Wait! Before you start reading, play this song, and then carry on – just a little something to get you into the mood.
After a great trip south we reached the beautiful Cinque Terre which is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. “The Five Lands” is composed of five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
We loved exploring all of these pastel coloured towns, tanning on the big rocks and swimming in the warm sea. We ended every night watching the sunset on the rocks and eating take aways. I can still remember the smell of the air – salt, fries and sunscreen. Although very touristy we still really enjoyed the authenticity of the towns. If you walked through the streets you’d still see people hanging up their washing, and going about their daily life.
Our favourite towns had to be Vernazza (top picture) and Riomaggiore (below – the best swimming spots). Monterosso is the only town with a traditional sandy beach so it’s completely packed and is quite pricey to hire an umbrella and loungers. We ended up buying a beach umbrella for 9 Euros which was totally worth it with that heat!
I’ve heard there are some lovely hiking trails between the towns, but with the heat all we wanted to do was lie on our backs and soak in the sun.
Getting around: We had a car and stayed just outside the towns. Parking is a nightmare and very expensive so the best place to start is in La Spezia and take the train in to all of the towns. I would recommend staying here for 2 – 3 days so you can see everything and maybe even Porto Venere (which we missed).