Cinque Terre was another bucket list location for me. The google images got me good.
It’s made up of five colorful, unique villages on the Italian Rivera. We stayed in Vernazza, but you can take a train from village to village each day and can also hike between them. THIS was my main goal in coming here. I wanted to hike between the villages and end the day drinking a beer in the ocean.
If you didn’t read my post from Rome or Santorini, we were VERY sick when we got to Cinque Terre. Thank the baby Jesus that they had NyQuil. We slept for 10 hours the first night and immediately started feeling better the next morning.
We took the first day to just relax and allow our bodies to keep recovering.
The next day we we started our hike EARLY in the AM. As soon as the train was running, we were on it, headed the first village of Riomaggiore. You can see this village in the first set of photos. It turned out the hiking path was closed from here to the third village of Corniglia. This is common so make sure you check before hand if possible. Your hotel should have that info.
We took the train from Riomaggiore to Manarola strictly for some photos. Then hopped back on to head to Corniglia where we’d actually start the hike from Corniglia to Vernazza and Vernazza on to Monterosso al Mare.
Corniglia is the highest of the five villages and I wish the lighting would have been better because the view was UH-MAZING looking back on the village from the hiking path.
The hike from Corniglia to Vernazza is not easy. But I hear that we went the best way. The hiking is much harder starting from Monterosso al Mare.
I may or may not have dropped by sunglasses over the edge of the path and had to climb over to grab them. It’s fiiiiinnneee. Maybe we’re biased, but the town of Vernazza was our second favorite of all the Cinque Terre villages. Manarola would be our first pick. We liked their positioning to the ocean, size and food options. Again, you could stay in any village and just take the train each day to whatever village you desire.
Back to the hike. We grabbed our swim suits in Vernazza and headed on to Monterosso al Mare. Being sick, we weren’t positive we would want to continue on.
At this point, there were far more people on the hiking trail, it was hot and the last leg of the hike is the most difficult.
We we rounded that corner and saw Monterosso al Mare, I have never wanted to get in water so badly. We grabbed a beer, and went straight to the crystal blue ocean. After relaxing for an hour or so, we caught the train back to Vernazza…where we got a $108.00 ticket for not having the right train tickets. GET THE RIGHT TRAIN TICKET. So that put a damper on the day, but what can you do? Life went on and we still had one more day to enjoy Cinque Terre.
With the hike checked off the list, we decided to chill in our own village of Vernazza on our last day. There’s a little hole in the hillside that leads to this less popular swimming hole. It’s “blocked off” with a tiny chain but there are plenty of people coming and going throughout the day so we saw that as a green light.
Turned out to be a win. The whole day was really a win. We swam, soaked up some sun, enjoyed the view, and finished the day with some wine, pizza and sandwiches down by the water. The sunsets in Cinque Terre are BETTER THAN GREECE in my opinion. We saw the world famous Oia sunsets in Greece but they ain’t got nothin’ on the sunset in Cinque Terre. Again, my photo is unedited and doesn’t do it justice on any level. Imagine the colors times ten, okay?
Like Santorini, Cinque Terre is a place to relax and truly “vacation.” Which is why it wasn’t our favorite. The villages are lovely, it’s overpriced, but worth going to if it’s on your bucket list. We were still recovering from our sickness so opted to just do the hike as our main activity. But I do suggest doing some sort of boat tour so you can see the villages from the ocean. I think that would have been a real treat. We debated taking the ferry back from our hike so we could see the village from the water, but just wanted to get home.
All in all, I don’t think you need more than two full days here. Although I am glad we had an extra day as it allowed us to fully recover from our illnesses. Praise you Cinque Terre for selling NyQuil.
Next up, we take our car on a four week road trip through Europe starting with stops in Pisa and Florence on our way to Bologna, Italy.
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