Cinque Terre are five amazingly constructed fishing villages, set amid dramatic coastal landscapes. Cars are mostly banned, so you can only visit them by boat, car or foot!
However, all the Liguria coast from Portofino to Lerici is worthwhile visiting. So here are my Cinque Terre travel tips.
What to see:
– Cinque terre: 5 tiny colored villages (Monterosso,Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore – clinging to steep hills, in front of a deep blue see: it’s a natural reserve and a Unesco heritage. Here is the link to the local tourist board.
– Portofino, posh and beautiful village, one of the main “dolce vita” spots in the ’50s and San Fruttuoso medieval abbey, located in a secluded beach . You can only get there by boat or after a long hike. Here is the link to my Portofino and San Fruttuoso post.
– Sestri Levante, picturesque Liguria village, with a beautiful small beach (the baia del silenzio) and a gorgeous promontory overlooking the sea.
– The “Golfo dei poeti” (poets’ gulf), with Portovenere and Lerici as main highlights.
How to get around:
Having 2-3 nights (equivalent to 3-4 days) will allow you to visit most of these places, and to have some time to relax as well. And the good new is… you don’t have to trek (if you really don’t to)! These places can all be easily reached by train or, much better, by ferry boat.
That said, you have many fantastic hikes, the most famous of which, the Via dell’Amore (more a romantic promenade than a real hike, indeed), is unfortunately still closed due to maintenance works. Nevertheless, a (short) hike among the Cinque Terre vineyards is an experience I strongly recommend! Easiest one goes from Monterosso to Vernazza.
Enjoy Cinque Terre!