On the morning of our second day in Cinque Terre, we set out to explore the 5 villages. What's really fun, and quite convenient, is there are several different options for getting around:
- A train zips back and forth between the towns all day, for which you can purchase an unlimited pass and ride as often as you like. The departure/arrival timetable is incredibly confusing and the (limited) signs are strictly in Italian, but it's fun to attempt to decipher them both.
- An endless tangle of hiking trails links the towns, with miles and miles of route choices - direct paths from one village to the next, winding mountain routes that will take you from the northernmost point to the southernmost and every option in between. Some of the trails are very steep and a bit dangerous while others are flat, leisurely walks along the ocean, so you can choose to go as strenuous or as relaxing as you wish.
- Water taxis can transport you from one town to the next, but are a bit pricey and travel is understandably slower. According to our beloved Rick Steves, the best view of the towns is from a water approach. Kat and Kait opted to do this at one point during the day and said it was lovely. The rest of us stuck to dry ground and spent our time happily sitting in cafes.
We decided to catch the train to the southernmost town and begin our explorations there, working our way back throughout the day. Riomaggiore is an incredibly colorful town built right to the edge of the water, with rocky cliffs leading the way down to the harbor. The narrow roads snake along the hillside and wandering will often reward you with discovering a beautiful, rarely stumbled upon square or adorable hole-in-the-wall cafe.
Oooh bad boys.
Exiting through the tunnel above (where DVC is about to walk) revealed the viewpoint below,
our first glimpse of the quaint little harbor. Gorgeous.