Cinque Terre

For those of you who’ve never heard of it, Cinque Terre is a small piece of the western Italian coast consisting of five small towns nestled amongst hills and sea cliffs. I stayed in the tiny town of Biassa, which is outside of Cinque Terre itself and thus wonderfully devoid of tourists. I spent two days hiking in and around Cinque Terre, and they might just have been the two most spectacular days of hiking I’ve ever done. Honestly can’t recommend this place enough if you like to to use your legs.

Biassa. Pretty much all of it.

Biassa. Pretty much all of it.

Questionable lunch choices.

Questionable lunch choices.

The hostel in Biassa has a convenient shuttle service that runs to Riomaggiore; the first of the five towns. From there, I took a train to Monterosso (the last town), with the intention of hiking all the way back to Riomaggiore and visiting all the towns in between. I picked a particularly ambitious trail which went way up into the mountains between each town. It was glorious.

I can’t describe just how good this hike was. Stunning views and incredible paths at every junction. And of course, in between all the hill climbing you get to visit these incredible little Italian towns. Fascinatingly, they are all situated on incredibly steep terrain with mazy passages of steps linking everything together. Really fun to explore. Although I didn’t do any swimming myself, all of the towns had awesome looking swimming areas and beaches. All pretty paradisaical around there.

What a beach! Just look at that water!

What a beach! Just look at that water!

Lovely accordion busker on the hiking trail.

Lovely accordion busker on the hiking trail.

Forest tunnel!

Forest tunnel!

Found a cat shrine. Finally, some cat content for my blog.

Found a cat shrine. Finally, some cat content for my blog.

Looking back on Monterosso.

Looking back on Monterosso.

Vernazza roofs.

Vernazza roofs.

The incredible town of Vernazza.

The incredible town of Vernazza.

Such cool paths.

Such cool paths.

SUCH. COOL. PATHS.

SUCH. COOL. PATHS.

Approaching Corniglia.

Approaching Corniglia.

Looking back from Corniglia. This was about half way, and you can barely even see Monterosso in the distance!

Looking back from Corniglia. This was about half way, and you can barely even see Monterosso in the distance!

More stunning paths.

More stunning paths.

Looking back at Corniglia. Much altitude was gained and then lost between towns.

Looking back at Corniglia. Much altitude was gained and then lost between towns.

On the way yo Manarola. These photos do no justice to the place at all!

On the way yo Manarola. These photos do no justice to the place at all!

Look at these amazing terraced vineyards!

Look at these amazing terraced vineyards!

Many steps were ascended.

Many steps were ascended.

What an adorable little town! Just nestled there like that :3

What an adorable little town! Just nestled there like that :3

Manarola!

Manarola!

Really fun exploring these mazey corridors and stairways.

Really fun exploring these mazey corridors and stairways.

The sand grains were larger than I'm used to. But otherwise, this is a pretty nice beach spot.

The sand grains were larger than I’m used to. But otherwise, this is a pretty nice beach spot.

The next day, I got a tip from on of the guys working at the hostel. He said that instead of going back to Cinque Terre, I should hike from Biassa to Porto Venere and then catch a ferry back to Riomaggiore. And so I did exactly that!

This hike was more inland, so it didn’t have as many crazy coastal views or vineyards, but it was still an exceptionally good hike in the forest. And I didn’t see a single other sole on it. Perfect.

This is nice. A good forest, I would say.

This is nice. A good forest, I would say.

Hiking through the forest to Porto Venere.

Hiking through the forest to Porto Venere.

Found this cool lookout tower.

Found this cool lookout tower.

Found some climbing! Soloed up to the second bolt.

Found some climbing! Soloed up to the second bolt.

Looking down on La Spezia from the mountain.

Looking down on La Spezia from the mountain.

Approaching Porto Venere.

Approaching Porto Venere.

Selfie with Porto Venere.

Selfie with Porto Venere.

As it turns out, Porto Venere is pretty spectacular too. It has a rather scenically positioned church and a massive castle to explore. And the ferry ride back to Riomaggiore was absolutely gorgeous too.

Selfie with castle and super cool church.

Selfie with castle and super cool church.

Seriously, what an amazing spot for a church!

Seriously, what an amazing spot for a church!

Porto Venere castle.

Porto Venere castle.

Ramparts.

Ramparts.

Did I mention how cool this church is?

Did I mention how cool this church is?

Ferrying back to Riomaggiore. Such beautiful coast line.

Ferrying back to Riomaggiore. Such beautiful coast line.

I spent the next day just hanging out in La Spezia and Verona waiting for busses. Yay, transportation!

Optimizing my ice cream intake.

Optimizing my ice cream intake.

Purdy waters.

Purdy waters.

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