At this point in the semester, you’ve probably heard the buzz about Cinque Terre, one of Italy’s most beautiful destinations. If you haven’t yet experienced the five gorgeous coastal towns, what are you waiting for? Book a day trip immediately, because you’re guaranteed to have an awesome day filled with the best of what these coastal villages has to offer. Below, we’ll fill you in on how to prepare for the Cinque Terre Hike, one of the best experiences you’ll ever have while studying abroad.
When you reach the fourth town on the tour, Vernazza, you will be faced with a choice on how to get to the final (and in my opinion, the best) village, Monterosso. You can take a 5 minute train ride or spend the next 90 minutes on a hike that offers breathtaking views. Literally breathtaking, because you’re required to climb up a ridiculous amount of stairs to see them.
While it might seem like quick and easy transportation is the obvious choice, believe me when I tell you that it’s 100% worth it to get in touch with your outdoorsy side and take the hike instead.
Is it going to be easy? Unless you spend all of your free time on a StairMaster, definitely not. You’re going to be tired. You’re going to be sweaty. And you’re going to be so incredibly happy you did it.
These tips will help make the hike survivable (and fun!):
1. Wear good shoes. While you probably weren’t planning on wearing stilettos, it’s crucial to wear your most comfortable pair of athletic shoes. If there are orthopedic inserts involved, even better. If you do decide to throw caution to the wind and wear sandals instead, you’ll be cursing the inventor of flip-flops about 10 minutes into your hike.
2. Dress comfortably. This might seem a bit obvious, but if you’re not dressed for the activity or the weather, you’re going to sincerely regret it. If you want to wear a swimsuit under your clothes, make sure it’s secure enough to move around in (hello, bikini straps), and if you decide to go the athletic wear route, avoid dark colored pants if you don’t want to overheat.
3. Hydrate well. Remember that part where I told you you’re going to get sweaty? You need to replace that fluid somehow, so I highly recommend you bring a very large bottle of water with you.
4. Enjoy the view. Whenever you start to feel exhausted, take a break to look out at the Mediterranean Sea and the colorful coastal towns. If you want Pinterest-worthy photos, this is the place to get them.
5. Remember what’s waiting for you on the other side. It’s pretty hard to find beaches as beautiful as Monterosso’s. Plus, your Bus2alps guides will show you the way to an amazing beach bar that serves buckets of your favorite seaside drinks. You read that correctly. BUCKETS. Now if that’s not the perfect reward for a hike well done, I don’t know what is.