If you don’t know anything about Cinque Terre, there are five villages and each one is unique. This place is a gorgeous beach town!! I decided to stay in Monterosso. Monterosso is the largest of the five (which isn’t saying much) and probably the most ‘crowded’. It is also, the only village with an actual beach. I knew that I wanted to go to Cinque Terre and spend a day or two relaxing on the beach. For this reason, I thought it would be silly to stay in a different village. The one downside is that during the day, a lot of boat tours full of people get dropped off to spend the day roaming around. The great news about this is that the people get back on their boat before dinner time and the place is super quiet and peaceful. I stand by my decision to stay in this village.
Ok, if you are coming to Cinque Terre, you should probably do some hiking. All five villages are connected and able to be hiked. There are tons of hikes you can do, starting from one town to another, or all the towns, or whatever you prefer- it’s up to you! This is a great way to see the other villages. There is also a metro that easily connects the villages if hiking really isn’t your thing. I did a lot of research on hikes and I heard that the hike from Monterosso to Vernazza (the next town) was arguably the most rewarding in terms of views. It’s probably also the most challenging but totally worth it! You can climb up steep steps and hills and things but the view upon getting into Vernazza is amazing (see picture). The hike takes less than two hours and then you can spend time in Vernazza or move onto the next town.
As I mentioned, Monterosso is the only village with a beach. Most people don’t spend the time here to sit back and relax. Happily, that was not the case for me. You can rent chairs and umbrellas for an affordable price and reserve your spot on the beach for the day. If you go in the morning, you can get the best spot in front! There are two different beaches to relax at and the beach I chose was the one directly next to my hotel. It was super convenient to go back and forth if I needed something in my room, needed the rest room etc. I also just thought this was a less crowded, nicer beach. There is a beach bar/shack here as well where you can order drinks, sandwiches and other food. It hit the spot! I really enjoyed my time soaking in those Mediterranean sea views and sun rays!
There are a few boat cruises that you can do that take you from village to village so you get the vantage point from the sea. Although I didn’t do this, we did hire a private boat to bring us from one village to the next and I wish we had done more. It’s such a fun way to get out and explore!
DA ERALDO Eraldo
This restaurant is amazing! First off, it’s super small, so when you get to Cinque Terre on your first day, walk to the restaurant and pick a time to reserve a table for the night or next. The food here is delicious and the service is great. Cinque Terre, in general, is a major tourist destination and the city thrives off your business. They make you feel welcome, it’s really nice!
TRATTORIA CIAK LA LAMPARA
I actually had a reservation at this restaurant and canceled it. I am still regretting it. If you walk by you can look see into the city at everything they are making, and it looked and smelled delicious. I’ve heard amazing things about their Pesto. I definitely would have went if I could re-do this one!
My family and I stayed in this hotel and had a wonderful experience. There were 6 of us traveling and they had a quad room available, and for those traveling in larger groups, you can appreciate how amazing that is! The rooms are nice, a little small but you can understand why when you visit, space is limited! The location of this hotel could not be better. It is directly on the beach and every room has an ocean view and some have balconies. Each morning there is a pretty delicious breakfast spread which I took full advantage of and loved it! The one thing I will note is that a lot of the reviews mentioned sleeping with their windows open to hear the waves while they fell asleep. I was very excited about this but when we arrived, we realized the train is literally right next to the hotel and it runs very late into the evening (3am I think) and it is pretty loud. If you keep the window's closed it's not a big deal but I couldn't believe that no one had mentioned that it is again right there. This would not have changed my decision to stay at this hotel and it shouldn't change yours either, just be aware of it. The service, the location, and the quality were amazing and if I return this is where I will stay again. Enjoy!!!