The five villages that make up the Cinque Terre have unique personalities. One of the best ways to see each village is by hiking the trail that connects them. These trails are not for everyone though. If you are a beginner, or are looking for more of a stroll, I recommend the Via dell’Amore which connects Manarola and Riomaggiore. There is very little vertical movement and the path is paved fairly well. If you are looking for a challenge, I recommend the path between Monterosso and Vernazza. This one was a workout, but the views were well worth it. The paths are not very even and some steps can be fairly large. There was a woman in our group that was a little closer to the ground than the rest of us, and those stairs were a challenge for her. If you are Superman, you might want to hike all of the trails in one day. I would then reward myself with a boat ride back to my village and a meal of pesto pasta, foccacia, wine, and gelato.
If you’re staying in London and you’d like a little nature getaway, you might want to consider Kew Gardens. This UNESCO World Heritage site is just a Tube ride away. In a few minutes you can be in a variety of regions. Visit the woodlands, or find peace in the Japanese gardens. The gardens expand over quite a bit of land so be prepared to do some walking. If you are worried about overdoing it, take advantage of the tram.
Most likely you’ll be in the area long enough for lunch. The gardens have cafes, but you can also explore the small town for a special treat. We ate outside at a lovely cafe after working up an appetite.
Admission-Adults £16.00*, Concessions £14.00*, Children FREE
Find out more at the Kew Gardens website.