Cinque Terre is amazing and recently I’ve seen an influx of photos and articles about this beautiful set of cities. Seeing all of these things keeps reminding me of just how amazing the experience was when I was there and now I want to go back and see it all for myself again.
If you ever get a chance to go to Cinque Terre, I highly recommend it. Here are a few things that you can do while you’re there if you have only a short amount of time there.
- We took the train into the Manarola and stayed at a hotel there. Things to note is that the hotels there aren’t what you would usually expect like a Marriott. The entrance to the hotel/check in desk is over by the entrance to the train station but the hotel rooms are located all around the city so be prepared to walk a lot and rolling suitcases are really hard to use with those cobble stone roads and steps. After you get settled in, take the train to one of the edge cities (I believe it’s Rio Maggiore and Monterosso al Mare) and spend some time wandering those cities.
- There are beaches in each of the cities that you can check out. I would highly recommend it but one thing to be careful of will be that they have jellyfish. When we went, we had someone in our group get stung by a jellyfish within the first 20 minutes of being in the water.
- Take a stroll through the first city and se what it has to offer. There are adorable shops, beautiful architecture and colorful buildings to check out.
- When you’re done with that, hike into the mountains and do the Cinque Terre hike. If you do the north to south, you’ll have less uphill but if you do south to north, be prepared for lots and lots of stairs. This is a hike through all the mountains surrounding the cities themselves and actually connects all five cities together. One thing to note is that this will take you a really long time and be prepared with water and good walking shoes. Between each cities are view points where you can over look the cities you’re walking between and the ocean. After you take the hike, you can catch the train in your ending city to where you are staying.
- If you’re staying in Manarola, then I would recommend taking the opportunity to make food. We had a kitchen in our hotel room so we got the group together and went to a local market and purchased fresh produce, pasta, sauce, wine and makings for dessert. We made our own group dinner and then took the bottle of wine down to the beach. In Manarola, there’s a rock beach that you can walk along and hang out in and watch the sunset. It’s breath taking and totally worth it.
If you get more time in Cinque Terre, I would definitely recommend hanging in each city. But if you only get a little bit of time, I definitely would say that the hike is the number 1 thing you need to do. It’s worth it.