If you haven't seen my previous posts do check out a long weekend in Cinque Terre - part 1 and a long weekend in Cinque Terre - part 2. Today I want to finish off this small series by telling you about my favourite of the five small villages that make up Cinque Terre - beautiful Manarola.
Manarola, Cinque Terre - Italy
Manarola is the second smallest of the five Cinque Terre towns and survives off three primary industries - fishing, wine making and of course tourism. Built on the rocks, Manarola's bright multicoloured houses stand out in contrast against the sky and ocean, and take your breath away on first view.
To get the best views of this beautiful town we climbed up through the vineyards in the hills behind it, pausing every other second to take yet another photo...
looking towards Manarola with the ocean breeze behind us - Cinque Terre, Italy
exploring the hillside paths surrounding Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy
There's lots of lovely little paths to follow in the hills and you could spend many hours here happily strolling, climbing, enjoying lunch with a view and of course giving your camera a work out.
looking back towards the ocean - Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy
Spring was a lovely time to visit as the hills were blooming with wild flowers, making the view even more picturesque.
...we followed our noses (and stomachs) on the hunt for a seafood themed lunch and were rewarded with homemade fresh pasta...
lunch - Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy
One Christmas I hope to re-visit Manarola. In the holiday season the hillside overlooking the town is turned into a giant nativity scene, with more than three hundred characters lit up by lights. Apparently it's quite easy to rent rooms with a view of the nativity in December and January - so if this sounds of interest start planning now.
Manarola's permanent nativity scene overlooking the town
ready to be lit up next Christmas
After lunch we decided to carry on up the hillside to the small village of Groppo - famous for its wine. This was a longer and much more tiring walk - but we persevered with wine on our minds...
the view walking up to Groppo - Cinque Terre
wine tasting in Groppo - Cinque Terre
Warm from the sun and jolly from the wine we headed home happy.
If you've never visited Cinque Terre I can't praise this area of the world enough. Furiously busy during summer I recommend visiting in the months of April, May, September or October when it's still warm but so much quieter. Make sure you let me know what you think.