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Creating the perfect tourist attraction – Cinque Terre Photo Essay

Check out our Cinque Terre photo essay to see how the tourism board has created the perfect tourist attraction in Italy.

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Riomaggiore photos Cinque Terre

If you are a tourism board and want to create the perfect tourist attraction then follow these easy steps:

  1. Find a remote inaccessible location in the northwest of Italy.
  2. Make sure the location is facing into the setting sun.
  3. In your new location build a tiny village of terraced houses onto the cliffs above the shockingly colourful turquoise sea.
  4. Paint these houses every bright colour of the rainbow.
  5. Repeat until you have five villages within a few miles of one another.
  6. Invite Lonely Planet to come and visit.
  7. Sit back, rub your hands together as you watch the tourists arrive in their thousands.

The problem with Cinque Terre is that it is too damn cute for it’s own good.

Vernazza Cinque Terre photos

Since Lonely Planet “discovered” the Cinque Terre area the tourist hordes have descended on the tiny villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, in the northwest of Italy. Every tourist wanders all, or pieces, of the same hiking trail happily taking thousands of holiday photos home to show their friends and families their exciting adventures.

We decided to join the phenomenon and these are our favourite Cinque Terre photos.

Vernazza harbour Cinque Terre photos

Vernazza as seen from the harbour.

Rock Giant Monterosso Photos Cinque Terre

Rock giant carved into the cliffs above the beach at Monterosso al Mare.

Vernazza Cinque Terre photos

The colourful village of Vernazza as seen from above.

Monterosso al Mare Cinque Terre Photos

Monterosso al Mare from the hot and sweaty hiking trail on the way to Vernazza.

Cinque Terre Photo Essay

The locals livelihoods used to come from the sea and slopes. Now they come from the tourist hordes.

Manarola Cinque Terre Photos

Along the shoreline looking towards Manarola.

Corniglia Photos Cinque Terre

Corniglia is situated smack in the middle of Cinque Terre and looks as if it has been painted upon a clifftop canvas.

Riomaggiore photos Cinque Terre

Risked life and limb to capture this shot out on the water near Riomaggiore.

Where to stay in Cinque Terre – Le Sirene, Monterosso

The five villages of Cinque Terre are really small so while you used to be able to show up and book a place that day it is usually no longer feasible due to its new found popularity. We found stayed at Le Sirene in the slightly larger, albeit more touristy, town of Monterosso al Mare.

Location

If you are coming from Rome it is the furthest of the five villages in Cinque Terre. However, accessibility is fine with local trains every 15 minutes to all the other towns. A perfect location to start you hike along the Cinque Terre trail.

The Rooms

Our room was private with one double bed and a bunk bed. And although very basic we did have our own bathroom and a small balcony to enjoy a glass of vino at the end of the day.

Other Amenities

Unfortunately there were no other amenities. It was really disappointing that we didn’t have WiFi or even a place to prepare a bit of food each day.

Staff

We only saw the owner, who was extremely lovely, when we checked in. So while we have no complaints, we don’t have a lot to say either.

Social Atmosphere

There was no social atmosphere at all. Although this was expected as there is no common areas or places to chill out apart from on the beach.

Cost

$80 Euro for a private room for two people.

Overall

As a Bed and Breakfast we expected a wee bit more. In saying that, we were there to hike the Cinque Terre and relax on the beach afterwards so Le Sirene definitely fit the bill for that. Especially as Monterosso is the only village with a beach in Cinque Terre. If they would just offer WiFi, even a paid service, then they would go way up our accommodation rankings.

Disclaimer: We were guests of HostelWorld but as always our thoughts are always our own.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    July 11, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Perhaps the phrase “postcard perfect” was coined here…

  2. Laurence

    July 12, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Hard to believe that in my many trips to Italy I’ve not managed to make it here. Ah well, another reason to go back! Great shots – love the one of the boat prow close up in particular 😀

  3. Laura

    July 12, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Your beautiful photos are not helping with the over crowding…now all the other people who don’t have Lonely Planet guides will be arriving!

  4. Turtle

    July 12, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Beautiful photos!! You’re never going to be able to keep the tourists away from somewhere like that, though. I guess you’ve just got to suck it up and join them.

  5. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    July 13, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Yep, we “wandered” the entire hiking trail between the five cities, and let me tell you. It was brutal – I’ve never climbed so many stairs in my life!! Thank god the views and gelato in each city made the hike worth it in the end. 🙂

  6. Ali

    July 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Looks gorgeous! I haven’t gotten to Cinque Terre yet, but I know I will someday!

  7. Laura @Travelocafe

    July 15, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    This is such a great idea. I hope to follow in your footsteps soon enough.

  8. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    July 16, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    I did a 3-week tour of Italy with the Atlanta Boy Choir when I was 11, and I think this may be the only major Italian tourist attraction we DIDN’T see. Looks lovely, especially the colors of the buildings and water. Nice shots!

  9. Andrea

    July 16, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    As pretty as I imagine it to be. Haven’t been yet – am worried a bit that it will be too crowded but the walking/hiking part of seeing the towns really appeals to me.

  10. T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries

    July 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Beautiful! And, as you say, perfect location to use as a base camp for hiking the Cinque Terre trail…something I didn’t do when I was in Italy back in 2009 and hope to do sometime in the future!

    Great stuff. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Jeremy Branham

    July 16, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    I loved the Cinque Terre. I spent a lot of time in Vernazza but didn’t get out and explore more as I would have liked. I would have loved to hike between the villages. The last time I was there was years ago. It was very touristy then with lots of Americans. However, it still is a must see place. So glad to see they have been able to rebuild and recover after the devastating floods and rain.

  12. Cheryl

    July 16, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    I heart Cinque Terre. Spent 5 days there last year and loved it … so thanks for bringing back some great memories as well as sharing yours! 🙂

    As always, your photos are lovely.

  13. Armands Balodis

    July 17, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Looks like nice colorful town. If only you could add beach to this place – it would be just perfect.

  14. Surminga

    July 19, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    That rock giant is amazing! How did they do that on such a large scale….

  15. Arti

    July 20, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Beauty which my eyes could scarcely believe!!! Just so scenic. Loved the captures, dreamy!!

  16. Larissa

    July 21, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    So gorgeous! Love your photos, especially that up close boat shot – super cool. I have been wanting to visit Cinque Terre for so long but maybe I should save it for a time when I have a nice gentleman to accompany me? Seems like a place that is too sexy & romantic to go alone.

  17. Will Peach

    July 22, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Love that shot of all the boats lined up, such a pretty place. Cheers for sharing the pictures.

  18. Angela

    July 29, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Beautiful pictures, I would love to swim in those waters!

  19. Kaikki pikavipit

    August 1, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    I have just one word to say: Amazing!!

  20. Alexandra

    August 8, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Such gorgeous pictures! I hope to make it there on my European Road Trip this fall!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 8, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      Let us know if you need any tips for visiting the area as it is absolutely gorgeous and a must-see in Europe. Just try to go when there are less crowds but make sure everything will stop be open. A fine line.

  21. Tariq Mehmood

    August 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Nice click by your camera. Its true traveling also makes you a good photographer. 🙂

  22. Christina Dometakis

    August 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Photos look amazing, how many days would you recomend spending here?

    • Cole Burmester

      August 19, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      You could do the whole walk in one day but we were there for 3 and it felt a bit more relaxed. Gives you time to chill out on the beach and do different walks each day.

    • Isaac

      September 18, 2013 at 6:23 AM

      Is this christina dometakis of wellington?? haha

  23. Amanda

    August 19, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    Sooooo pretty. This is one place in Italy I definitely HAVE to go to!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      Make sure you stay a couple of days at least to experience it properly. Such a beautiful part of our world.

  24. Sharif

    August 21, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    What I found disappointing about 5T and Liguria in general, is that just about every swimmable spot is crammed with boats. So, you end up swimming in water coated with motor oil unless you go to someplace like Lavagna. In Portofino, I saw a fisherman blatantly dump nasty bilge water in the bay. Maybe I have been spoiled by places like Dominica and Greece, but I don’t find the Italian Riveria to be anything that special. Even less so now that the tourist hordes have descended en masse. Of course, August is probably not a good time to go, but I did not have a choice there.

    BTW, I believe it was Rick Steves who put 5T on the tourist horde radar.

    Lovely pics though.

    Cheers

    • Cole Burmester

      August 23, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      Haven’t been to Greece or Dominica yet but hopefully will next year. Greece has been on our travel list for years so it is great to hear that it is more beautiful than the 5T’s 🙂

  25. Sharif

    August 24, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Greece is amazing. You can still find lovely and largely unspoiled and uncrowded beaches on any one of the hundreds of Greek Islands 🙂

    The food and people are great too. Plus it is fun to island hop using the ferries and experience the uniqueness of each island, esp. the Dodecanese.

  26. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    September 2, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    My favorite souvenirs of Cinque Terre are the beautiful granite rocks that washed along the shore of Monterosso al Mare.

  27. bridgette

    September 24, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Spent a week here in September 2009. The weather was patchy, but I come from Melbourne soooo.., We stayed in Monterosso al Mare. It was one of the best weeks I have spent anywhere. The whole area is unbelieveably beautiful. Monterosso and Monterosso al Mare are amongst my favourite places and I’d head back in an instant!

  28. Marco Fiori

    December 28, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    It’s a beautiful part of Italy, but I much prefer nearby Lerici – it’s a wonderful bay, isn’t as overcrowded and still offers stunning views. It’s also a lot more affordable and in high season, priced. Still, you can’t really complain at Cinque Terre.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Hadn’t heard of Lerici. Thanks for letting us know about it Marco 🙂 Will hopefully get a chance to explore it one day soon!

  29. Dana

    January 13, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Gorgeous photos! We are headed to Italy for the first time this summer and I’m busy dreaming…

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      I hope you make it to Cinque Terre then Dana because it was a dream destination! Did you see our other Italy posts? We had quite a few 😉

  30. Abi

    September 25, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    nice pics. yeah i was there as well and managed to get some pics myself that i posted on the blog.

  31. Laura

    December 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Great post. We’ve been to Italy three times and still haven’t made it to Cinque Terre but your photos make me want to elevate it on the list!

  32. Mr.Loto

    March 20, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    I’ve been to Cinque Terre two days ago, I walked the path Moterosso-Vernazza and I loved it.

  33. Pingback: Recommended travel tip: Train to Cinque Terre from Pisa

  34. Pingback: Meet Adela May and Her Trespass Harket 35 - Her Packing List

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Europe

5 European Cities to Visit in the Dead of Winter

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As one of the most polarizing seasons, winter could be termed as both a blessing and a curse by those who like making the most out of nature.

After all, while it brings about the opportunity to build snowmen and to ski on magnificent ice slopes, it also brings a chill to the bone and a desire to never get away from the fireplace.

Don’t forget about the hot chocolate either.

That is why, when it comes to vacationing in winter, it gets quite difficult to choose from a location – especially when the destination is as diverse in climate as Europe. Do you select a place that’s sunny and warm? Or somewhere that lets you enjoy the ice and cold in the best ways possible?

To make that decision easier for you, here are 5 European cities that you could visit in the dead of winter, with the assurance that you would come out of the vacation phase with a smile on your face.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a city that is synonymous with sunshine, warmth, and some of the world’s most breathtaking architecture.

The temperature rarely drops below 45 degrees even in the coldest months of the year. While the sunshine remains present amidst the rainy days. This means that you can enjoy the best effects of winter without having to endure the worst of them.

If you happen to be a fan of football, then these effects can be increased by several times. This beautiful city is home to one of the greatest football clubs of all time and with Barcelona FC in contention for a championship virtually every year, odds are you’ll be walking out with a smile on your face after watching a win. Not a bad way to take a break from the beach!

Athens, Greece

While you wouldn’t be able to go to Mount Olympus’ mythical version in this day and age, you can still experience Greece’s magnificence through the beautiful city of Athens.

Like Barcelona, Athens also sees rare drops in temperature while being consistent around 45 degrees throughout the heaviest months in winter. With the architecture that you can experience under the sun, this weather can actually be ideal for an exploratory walk.

And if you are a fan of Greek food, then checking out local restaurants for authentic dishes would only add to the overall experience of your trip.

Venice, Italy

Since Italy is full of some of the most breathtaking architecture in the world, it would be quite debatable to say that Venice is the crown jewel of the country in terms of structural beauty.

But it is.

From the way that the city has been designed to the manner that the buildings have been developed, Venice remains a breathtaking sight for anyone who visits it.

That remains true even in the months of winter, where the does drop to around 30 degrees, but still provides the tourists and inhabitants with a way to enjoy the magnificent sights under the sun.

Zugspitze, Germany

Germany is considered to be one of the coldest countries in Europe, but it is a good thing for those who enjoy a bit of snow during their travels.

And for those who do, there are perhaps not many places that are as marvelous as Zugspitze in terms of a memorable winter experience.

With snow covered mountains and a temperature that dances around -14 degrees in winter, you can enjoy an array of winter sports such as skiing, sledding, and snowboarding to your heart’s desire. If you are one to enjoy snow and everything good there is about the season of winter, then Zugspitze is the place to go.

Marseilles, France

While Paris gets quite cold in winter without the weather enhancing any effects of life within the city, Marseille seems to be quite the opposite. The city is as lively in the winter as it is during its busiest days in summer, with plenty to do in adjacent areas.

You may visit the many architectural sites and tourist attractions in Marseilles itself, but you can add to that experience when you choose to visit the Christmas markets in Aix en Provence or Avignon.

With that, the many warm and steamy French soups and bouillon based dishes that you can enjoy in Marseilles only add to the trip. This means that by the time you are done with your visit to Marseilles, you are bound to be fed well, have some goods in your shopping bags, and some memorable pictures in your phone to boot.

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Europe

Even the Most Expensive Cities Have Cheaper Alternatives: Paris

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According to the results of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Worldwide Cost of Living” survey, Singapore, Paris, Zurich, Hong Kong, and Oslo are the most expensive places to live – and visit – this year. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit them, though – actually if your budget allows it, you should cross them off your bucket list as soon as you can. But this doesn’t mean you have to break all your piggy banks and sell your soul only to spend a weekend in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Unless you’re adamant that it’s “Paris or bust”, there are alternatives to this crowded and top-dollar destination you might want to consider – and start saving for your dream trip nonetheless.

Lyon

Lyon has a history of almost two millennia, and it shows: the remains of the Roman settlement Lugdunum, built at the confluence of the rivers Saône and Rhône, are showing to this day. Lyon might not be a capital city – it doesn’t have the size or the population – but its role in the everyday life of France was always important, both as a trade and a cultural hub.

The city has many gorgeous sights to see, like the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the Tour Métallique (a tall TV tower that replicates the top of the Eiffel Tower), among others, covering every age from the birth of the city to its modern times. Plus, it has museums, parks, gardens, and a street art group that has been designated the cultural ambassador for the city. Not to mention its cuisine, the unique and popular Lyonnaise cuisine that has become a worldwide sensation.

Lille

A relatively small city in the north of France, Lille is another charming alternative to a crowded and overpriced Paris. It features many distinct architectural styles, most of them with a clear Flemish influence. Among its landmarks, you find its Cathedral (Basilique-cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille), its Citadel, its palaces, and gardens. Lille is also the place with the biggest flea market in Europe – Braderie de Lille takes place on the first Sunday of September, with millions of attendees and over 10,000 sellers gathering in the streets of the city. It’s a charming, agreeable, and colorful city that will offer its visitors a beautiful experience.

Strasbourg

Last but not least, let us mention a city with a double significance – on one hand, it’s the official seat of the European Parliament, on the other, it’s a wonderful place to visit and a great alternative to an overcrowded Paris.

Strasbourg is a place where French and German architecture mingle in a unique way, with an Old Town filled with timber-framed houses surrounding typical French landmarks and churches. It also has many notable parks, some with historic significance, and almost too many museums for its small size. Plus, it’s a distinctively multicultural city where visitors will find it easy to fit in.

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Europe

Let’s Do A Road Trip In Europe Fin

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Its that time of year again. It is the holidays and vacation, mirth and much merriment is upon us. Those of us who are lucky are able to take a few days to a few weeks off for vacation and can enjoy it abroad or do a staycation. A trip abroad is probably preferred, there’s so much to see and do, it would a pity to while the days away in your own hometown.

Get a move on, grab your bags, get a ticket and jump on a plane to Europe. When you get there, rest for a bit and begin your road trip. Nothing beats traveling on the road and taking all the sights that nature has to offer while stopping by at different locations.

Remember, a road trip can be very feasible and pleasant if it is done right. Make sure to have your car inspected, checked and ready to go for a long distance road trip.

You’ll want to make sure that you have your oil checked and your tires as well. Proper tires from suppliers such as Kwik Fit will get you squared away and ready to hit the road.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Grossglockner

One of the top places that you’ll want to go is in Austria. There’s this little spot called Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, this spot is one that is talked about by road trip aficionados of all kinds.

The Grossglockner is the opposite of what it sounds like, it’s not gross at all, it’s quite pleasant actually.  The path will take you through different sights ranging from mountain tops to rivers, to rock formations and more. What’s fun about this place is that you will also be able to have different changes in the road itself, it is not just one straight path but one that is filled with turns and changes to keep you from getting bored.

Italy and the Amalfi Coast

Italy is a place that won’t disappoint, it has food, culture, and history to keep you company. Italy also has beautiful sights all over too. One of the best places to drive through would be the Amalfi Coast.

The Amalfi Coast has everything you could possibly want, beaches, cliffs, and beautiful fishing villages. The place is not only beautiful in nature but in culture as well. One can check out the Cathedrals, Villa Rufolo, engage in some boat tours for a quick respite from their road trip and also view the Sirenuse from afar.

Portugal – The Estoril Coast

Drive from Italy, pass by countries such as France, Spain and reach the destination of Portugal. You will find the climate and the overall setting over here to be appealing.  On your way to this beautiful place, make sure to check out popular spots such as Lisbon and other prominent locations such as Sintra. The Estoril Coast was home to the nobility of ages past and even to those that we see as nobility today, celebrities, wealthy people and tourists with a couple of euros or dollars to their name stop by this place and immerse themselves in the manmade and natural attractions that this place has to offer.

Don’t Hesitate, Time Stands Still For No One

Time is slipping, check out budget and look into which part of Europe you want to stick to. Make the decision and take the trip, it will be a great refreshment and you will be glad you were able to have the experience. Take a few snapshots and indulge in the experience of #RoadtripsofEurope

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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