This year go on a holiday of a lifetime and visit the beautiful region of Cinque Terre in Italy. Just to the west of the city of La Spezia, this region of the Italian Rivera is ideal for all; from those looking for a quiet romantic getaway or a luxurious family retreat, this rugged portion of coast has it all.
Lying on the many perfect beaches you can be rest assured that it will be quiet and without the spoils of more populated and well known areas of Europe. There are many spectacular sunbathing and swimming spots dotting along the coast, take time to explore the different hiking and coastal paths and you are sure to find the perfect spot of golden sand and crystal clear sea.
Walking and hiking.
Hiring a car can be a great option when holidaying in the Cinque Terre as it allows you to see each and every one of the villages and the coastal beauty that lies between them. But also you should considering taking the train as it is a stress free option, a local tourist train takes you to all villages.
One of the most popular routes for those on a romantic break is the aptly named Lovers’ Walk or Via dell’Amore, but there is more if you are up for exploring. Head into Riomaggiore and look for the start of the Blue Trail, or Sentiero Azzurro. A five hour long hiking route that connects each village, between Riomaggiore and Manarola there is a simple stretch of trial that requires just a leisurely stroll rather than a hard hike. In between the romantic nooks and awe inspiring views you will find some of the best swimming and sunbathing spots, perfect to show off your designer swimwear.
The Guvano beach – only if you dare
Looking for the ultimate in relaxation and sunbathing heaven? Then head to the secret beach. The beach of Guvano, is host to a little known secret amongst the locals – Guvano is a secluded beach between Corniglia and Vernazza. This one is certainly for the more adventurous couples looking for something a bit different – the beach is described as ‘clothing optional’.
Access to this secluded location is gained through a secretive tunnel – you’ll know you are in the right place when you see a crudely painted naked figure above the entrance.
Almost as if you test your resolve to reach then beach you’ll then have to edge your way through a darkened tunnel for about a kilometre – be careful it can get slippery – while the noise of a train going through a nearby tunnel is enough to think the end might be nigh.
Keep on pressing ahead into the darkness despite the impending feeling you may be about to walk straight into a pole, eventually it will open up and you will realise that it has all been worth it as you are greeted by beams of light and leafy green trees.
Be warned a gatekeeper will be sitting nearby and may try and charge you but the beach is free to use but you will have to pay to use the tunnel, so you might want to hand him a tip for letting you through.
After all your troubles you will be greeted by the most idyllic spot for sunbathing (swimwear or not…) and taking in the surroundings. The piercing blue seas lap a pebble grey shore and the water is beautifully warm for a late afternoon swim. The trek down is treacherous so be careful, but you will certainly be rewarded for all your efforts.
The best way to navigate this beautifully diverse area is to talk amongst your fellow travellers so don’t be backwards in coming forwards to converse with your fellow travellers and swap tips when you get there – beforehand, TripAdvisor has an excellent section on the Cinque Terre as well as an informative forum which should help you find out everything you need to know before you leave.
But, you only need one tip – Keep your sunglasses and sun cream at the ready for a holiday to the Cinque Terre in Italy, as the sun sea and sand will be beckoning you wherever you stay in this Mediterranean paradise.
By Peter South at http://www.lilylola.com/