Cinque Terre – The Odd Way Around

  • Along the wharf at Riomaggiore
  • Pick your favorite!
  • Docking in Riomaggiore
  • Even the little boats get in on the action
  • The wind in the sails...ahhh!
  • Even a restaurant carved into the rock!
  • This is a nice one...
  • So it this!
  • Clinging to the cliffs
  • Colorful homes
  • Next stop...Vernazza!
  • My favs!
  • Looking down the coast at the Cinque Terres
  • Smelling the sunscreen!
  • The colors of summer
  • A kayak counts as a boat, too!
  • Options by boat
  • All Aboard!!
  • Don't you just want to jump in?


It’s hard to say much that’s bad about a place where every single view is “postcard-worthy” – that’s my indication of how beautiful a place is :-). Cinque Terre is a picturesque line of five waterfront villages just begging to be photographed from every angle. We choose a slightly different viewpoint on our visit. Arriving in La Spezia as most visitors do, we purchased the Cinque Terre Train and Bus pass for $12 euro. This allows unlimited train and bus transport between all 5 towns.

Perfect! We hopped on the train and headed for Monterossa al Mare, the charming village at the end of the Cinque Terre chain. Our plan was to walk the paths (many were closed due to recent earthquakes and storms) or take the train/bus and see all 5 towns. That was until we discovered the ferry service from Monterosso to all of the towns instead. The water was calling us…so blue it practically hurt your eyes…we really had no choice in the matter.

So began our discovery of the villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore – the odd way around – by sea instead of by land. The day was perfect. Light winds, blue skies, and just warm enough to make the sea breezes feel incredible. Each place we stopped we had a chance to explore the village more carefully…which in our case meant scoping out the best gelateria, coldest vino bianco or seafood so fresh it tasted as though it was caught as I placed my order.

Seeing Cinque Terre from the sea gave us a completely different perspective. We were able to see things we couldn’t if we’d stayed on land. Watching children jump from amazing heights of rock into the clear water (yikes!) or seeing areas of the walking paths completely obliterated by the power of a landslide. Our final stop at Riomaggiore gave us the chance to climb to the highest points of any village and receive stunning views in return.

A magical day in Cinque Terre – the odd way around!

About the author

Lisa is a traveler, photographer and pharmacist. She and her partner Cheryl MacDonald enjoy sharing inspiration and good health with fellow travelers!


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