What is a good amount of time to spend in the Cinque Terre. I am debating between 2 or 3 days, then to Naples and Amalfi Coast. Joolz
Thanks Roberto, I too like the sea. What's your favorite beach? I'm not into spending 20 euro for an umbrella and chair.
Julia, My suggestion would be three days (or more). You may find after you arrive that you wish you'd booked more time. As Roberto mentioned, I could also easily spend two weeks there. That area makes a good "home base" for exploring various places in that region. Monterosso has the best and largest sandy beaches of all the five towns. While a portion of the beaches are "pay-per-use" with rentable lounge chairs and umbrellas, other parts are free. As I recall, some hotels may offer reduced prices for their guests who wish to use the chairs, so that may be something to consider when you choose a hotel (I'd have to do some checking to refresh my memory on which hotels might offer that). Happy travels!
It depends on how much time you have and how much you like the sea. I could easily spend two weeks there.
You don't need to spend anything on umbrellas and chairs. The portion of the beach closest to the water is always free and in Monterosso the beach next to the big rock (it's a big rock about 15 feet high in front of the beach) is free. If you don't use the equipment of the 'bagno' establishment (such as chairs or umbrella) you don't have to pay anything. There will be some 'smart-pants' that will try to take advantage of foreign tourists and tell you that you have to pay 5 or 10 euro to sit there. Don't pay anything. They are swindlers. They try with me sometimes thinking I'm an American tourist. In my case I generally tell them I'm a former Carabiniere and proceed to actually call the carabinieri (the Monterosso carabinieri's number is 0187 803684, save it in your phone). That is generally enough to see them disappear from my face until I leave the beach. Every time I see them walking around talking to tourists I call them and show them my cell phone. That is generally enough to stay very far away from my face. I know they hate my guts, but I love messing with them.
Thanks Ken and Roberto, I decided on 4 nights. It is always so hard to decide how long to be in one place. Joolz
@Roberto, "They try with me sometimes thinking I'm an American tourist. In my case I generally tell them I'm a former Carabiniere and proceed to actually call the carabinieri" LOL! That's a great tactic for getting rid of scammers! Unfortunately, my Italian skills aren't good enough to use the same method. The Carabinieri seem to be the "elite" of Italian police forces, so I'm sure just the mention of them "puts the fear of god" in the criminal element. Cheers!
I live temporarily in Italy and cant get the hotels in Monterosso to tell me if they will "help" with umbrella, letti or not. clearly I don't know how to ask the Italian way to get an "American" answer:)) Do you know if there are any beach hotels there that have their own umbrellas? My experience is the Naples/Amalfi Coast is a week at least in itself, expecially if you do Pompei or Herculaneum. My opinion is that Sorrento is more pleasant than Naples- the Circumvesuviana rail is a victim of the economic downturn and has a hard time keeping on schedule and cancels trains without announcing. If you get stuck, get creative and take the bus from the Naples airport to the various towns near Naples. Amalfi Coast is best seen in a car- preferably driven by someone else.
@Margo, "Most importantly, the trails are closed right now between the 5 towns" Just to clarify, the No. 2 trail from Monterosso to Vernazza has now been re-opened. It's expected that one of the other No. 2 trails will be back in operation very shortly (but not sure about the others). Cheers!
Hi Julie~ I just got home from a week in the Cinque Terre area. For me a couple of days wouldn't be enough but I was traveling for months. My suggestions is stay as long as you can. Most importantly, the trails are closed right now between the 5 towns but there are many more to hike and the boat is running, inexpensive and lovely. We took it all the way to Portovenere and loved it. Also, we no longer stay in the 5 towns as there are so so so many tourists. We stay in a family owned and run hotel in Moneglia which is a hidden gem in the area. the rates are super good and both dinner and breakfast are included. Ask for a balcony room overlooking the sea. It's the perfect way to relax at the end of a busy day of sightseeing, swimming, kayaking or boating....on the balcony with a Cinque Terre wine. http://www.hotelmaggiore.it/
Thanks to all of you for your helpful information. I leave in a week!!! Joolz