Cinque Terre…a place so gorgeous – its worth a second visit, or more…
But really, this place is like heaven for me.
It just has everything:
- Lots of SUN for sunning.
- Lots of SEA for swimming.
- Beautiful MOUNTAINS for hiking (full of wine grapes).
- Lovely little towns for PHOTOGRAPHING.
- Italian ICE CREAM for deliciousness.
- And all the best ITALIAN RESTAURANTS!
I was here a couple of years ago and this place left such a deep impression in my heart, that I had to come back! I had to go to the Cote d’ Azur for Cannes Lions anyway. So the train ride along the Italian Riviera seemed to be the perfect combination and the five little towns were ideal for a special pre-birthday week.
So we took the train from Nice along the coast up to Liguria to those five little beautiful jewellery boxes between the sea and the sky.
We stayed in the first village, Monterosso al Mare, the only one with a beach – in a little Hotel called Baia with an ocean view.
The best part: we could see the reflection of the five villages in our window…so lazy people could simply visit the other 4 Terre’s by just staying in the room.
Which I strongly not recommend, as they would miss out on so much!
The five villages are not only beautiful, they are also very well connected.
You can hike between them, which we did from Monterosso to Vernazza. It’s a 2 1/2 hour tour that involves thousands of steps but offers amazing views of the coast and the little villages.
We also walked from Riomaggiore to Manarola. In comparison, this was super easy – no steps involved and it takes less than 30 minutes. But obviously a lot of other people appreciate that too, so it was very crowded.
You can also take a boat. We used this option one morning, to go to Riomaggiore for breakfast. Really a lot of fun and it offers the best views!
And you can also take the train, which regularly runs between the five villages. But remember to check the timetable first, otherwise, you can end up sitting at the train station for an hour or more – especially in the afternoon as the trains don’t run so frequently. (this happened to us twice…)
When we took the train to Corniglia, we had no idea that the station is about a mile away from the actual town, which sits high up on a sea cliff. So we had to walk a million steps again. This also meant that up there were very few tourists, to our delight.
The train was also always the easiest option to go back to Monterosso al Mare in the evenings. We usually ended the day at our little bar downstairs that served the most amazing Granadilla Spritz and fresh fried calamari. I really enjoyed coming back t these lovely little towns, although this time I felt a little bit lost in between all the tourist streams rushing through the towns every day. I guess they all found my secret travel treasure.
We tried to ignore the masses as much as possible and escaped to really cosy little restaurants. For example “L’Ancora Della Tortuga” in Monterosso. We chose it because of the breathtaking view as well as its name: Tortuga is known as Captain Jack Sparrow’s town in Pirates of the Caribbean.
The dinner there was definitely the culinary highlight of the week, plus the unbeatable view and cute little cats that ate the left over’s of our dinner. And we learned that Tortuga is the Spanish word for turtle and that it actually exists and was really a famous pirate stronghold in Haiti. Maybe a destination for our next trip!
It really was and go there, if you have the chance! Truly beautiful.