plan in Monterosso al Mare. You can get there however you prefer, by either taking the ferry, the boat, or the train, but this is the day to finally relax and just take advantage of Cinque Terre’s beauty!
Because Cinque Terre is tiny, you’ll want to be carrying cash on you at all times. Many places here don’t even accept cards, so it’s best to come with at least a decent amount of money in your wallet.
Wake up early to avoid the crowds. Cinque Terre can be pretty busy, especially during the peak season, and can also get quite hot. To avoid all the busyness and the summer heat, wake up early and take in all the views before everyone else is awake.
Don’t forget to bring sunscreen! You’ll sincerely regret it if you end up being a lobster by the end of your trip. The sun here can be quite brutal since most of Cinque Terre is actually quite exposed.
Be aware that sometimes trails, or parts of trails, can be closed. Often, you can go to the tourist information centers to find out which sections are closed off.
Wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be walking a lot. Yes, this is true even if you’re not planning on hiking between towns! Please, stay away from the flip flops unless you’ll be spending the whole day at the beach.
If you’re visiting during the shoulder season, bring layers. It can be a bit cooler at certain parts of the day but truly gets hotter during midday.
I hope that you enjoyed this ultimate travel guide to Cinque Terre! These five towns are truly paradise on Earth. To learn more about Cinque Terre, visit my Italy posts here.