We woke up in Manarola on our second day in Cinque Terre, ready to take on the final three towns. Adam and I managed to coerce the rest of our travel group to hike the trail with us, and we set off for Corniglia!
We accidentally took the High Trail (we found out later that the regular trail was closed and the High Trail was actually the only way to go) and it was a butt kicker! Even though we are pretty seasoned hikers, it was definitely a tough trail, made harder by the heat of the day. The trail is essentially a straight up and straight down trek, featuring lots of steps and steep incline. In exchange for your hard work, you are treated to some insane views.
We finally made it to Corniglia, sweaty and happy to have put in a little work to get there. Personally, Corniglia was my favorite of the five towns. Corniglia was the only town situated above the water, without easy beach access. As someone who isn’t a huge ocean person, I loved the quaint, winding streets and didn’t miss the lack of beach access.
From Corniglia, we set off by train for Vernazza. Vernazza was my second favorite of the five towns and the most scenic, in my opinion. We settled in with some wine and enjoyed watching beachgoers getting soaked by waves crashing over the sea wall.
Vernazza is really a special place. Though I wish we had more time here, we were excited to press on to Monterosso and most excited to get to a shower. Hiking in the summer with backpacks is sweaty business!
We hopped on the train to Monterosso, where Adam and I checked in to our adorable AirBnb while Sierra and Steven took the train back to Manarola to get their backpacks. Our AirBnb was absolutely lovely and in a wonderful central location. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Monterosso felt very different from the other four towns. If I didn’t know better, I would think we had stumbled in to a California beach town! But different isn’t bad. We had my favorite evening of the whole trip in Monterosso!
We had a phenomenal evening eating and drinking our way through town and just relaxing.
The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast and mimosas on the beach before bidding goodbye to Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre was one of the most lovely places I have every visited. Though it seemed to be right on par with the Italy tourist crowds that we experience in Rome, we had an amazing time exploring all five towns.
I can’t recommend Cinque Terre enough. It is a must see on your trip to Italy!