There is nothing more appropriate for including in a “Little Italian Treasures” category than Cinque Terre. Despite the fact that it is becoming more and more popular, its mighty neighbors – Tuscany and Pisa – take away the attention of most tourists. Cinque Terre is a collection of five picturesque villages – Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso – hinged on the cliffs of a 15 miles strip of the Ligurian coast. The area is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and if you visit it, you will find endless series of reasons why this is so among the overhanging coasts over the sea with bays and small beaches, the thousands of kilometers of dry-stone walls enclosing the terraces where vineyards are cultivated, the characteristic rural buildings or the medieval quarters. Because of the landscape, Cinque Terre has long been rather isolated, hidden between the sea and the mountains, which has helped in preserving its authenticity and the ‘out-of-this-world’ atmosphere.
Despite the fact that the villages are connected by a train track, that finds itself a way along the coast through many tunnels, we believe the best way to explore the region and all the little treasures it has to offer is through a hiking holiday. The whole Cinque Terre is a web of trails and itineraries with various levels of difficulty and length, so anyone will be able to find something suitable for their physical condition. The walking trail that links all the villages offers breathtaking views of the coastline and it is connected with the route going on top of the hills behind, in the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, where you will find a peacefulness and tranquility reminiscent of a younger world. We recommend you to try Sentiero No. 1 (Trail No. 1) and Sentiero Azzuro (The Blue Trail). To get a map of all the hiking routes in the region you can visit one of the Cinque Terre Visitor Centres, but all the trails are very well marked, so you can choose to be more adventurous and rely on the maps and indicators scattered across the route network.
For a good hiking holiday “base” have a look at our villa Casa dei Limoni nestled within the Bonassola hillside. So try the fresh fish and the Ligurian cuisine, discover the traditional craftsmanship and the traditional local products (the Sage and Helichrysum shampoo deserves particular commendation) and, above all, immerse in the spectacular scenery of Cinque Terre for an unforgettable Italian holiday!