Cinque Terra Alternatives?

My husband and I are going to be travelling in Spain and France this fall. I was really hoping to be able to take a side trip to Italy to visit Cinque Terra. However I think we would be way too rushed. Are there any coastal communities in Spain north of Barcelona or southern France that have a similar feeling? I would appreciate any suggestions of places to visit. We will have three free days.
Thanks!

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
306 posts

The Cinque Terre is so unique and amazing that if there is another comparable place out there, I have not found it. Maybe someone else has been to a place on your route that they could recommend but after two trips to Spain and three to France, I would not have a comparable place to recommend. Having said that, I am a big believer in not squeezing in too much if you don't have to. To really enjoy the Cinque Terre, you should stay two nights and a full day. If you can't do that, then maybe just do it on another trip.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4859 posts

I don't know of a place in France or Spain that feels like the C.T., but I wouldn't travel all the way to Italy to spend that amount of time there. I really enjoyed Collioure, located on the coast of France just north of Spain.

Posted by Jane
Lebanon
605 posts

Another vote for Collioure. Great little town and many drives in the area.We drove there in the Fall from Provence and then came back to Paris through Carcassonne and up through the Aveyron and the Charolais-Brionnais region. Beautiful areas...

Posted by Baz
Brisbane, Australia
43 posts

I agree with the others – this stretch of coast is not like the CT but even so it has some nice unspoilt villages. If you have the time and a car start at Cadaques in Northern Spain, it's a fair way off the main road but – a beautiful white washed village that was home to Salvador Dali – make sure you visit his house – it's unique. Head north to Colera & Port Bou, then cross the French border to Cerbere, Banyous sur Mere and finally Collioure.
We walked the coastal path from Collioure to Cadaques – a memorable trip staying at all the above villages.

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
905 posts

Another option could be Cassis. Not exactly Cinque Terra, but it's very picturesque. You didn't say what your itinerary was, but if you're traveling from Nice to Barcelona, you could stop two nights in Cassis and one night in Collioure (or vice versa) and see them both.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4859 posts

Cassis is a great suggestion. It's not very close to Spain so I didn't suggest it. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but if it's on your route it is a wonderful place.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7176 posts

A short train ride north of Barcelona will get you into Costa Brava - somewhere on the stretch between Arenys de Mar and Tossa de Mar would be my suggestion. By a ticket to Tossa, the train runs up the coast. When you spot something that seems perfect, get off and find a place to stay (it won't be as hard as you might think). If it were me (just one way to do it), I'd find a cafe or bar with WiFi (Starbucks or McDonalds in a pinch), use my Ipod touch to find some local lodging options (probably using tripadvisor), and my local cell phone to call for availability. Costa Brava isn't the same as CT. It's more populated, less about hiking, but has better beaches. The similarity is nice little towns and beautiful views.