Cinque Terre • Paradise on earth

I have officially found my paradise on Earth. Cinque Terre. There are no words to describe how amazing this place is.

It is postcard perfect in every way but it is so much more than that.

I love everything about these little villages, their brightly covered facades are an easily defined beauty however, there is a hearty nature; hidden only for those who wish to find it.

I love the way the buildings are literally stacked on top of each other, creating tiny walkways that creep this way and that, often dominated by ridiculously precarious-looking steps, leading down to rocky marinas, littered with bodies spade out on the rocks, soaking up the sun.

The atmosphere, always friendly, and the people, always smiling. No cars or Vespas pollute the streets, save the occasional carabinieri (police) which glides among the people, stopping frequently to chat with the locals, as a woman window washing, turns to playfully wash the windshield.

The way the people hang their washing out of their 3rd-floor windows, cats lounging in every nook and cranny, the chimes from the town bell, perched atop the hill, that ring out at seemingly random times.

Old Italian men, enjoying their cigarettes in classic European style, high up on their rooftop terrace, looking down, observing those below.

Though clearly filled with intrigued tourists, the town still holds true. The locals are not threatened, yet are extremely welcoming and kind to foreigners, they do not get frustrated when you cannot decide which pasta to have for dinner, and joke along with you about your Italian language “skills” (numbers 1-10 plus around 6 other essentials).

It is a holiday spot shared equally by tourists and Italians alike, no one tries to take supremacy.

A group of elderly men, sit patiently with their walking sticks in the morning sun, commenting to every Italian that walks by, pointing lost tourists in the direction of the train station, and warning parents of the spilled food in the middle of the footpath which their children, not able to see over the stroller are about to guide it through.

Judging by the amount of time it took to walk 10 meters, it must be difficult for these fantastically Italian men to maneuver any other part of this steeply sloped village. So they have found their purpose on the flat.

Stepping into Cinque Terre feels like I have stepped into another country, one more foreign than any I have already encountered on my travels. A simple place where things are just, right…

There is something truly unique about this hidden gem and I hope that more people get to experience it’s magic without it fading.

I hope you enjoy a few of the pictures I snapped during my time in this magical place.

Helpful Resources - My favorite place to find the perfect hotel for any budget and location with lots of filters to easily narrow it down to a select few. - Another great place to find a hotel with specific requirements for your trip.
Agoda - Best for booking hotels in Asia. Has options worldwide however in Asia it seems to have the most options of all the booking sites.
Hostelworld - Perfect for backpackers, Hostelworld is my go-to to find dorm rooms and cheap, social accommodation options.
Rental Cars - My preferred place to find rental cars at great prices around the world.
Discover Car Hire - Another option to compare rental car companies and providers worldwide.
Sixt - Previously “Thrifty” car rentals.
Europcar - Offers car and van hire around the world.
AutoEurope - Best place to find RV’s to rent for your trip.
Paul Camper - Rent campervans directly from their owners at reduced prices.
Get Your Guide - My preference for finding and comparing city tours, day trips and attractions around the world.
Viator - Preferred by US providers so sometimes has a bigger range of activities in select locations.
Klook - Most popular in Asia, you will find a bigger range of attractions and tours in the region of Asia on Klook.
Civitatis - Specializing in European Cities. Although it provides tours worldwide, always check here for additional options if visiting Europe.
HeadOut - Best place to find discounted attraction tickets.
Tiqets - Offers a lot of combo tickets. Make sure to visit if you are planning on visiting a few iconic attractions within a city.
Tripaneer - Where to go if you want to book retreats of any kind (yoga, cycling, outdoors etc).
Guru Walks - Book your spot on a free walking tour.
G Adventure - Lets you compare multi day tours around the world to pick the right itinerary for you.
Cruise Critic - Check out the different cruise options for long or short trips world wide.
Cruise Direct - Another option for comparing and booking cruises for your trip.
Backcountry - The best place to buy quality specialized gear that will last you for years of adventures.
Helly Hanson - Norwegian based clothing brand which produces durable outdoor clothing, particularly ski gear.
The North Face - High quality clothing for all your outdoor adventure needs.
Decathlon - Has a great range of cheap equipment and clothing for a huge range of sports and outdoor activities.
Sport Chek - Everything you need for general sports and outdoor adventures under one roof (or website).
Skyscanner - My preferred place to compare and find the cheapest flights to different destinations around the world.
Kiwi - Best platform for comparing different routes and dates.
Flixbus - Cheapest bus service mostly serving Europe but available in a few other destinations.
Greyhound - US long distance bus transport service.
Busbud - Compare and find all the bus times and providers for your chosen route.
Trainline - Find train times and tickets for long distance travel around the world.
Save a train - Another place to get train tickets and compare services for your destination.
Welcome Pickups - Pre book your airport transfer to your hotel.
Get Transfer - Another option to find airport transfers within your destination city.
Kiwi Taxi - Find and pre-book a taxi service in your location (including airport transfers).
World Nomads - Great comprehensive worldwide travel insurance for adventure travel.
SafetyWing - Best for digital nomads, offers ongoing monthly travel insurance plans.
Bonzah - Rental car insurance. Cheaper plans than those offered by the rental car companies themselves.

Bags Always Packed is a reader-supported site which means some of the links on this page may be affiliates. I spend a lot of time researching these hotels, tours and products and only recommend those which I would use myself. Booking your trip through my links is a great way for you to support my work for free, as I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. ♡

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Kate is the outdoor loving, mountain obsessed creator behind Since the age of 18 she has travelled to 50+ countries in search of the tallest peaks, new cultures, and the most off the track experiences possible. With over 10 years of adventures under her belt, Kate is dedicated to sharing all her experience through this website, helping you to plan your own trips and experience the world, no matter your budget!

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