If you would like to go somewhere really special for your vacation, we would recommend Italy and Cinque Terre. This part of the world is simply beautiful and it really does have to be seen to be believed. So once you’ve paid for your flights, booked your Italian villa and you have your passports at the ready, it’ll be time to start planning your vacation.
Let’s take a closer look at Cinque Terre and why you need to visit the area at least once.
What Exactly is Cinque Terre?
Located on the Italian Riviera Coast, Cinque Terre is made up of five villages that have been protected by UNESCO and can be found within the National Park. With the Mediterranean Sea found on the west of the villages, the area really is magical.
If you have romantic ideas about Italy, you will love this part of the country as it seems romance exudes every pore. Add a few figs, some lemons and oranges in there, and you definitely have that ‘Old Italy’ feel.
How to get to Cinque Terre
Getting to Cinque Terre is not that difficult. One of the best ways to reach the five villages is to fly to Pisa and drive for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes (If the traffic is good). Please note, you will have to pay a toll fee, and at the time of writing the fee was 12 Euro. If you would rather not drive from Pisa, you may want to think about jumping on a train instead. Trains run from Pisa Central and Genoa, and they will take you right to Cinque Terra.
Traveling Around the Villages
If you would like to travel with relative ease from one village to another, you may want to think about buying an unlimited day pass. This pass will let you jump on and off trains between each of the villages. The pass cost 12 Euros at the time of writing, and they will need to be validated before you hop on a train. The good news is they can be validated via the green machines, and you only need to do this once per day.
Cinque Terre’s Five Villages
Every single village seems to have its own character, which adds a bit of something special to them all. If you are fed up with seeing big brand names and places that all look the same, you’ll find Cinque Terra something of a welcome break.
Monterosso is the largest of the villages and has a very classic feel. Tourists seem to gravitate to this village more than the others, probably because of the promenade and the coffee that seems to be served in abundance.
Found almost on the edge of a cliff and with some amazing views that definitely need to be photographed, Corniglia is one of the quieter villages. If you are feeling quite fit or you want to give yourself a bit of a challenge you might want to try climbing the 300+ steps up to the top of the village. Once you reach the top of the village, why not treat yourself to some locally produced dishes, topped off with a spot of gelato? Wonderful!
The most famous of the villages, Vernazza is a tourist hotspot thanks to its absolutely stunning views. Head to the north coast and from there make your way to the harbour. This is the most scenic part of the village and really does need to be seen to be believed.
Full of terraces that can be found on the side of the mountain, Manarola is full to the brim of art stores and galleries that really seem to have something for everyone. If you would like a little souvenir, and to help keep the local economy running you may want to think about buying a little something from one of the shops here. Once you’ve spent a bit of time in the centre of the village, why not make your way to the coastline and see for yourself how beautiful it is?
Last, but by no means least, is Riomaggiore, which is quite hilly and walkers will need to be wearing sensible shoes or boots as the hills are quite steep. The scenery here is also quite magical, so make sure you have your camera at the ready!
Take your Time Around the Villages
One thing I must stress is that you need to take your time when walking around each of the villages. Although some people seem very keen to see them all, they often make the mistake of hurrying themselves along. Give yourself at least 3 to 4 hours to walk around each of the villages, longer if you have it.
In addition to missing some of the spectacular views if you’re in a rush, the weather can get quite hot here. So, slow down take plenty of water with you and enjoy every moment.
Where to Eat in Cinque Terre
Each of the five villages have plenty of eateries, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding somewhere to dine. My advice is to walk away from the center of each of the villages and look for those small and somewhat quaint eateries that serve traditional Italian food.
If you would like to go somewhere really special on your vacation, you need to head to Cinque Terre. With five beautiful villages that each have their own charm and character, you have the opportunity to have a vacation of a lifetime.