Cinque Terre: The Five Hidden Gems of Italian Riviera!

Waiting for sunset!

Waiting for sunset!

If you are looking for a quiet respite to take a breather, Cinque Terre might just be your best answer. Perched on the cliffs along the Ligurian coast, these 5 remote villages are Italian Riviera’s best-kept secret. With its striking pastel-colored houses, turquoise beaches and challenging hiking trails, the Cinque Terre National Park is revered for its scenic beauty and cultural value. Little wonder that Cinque Terre is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Monterosso

Monterosso

Village 1: Monterosso

The largest town in Cinque Terre, Monterosso has the best beach for chilling and swimming. During summer time, Monterosso can get incredibly crowded. All the colourful beach chairs will be fully occupied within the first few hours of the day. So do arrive early if you wish to unwind comfortably in Monterosso’s sun, sand and sea!

Vernazza

Vernazza

Village 2: Vernazza

Vernazza is the most picturesque village in Cinque Terre – and probably one of the most charming villages in Italy. The views along the hiking trail between Vernazza and Monterosso are especially gorgeous. Vernazza is certainly the place where you can experience Italian Riviera’s unique bliss of life.

Pastel-colored houses

Pastel-colored houses

Village 3: Corniglia

Perched on top of a promontory about 100 metres above sea, Corniglia is the highest of all villages in Cinque Terre. You will need to ascend hundreds of steps from the train station just to reach the village. But do not worry because your effort will definitely pay off. The bird’s eye view of the surrounding vineyards and terraces is simply magnificent!

Front view of Riomaggiore

Front view of Riomaggiore

Village 4: Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is the nearest of the 5 villages to the main city of La Spezia. The street of Colombo is a must-go for travellers looking to experience a vibrant nightlife. In fact, it is my personal favorite!

Manarola

Manarola

Village 5: Manarola

For travellers looking to reminisce the past, Manarola offers a charming vintage atmosphere that is hard to resist. Despite being the smallest village in Cinque Terre, Manarola is home to endless photographic opportunities. From its beautiful multicoloured houses to the famous pedestrian street Via dell’Amore (also known as The Way of Love), Manarola is definitely a visual treat for shutterbugs and visitors alike.

 Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore

For most parts of Cinque Terre, feel free to roam around and explore on foot. Do note that some of the hiking trails will be closed during certain seasons. As of end September 2014, the hiking path between Vernazza and Monterosso is the only one open to public.  For a less rigorous adventure, you can either take the passenger ferry that runs through four of the villages (excluding Corniglia), or take the train that travels through all five.

Going to the beach!

Going to the beach!

I recommend to spend at least 2 days in Cinque Terre to fully appreciate its exquisite beauty. You may opt for a day trip (either from Pisa or Milan) but in my opinion, a day of sightseeing does little justice to Cinque Terre and its picturesque villages. The villages alone are worth multiple visits, especially during the right seasons. Just remember to book your accommodation way in advance to avoid any disappointment during the peak season!

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12 thoughts on “Cinque Terre: The Five Hidden Gems of Italian Riviera!

  1. Great post!
    Just wondering if you could give me some advice…
    We are flying into Milan on a Monday & plan spending tues – Friday in Cinque Terre
    Any suggestions on where we could spend Monday night?
    Try & squeeze in something else 🙂

    • Personally, i think Milan is worth a stay of 24 hours or so, there are many backpackers hotel around the central area with affordable price. But with current expo milano 2015, price of the hostels might be a bit steep. The other concern might be the accommodation in Cinque Terre, remember to book way in advance for the hotel next to the beach, especially during summer! Hope this helps! 🙂 🙂

      TWB

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