Wow. Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful places we've ever seen. Cinque Terre is made up of five villages, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. We chose to stay in beautiful Riomaggiore! We opteed for a quaint apartment style hotel at the top of a hill behind some winding cobblestone alleys. It sounds creepy, but it was so romantic. Not that we are looking for romance between the two of us..... you get what I'm saying. It can be quite pricey in Cinque Terre so make sure you do your research on the best place to stay.
Although, it may be a bit cheaper to stay just outside of the five villages, we suggest staying in either Manarola or Riomaggiore. There is great hiking (we hear) in this whole area. We are not what you would call hikers... or people who work out in general (it's a task just to walk to the mailbox.) However, we are definitely beach people. Cinque Terre has some of the best beaches in the world. We suggest going to Manarola, which you can easily get to by taking the train. Make sure you buy a ticket!! Even if you don't see the person checking tickets one way, they will most likely be on there the next time. We learned that the hard way, but got out of a ticket with quick American whit. Just kidding, we played dumb.
Okay, back to the spectacular beaches. There are lots of beach umbrella's set up and you can rent them for 1/2 day or full day, for a very fair price. The water was a perfect clear blue and super warm. Riomaggiore was a great place to stay because it was right on the water and had a very cute fisherman vibe, plus lots of great restaurants. We took a sunset cruise from Riomaggiore to all the other villages and it was absolutely breathtaking! They also served wine, which was delizioso! The cruise was $65 per person.
I don't even need to really describe how beautiful Cinque Terre was. You can see from our photos! Make sure if you do take the journey to Cinque Terre that you are prepared for the hills, they are absolutely brutal. A small price to pay for the stunning views, but you've at least been warned. Stay tuned for our Tuscany post coming soon!