Many people use programs, such as Euroadventures, to spend one full day taking in the scenery and exploring the towns. But personally, one day wasn’t enough time for my friends and I to hike every trail and hit every beach, and even two days felt too short. Before you book your trip to Cinque Terre, check out the benefits of each trip below to determine what works best for you!
Day trips are the perfect way to see the highlights of Cinque Terre for a low cost. I would highly suggest this option to those of you who are looking to do one or two hikes but would rather take a train through the towns and spend about an hour or so in each place. Although most of these trips allow you to arrive in the morning and leave at night, hiking, swimming, tanning and shopping take time, so be sure to prioritize before arriving at Cinque Terre in order to make the most of your time. While it is possible to hike each trail and relax at a beach or two, prepare to feel a little rushed and do not plan on having more than a couple of hours for downtime at the beach. If you aren’t such a huge fan of hiking, I’d suggest at least walking about 15 minutes into each trail to get the “postcard pictures” of each town, but then hop on the train for a quick ride to the next coastal stop.
If you want to hike each of the trails with time to relax on the beaches or grab a meal in between, be sure to take advantage of a Friday-Saturday overnight trip. My friends and I booked our trip 2 days before we left and found a great little apartment in Vernazza for the night for about $40. If you’re going to plan an overnight trip be sure to check for a place to stay before you arrive, as there are few hotels in the cities and you will likely pay a higher fee for a bed and breakfast upon arrival. Overnight trips are also a great way to ensure that you get to see the sunset over a vast, beautiful sea before setting out for a seafood dinner and a night partying or relaxing on the beach. The beaches are by far one of the best parts of Cinque Terre, as the water is refreshing and perfectly clear almost everywhere you go. If tanning and swimming are two of your priorities, but you still want to hike to see the incredible views, I’d highly suggest spending the extra money to stay for two days.
Regardless of what option you choose, Cinque Terre is a famous Italian vacation destination, and is not a stop to miss! But hurry up and book your trip before the beautiful weather runs out!