I have to say, this place is a MUST SEE for everyone. After all, it was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site for something! Five little villages along the Italian Riviera coast with an amazing charm.
We decided to stay in La Spezia, the biggest town nearby and cheapest option with a nice harbour to walk around on summer nights. We took the train to visit the villages, which runs very frequently and it only takes about 10 minutes to get to the closest one (Riomaggiore). I recommend to get the Cinque Terre CARD, which is what we used to hop off and on and see every village on our first day. With this card you also have access to the hiking paths between villages. Click here to find more info.
Day 1. The villages
The Cinque Terre National Park are five side-cliff villages: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare.
It’s the most southern one, you can find a little beach there to swim at, which at the same time is the town’s harbour. If you walk around the beach area you can find a couple of nice bars with music to enjoy the views.
If I had to choose my favorite one, Manarola would probably be it. It has a nice path along the coast where you can have a wider view of the village with the ocean. Even though it doesn’t have a beach, a lot of people climbed up the rocks and were sitting around and swimming as well.
The only town located on the top of a cliff, and therefor it’s also the only one without a harbour, instead it’s surrounded by vineyards. You have two ways to reach the town from the train station: either you climb the “Lardarina” stairs or you can catch a bus that will take you up the road to walk around from there.
It’s probably the most crowded, since the main street is full of shops and restaurants. You can find two beach options here, a small sandy one in the harbour and a rocky one on the other side.
Sadly, we didn’t get to reach Monterosso. It’s the biggest one and it has a castle and a bigger sandy beach.
Day 2. Portovenere
After visiting the villages, we still had one more day left and decided to go to Portovenere. It’s a fishing village located south from the Cinque Terre villages and also worth a visit. It’s easily accesible from la Spezia by bus, train or boat.
We walked around and found some beautiful shops to look around. Then we went to see the church of San Pietro, located at the end of the village and found an area with some rocks by a cliff to relax and sunbathe with lovely views to the ocean.
Have you ever been in these amazing villages? Any other useful information to share?