A lot has been said and written about Cinque Terre. Lately, the news talk about overcrowding, mass-tourism and so on. It is true, Cinque Terre has changed since the dawn of the internet, but it is still worth visiting as it is one f the most beautiful, magical and unique places in the world. So what is one to do?
We at Trekguyd care a whole lot about the area because we are based in Riomaggiore at the heart of Cinque Terre. We call Cinque Terre our home and want to protect the culture and the area as much as we can. We want share what we now about the area and its incredible history and culture that has not changed much for a 1000 years.
Tips to visiting Cinque Terre
Stay in Cinque Terre
Stay in Cinque Terre, not La Spezia as many people have started to do. The mornings and evenings is when Cinque Terre returns back home to the way people have enjoyed it for centuries. Stay at least two to three days, as there is much to see and do. Rushing through at “Rush-hour” (big bus and cruise-ship groups coming through) is not going to be your ideal experience.
Hike during the day and enjoy the night-time
Start hikling early in the morning to take advantage of the cool air. Once you are up, you can enjoy a quit lunch away from the crowds. Take a nap in the afternoon, as businesses will be closed in the larger cities and big crowds are expected to rush through the tiny villages.
Go swimming during the day
Take advantage of the cool water during the day. We recommend Bonnasola, one stop before you get to Levanto for a more “Italian” experience. The only real beach in Cinque Terre you can find in the larger city of Monterosso, which is more a resort town. This beach and most others in Liguria will be pebble beaches, not sand, so bring some water shoes.
Enjoy the mornings and evenings
The villages are completely different in the morning and evenings, though watch out for the many delivery-trucks that are allowed in the mornings.
Good places fill up quickly. It is advisable to make reservations at your favorite restaurant. Be aware that in Italy most restaurants do not open until 7 pm. It is very “Italian” to have an aperitivo before you have your dinner, so hit the next bar and enjoy some local vibes.
Day Trippers (by bus from Florence and Pisa)
After many years of experience, we can truly say with confidence that a day-trip from Florence is not going to serve you well. People are rushed and pushed through the towns with little or false information. Large groups have become a nuisance. You are really just a number and have no personal interaction. We even have seen tour-guides belittling their groups as if they were dealing with toddlers. It has also become a danger on the platforms as many big groups are congesting the platform and keeping people from exiting and boarding the trains.
For more information, give us a call or email us. We are glad to help.