cinque terre, Liguria
Hi, October is good to see Cinque Terre, mostly good to walk on the beautiful trails passing through the villages and manarola as well, of course, since the weather is not hot anymore as in the summertime. As to find best deals have a look on this site http://www.arbaspaa.com/. They arrange personailzed tours and also offer informations about accomodations. I hope this is going to help you.
I visited "Five Lands" two years ago. "Five Lands" is used to aggregate in one name all the five small villages in this part of
awesome coast of Liguria Region: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
You could say "this part of the trip is still a bit of a mystery right now" so I suggest you first of all to dedicate more than one day in
that area because, not so far from 5T, there are also some places must be visited as well as Camogli, San Fruttuoso (reachable only by boat), Portofino and Portovenere.
In case you have a car I suggest to leave it in your hotel and use only trains, boats and...
TRAINS: you can check all train time tables and sometimes buy tickets on web site:
Two years ago, I dedicated a total of three days there taking an apartment as base where to sleep in Deiva Marina.
About APARTMENT in Deiva Marina I found it on internet. It is cheap and very beautiful! Take a look on this web site:
In Deiva Marina there is a train station: it permits you to reach all places I mentioned before (San Fruttuoso excluded) with
reasonable prices. TICKETS: there are automatic machines in train station. KEEP ATTENTION! Remember to obliterate your tickets before taking the train and, if obliterate machines are out of order, go as soon as possible to conductor and tell him to sign your tickets. In this way you avoid nasty fines.
I spent one day to walk and live along 5T (from Riomaggiore to Monterosso).
From Riomaggiore to Manarola it is very simple (you walk along the "Via dell'Amore", possible translation could be "Love Street"); less than half an hour to reach Manarola from Riomaggiore. Ticket is required to access there (I bought it in Riomaggiore train station).
If you love calm and peace, keep in mind to avoid visit 5T during weekends, expecially from Riomaggiore to Manarola.
From Manarola to Corniglia you walk about three quarters of hour (depending on how much time you stop to watch the nature all around).
In Corniglia I suggest you to take the bus to reach Corniglia centre (as always, remember you are in Italy and sometimes there are
stupid people (not necessarily Italians) trying to get the bus before you even if you are waiting for it before them...).
From Corniglia to Vernazza... Hee-hee-heeeeee... It's the "cut off". It required us about one hour and a quarter, not so difficult but
I heard tired a lot of people not common in hiking. Anyway try to do it because Vernazza vision, coming from Corniglia is simply beautiful!
Arrived in Vernazza...
Well, take some rest, an ice cream (energy, energy, energy!) because from Vernazza to Monterosso is not so simple, especially the first part: it raises very quickly! A smart suggest: in Vernazza change your shoes; put down the gym shoes and keep trekking shoes! Be sure, this change at this point is great and suggested (I live near Dolomiti Alps in Italy and I love trekking so I know some tricks...). To reach Monterosso from Vernazza I think you will need about one hour and half. Arrived in Monterosso you can eat something there (there are many restaurants, behind railway) before coming back.
What to bring with you: protection against sun rays, cap, at least a litre of fresh water for each people. Temperatures between May and September permits you to walk with T-shirts and shorts (usually I put in my backpack two, three, T-shirts to change them when too wet). I think it is not necessary K-ways but, having some space, put them in your backpack. Food in your backpack: sandwiches and chocolate! I remember we ate our sandwiches in Corniglia and in total we dedicated 11 hours from Riomaggiore to Monterosso (including all very calm stop times and dinner in a restaurant in Monterosso).
I spent a day to visit Camogli (reached by train from Deiva Marina) and after, by boat, San Fruttuoso (very very beautiful) and
Portofino. Keep in mind boats are more expensive than train but... ...one time in life "it can stay"!
I don't have internet sites to suggest you to take a look about boat-lines but, if you need, write me (VT member: microsensazione).
About Camogli I found a very interesting restaurant (Ristorante da Paolo): not so expensive and very very good food; it is difficult
to find it; it is in Camogli but outside from tourist interests (if you need more info about I could try to remind its address and
In San Fruttuoso there is an abbey; walk around and take a look.
Portofino instead is known as VIP tourists place so...
...take a look but don't give many money there.
From Portofino we came back by boat in Riomaggiore and, from there, by train reached again our base in Deiva Marina.
The third day spent in area was dedicated to Portovenere!
I reached it by boat from Riomaggiore (at 11.10) and arriving in Portovenere at 11.40. Food and bevarage in backpack (sandwiches and so on). I recommend to go also on the upper side of Portovenere: tooooo beautiful!
I came back from Portovenere with last boat (at 17.20). Don't take risks and think to take previous one at 16.00. Anyway I did not spend a lot of time to take deep info about boats in area so I think there could be other boat-lines with different and convenient time tables.
If you need more info feel you free to contact me by mail.
Feel you welcome in my Country!
Vernazza is the most beautiful village of the so called " Cinque terre "
Lots of colorfull houses, all built into a small and narrow bay.
Fisherboats, a narrow path leading through the terraces on the hills taking you to the next village Monterosso...
I drove by car to Portovenere and from there I made a daycruise to the Cinque Terre.
The ship stayed in Vernazza for 60 minutes - time enough for for first overview, but not enough to explore everything...
Taking the train is certainly the best, as you may buy a dayticket for all of the villages of 5terre, including the train to and between all villages, the small buses that run through some of them and the entrance-fee to the National Park and "Via dell Amore" - the romantic path along the coastline up and down the hills...
You may click here to see on the map, where to find Vernazza :
www.multimap.com - Vernazza
For more infos and pics of Vernazza - just click on my link below !
Manarola is another one of the 5 villages of Cinque terre and a lot more off the beaten path than Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare.
Ships have a hard time to land in the small port and even the smallest spot seems to be used in order to build a house and most of the buildings became rather high that way.
My ship did not land in Manarola, although it was scheduled that it would.
But obviously whenever a big group of people reserve the boat, even the scheduled boat goes for the wishes of the group only.
You may take the path along the coast and through the mountain-terraces - it is called Via dell'amore
Here you may see Manarola on a map :
www.multimap.com - Manarola
When we hiked the Five Lands, we opted to take the train to the opposite end, in Riomaggiore, and return on foot.
Trains ride rather frequently and they run most of the time in tunnels, so this is the least scenic of all the alternatives and it is recommended to combine it with hiking or a boat ride.
Riomaggiore clings precariously to the steep walls of a small ravine. The colourful façades and the small fishing boats in the itsy-bitsy harbour are picturesque enough to spend some time in the town before heading to Manarola on the Via dell'Amore.
The "Five Lands" or Cinque Terre is one of the best known stretches of the Italian coast. Do not be fooled by the fact that the Italian Republic has classified the area as a National Park: it is not a pristine natural area but rather a highly anthropified cultural landscape of great scenic value. The uneven terrain is terraced to allow for the cultivation of olive orchards and vineyards, and dotted with the five picturesque little towns after which it is named.
The UNESCO has also classified the Cinque Terre as a World Heritage Site, as it represents "the harmonious interaction between people and nature to produce a landscape of exceptional scenic quality that illustrates a traditional way of life that has existed for a thousand years and continues to play an important socio-economic role in the life of the community".
There are multiple ways to explore the Cinque Terre: the five towns are connected by train, ferryboat and by a hiking trail. The hike is very pleasant and not excessively strenous but takes about one entire (Spring or Summer) day (including visits to the towns and stops to eat). I would suggest that you start the hike in Riomaggiore. The first part, until Manarola, is known as Via dell'Amore and is the best laid out and most flat, but also the most crowded with difference. Leave Manarola towards Corniglia after lunch and you will have excellent views of the town from the trail. The final part before reaching Corniglia is rather steep and you will have to climb quite a few steps before you reach the town. From Corniglia Westwards, is the hardest part of the trail, but nothing that an average fit person cannot do.
Vernazza is the favorite town in the Cinque Terre for many of the tourists to the area. Before you reach it, the path goes through a fairly irregurlar terrain and you can see from the distance how the buildings are disposed around a strikingly beautiful sea inlet.
The port is larger than in the other towns and very picturesque too. It is cramped with restaurants and pensions which catter for the numerous tourists.
If you are to visit only one of the Five Lands, let Vernazza be it.
Corniglia was the only village which we did not visit (since there is no harbor), but only saw from the boat. The sight sure is spectacular: the village is high up on top of rocks - awesome!
To get there from from the train station you will have to do a lot of climbing steps, but from what I have heard and read, it sure must be worthwhile!!!
To me this is an absolute must, even if it means standing in line hoping to make it to the next boat departing! Going on such a boat tour makes you experience the five villages of the Cinque Terre in a totally different way: instead of lookiing out on the sea you see the villages tucked in their little valleys or on top of the rocks, you see the small harbors, the rough landscape, the vinyards and approaching each harbor, the colors of the villages become brighter and brighter!
When doing such a little sightseeing cruise be sure to check direction and the time of day, so that you will not be blinded by the sun!
When we visited in mid-September went from Monterosso to Riomaggiore on an afternoon (3 p.m.) boat - this was perfect for us!
Riomaggiore is the easternmost village of the Cinque Terre. We went there twice and really enjoyed it! The village itself is small and steep and very colorful! We had two reasons to visit there: one was the restaurant recommendation of "La Lanterna" and the other one was the fact that we wanted to do the Via dell'Amore, which starts here and leads all the way to Manarola. We did enjoy both highlights and I hope to tell you more on my soon to be created Riomaggiore page!
Via dell'Amore is the name of the first part of the hiking trails connecting all five villages of Cinque Terre. The Via itself is not really a trail, it is a paved footpath leading from Riomaggiore to Manarola. It is easy walking - no climbing at all! For all of those who do not want to do strenuous hiking (or maybe can't do it for health reasons), this is the thing to do!
The Via dell'Amore is part of the Cinque Terre National Park, so you will have to pay an entrance fee, which in 2006 was 3 € for a day pass.
Vernazza was and is my all time favourite village of the Cinque Terre! We stayed here for 4 days and discovered the area from here! Vernazza has a lovely little harbor, a castello and best of all a piazza next to the harbor to enjoy the views, the sunsets and delicious food!
For more information and pictures, please have a look at my Vernazza page!
Manarola is only a short walk away from Riomaggiore on the Via dell' Amore. We thoroughly enjoyed both the walk and the village! I especially liked the small alleys and steps that lead you to yet new and exciting views!
Monterosso al Mare is the westernmost town of the Cinque Terre. It is the largest, too, and a little different from the other four. It is clearly divided into a newer part and an older part. My brother made it his base and absolutely loved it, we only visited shortly and did not like it at all! I guess - as everything - it is a matter of personal taste.
I do recommend Monterosso as the starting point for a boat ride along the coast of Cinque Terre, though, to me an absolute must!
For more information, do have a look at my little Monterosso al Mare page
High above the coast, Corniglia is the only one of the Cinque Terre not on the water. Each town has a unique atmosphere and Corniglia's is mellow and a little cooler than the others.
You have a hike of a few hunderd stairs to make it to the town center from the train station/ foot path, or you can take the bus (free with the 5-terre card). Because it is more remote, less tourists make the trip up to the town center.
The town has a couple of beaches, one g rated on below the train station, and a clothing optional beach going towards Vernazza. So then, on towards Vernazza..