Ever since my dad pointed out its existence, the Cinque Terre has been on my travel bucket list. Something about the coastline, nature and of course, Italy, called to me and I got the chance to visit it this summer.
The Cinque Terre is a section of coastline in Italy, that comprises of five villages that located within walking distance of each other. It was one of the most beautiful and stunning places I have ever visited! I spent three nights and two full days exploring the villages and enjoying the coast. That amount of time worked out well to see the five villages and get some beach time in, without getting overwhelmed by the crowds and crowds of tourists and exuberant prices.
One of the things that really made my stay in the Cinque Terre was the hostel I had chosen. There was only a handful of budget friendly sleeping options in this particular location, and by far the best choice is 5 Terre Backpackers! The hostel is located about 20 minutes outside of Monteresso, tucked away in a quiet mountain village. The hostel offers a free shuttle service to and from the villages, twice a day (one in the morning and one in the early evening). They also provide delicious home cooked meals every evening for a bargain rate. However, this quirk can either make or break your time there, depending on what kind of traveller you are. I personally enjoyed getting to be transported away to the peaceful serene hostel at the end of my busy days, and have a delicious dinner made for me every evening. I also quite enjoyed the social scene at the hostel, the communal dinners (and single location WIFI) encouraged everyone staying to stick around for a chat and wine on the terrace in the evenings.
The mornings and early evenings were my favourite! I loved getting to have a cup of coffee while listening to the morning birds, and I loved resting my feet in the hammock as soon as I got back from the day. Just look at that view!
I spent my first full day hiking the Blue Trail from Monteresso to Corniglia, which totalled around 6km and took me 3.5 hours. I took my time, stopped for many picture breaks, and stopped at a few sights along the way – like the cat sanctuary and the juice bar, and stopped for lunch in Vernazza, the village in between Monteresso and Corniglia. Once in Corniglia, I stopped for a quiet rest and a basil and chocolate gelato. Along with the hiking trail is a train that you can take to get to all the villages. So I took the train back to Monterosso. The trail itself was very straightforward and easy to navigate, especially with all the people.
I spent my second day mostly relaxing on the beach with two lovely ladies from my hostel. I swam in the Adriatic a lot, (it was amazing), read, snacked and baked in the sun! I also then trained it to see the last two villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola. Manarola was my favourite, it was the most picturesque and I also got more swimming time in there in this little rock area. This is also where you get that picture perfect post card shot that everyone sees when they google Cinque Terre.
Overall it was a great little break from city hopping and so wonderful to be near the sea, sun and nature. I would happily visit The Cinque Terre again.
– xoxo Veronica