Monterosso, Vernazza, Cornigla, Manarola, and Riomaggiore are five little towns nestled along the beautiful Ligurian coast of Italy. Come for the day or stay a while! With a mix between mountains and sea, nature and towns Cinque Terre has a little something for everyone.
Coming: Take the train directly in or stop off in La Spezia where there are many accommodation options and continue on from there.
Sleeping: I‘d recommend staying in one of the 5 towns rather than in La Spezia (the nearest city- reachable by train). Monterosso being the largest. There are a selection of Airbnb’s and hotels there. If you’re looking for hostels though, La Spezia will have more of a selection.
Eating: Seafood! The seafood is fresh and delicious in Cinque Terre! Otherwise make sure to try other Ligurian specialties such a pesto al trofie, focaccia and farinata
Doing: Hike, beach and boat
Hike- The famous coastal hike between the five towns can be done in a day. It’s a beautiful hike around a medium level of difficulty.
Start early because mid-afternoon there will be hordes of tourists and a relentless sun during the summer months. You can also take a train between each of the towns or from one end to the other so you don’t have to hike both ways. It is not recommended to drive. In addition to the main hike, there are plenty of other hiking trails around to be discovered- and much less crowded.
Beach- Monterosso has a great large beach. It’s busy and you’ll have to pay if you want a chair, but the water is beautiful and the perfect temperature.
Boat- You can also take out a boat for a day to see the islands from a different point of view!
Staying: 3 days: 1 for hiking the coast, 1 beach and one extra day either doing more hiking, beaching or taking a boat around
Going: Head further west to Genova, continue on down south towards either Emilia Romagna or Tuscany (or anywhere else in Italy really). The train system is so great that it’s quite easy to reach anywhere. Your nearest large airports will be Pisa and Milan while Genova’s is also there, but flights should be cheaper from Milan and Pisa.