Imagine: Colorful buildings, cliffside homes, rocky beaches, clear blue water and homegrown Italian food.
This is Cinque Terre; Cinque Terre 48 Hour Guide.
Cinque Terre, meaning the “five lands”, is a collection of five villages along the Italian Riviera. The surrounding area, hillsides and five villages, Monterosso al Mar, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, all make up the Cinque Terre National Park and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Cinque Terre 48 Hour Guide; the Must Do, the Must See, the Must Eat
Monterosso al Mare
Stop one of Cinque Terre, the northern-most village of the five; Monterosso al Mare. The train is the only way one can start this adventure.
If stayed here night before, we suggest Manuel’s Guest House.
Once off the train, immediately one will be greeted with a beautiful beach. This is one of the two beaches that are in Monterosso al Mare, these beaches are also the best beaches in all the five villages.
Proceeding to the center of the town, follow the pathway, the underground walkway and you will run into beach number 2.
Because of the stunning beaches in Monterosso al Mare, enjoy the morning in your bathing suit, feet in the sand and cold drink in your hand.
For lunch there are so many “ma and pa shops” that you NEED to try. Pizza will not be a disappointment here. Or if you like Anchoives, these are a Monterroso specialty.
But the next adventure includes physical activity, maybe sharing an authentic pizza would be best.
Onward to the best part of the Cinque Terre 48 Hour Guide.
The Hiking Trail
Note: Backpacks are the best for this trip. It will allow you to travel from one village to the next while carrying your supplies. If you bring a roller bag it will not be compatible with the trail. It is possible to stay in one town and hike to the next few and after 48 hours come back to Monterosso al Mare, but that could waste time. Check out how to decide backpack vs. suitcase and how to pick the best backpack.
The hiking trail is tough, especially on a hot, sunny day. Make sure water is full, bags are sitting on your back perfectly and shoes are tied. On to Vernazza we go! Walk south along the coast and you will start seeing signs for the trail and then a box office to get a ticket.
- €7.50 Cost of trail ticket (2016)
- €14.50 Cost of two-day pass trail ticket (2016)
- €13 Cost of one-day pass for train and trail ticket (2016)
- €23 Cost of two-day passes for train and trail ticket (2016)
- €4 Cost of one way train ticket (2016)
Train Schedule here.
The walking trail is the most awarding way to get to Vernazza. The views are breathtaking and something you CAN’T miss.
Did I mention to bring water? Yes, more water. Also sunglasses and of course a camera to capture all the photos.
Coming into Vernazza, there are plentiful terraces of grape vines and workers collecting the grapes for the wine. Make sure you enjoy a glass today!
Hike Length: Around 2 hours
First things first, rest either at the beach or on the rocks near the water.
After awhile go enjoy the strip of shops and food places. The cobblestone roads lead to the main street of Vernazza. There are ‘ma & pa’ shops as well popular, luxury eats.
Highly recommend: Bruschettae, half way up to the train station on the left side. There is an assortment of options and different kinds to enjoy. This is just what you will need to continue onward with your hike.
Our next hike will take us from Vernazza to Corniglia. Another long, hot hike, but one you don’t want to miss.
Gelato is a must after this hike. Time to explore Corniglia.
Hike time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Note: Corniglia is smaller and could be tough to find a place to stay for the night. Could take a train back to Monterosso al Mare for the night or to Riomaggiore.
Corniglia isn’t as busy as Monterosso al Mare or Vernazza. This gives you time to enjoy the views and not shouting at dinner time.
Enjoy some dinner here tonight. So many options that create authentic Italian fare and a lively environment. Also, don’t forget to try their popular gelato made form local honey!
Take the train to Riomaggiore for your stay tonight.
We highly recommend a stay at Casedirio, right in the heart of Riomaggiore main street.
Save your breakfast meal until you get to Manarola, take a train first thing in the morning to the next adventure. Make sure to try Farinata, a light snack found in bakeries, a crunchy pancake made from a base of chick pea flour.
Note: The hiking trail between Corniglia & Manarola & Riommagiore has been closed for some time, and will be for the next few years due to landslides. (2016)
After your snack and espresso work your way down to the iconic, picture perfect Manarola Harbor.
Here you can go swimming for the morning/afternoon. There are cliffs to jump from, rocks to sit on and a fun morning.
Take in some lunch from a local shop and make your way back up to the train station. Head back to Riomaggiore.
Riomaggiore, I felt was the place to be. Walk the only street in town, jump off cliffs, enjoy the sunset, eat at delicious restaurants, Riomaggiore was my favorite village.
After you get off the train go straight to Tutti Fritti that sells seafood in a cup. The perfect snack!
Next up: Work your way down to the Harbor and enjoy the views, cliff jumping and swimming.
This will be one of the highlights of your Cinque Terre 48 Hour Guide.
Seriously, this will be the best time jumping off cliffs and swimming.
Your last night of Cinque Terre 48 Hour Guide is only going to get better.
Italian food continues- Veciu Muin is a great place for dinner! This region of Italy is known for pesto, a sauce made form basil leaves, garlic, salt, olive oil, pine nuts and pecorino. The restaurant has a great trio where you can enjoy a tomato based sauce, cheese based noodles and the famous pesto sauce.
I have a huge LOVE for sunsets. I doesn’t matter what country I am in, who I am with or what I am doing next, I love sunsets.
Any of the Five Villages, of Cinque Terre, will give you a great sunset, tonight you’re in Riomaggiore and this town will give you the best sunsets.
You can view the sunset from a local boat who will take you out to see the coast line.
Or, you can view the sunset from the rocks by the harbor.
With any Guide to a Destination, you can pick and choose what you would like to do and not like to do. The above Guide is recommendations and what I got to enjoy while in Cinque Terre.
One thing you need to do: Enjoy your time and Cinque Terre 48 Hour Guide.