Whenever I hear someone planning for a trip to Italy, I would urge them to take a quick stop at Cinque Terre. I first came to Cinque Terre without much research nor expectations, but I was wrong. Had I done more research and looked into this natural beauty, I would definitely spend a couple more days here to explore its wonders and not had to rush myself.
Cinque Terre comprises of five dazzling villages (hence the name, which literally translates to “Five Lands”) and has a tremendous dramatic effect on me despite the short stay. The pastel-colored buildings and houses that slide down the rocky and rugged coast made this area extremely picturesque. The spectacular scenery and laid-back lifestyle has made this small area a must-see in Italy!
There are local trains running frequently between the beautiful hillside villages during the day (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore). The trains run in each direction approximately every 15 mins and it’s quite convenient. Cinque Terre is a traffic free area — just sun, ocean, sand/pebbles, wine, and pure, unadulterated Italy.
Cinque Terre is a destination with timeless appeal, and it is impossible to do it justice in a day trip. As with all of the small villages, Manarola is arguably the most beautiful of the villages in my opinion. It has many beautiful trails that make a great activity for those who want to explore by getting close to nature and absorb the breathtaking beauty of the region.
The whole town of Manarola is steeped in this romantic ambiance you can’t shake, and the food, views and swimming are glorious. I was there for a quick day trip but still managed to dunk myself into the refreshing Mediterranean ocean. That alone, was so worth it!
Again, don’t forget your swimsuit though – the swimming here is really nice when the water is not too choppy, plus it’s a great place to laze about, people watch and enjoy the view. If I would have had more time, I would totally do a boat trip along the coast watching the dramatic scenery from far. It would be a unique chance to admire Cinque Terre from the sea.
Seattle-based world traveler living my best life!! I am passionate about seeing the world and experiencing different cultures. Strongly believe the best adventures come from traveling outside of your comfort zone. Follow along this humbling journey of mine that I am very proud of.