Exploring Cinque Terre

March break is here and I’m envious of all my friends who have jetted off for a proper getaway! So it got me thinking back to my amazing trip to Europe in the Fall. With the weather slowly warming up I’ve been thinking back my experience exploring Cinque Terre!

Exploring Cinque Terre // ElaineLoves

{Exploring Cinque Terre}

For a long time I had wanted to visit the beautiful area of Cinque Terre and I’m so glad I finally had the chance to see it in person! My husband and I spent about 2 days exploring the Five Lands – I would recommend 2 – 3 days for sure. It’s not a place you want to rush through to see.

Exploring Cinque Terre // ElaineLoves

It can be difficult to find a place to stay right in the Cinque Terre area; most people that visit often stay just outside in La Spezia and take the train in; which is only about 10 minutes to the first city of Riomaggiore – the quietest of the five towns. Patience is needed when buying tickets and taking the trains; from our experience most of the trains did not run on time. But, we were on vacation so we just learned to roll with it (We were just careful not to take the VERY last train out just in case!). We purchased 2 day unlimited train ride tickets which were perfect for getting to each of the towns.

Exploring Cinque Terre // ElaineLoves

Taking the train from La Spezia, the order of the cities is as follows: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.

As I mentioned, Riomaggiore was the quietest of the 5 towns. In fact, I found as you took the train further in, the busier it got. There were definitely crowds of tourist in Monterosso, but there were also many more places to shop and eat – so it’s really all about your preference!

Exploring Cinque Terre // ElaineLoves

The beautiful sites everywhere will just take your breath away. That’s another reason why you shouldn’t rush your trip to Cinque Terre. You can do all five lands in 2 or 3 days but if you have more time to spend it’s so worth taking in the views and atmosphere!

Exploring Cinque Terre // ElaineLoves

My absolute favourite part of exploring Cinque Terre was hiking from Monterosso to Vernazza. Taking in the sea air, sun and peacefulness was something I still dream about.

Exploring Cinque Terre // ElaineLoves

The hike starts easily enough near the beach of Monterosso where you can admire the clear blue water and takes up and through the mountains into the next city. When exploring Cinque Terre by hiking, be sure to wear proper shoes – it’s a fairly flat hike but there are definitely some unstable and rocky areas. And bring water with you too; there are no maintained rest areas or refreshments along the way; though I did run into a man and his daughter squeezing fresh orange juice for customers!

Exploring Cinque Terre // ElaineLoves

This clearing was one of my favourites – there were “love locks” set up in a very peaceful area of the hike. I suggest going as early as you can to avoid the crowds and also the super hot sun. This way you’ll get the views all to yourself!

Exploring Cinque Terre // ElaineLoves

When you complete the hike you’re blessed with a beautiful view of Vernazza – likely the place where all the photos you see on instagram and pinterest were taken from! A short jaunt downhill and you’ll enter the city of Vernazza itself which will be bustling with restaurants and people taking a quick dip in the water.

I personally loved the the fried seafood cone I picked up at a local take away place – I was starving after the hike, so it was the perfect reward!

Exploring Cinque Terre // ElaineLoves

Have you ever been to this area? I’d love to hear about your experience exploring Cinque Terre!

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