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11 Photos that Prove just how Stunning the Cinque Terre Really is

There are few places on earth as visually arresting as Italy’s Cinque Terre.

The 5 pastel-coloured fishing villages that hug the dramatic Ligurian Coast are undoubtedly the star of the show, sitting boldly askew atop steep hills and rocky cliffsides, that overlook a deep, cerulean sea. Behind the scenes though, a series of equally enchanting hiking trails winds through ingeniously terraced vineyards, gardens and mountaintop towns, tracing routes as old as antiquity.

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The traffic-free “5 Lands,” see their fair share of tourists and daytrippers on their cobblestoned streets, but even that cannot detract from the utter grace of the region. With reports that the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre would begin limiting tourists filling the news, this past summer we gratefully checked this big bucket list item off our travel wish list by finally making it there ourselves.

And it was as breathtakingly, stunningly, achingly sublime as we hoped it would be. We definitely had our favourite towns (Corniglia), but it was easy to find beauty pretty much everywhere we looked.

The cliffside Via Dell Amore near Riomaggiore was unfortunately closed during our visit, but it was stunning to look at nonetheless.

The cliffside Via Dell Amore near Riomaggiore was unfortunately closed during our visit, but it was stunning to look at nonetheless.

 

Pretty flowers accent the roads and fences.

Pretty flowers accent the roads and fences.

Pastel-hued buildings and blue sky - the classic Cinque Terre combo.

Pastel-hued buildings and blue sky – a classic Cinque Terre combo.

 

 

Lovely little #corniglia, one of our favourite Cinque Terre villages ๐Ÿ˜ #travel #italy๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

A post shared by Shelley and Naia (@travelstained) on

 

Lovely evening light over the terraced vineyards of Corniglia.

Lovely evening light over the terraced vineyards of Corniglia.

 

 
Have you been to the Cinque Terre? Which towns were your favourite?

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25 Comments Post a comment
  1. Truly beautiful! I wish I visited b4 moving to the US. But I guess there is a reason to visit Europe again someday!

    December 6, 2016
    • Lol…there’s always a reason to visit Europe, isn’t there? ๐Ÿ™‚ But I know how you feel. I wish I’d done a whole lot more exploration of Mexico and the Caribbean before I moved to Asia from Canada. C’est la vie I guess.

      December 8, 2016
  2. It is amazing how all of those old houses and flats are so close together, side by side. But it does make like such a cozy town by the water ๐Ÿ˜€ Those mountains in the distance look like hard climbs..but if you lived there then you’d have a lot of time to work your way up ๐Ÿ˜€

    December 6, 2016
    • Oh my goodness, hard climbs isn’t even the half of it. We were totally unprepared for JUST how difficult the hikes were. Most of them were just a few km, but took hours and hours. And they were really tough. We had no water, and Agri was carrying the baby, and omg… All we could think about was getting a drink by the time we finally made it into the towns.

      December 8, 2016
      • Omg, you make the hikes sound like a very hard hike to the towns. Agri must have developed some serious muscle from it all ๐Ÿ˜€ Steep and rocky climbs do tend to slow you down, and you have to watch you footing. But better sage than sorry ๐Ÿ™‚

        December 8, 2016
        • Lol Agri’s a weird athletic genetic freak. He wasn’t even strained on the 42km 4 day hike to Machu Picchu. I was suffering, but mostly we were worried about our little one. It was really hot and we had no water. It was all we could think about on the hikes. WATER!! We (and baby Naia) survived though. ๐Ÿ™‚

          December 10, 2016
  3. Corniglia was my favorite, too! We had a lazy lunch there in the middle of our day walking the five towns. I loved the view of it from afar. perched up high over the sea amid all that greenery. You got some great shots!

    December 7, 2016
    • Corniglia was great, wasn’t it? Somehow it felt less touristy to us (even though it was also filled with tourists lol). Vernazza, on the other hand, was the absolute worst tourist trap, despite being beautiful. I’ve never had a more tasteless or more expensive arancini in all my travels around Italy. I blame it all on Rick Steves. Hahaha ๐Ÿ˜‰

      December 8, 2016
  4. Just beautiful. I’ve been wanting to go for a few years now but I also know that it’s quite touristy and overpriced (compare Croatia with similar hiking trails etc). Your pictures however make me feel that it might be worth it despite the crowds and prices. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe some day I’ll make it there ๐Ÿ™‚ The view of those colorful villages are just too pretty!

    December 8, 2016
    • I think it’s definitely worth a visit, but I wouldn’t stay in any of the towns to save money. You could stay in nearby Levanto, or Bonassola (where we did), or even La Spezia to save costs and then do the hikes and towns on day trips. Totally doable that way and would you believe that the train ride from La Spezia to any of the towns is cheaper than the ride between the towns themselves, even though it’s further away? We couldn’t believe it when we discovered it! I’ll have a full post about our travels there eventually… ๐Ÿ™‚

      December 10, 2016
  5. Your pictures make it look so beautiful and rustic. And traffic free too! Definately on my growing list of place to visit

    January 18, 2017
    • It’s touristy but definitely still worth visiting. Some times were better than others (with Vernazza being the absolute worst in terms of being a tourist trap – definitely don’t eat there)! The traffic-free part was amazing for sure…

      January 25, 2017
  6. that’s why we included Cinque Terre with our next trip ๐Ÿ™‚ Beautiful photos

    January 22, 2017
    • Wonderful! Make sure you eat some seafood in Riomaggiore…was so delicious!! Where else are you going? Other parts of Italy? (I’m sitting in a cafe in Rome right now!!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

      January 25, 2017
  7. Oh man those pictures were so gorgeous I didn’t want this post to end! ๐Ÿ˜€ Why o why did you have to stop? ๐Ÿ™‚ Cinque Terre has been on my bucket list ever since I first saw pictures of it. Tourist trap it may be but I am determined to get there someday. Hats off to you guys for attempting it with baby Naia in tow! ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 25, 2017
    • It was on my bucket list for a long, long time too! Somehow, despite 4 separate trips to Italy, we only managed to squeeze it in this last trip (and just barely). I wish we’d had more time to just hang out and enjoy the area. It was very rushed for us as it was. I’d love to go back one day and spend longer… Tourist trap, yes…but worth visiting nonetheless. ๐Ÿ™‚

      January 25, 2017
      • Wow…4 Italy trips! And to think we only had a measly 12 hours there! I HAVE to go back. All that pizza calls out to me! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

        January 25, 2017
        • Actually I’m sitting in a cafe in Rome right now. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just lucky to that a lot of my husband’s family lives in Italy, so we “have” to come here a lot. I know….it’s terrible. :p

          January 27, 2017
          • Yes yes… such a terrible punishment ๐Ÿ˜› My heart goes out to you ๐Ÿ˜‰

            January 28, 2017
  8. Totally gorgeous photos!! Have to get there next time we in Europe.
    Maybe in off season? Like winter?
    Peta

    February 2, 2017
    • We just returned from Rome and have to say I totally loved being there in winter. So few tourists, so great deals and still with all the beauty. It’s probably the perfect time to go there! ๐Ÿ˜„

      February 4, 2017
  9. Awesome, love cinque terre! My latest post is about it, go check it out if you like!

    March 1, 2017
    • Such a gorgeous place, despite all the millions of tourists. I’d love to go back and spend a little more time there just relaxing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      March 2, 2017
      • Ahah me too! Please give us your opinion in our post about it!

        March 2, 2017

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