Cinque Terre, our final stop in Italy before we hop over to Scotland. For Danée, this location was a must. She learned about Cinque Terre in college and fell in love with it, sadly thinking that she would never get the opportunity to actually visit. With that being said... this portion of the trip was extra special!
So for those of you who haven't heard of Cinque Terre, it may be because it is not one location. Cinque Terre is a group of 5 small villages along the west coast of Italy. We chose to stay in Manarola because we heard it was one of the better villages, but not too touristy. Being that it was technically "slow" season (early November), there wasn't a ton going on in any of the villages, which was kind of cool, because there weren’t many other people either. Additionally, we were able to secure a really amazing place to stay at a great price (woohoo).
The really cool thing about Cinque Terre is that there are trails up in the mountains that connect all 5 of the towns. So for us, that was right up our alley. For those of you who are a little less adventurous, there is also a train that runs along the coast and takes you to and from each village. We actually ended up taking the train back to Manarola the evening of our hike because it was getting a little to late to hike back. And to be 100% honest, we were pooped from hiking all day.
If you are planning a trip to Cinque Terre, here are our brief thoughts on each village.
Monterosso, Italy - Biggest city and most touristy. Definitely has the most to do if you are looking for activities... including the nicest of the beaches.
Vernazza, Italy - Cute, a little more quiet than Monterosso. If you like little Italian boat rides, go here :).
Corniglia - Italy - Lots of great places to eat. Seemed like one of the smaller and more quiet villages.
Manarola, Italy - Plethora of shops and places to eat. Coolest Italian vibe. Lots of amazing views! We are very happy we chose to stay here because it was definitely our favorite.
Riomaggiore, Italy - We didn't spend a lot of time here to get a good feel for the town. Overall vibe is very similar to the other 4 cities.
To say the least, Cinque Terre is positively on our list of places we would go back to. We were actually just chatting recently about how nice it would be to go back in the summer months! If you go, make sure you eat a LOT of gelato hehe.