Cinque Terre is frankly, breathtaking. One would have encountered its glory when flipping through travel magazines or random surfing on websites like Lonely Planet and Conde Nast. The 5 little but wonderful towns that dot the cliffs along the Italian coastline are definitely something to shout about. Easily one of Italy’s most picturesque places, Mr M and I were very fortunate to squeeze this bit of goodness into our rather tight Italian schedule.
Words (mine that is) won’t do very much justice to this place so I’ll let the pictures do the talking. I do however have a few tips for ya if you plan to include this in your itinerary.
#1. Drive in (during off-peak season)
Many guide books suggest travellers to take the train into Cinque Terre due to winding roads, lack of parking and expensive fees. Mr M and I did the opposite and drove our little rented car right into the edge of Cinque Terre WITHOUT regrets! After conquering some really crazy loops and curves in Sardinia, those bends into Cinque Terre felt rather minor. I gotta admit that it took us quite a while to secure a parking spot but it was well worth the wait. The view in and out made up for that, so were the heavy luggages! (Hey, we packed 3.5 weeks worth of clothing… although Mr M seemed to equate mine to 2 months worth)
#2. Travel light
Ok. We did suffer BIG TIME as we lugged our luggages uphill and downhill for a long distance before arriving at the hotel. Cinque Terre doesn’t allow any public car access so a lot of manual labour had gone into transporting things from a to b. We were completely drenched when we arrived at the hotel (and at the car the next day) and Mr M had enforced a lifelong ban on carrying too much when we head over that way next time.
Rocky, hilly terrains. Hours of walking is required to fully glean the beauty of the towns and its surroundings. Nuff’ said
#4. Be generous with your time
If you’re uninterested in trekking between towns, the only other mode of transportation is the train. Trains are not exactly frequent and are at least 30 mins late most of the time. Allow yourself at least 3 days there if you would like to explore all the towns at a comfortable pace. Remember: Cinque Terre will be packed to the brim during warmer months so a lot of time will be spent on dodging other tourists and waiting for a table at recommended restaurants.
Water is your best friend because once again, you WILL be walking, A LOT.
#6. Sunset at Vernazza
Sunset at Vernazza is magic. A lot of people like to crowd at the edge of the water for that spectacular moment but if your body permits you, try and make your way to an elevated area i.e. side of the mountain. That way you would be able to view the stunning sunset colours in their entirety. I can assure you that the view of the town, people and sea all melded into one under the crazy beautiful sky is unforgettable.
Hope you enjoy CT through our very own lenses!
Photography| Mr M + 2 photos by me 😛