If you’re visiting Florence for longer than just a few days, a wonderful day trip you can do is to visit the Cinque Terre. Walking tours of this famous route allow you to explore one of the most stunning coastal areas in Italy – and, many say, the world. You can choose to do as much or as little of the route between the five villages on foot as you like, or take the train between some – there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. However for the first timer, there are a few tips from the experts that will make your experience just that little bit better. |
Top Tips to Know Before You Go
If you join one of the excellent Cinque Terre walking tours with a local guide, all the details like transport and passes will be taken care of. But aside from the logistics, there are a few other useful pieces of advice that might be of interest.
Yes, You Can
Even if you’re not exactly an avid hiker, you can definitely enjoy the experience in your own way. If you’re not up to hiking along the coastal route between the five villages (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore), there’s a train that you can take, or you can do a mixture of walking and the train and you’ll still get those marvellous views from the villages when you arrive. But for those who are of moderate fitness, doing it on foot is absolutely the best way to take in as much of the beauty as possible as you hike along above the villages and get a sense of the wider landscape.
Pack Lightly, Pack Well
While it might be tempting to set off with nothing at all to keep things light and easy, if you’re doing the hike it’s very important you take an adequate supply of water, some sunscreen, a hat and a few snacks to refuel along the way. Most of the route is in full sunshine – which of course is wonderful, but you will need protection as you’ll be exposed for a few hours.
It almost goes without saying, but sometimes when you’re in holiday mode you might forget you need sensible footwear. Some parts of the route are quite slippy, so while hiking boots are the ideal, anything with a good grip will suffice – this definitely does not include flimsy sandals or flip-flops.
The Earlier the Better
The best Cinque Terre walking tours will get you to the beginning of the route nice and early. This is advisable not just to beat the heat of the midday sun, but also to be a few steps ahead (at least!) of the inevitable crowds that begin to arrive as the day goes on. There’s no getting around that this is a very popular tourist attraction, but you can still enjoy the tranquillity in the early part of the day. (This applies both to the hike itself and the villages.)
See it from the Water
While those jaw-dropping views from the coastal trail are nothing short of spectacular (and no, you’ll never get enough of them), there’s another opportunity, and a whole different view, that you really shouldn’t miss. Taking a boat trip between any of the villages delivers the picturesque sight from the ocean back towards the coast, with stunning views of the pastel coloured houses spilling down the cliffs. It’s absolutely picture perfect and a sight you’ll never forget. If you’ve done the hike, it will also put your efforts into perspective.
Don’t Miss Out on a Cinque Terre Walking Tour
Exploring the almost overwhelming beauty of the Cinque Terre is on the bucket list of many people – and, for those lucky enough to actually have the experience, it never fails to impress. It’s magical, memorable and completely unmissable!
Mauro Bramante is the Director of WalkAbout Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy including the best Cinque Terre walking tours. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous Chianti wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro's company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you're keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.
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