Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Milan and the chaos of city-life? Lucky for you, located just 3 hours away from Milan is a stretch of heaven on Earth called Cinque Terre. Taking a day trip from Milan to Cinque Terre makes for the perfect getaway as you get to explore the rich Italian countryside, the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding hillsides, all in one single day. Since this is a day-trip, you will arrive back in Milan the same evening, allowing you the flexibility and the time to enjoy the ‘fashion capital’ of the world a bit more. So say goodbye to the rush of Milan and say hello to picture-perfect Italian countryside, even if it is just for one day.
What Makes Cinque Terre Special
Cinque Terre is what comes to mind when someone says the word “paradise”. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in an isolated and seductive corner of the Italian Riviera and is comprised of 5 small, picturesque and lazy towns. With absolutely no traffic and full of jovial locals (tourists as well), you get to enjoy the quintessential Italian experience - sun, sand, sea, wine and happiness.
What makes this place so charming is its unique location and also noticeably, its lack of corporate development. The 5 villages - Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are etched perfectly into the steep and rugged hills, overlooking the enchanting Mediterranean Sea. Since this place has been relatively untouched by modern-man, it has managed to retain its rustic and rural aura, which only further adds to its allure. Once you are here, you can enjoy activities like swimming, hiking, boating and even simply being, in what truly is Mother Nature’s gift to mankind
Choosing Between Self Visits & Guided Tours
One of the most common questions that crosses every tourists’ mind is whether to take a self-guided tour or a guided tour with a professional guide. Although both are thoroughly enjoyable and informative in their own way, there are certain differences that one must consider before making this decision. Let’s dive into these differences and see which makes more sense for you:
One of the key factors in deciding which tour to take is definitely the cost. For a day trip like this, there are quite a few costs involved including transportation, food, boat rides etc. Although a self-guided tour may appear cheaper on the surface, there are lot of other aspects to account for, including the time and energy taken to find the right mode of transportation, procuring these tickets, finding out where exactly to go and what not. For a short trip like this, a guided tour makes the most sense.
Company of a Guide
Never underestimate the comfort of having a good, local guide. More often than not, these guides have a full-time job of helping tourists explore the area and learn more about its history. Since they do this day in and day out, they will have the utmost knowledge of where to go and what to see and more importantly, what not to see.
Hassle Free Experience
No one wants to waste precious time on their vacation planning and organizing tours for themselves. Taking a guided tour completely eliminates this from the equation as they take care of everything. However, if you did do research beforehand and know exactly what you want to do and see, a self-guided tour is the way to go.
It is well known that in popular tourist destinations and attractions, there is an abundance of tricksters and scamsters just waiting to take you for a ride, especially if you are in a foreign country. By taking a guided tour and being a part of a group, you can save yourself from these troubles and enjoy the tour without any stress of losing your money.
Not Missing Out on Anything
With a guided tour you have the added advantage of not missing out on any of the key sights and attractions, as you will be travelling with a local expert. On the flipside, if you are traveling on your own, you may very well come across something that is not there in the tourist magazines and discover a new place yourself.
Day Trip From Milan To Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre Day Trip from Milan
• Take a relaxing day tour from Milan to the world famous Cinque Terre
• Enjoy round trip transfers to and from Milan in air-conditioned luxury coach
• Spend the day exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site and traverse through its 5 quaint villages
• Take a 90-minute cruise from Monterosso and witness the breathtaking views from ‘The Gulf of Poets’
• Explore the countless vineyards and beaches that make up the Italian Riviera
• Get information on the locals, their culture and history from your English-speaking guide
• Relax on the train journey from Monterosso to Vernazza and La Spezia
• Finally, reflect and unwind on your way back to Milan from La Spezia
Get set for a day of absolute fun, exploration, good food and great wine as you leave the city life of Milan behind for the sun and sands of Cinque Terre, in this one day trip. Find you way to the meeting point at the Milan Visitor Centre and hop aboard the luxury coach as you make your way to the countryside. As your driver takes the scenic route, savour and enjoy the magnificent views and stunning sceneries that encompass you and your fellow travellers.
The drive lasts for approximately 3 hours, after which you reach the village of Manarola. Hop out of the bus and let the exploration begin! You are free to venture out on your own; walk through the expansive vineyards, unwind on the sandy beaches or even take a dip in the pristine, blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. After a while here, it is time to move on to the next destination.
Before lunch, you will board a train to Monterosso al Mare, one of the most popular villages of Cinque Terre. Roam around the village and take a look at one of the many shops, bars and restaurants here. Known for its beaches and abundance of lemon trees, this village makes for the perfect place for your midday fare.
After lunch, it is time for the final leg of your tour and perhaps the most exciting. Take a 90-minute boat ride and relish the views of Cinque Terre and Portovenere from the famed blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea! Once the cruise is done, say “addio” to the countryside, as you will be taken to La Spezia, where your coach will be waiting to take you back to Milan. You will reach Milan by 7:30 - 8 PM, giving you the perfect amount of time to recover and enjoy the next few days of your vacation.
What To See In Cinque Terre
As mentioned earlier, Cinque Terre is basically comprised of 5 villages:
Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso is the westernmost of the 5 villages and is well known for its pristine, white beaches. This is also the most accessible of the 5 towns and is therefore home to many restaurants, souvenir shops and hotels. Apart from its beaches, Monterosso is famous for its many lemon trees, olives, anchovies and white wine. This little town is divided into 2 parts; old town and new town and they are separated by a tunnel meant for pedestrians and cars. One of the key attractions in Monterosso is the Church of Capuchin Father, from where you can enjoy undisturbed, panoramic views of the village and the promontories that enclose Cinque Terre.
Perhaps the most scenic of the 5 villages, Vernazza is the fourth town heading north with little to no traffic. It is a very important village as it is the only one in Cinque Terre with a natural port. This quaint, little village has a ton of small cafes where you can just sit and enjoy the views and savour the delicious seafood. It is one of the best ‘fishing villages’ in the Riviera and attracts tourists all year round. One of the key places of interest here is the Santa Margherita di Antiochia Church, located in the town square.
Corniglia is a beautiful little village situated atop a promontory about 100 meters high. It is the only village of Cinque Terre which is not directly connected to the sea. Corniglia is surrounded by extensive vineyards and terraces on three sides and the fourth side descends steeply into the sea. To reach this elusive town, you must climb the Lardarina, a 377 brick stairway, or take a shuttle to the top. This town is adorned with colorful multi-storey houses and narrow alleyways that are typical to the Italian Riviera. The Gothic-Ligurian style, Church of San Pietro is a key monument here.
One of the oldest villages of Cinque Terre, Manarola is probably the most frequented of the 5 villages by local and foreign tourists. Known for its sweet Sciacchetrà wine and century-old medieval relics, it comes as no surprise that this town is one of the more popular ones. It is particularly well known as the starting point of the "Via dell'Amore", a walking trail connecting Manarola to Riomaggiore, the last village in Cinque Terre.
Riomaggiore is the easternmost village and the largest amongst the 5 that make up Cinque Terre. Named after the stream crossing this village, Riomaggiore is the unofficial HQ of Cinque Terre as the main park office is located here. The main tourist area is the Via Colombo street which is lined with numerous bars, restaurants and shops. It is the closest village to La Spezia (another port city in Liguria), and the two are connected by a scenic road. Like its counterparts, Riomaggiore is also famous for its wine and vineyards.
Things To Consider Before Selecting Your Tour
Sights covered on tour
Do a fact check before you get onboard with the offer. Going through the key highlights will help you pick out your tickets better. If you’re looking for a particular attraction to visit on your tour, it is best to cross-check with your tickets to make sure you’re opting for the best possible offer around.
Duration of your tour will play an important role during your trip planning. Choose a guided tour that is concise and not very comprehensive. Make sure you have enough time at hand before you go in for a tour that is elaborate and time consuming.
It is best to select your tour after comparing the prices at several portals to avail the best possible deal. If you’re picking an expensive tour, go through the list of highlights to check the kind of perks available on your tickets. Headout promises excellent discounts and tours at slashed prices.
An important contributing factor to your trip, off or peak seasons will make a lot of difference to your holiday. Apart from the crowd, peak season also guarantees the attraction in all its glory. Meanwhile, winter may be an off-season but could also turn out harsh at Cinque Terre.
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