If I’m learning one thing about myself, it’s that I don’t hate the countryside as much as I thought. I love visiting great big cities, and I love living in cities, but sometimes a vacation in the countryside is just what I need. I also love doing active activities and sports during my travels, whether that be renting bikes in Amsterdam, Istanbul, and Versailles, going skydiving in Milwaukee, camel trekking in Morocco, or hiking in Cinque Terre. Although I didn’t know anything about the 5 Villages until I started to see the breathtaking photos on Pinterest, Cinque Terre was my favorite part of Italy. Perhaps because it reminded my of the Côte d’Azur, maybe because it was just a nice peaceful change from Rome and Florence, or perhaps it’s because I finally got some proper exercise. Regardless, Cinque Terre stole my heart, and I can’t wait to go back there again.
Cinque Terre National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a located on the Mediterranean Sea on Italian Riviera. There are a total of five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Erin and I arrived via train in the town of La Spazia, where we bought our 2-day trail/train passes (all but one coastal trail was closed due to the 2011 mudslides and flooding) and headed out on the regional train to our hotel in Vernazza. I spent the next day-and-a-half hiking, relaxing on the beach, soaking up the sun, admiring the Mediterranean Sea, and oh, hiking. You need at least two days in Cinque Terre, but I definitely could have stayed for longer. Our first day, Erin and I hiked from Vernazza to Monterosso. We took our time and did it in about three hours. It was absolutely perfect weather and the trails were not too crowded!
Hiking with a view of Vernazza
Spending the afternoon in Vernazza
Vernazza- the town we stayed in for the night
The second day, I took the boat to the town of Manarola with Erin, and then hiked three hours to the town of Corniglia.
Arrival by boat in Manarola
Have you ever hiked Cinque Terre?