Cinque Terre, Italy (continued)
Tips for Visiting Cinque Terre
1. Visit in the Spring or Fall to avoid the summer crowds and heat.
2. Get a reservation ahead of time. I recommend staying in Vernazza or Manarola.
3. If you are driving, park in Monterosso and take the train. You can purchase a one or three day Cinque Terre Card that covers unlimited trains and hiking fees (a bargain at 13 Euros). There are train stations in each village with attendants. The trains run about every hour.
4. While you can hike the entire trail that connects the five villages in one day, I suggest starting at Vernazza and heading south. The first leg to Corniglia is the toughest, but the most scenic. The last two legs are pretty easy. By cutting out the first leg from Monterosso to Vernazza, you can save time and energy to explore each village more.
5. Hike in the morning. Much of the trail is on a southwest facing slope, so it really heats up in the late afternoon.
6. Visit with the locals. Most shopkeepers and restaurants employees speak at least some English.