CINQUE TERRE: 5 USEFUL SUGGESTIONS TO VISIT THEM
Cinque Terre are some the most gorgeous pearls that the Riviera Ligure offers.
Who can say to never have saw a picture of these lovely fisherman villages? Who does not wish to visit? A wish that is really worth to satisfy.
These hamlets are unique in the way the nature and the work of men coexist to create a landscape of rare beauty. So much that UNESCO decided in 1997 to subscribe them into the list of sites Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Situated on the East Coast of Liguria, Cinque Terre are easily reachable (you can visit them all in one day) for everybody that stay in the Eastern Riviera.
However, if you would like to visit them without misstep in some inconvenience and without missing up the highlights, here follows some suggestions that will guide your tour.
To avoid any mistakes, follow these 5 recommendations.
The result? The perfect tour of Cinque Terre.
1) FORGET ABOUT THE CAR!
Cinque Terre were not meant to be reach by car. Trying to move around with it will mean dealing with long, narrow and curvy streets that will make you regret your decision, even more if you suffer the car!
The hamlets are just about some kilometres distant one from in the other, as the crow’s flies, but driving requires more than one hour.
Moreover, parking space are very few and far from the city centre.
How to reach them then? Do not worry as there are many different ways to get there, easier and cheaper. Let’s check them out!
_ By train
Going by train is for sure the faster and cheaper solution. To cover the distance between Monterosso (first of the villages coming from Camogli) and Riomaggiore it will take just 15-20 minutes!
The trains are frequent so in between each train you will have to wait just a couple of minutes.
Some years ago, the Region introduced Cinque Terre Express, special trains that leave from the city of Levanto and get to La Spezia, that pass every 20 minutes.
The price is also a fixed price, every route inside Cinque Terre costs € 4,00.
However, if you are planning on visit them all then we suggest to buy Cinque Terre Card that has a daily cost of € 16,00 (see here more information).
_ By ferry
Going by ferry is a bit more expensive, but also more fun and charming.
There are different companies that offer this service. Which is the best depending on your starting point.
In Camogli, for example, the company Golfo Paradiso offers a tour to Monterosso and Vernazza at the price of € 33,00 (going and coming back).
In case you would like to move to one of the other villages you can just ask at the information point of the harbour.
There you can ask about time tables and ticket for the ferry company that serves Cinque Terre there.
_ The trails
Last but not least, as they are extremely beautiful, you can move in between Cinque Terre following walking trails. It is true that it is quite a long hike.
In between each village the distance travel is about 2 hours.
However, the view and the amazing landscape of the trails will repay your effort. Trekking here is not for free you will need to buy the trekking card to access the coast paths which costs € 7.50. This small contribution is requested in order to keep the paths clean and safe.
Unfortunately, not all the trails are open at the moment. For this reason, we suggest you to check the website of the park.
2) WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES!
If you wish not to risk to fall or to have feet ache, do not wear hills or moccasins.
This suggestion is valid even if you are not interested in hiking.
As the Cinque Terre are built on steep hills you will need to walk on steep roads.
Wearing the right shoes will allow you to walk easily even in the steeper part of the roads without risking to fall or to come back at the Hotel in pain.
3) DO NOT FORGET YOUR BATHING SUIT!
Cinque Terre are fishermen hamlets. Seaside villages.
Even so, it frequently happens that people coming to visit do not stop by for a swim, which is a pity as here you can enjoy some of the most crystalline waters in the region. This may also happen because many tourists do not know about beach access or are not able to find them.
In fact, just Monterosso has a very long and well visible beach site, all the others have more hidden beach access.
In Riomaggiore, for example, you need to pass on the left of the harbor and then follow a narrow street that is cliff-side. In Corniglia you need to follow a steep staircase. In Vernazza, the access is forbidden unfortunately, due to safety reason. It is possible to stay on the rocks next to the harbor. Finally, in Manarola you can swim in the harbor as well as in a small bay situated at the right side of the hamlet.
If you have any trouble in finding the beach site or any easy access to it, you can always ask the locals about it: they will for sure be able to indicate the best spots. Trust us, is an amazing experience: the sea is very clean and it is also the perfect to refresh from the summer heat.
4) TASTE THE LOCAL PRODUCTS
Cinque Terre are famous for their unique aesthetic and for their amazing landscape. That’s not all. Another reason to visit is to taste the delicious local products.
First of all, the wine.
Walking around Cinque Terre you will see many “terraces” that has been built in order to cultivate on a steep ground. Here you will find terraces with just vineyard. It is wine that many defined “heroic” as it is realized in a grueling territory, that requires a lot of passion and dedication. If you really want to fully experience Cinque Terre you need to taste the wine that is produced here.
We suggest you to try Sciacchetrà, a raisin wine that is well known and extremely tasty.
To exalt the taste of these wines it is possible that they will offer to your other typical products, such as focaccia, pesto sauce, olives, rice pie and filled mussels.
Follow our advice and try everything!
5) VISIT PORTOVENERE
It is less known than Cinque Terre, however it is a true hidden jewel of the Eastern Riviera. It has been rewarded as well, site Heritage of Humanity from UNESCO. Its elegant profile that ends in the beautiful cliff-side San Peter’s Church, its pastel colored houses and the amazing view of the Isle Palmaria and on the Poet’s Gulf, as well as Byron’s Cave, make it worth a visit.
To reach Portovenere you will just need to catch a ferry. From Riomaggiore the navigation is of 30 minutes.