Cinque Terre, is an amazing place. The 5 villages on the sea create a stunning landscape and atmosphere. No wonder it is packed with tourists. Here is my 8th travel and photo report.
The Cinque Terre is a National Park of Italy since 1997 and is a UNESCO protected site. Cinque Terre consists of five villages (from north to south): Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. We visited Riomaggiore and Manorala.
Getting there is easy. Especially from Florence. Frecchia Bianca high speed trains drive straight to LaSpezia and from there you can take the Cinque Terre Express. The trains run very frequent, about every 10 minutes. The trains are long and, in high season, full. From the train station in Riomaggiore and Manarola it is a 5 min walk to the city.
Despite the very high season, we didn’t had any trouble finding decent accommodation. In town there is plenty available. Also there are some small offices on the main street (in Riomaggiore) where you can ask for rooms.
All the villages are build on the cliffs. Very nice to see and even more nice to walk through. Walk (climb) the steep stairs and see stunning views over the sea and the city. There are quite some places up in the villages where you can enjoy these stunning views.
The photo above I shot from the rocks in front of the village. You can get there by climbing over the rocks or use the pathway to get down to the small boats. It is really one of the best spots to take these photos. Colourful village, boats and blue sky. If you come late afternoon (bring a fish and chips), just before the sunset starts, it will be packed. But the scenery is worth it. Amazing light and amazing sunsets.
Fish and chips.
Yes.. And it is good !! In every town of Cinque Terre there are little snack bars/take aways/eat outside/etc. shops offering deep fried fish and more. And it is really good and cheap. A large fish and chips was 8 euro and fills you up completely. The fish is local Cod. Most shops also offer fried squid, mussels and other stuff. Get a fish and chips, walk to the rocks and sit down watching the sunset. I can really recommend it !
You simply have to see the sunset in Cinque Terre. Manarola and Riomaggiore offer the best background scenery. If you hike into the mountains overlooking one of the villages your view will be even more spectacular and so your photos. We couldn’t be bothered with that: simply too tired of walking around and decided to sit on the rocks in front of Riomaggiore. 🙂 But here are some sunset photos that we made.
Well, the night scenery of the city is very nice. We got an apartment with a roof terrace IN the village of Riomaggiore ( yes !!!) and it was perfect to shoot some night shots. Below the final results.
There is enough to do in Cinque Terre. It is not only the villages but also the surrounding area is very nice. Steep mountains with vines offer very good hiking trails. The sea is very beautiful and the water is crystal clear. You can even go scuba diving in front of Riomaggiore. Sightseeing boat trips, fishing trips, etc. it’s all there. Some of the villages offer a real beach and others a beach of stones. (very hard to get in and out the water). There are some churches which you can visit and enough walking paths to explore the surrounding area and mountains. (well hills… is a better word).
Cinque Terre is a nice place, it is really beautiful…. but it is overrun. We where there in September 2016 and we left because it was too busy. When we visited Manarola, there were at least 3 American tour groups walking in front of us. See pictures below. The trains, the streets all of them are full. Not all the time, but most of the daytime.
Manarola. Still easy, not so many people. Very nice to see. (Sept. 2016, round 9.30am)
About 30 min. later. Bamm ! Full ! Just one group after another. (Sept. 2016 round 10.00am)
Here is a link explaining the tourist situation in Cinque Terre.
‘ Italy’s picturesque Cinque Terre, a group of five villages along the Ligurian Sea, is one of the country’s most popular sites—but now it might be a victim of its own popularity. Italian officials have announced that they will be taking measures to protect the cliffside villages’ delicate environments by capping the number of people who are allowed to visit.’
I do understand why they want to cap the number of visitors. It is better for the town, nature and the people. The question is: how ?
If you want to visit Cinque Terre do some research on the internet when is the ‘best time’ to go. We were there in September 2016 and it was packed.
Click on the links to find more info.
Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre
Click to view larger size.