If you've been looking for a place with swimming, not many or no tourists, and a relaxing lifestyle in a quaint town, you've found it.
When I traveled here, we stayed in the city of Riomaggiore. This town was exactly what we needed to relax and then to have more adventures.
Since this is one of 5 towns within this Cinque Terre area, it was on the end of it, which meant we could get from one to the other pretty easily.
We spent one day hiking from here to the other end (through all these cities) of Vernazza, where we ended with swimming and a quick train ride back.
The next day we hiked the opposite direction, away from Vernazza and the rest, our end spot was Porto Venere, where we caught a boat ride back to where we were staying.
Both hikes were very manageable and fairly easy to do, although I would say to keep a buddy with you, because hiking alone can be a bit confusing. I did get lost on a couple occasions because I'm a slow hiker and got left behind. All in all though, I got back and there was no harm done.
The sites through the hike are gorgeous and worth taking your time anyways! I mean, it's Italy!
Hiking through some precariously placed vineyards, rocky outcroppings, and tree covered paths, it was a great experience.
I think the best thing about staying here was our rented apartment. It was amazingly airy and we left the windows open a lot. So much space and a kitchen to make food! And the view wasn't half bad either, although we were not right next to the water, it was still awesome.
Although the 114 stairs up to it (yes we counted each stair) was a pain when you're tired.
This is one of my favorite places I've ever been. Everything is just a little bit slower paced. It was relaxed and you got to go and do what you pleased.
The little market shop was perfect to buy food and then go home and cook it. You just can't really beat the small town feel when it has such a great atmosphere.
I would go back in a heartbeat.
Where is your favorite place that you have been?
Cheers and safe travels!