I’m so happy that I finally got to visit Cinque Terre! I’ve seen it popping up all over instagram and pinterest the past few years and I was so excited when I found a pretty good deal on flights and accomodation there.
Cinque Terre is actually a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site based in the Liguria region of Italy. The area dates back to the 11th Century, but has only started becoming popular in the past few decades due to the building of the railway that connects Genoa to Pisa.
The colourful houses are stunning in the cliffsides and I couldn’t wait to get exploring the area. We stopped off in the town of Portovenere for some amazing antipasto and cocktails on our first evening after checking in on recommendation by our B&B host, which was stunning too! I’d definitely recommend a stop there if you’re visiting the area, though it’s not accessable by train, only boat and bus/car.
Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso is the most northern of the five towns and the only one with a proper beach. The sea is the most amazing shade of blue, but the beaches are mostly all private and you have to pay for access, and it’s also the town with the famous orange and green beach umbrellas! You can’t visit Monterosso and not snap a photo of those umbrellas haha!
There’s actually two parts to Monterosso – the ‘old town’ which is the side with the orange and green beach umbrellas, and the ‘new town’ which is accesed through a tunnel and has a smaller (and not so nice) public beach. This is also where the ferry port is. I wish we had more time to spend on the beach – I bought a new swimming costume and the sea just looked SO inviting, but we just ran out of time!
We planned on doing the hike between Monterosso and Vernazza which is the most famous walk to do in Cinque Terre, but the new trail was actually closed while we were there so we were forced to do the old trail, which is longer, more hilly and set further back from the sea.
In the crazy heat and humidity that we were faced with, we decided to give it a miss and just catch the train instead! At the end of the day, we were both so glad we skipped out on the hike, as I almost ended up with heatsroke just from walking around the towns all day and spent the evening recovering in bed!
Manarola was our first stop in Cinque Terre, though it was a super quick stop first thing in the morning to catch the train to Monterosso. Because of a landslide, the Cinque Terre bus that we had tickets for couldn’t take the main road into town, so we had to catch the train. It was so quiet in the morning and the colours were so amazing and the typical italian washing lines outside the windows got me so excited to get exploring (it’s the little things haha).
We stopped back in the afternoon after exploring Monterosso and Vernazza (there’s another post coming up soon about that) and it was so much busier. We got the ferry from Vernazza to Manarola, because I wasn’t too fussed on seeing the village of Corniglia (which sits in the middle of them on the cliff), but since it’s the only one without a ferry port, thought it would be good to get a view of it from the water instead.
We walked the beginnings of the trail to Corniglia (which is closed due to landslides), to get the famous shot of Manarola. We were pretty dissapointed by the view though, as it didn’t seem as colourful as all the photos you tend to see online, but obviously, they’re all enhanced! I think the colours there come out more in the evenings though.
The views were still nice though, and it seemed like one of the quieter villages of the five. I’ll have another post up in a few days from Vernazza and Riomaggiore!
Have you been to Cinque Terre before? I’d love to know your experience!