Monterosso al Mare is the ONLY of the villages in Cinque terre with a sandy beach...
...a bit less romantic than the other 4 villages of Cinque terre !
But it is a lovely place anyway with great old houses and a wonderful, rather wide beach-boulevard .
And it offers a big parking directely on the beach , in case that you would like to go there with your own car .
Monterosso is the very first of the 5 villages that you get to , when arriving by train .
It certainly makes sense to start your walk through 5terre in Monterosso walking to Vernazza and all the other villages and you will emerge deeper and deeper , step by step into the different world of these remote villages.
You may click here in order to see where to find Monterosso al Mare on the map :
www.multimap.com - Monterosso al Mare
For more infos and pics about Monterosso al Mare - please click on the link below !
We had spent the previous day hiking from Riomaggiore up to Vernazza, but ran out of daylight to make it to Monterosso. So the next morning, we hopped on the train again and got off at Monterosso to start our hike south. We'd been charmed by Vernazza the day before and wanted to end up there for lunch. Monterosso was not what I expected and it's not like the other Cinque Terre towns. It's a resort town and you'll actually see motor vehicles driving around. It was cool and cloudy and not many people were around. In the summer the beach must be packed, though it's not the nicest beach I've ever seen. The most memorable feature is the figure of a giant man carved into the rock.
Here's a tip for the ladies: There is a WC at the train station, but apparently they don't want you to use it. The doors to the stalls were removed and the outside door to the room was also removed, so you are completely exposed when using it! The men's room had stalls with doors, but all doors were locked, but not being used. There was no other bathroom nearby that I could find. Wait until the crowd from the train dissipates and have your travel companion stand guard outside the WC door at the station. Best to bring your own tissue too!
To hike south from Monterosso, follow the red and white trail markers along the sea wall. They'll lead you up some steps and up a cliff. The view is magnificent when climbing out of Monterosso! I think this leg of the Cinque Terre hike is the most challenging of all. Lots of steps up, up, up. Just when we thought the trail would level off, another flight of steps would appear! The trail leads under lemon and olive trees and past some vineyards. It's definitely the most scenic leg of the trail. A woman who was working to harvest some lemons happily tossed some lemons up to some hikers on the trail. She said she had plenty to spare!
On our second-day visit to the Cinque Terre, we took the train from Levante. We found that these tiny towns remain self-contained because of the cliffs, which are quite steep.
Monterosso al Mare was one of our favorites.
In the picture on the left is the village of Monterosso al Mare. This village, like the other four, has its own particular personality. It lies on the northwest edge of Cinque Terre and is said to be the largest of the five (that's relative because it is quite small and so quaint).
We had an opportunity to spend some time here rroaming the back lanes to see how the locals live...we found that it is a tranquil place.
The picture on the right is Allan and I along the walking trail. It just so happens that a tourist from Germany asked us if we wanted our picture taken TOGETHER, since we were each taking photographs of the other. How kind of him. But, we found kindness to be the rule in Italy, whether other tourist or the locals.
But here in Cinque Terre with this lovely environment, it seems to make people even more hospitable, more mellow.