Our trip to the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur)

13th to 30st of August 2018, me and one of my best friends, Madalena Rascao, went on an amazing trip to French Riviera, also known as &q...

13th to 30st of August 2018, me and one of my best friends, Madalena Rascao, went on an amazing trip to French Riviera, also known as "Côte d'Azur", for 17 days.

NICE 13-18 (5 nights - 13,14,15,16,17)
MONACO 18-22 (4 nights - 18,19,20,21)
SANTA MARGHERITA LEGURE 22-25  (3 nights - 22,23,24)
CINQUE TERRE 25-29 (4 nights - 25,26,27,28)
NICE 29-30 (1 night)

TOTAL MONEY: 222.3€//232,3 (with extra bus to first Nice beach and also the Menton Botanical Garden

NICE (13-15)
Money needed in Nice:
13th August MOND
We started off from Nice, to where we bought our flight tickets to.
Since I got there earlier (one day before), I started doing things that Madalena was not so much into doing, such as the Cimiez Museum (she said that "paying to see ruins is not her thing"), and off course, made sure that we had a proper schedule of the buses. I also visted the Villas as they were quite expensive, but I was dying to visit them. And the panorama of Monaco!  Ahhhhhh...
14th August TUES
When Madalena came, around 6pm on the next day, we could only enjoy the outdoors as it was already late, but hey, nothing better than a sunset view at the Castle Hill!
15th August WED
Next day, 15th August, we decided to visit in the morning the Parc Phoenix, followed by the Fine Arts Museum. After lunch, we had time to complete our tour through the Promenade, Old Town, Russian Orthodox Curch and Cimiez

Money needed for Eze and Monaco:
16th August THUR
We saw Eze in the morning, and took the bus to Monaco after lunch. We went straight to the Tourism Office to ask about the bus to La Turbie and bike rentals. We also saw the the Rose Garden, the Palace and Collection of Cars, took the ferry to the east side and enjoyed the Opera and Casino Monte Carlo. Since it was Thursday, we could take the night bus at around 11pm back to Nice.
1,5€+6€exotic+1,5€+6,50€cars(?)+2€+1,5€ = 19€

BEACH DAYS (17-18)
Money needed for beach:
17th August FRID
Villefranche sur Mer
walk for 40min(?)
18th August SAT
at the end of the day, we can go to Monaco (?)

MONACO II (19-21)
Money needed for Monaco:
19th August SUN
Exotic Garden and the Oceanarium, pass by Cathedral, Rue des Remparts, Tourism Office (?), Jardim Japonais, Larvotto Beach (?)
20th August MOND
La Turbie on bus to see the Trophy of Augustus and walk to Tete de Chien.
Beach please!
21st August TUES
Extra time in Monaco - beach!!

Contact Michele to meet up!
Money needed for Menton transports ad attractions:
22nd August WED

Menton in 1 day (Salle des Mariages, Basilique, Cemetery, Botanical Garden (nao coloquei, porque é 7€), Plage)
Train 17:55-22:01 Portofino 17,80, sleep in Portofino
1,5€+2€salle+18,80€=20,80€ = 43,1€

Money needed for Portofino transports and attractions:
23rd Aug THURS
Go to tourism to ask about buses!
As we arrive, take the train to Sestri Levante and we can stay there the whole time or visit Camogli
2,80€+3,60€+2,20€= 8,60€
24th Aug FRID
Portofino sightseing and beach at San Fruttuoso
1,80€+12€+5€CastleB1,80€ = 25,6€

Money needed for Cinque Terre transports and attractions:
82,3€ (not countaing food nor boat trip - 60€ or ferry - 25€)
25th Aug SAT
Santa Margarita - Riomaggiore train
25th Riomaggiore beach
8,30€+4€ = 12,3€
26th Aug DOM
Riomaggiore + Manarola (contact Damiano to meet up!)
27th Aug MON
Corniglia + Vernazza
28th Aug TUES
8€ +(60?25?) = 8€ (?)
Monterosso + Boat trip
29th WED
8€+30€ = 38€
Monterosso beach
Come back to Nice

TO DO IN NICE (2-3 days)

Daniela arrives 13th August at 9:10am
Mada arrives 14th August at 5:15pm - sunset by the promenade, old town and chateau



NICE in 2 days
  • DAY 1 - Promenade, Old Town and Castle Hill
  • DAY 2 - Cimiez, Museums and Russian Orthodox Church. We can go to the beach as I think we will have plenty of time. If we do everything in the first day we can do to the beach the whole day next (?)
Nice is a good looking town, but you don't need much time to see the most important spots. You can do everything in 2 days without rushing, unless you want to enjoy a nice afternoon in the beach.
As soon as you arrive, if you're planning to visit other towns nearby such as Eze and Monaco, make sure you visit the Tourist Office to request information on buses, as their bus stops, schedules and routes might change from time to time, and there is never clear and updated information online.
The must see highlights in Nice are the English Promenade (Promenade des Anglais), a 7km promenade that goes from Nice airport until Castle Hill (La colline du Château in French), a hill with fabulous views over the Promenade and Nice Old Town (Vieux Nice).
You can do all of this in one day easily, but you would be missing other important sights, such as the Russian Orthodox Cathedral (Cathédrale Orthodoxe Saint-Nicolas de Nice), a bit of walk from the centre, but worth a visit on its interiors and beautiful architecture and the Cimiez area: the ruins of an ancient roman town - .from arenas  (Cimiez Arena Park - parc des arènes de Cimiez) , thermal baths and amphitheatres., surrounded by the Cimiez Archaeological Museum and Musée Matisse.

There are also plenty of museums which you can visit if that is your thing:
  • Cimiez archaeological museum (Cimiez Musee D'Archeologie) - small museum located in the ruins of an ancient Roman city called Cimiez (in Nice), containing archeological and ancient items such as coins, statues and other artfacts. €10 entry fee
  • Henri Matisse museum (Musée Matisse) - Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso paintings. €10 entry fee
  • Marc Chagall National Museum (Musée Marc Chagall) - Marc Chagall paintings. €9 entry fee and €7 on Sundays. The first Sunday of the month is free for any european citizen!
  • Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art - MAMAC Nice (Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain) - as the name suggests, museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art
  • Fine Arts Museum (Musée des Beaux Art) - built in the former private mansion of the  Ukranian Princess Elisabeth Vassilievna Kotschoubey (19th century), the museum displays paintings and other pieces of art producted by relevant artists who lived and/or worked in the area. Free entry
For animal lovers:
  • Parc Phoenix - 7,5 hectare zoo and botanical garden. Visit one of the world's largest green house and many different anymal species for only €5

You will also find other interesting places such as La Reserve restaurant, sat on a rock with great views to the port, the bay and the ocean blues. If visiting in February, don't miss the famous Nice Carnival that last for 2 weeks, full of fun and partying!

  1. English Promenade (Promenade des Anglais) - Walk from the Old Town to Negresco Hotel, passing through the Jardin Albert 1er and the Palais de la Méditerranée. You can walk along the whole Promenade in about 1h15min.
  2. Old Town (Vieux Nice)
  3. Castle Hill (La colline du Château in French) - Castle Hill was once a military fortress (11th to 18th century), and it's now a popular spot amongst tourists and photographers (specially at sunset hours!), due to it's majestic views over the bay (Bay of Angels - Baie des Anges), the whole town and the mountains - yes, that beautiful view you see when you look for Nice on Google! The best views are from the top of Bellanda Tower, not to mention the great artificial waterfall (Cascade du Château) and the cemetery. You can reach the hill by foot (passing by Bellanda Tower), elevator or mini-train tour, departing from the Promenade (in front of the Jardin Albert 1er monument).

  1. Russian Orthodox Cathedral/St Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral (Cathédrale Orthodoxe Saint-Nicolas de Nice) - largest Eastern Orthodox cathedral in Western Europe, recognised as a national monument in France, but under the property of Russia.
  2. Cimiez Arena Park (parc des arènes de Cimiez) and Archaeological Museum (Cimiez Musee D'Archeologie- located in the ancient ruins of the romanian city Cimiez, admire the arenas (les arènes de Cimiez) at the entrance of the park, and the remaining ruins (including a thermal bath complex and some villas) at the Cimiez archaeological museum (Cimiez Musee D'Archeologie).  Do not forget to visit the Cimiez Monastery (Monastère Notre-Dame-de-Cimiez) and it's gardens (jardins du monastère de Cimiez) for a panoramic view over Nice town and bay. To to Cimiez in 20min from Nice, catch the bus 15 or 17 (1,5€). Bus 17 will terminated in the Monastery. If you are into paintings and museums, you can also visit the Henri Matisse museum (Musée Matisse) for Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso paintings, and the Marc Chagall National Museum (Musée Marc Chagall) on the way back to town, for Marc Chagall paintings (mostly inspired by religion).
  3. Le Plongeoir - also called "La Reserve", it's a restaurant on a rock, with great views to the town and the sea.

EZE (16 August)

Eze, 30min bus drive from Nice, it's a mountaintop, medieval looking village with stunning views to the Mediterranean Coast and surrounding towns. Although you don't have many highlights to visit, I would say the whole town it's the highlight. Those views, and those lovely medieval streets!
We couldn't miss the Exotic Garden (Jardin Exotique d'Èze), the Eza Castle and the old Chapel! Also, those views from Chateau de la Chevre d'Or!
As for the bus connection from Nice to Eze, you have to take the bus from the Max Barel bus stop (eastside of the town, close to the Port), and you can either take the #112 direction Monte Carlo (only week days) or the  #82 direction Plateau de la Justice (week days, weekends and French Holidays). If you are far from this side of the town, I would recomend you to take a bus to the Port (9 or 10) and then catch the other to Eze, as your ticket will be valid for 1h15min.
As you only need half day to see Eze, we decided to head to Monaco to enjoy the rest of the day, taking the #112 until Monte Carlo.

  • Exotic Garden (Jardin Exotique d’Èze) - Just like in Monaco, the Eze Exotic Garden offers not only a great variety of plants from all over the world, but also stunning views over the Mediterranean coast. 6€ entry free
  • Eza Castle (Chateau d'Eza- ruins from the old Eza Castle, right at the top of the hill
  • Chateau de la Chevre d'Or - 5* Luxurious Hotel located at Rue du Barri in Eze, offering amazing views from this beautiful medieval town.
  • Chapel of the Penitents Blancs/L'eglise d'Eze - located in the main street, this is the oldest building in the village, built in the early 14th century. Don't be tricked by the plain looking chapel, as the interiors are brilliant.
  • Revère Fort - underground barracks and tunnels
  • Nietzsche's Footpath - you will see very often signs about "Nietzsche's Footpath". This is what you need to follow if you want to go walk down to the beaches in Eze-sur-Mer.

MONACO (16, 17 and 19 August)

  • DAY 1 - Monaco Sightseeing (very tiring I think!)
  • DAY 2 - 2h hiking + beach
  • DAY 3 (?) We have one more beautiful hiking place in the mountains, that will take about 3h if we want to make this. I would love to, but if you don't want to, I am fine with it!eheheh Aparently, we could take a bus too, but better to find more information there on the spot

Welcome to one of the priciest, luxurious and glamourous cities in the world! Everyone knows that Monaco is one of the most expensive places to live in the world. Since we were staying in Nice, we took the famous #100 bus, direction Monaco, a beautiful 45min ride that we were looking forward to experience.
We decided to get off at the first stop, Place d’Armes, to then visit the Exotic Garden (Jardin Exotique de Monaco), followed by the The Prince's Palace (Palais du Prince) and the Collection de Voitures Anciennes de S.A.S. le Prince de Monaco. From there, we headed down to the Old Town, visiting the Saint Nicholas Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée) and passing by Les Jardins Saint-Martin to the Oceanographic Museum (Musée Oceanographique). After the long but amazing visit to the Oceanographic Museum, we walked along Rue des Remparts for more great views and headed to Quai Antoine to take the Bateau Bus to the other side of the harbour, where we admire the Monte Carlo Cassino, Opera House and other incredible buildings. We even got our passport stamped at the Tourism Office!
To finish this super tiring day, we visited the Japanese Garden, heading back home on the busy busy #100 bus. We took the bus at the last Monaco bus stop (Place de Moulins) to guarantee that we would have seats, before it gets to the popular and crowded bus stops closer to Monte Carlo and the Old Town.

On our second day, we wanted to chill a bit more, so we took the bus until the last stop (Place de Moulins) to stay by the sea in the famous Larvotto Beach, and attempt a long walk to the very worthy Panorama de Monaco. We could have done it with a Uber (after crossing Monaco), but after yesterday, we wanted to give our wallets a bit of break too.
We had to decide between Panorama de Monaco or Tête de Chien (passing by the stunning Tropaeum Alpium in La Turbie), which was a very very hard decision. Tête de Chien is about 3h walk/20-30min car return from Monte Carlo, while Panorama de Monaco is about 1h walk/15-20min from the Japanese Garden

  • Monte Carlo - you cannot go to Monaco without a visit to Mont Carlo. Luxury hotels, resorts, Opéra de Monte-Carlo and Monte Carlo Casino, all endorsed the hill. 
  • Oceanographic Museum (Musée Oceanographique) - sat by the sea, this great building and it's interiors took about 11 years to be built. Here you willl find great oceonography galleries and exhibitions, as well as over 6000 species in one of the oldest aquariums in the world (you might have the pportunity to play with some of them in specific interactive activities). The roof terrace of the museum offers a panoramic view to the Italian Riviera. Prices will vary from 11€ to 16€, depending on the season. If you wish to visit other attractions such as the Prince's Palace or the Exotic Garden, you might buy a combined ticket for a lower price. 
  • Exotic Garden (Jardin Exotique de Monaco) - clifside botanical garden with plants from all over the world, overlooking the sea, for 8€. You can also visit the Observatory Cave and Anthropology Museum. 7,20€ entry ticket.
  • The Prince's Palace (Palais du Prince) - fortress and luxurious home to the oldest monarchy in the world, Palais du Palace offer breathtaking seaside views to the area due to its great position oversea. You can visit the palace and it's state apartments only during certain moinths of the year, so I would highly recommend you to check their website before booking your trip there. Entrance is 8€ (some fees might apply to special events of galleries). When the flag is up, visitors know that the Prince Albert is in the house.
  • Collection de Voitures Anciennes de S.A.S. le Prince de Monaco - Prince of Monaco's vintage cars collection (just under 100 different models). 6,50€ entrance fee
  • Vista Palace Hotel - for those interested in photography, the great views you see on instagram facing Monaco are taken from this Hotel, located quite far from the center - you are likely to hire a car or get a taki to get there (about €50). Unfortunately, it is aparently closed. You can still get to Panorama de Monaco to get a similar shot, but keep in mind that there are no buses to take you there, so you can either walk a very long and uphill walk, pay for a taxi, or get an Uber when passing the border.
  • The Dog Head (Tête de Chien) - looking for a place to take breathtaking views of Monaco without having to pay for a hotel room? This is the place.


For nature, gardens and leisure:
  • Fontvieille Park and Princess Grace Rose Garden - municipal parks located side by side. Princess Grace Rose Garden was created by Princess Grace husband Prince Rainier III in her memory, displaying over 315 varieties of rosebushes (free entrance, closing at dusk)
  • Japanese Garden (Jardin Japonais) - also created by the Prince Rainier (and idealized by Princess Grace), this is a small park with japanese flora, stones, lakes, ponds, temples and even a small waterfall and beach - free entry!
  • Fort Antoine - book a ticket for some of the great outdoor theaters in Monaco (all in french)
  • Enjoy the european Summer by Larvotto Beach and the live music by La Note Bleue.
  • Pay 2€ for a very short boat trip, but worth the shots! Bateau bus departs from Quai Antoine (by the lift for the Old Town of Monaco) and takes a 5min ride across the harbour to Quai des Etats-Unis (by the lift for Monte Carlo), offering you great views between a variety of yatchs and great buildings.
  • Walk along Rue des Remparts for colorful houses an a great view over Monaco's Harbour.
If visiting during the last weekend of May, you cannot miss the Formula One Grand Pix race, as this happens in the city streets!

For museums, galleries and churches:
  • Saint Nicholas Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée- worship place for Roman Catholics in Monaco, and burial place of many members of the Grimaldi dynasty. You can also visit Les Jardins Saint-Martin just few steps away from the Cathedral
  • Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM) - temporary exhibitions of contemporary art (6€ admission fee)
  • Museum of the Chapel of Visitation (Musée de la Chapelle de la Visitation) - art museum located in a Roman Catholic Chapel.

Beaches close to Nice (18 and 20 August)

We booked this trip because we were excited to enjoy the European Summer somewhere nice, until we realised that Nice beach is nothing more than a big amount of pebbles by the water (yes, just like in Brighton! - disappointing). This Portuguese people, so picky with beaches! eheheheh
On top of that, the water gets really deep suddenly, which is not ideal for someone like me who can't get her right ear under the water.
But... the town was great, and we had plenty of time to enjoy the beaches in other locations too (only 1,5€ bus ride from Nice! - and you can pay as you board):

  • Villefranche sur Mer - The small town is gorgeous, and it offers a sandy beach to reflex from the Nice's pebble beach. You can walk from Nice to there (40min) or take a bus (#100) or take a train. Buses can be often full on the way back, and the trains are a quicker option. 
  •  Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat - Further from Villefranche sur Mer you can chill at this beautiful, calm place with small, but quiet beaches. You can either: (a) take the bus #81 direction "Port de Saint Jean" (from Promenade des Arts bus stop, right behind the Place Garibaldi Monoprix) for a 35min ride until your destination - last stop; (b) or take the bus #100 direction "Monaco" (from the top of the port, church side), get off after the Hotel Royal Riviera (15-20min from Nice, just after the bay of Villefranche), take the paved beach path in front of the hotel and have a wonderful easy flat 15min walk along the coast, with beautiful views to the area. Sain Jean has got wonderful views. If you want to see some of this, you can go on an easy 35min walk along the area, staying on the left when passing by the town, and following the paved path by the beach, returning back when you see a sign pointing to Saint Jean. You will pass by 2 different villas: i) Villa et Jardins Ephrussi De Rothschild - a magestic villa that can be visited for 15€ online or 18€ on site; ii) Greek Villa Kerylos - a greek style villa with fabulous interiors, can be visited for 11,5€.

(21st August)

Colorful small town with an Italian touch, full of friendly and welcoming people, known by it's citrus production (oranges and lemons) and Jean Cocteau (the multi-skilled writter/poet/artist/film director, author of "Les Enfants Terribles" novel, big fan of Menton and friend's with famous artists such as Picasso).
We took the bus #100 (once again!) to visit Menton, getting of at the "Casino" bus stop.
We were a bit tired of museums by now, so we chose to enjoy the views at the Saint-Michel Basilica (Basilique Saint Michel Archange)  and the Old Château Cemetery, had a walk around this enchanted colorful town, enjoyed the tropical Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden and chilled at the Sablettes Beach towards the end of the day.
We passed by the Market Hall to try the french delicacies!
We really liked the fact that we can walk anywhere in this town, and the piece compared to other areas such as Nice and Monaco it's a big plus!

  • Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden - this amazing Botanical Garden is one of the remaining parts of the town that show the nobility and wealthiness of the French Riviers citizens in the past, with over 700 tropical and sub-tropical plants. 7€ entry fee 
  • Saint-Michel Basilica (Basilique Saint Michel Archange) - one of the most proeminent buildings in town, with a great archicture on the outside and inside. Get ready to climb quite a lot of stairs to get there!
  • Old Château Cemetery - the name "Old Castle Cemetry" comes from the fact that the Old Medieval Castle used to sit here, where is now the cemetery. This is even higher than the Basilica and so, it becomes the perfect place for stunning views over French Riviera.
  • Jean Cocteau Museum and Musée Jean Cocteau, collection Séverin Wunderman à Menton - museum on Jean Cocteau's paintings, graphic art, film and photography work (10€ entry fee). If you are interested in his work, you can also visit the Menton’s Wedding Hall in the Hotel de Ville (2€), a wedding room that was interely redesigned and decorated by him in 2 years time.
  • If you feel like visiting museums, check Regional Museum of Prehistory for some prehistoric items found in the area, that tell us a bit about our ancesters.
  • Sablettes Beach (Plage des Sablettes) - want to chill out after sightseeing? Sablettes beach its the most beautiful beach in the area, endorsed by the mountains, and Menton's colorful houses. Walk 30-45min from the beach and you will be in Italy!
  • If you like to taste good local food, visit the Market Hall, open every day from 6am until noon for cheese, pasteries, meat, vegetables and fruis (antique market on Friday!).

If you're visiting in February, you might be lucky enough to see the Lemon Festival, a huge festival that lasts for 3 weeks, where different displays made of lemons and oranges fill out the streets with yellow, orange and a nice citrus fragrance. This Festival it's all about celebrating the Spring and the citrus production from the old times.


Only 20min away from Santa Margherita Ligur train station (2,80€ ticket), you can find this gorgeous small town. Just chill in the beach!! Pay 3,60€ to go to Camogli. The ferries between Camogli and San Fruttuoso are quite pricey (9€ one-way, 14€ return, so you will save a lot by using the train) from Santa Margherita Ligur.

Small, colorful, high priced and photogenic town, attracting photographs and tourists from all over the world, as well as wealthy people. You can see everything easily in one day.
From the train station, you can walk 1h15 to Portofino, take a ferry or take the bus #82 (1,80€, runs every 20min). Before going to Portofino, make sure you go to the tourist information for maps (specially to San Fruttuoso) and bus times, as the only office in the area is in Santa Margherita Ligure.
Since the prices are so high, you might take some food with you to avoid spending more than 20€ in a single meal.
Best views are from the walk up the hill to San Giorgio Church, Castle Brown and the Lighthouse, as well as the walk from the harbour to San Fruttuoso.

  • San Giorgio Church (Chiesa di San Giorgio) - the walk up to the church offers gorgeous views over Portofino, finishing with a panoramic view to the harbour at the church. Once distroyed by a bomb during II World War, San Giorgio Curch was reconstructed to what it is now
  • Portofino Lighthouse in Faro - the top place in Portofino to get amazing views over this colorful town
  • Castello Brown - old fortress with peaceful gardens and great views over Portofino's Harbour. 5€ entrance.
  • Church of San Martino - you can't miss this building due to it's colorful stripes and architecture. Also with good views over the harbour.
  • Museo del Parco - mostly ignored by the tourists, Museo del Parco is an outdoor museum, or if you prefer, a park, full of different italian sculptures and tiny paths. The entrance might be hard to find, so keep the eyes opened! Free entrance (I think!)
  • Try the famous focaccia con il formaggio (focaccia with cheese), originaly from Recco;
  • Walk to San Fruttuoso, a 1h30min-3h (depending on speed) hike with splendid views over Portofino, and come back by ferry (last ferry it's at 8:30, arriving at 7 in Portofino - 12€ return). You can also go by ferry first (first ferry 9:30am) and come hike back. Take a swimsuit with you to enjoy this the San Fruttuoso bay. You will find the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, where the martyr bishop Fruttuoso was buried. He was killed in AD 259 (Christians persecution), and acording to the tradition, he apperead to 5 different monks in dreams to tell me to bury him in this place. 
  • Book a snorkling or diving tour with DWS Diving Center to meet the bronze underwater statue of Jesus Christ (Christ of the Abyss) - San Fruttuoso

Also part of the Italian Riviera and listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Cinque Terre means "Five Lands", and it's name represents the 5 small towns by the coast sat in Liguria region (there are more, Portofino being one of them, but not classified as Cinque Terre).
The 5 tows are, from South to North:
  1. Riomaggiore
  2. Manarola
  3. Corniglia
  4. Vernazza
  5. Monterosso 
Each town is a small piece of art, with colourful pastel houses, by the coast, offering amazing views to the ocean, great food, clear crystal waters and a great excape from the big cities. There is nothing like Cinque Terre.

Before the 19th century, the 5 lands where only acessible by foot or boat. Fortunately for us, that is not the case nowadays.
Since the towns are located over the hills, and the streets are very narrow, visiting by car can be not only challanging, but quite pricey considering the parking fees in the area. The easiest, effortless way to see Cinque Terre is by train, by purchasing a "Cinque Terre Train Card" for 16€/day (discounted value if you add more days - not a big discount though).
You can also pay for each trip you make, 4€ one way (standard price for any Cinque Terre travel, no matter the distance. This also includes La Spezia)
Alternatively, you can hike from one town to the other, or catch a ferry.

Seing everything in one day will not give you time to enjoy what Cinque Terre has to offer, so you should try to have at least 3-4 days to fully appreciate this beautiful and famous part of Italy.
As you can imagine, accommodation is extremely expensive in this area as well. La Spezia can be an option to stay for a lower price, and still be within 10-30min train ride from any of the 5 small towns.


Rio, as the locals would say, is the southest town in Cinque Terre, and the cheapest option for accomodation after La Pezia (which is not one of the 5 towns). The unique view of aligned colorful buildings up the hill (just like towers - "case torri") facing the tiny harbour at the bottom, makes this town one of the most romantic lands in Cinque Terre.
  1. Old castle of Riomaggiore (Castello di Riomaggiore) offers great views over the town
  2. The Botanical Gardens of Torre Guardiola are a good place for bird watching, good views over Riomaggiore and enjoying the local flora. If you are in a rush, I would skip this visit.
  3. In one of the highest bits of the town, you can visiti the Church of San Giovanni Battista.
  4. If you have plenty of time, and you are not in a rush to visit Cinque Terre, enjoy Riomaggiore beach, with big peddles just like Nice, but stunning green views to the hills and clear crystal waters.
  5. The best way to admire the beauty of this town is from the sea, so a Boat Trip would be highly recommended (and not only in Riomaggiore, but along the 5 towns)
  6. Unfortunately, the 20min Lovers' Walk (Via dell'Amore)  hiking path to Manarola has been closed for many years now (no one knows if it will ever reopen), so the hiking available at the moment is the Trail n.6,  about 1h, and uphill (no fee required). The effortless way to travel to the next town, Manarola, is obviously, by train.
Manarola is one of the most famous towns in Cinque Terre, surrounded by grapevines where the Cinque Terre wine (Sciacchetrà) is produced. In this grapevines the citizens build a massive Christmas Crib (Presepe di Manarola) that looks brightly stunning at night and can be seen from the village.
  1. Nessun Dorma in Punta Bonfiglio is a bar and playground with great food and great views to the town (also called the Manarola Scenic Viewpoint). This is the best place in town for a picture, so you have probably seen that travel blogger drinking wine or eating a yummi breakast at the table by the coast, with an amazing view to Manarola in the back.
  2. Taste the Cinque Terre wine (Sciacchetrà) directly from its source, as well as the famous mini pizzas (Focaccerias).
  3. As mentioned before, the Lover's Walk (Manarola-Riomaggiore) is closed. However, from Manarola, you can still walk a bit along this trail, to catch some nice views over the town.
  4. The most popular trail (Train n.2 - 40min walk) to reach the next destination, Corniglia, it's also closed. You can hike for about 2.5h for no extra fee following the Trail n.6. Manarola-Corniglia it's probably the hardest hike of them all.

The most central town in Cinque Terra, Corniglia is the only town that is not accessible by sea. It is also often excluded by the tourists who are looking to see Cinque Terre in 1 day, since this is "the least interesting" town, and has very few to offer comparing to the other finishing villages

  1. Just few minutes away from the train station, you can climb Scalinata Lardarina, a massive, arduous staircase with 365 steps that takes you up to the top of the hill, for good (but not spectacular views).
  2. Saint Mary's Terrace it's the only place that offers a panoramic view to all 5 towns, and can be reached by foot, following the road "Via Fieschi".
  3. If you like to visit local churches, you will find the Church of St. Peter (Chiesa Di San Pietro) and the Oratorio dei Disciplinati di Santa Caterina.
  4. If you are facing a beach you can vist the Guavo (after a 1km walk along a dark tunnel) or Spiaggione Beach, although I would recommend visiting beaches in other towns instead (like Riomaggioro) as they are larger and have so much more to offer.
  5. You can walk to the next town (Vernazza) following the uneven path on the Trail n.2 for about 90min (4km), which requires a 7,5€ hiking permit.

Just like Manarola, Vernazza it's one of the most famous and favourite towns in Cinque Terre amongst tourists, and so, you will propably find it to be the most crowded among the 5. Be ready to walk along the trains up hill, enjoy the views over the coast and colorful houses and shop local artifacts.
Since the small towns on the coast of Italy were often attacked by Saracen pirates in the past, the fortified Vernazza became a military and naval base to train people to defend the coast against them. As a memory of this time, every year (no fixed dates) the citizens prepare the late-night Festa dei Pirati, where people dress up like pirates and "reencarnate" their past ancestors worst nightmare, the pirate invasion.

  1. Visit the colorful Piazza (Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, not to be confused by the one in Rome) for people gathering and people watch
  2. Easily seen from any point of the town, Church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia has great interiors, and a beautiful architecture
  3. Doria Castle, takes us back to the times when this watch tower was used to protect the town
  4. Convento Di San Francesco, currently the government headquarters, is also surrounded by other buildings that takes us back in time
  5. If you want to visit every single atraction and you have extra time, walk up to the The Sanctuary of our Lady of Regio, (about 1h walk from Vernazza Piazza) where people believe that Vernazza used to sit many years ago, and where you can find a black-skinned Madonna ("l'Africana."), Madonna di Reggio.
  6. Sightseing on a hot day? Need to chill? Vernazza offers 2 beaches: a small sandy beach right next to the harbour (easier access) and a larger beach behind the cliff, accesible from the Piazza.
  7. Walk to the last town of Cinque Terre, Monterosso, on a sweaty 2h hike along the coast, Trail n.2, with quite a lot of steps. You will also be required to hold a hiking permit to walk here (7,5€).

Generally known as Monterosso, it's the largest town in Cinque Terre, a mixture of the old architecture and the new buildings thanks to the increasing tourism over the years, as Cinque Terre becomes more and more famous around the world. It's one of the towns where tourists prefer to stay because of being larger, modern and having more space for cars.
  • Torre Aurora was also part of the portifications in Cinque Terra to protect the village from the Saracen pirates, it's a spendid tower by the coast, worth a visit!
  • Just right next to Torre Aurora you will see Chiesa di San Francesco, a black and white stripped church with a terrace facing the coast and the other towns, and where you can find a statue of San Francesco (Monument of San Francesco d'Assisi). Nearby there is a nice cemetery as well (Cimitero di Monterosso).
  • You can also find another black and white church, Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista.
  • The Gigante Statue (Statua del Gigante), as you can guess by the name, a statue of a Giant, just on the coast overlooking the sea.
  • Monterosso beach is the largest and one of the few sandy beaches in Cinque Terre. Due to this, it becomes packed by tourists in the high season. It has a beautiful view and clear waters.

price train from la sp ou from each other


  • Go on a Boat Trip - the prices can vary greatly. However, very well reviewed is 
  • If the Boat Trip is not for your budget, then you can go on the Public Ferry, which is obviously overcrowded. This 25€ ticket takes you from Monterosso to Portovenere or La Spezia (both directions), stopping at every town except Corniglia (since there is no sea acess).
  • Go for a hike - while many years ago some of the trails where quicker and easier than what we can use now, the Trail n.2, also known as Blue Trail is a 12km trail that connects all 5 towns, amongst with other trails. While 
  • Enjoy the beach
  • Eat a wondeful pesto meal or seafood
  • Eat an italian gelato




Liguria is a crescent-shaped region in northwest Italy. Its Mediterranean coastline is known as the Italian Riviera. The 5 colorful fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, as well as stylish Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure, are on the eastern coast or Riviera di Levante. The western coast, the Riviera di Ponente, is home to Sanremo, a vintage resort with a turn-of-the-century casino and a flower-filled promenade.

Visit the beautiful Corsica for breathtaking beaches and hikings along the mountains (ferry trips minimum £60 return from Nice),


Further southwest in France, you will find the Parc national des Calanques, a beautiful cristal water place for great hikes in the Nature, close to Provence, the great area to visit for Lavander Fields.

Things you should know before visiting the French Riviera
  1. Nice beaches might look great on pictures, but they are made of pebbles, not making it very amusing to lay on or walk. For that reason, many people end up going to other beaches instead (such as Villefranche sur Mer - only 6-8min on a train from Nice).
  2. If interested in visiting Nice's museums, consider buying a 24h individual Ticket for only 10€, giving you access to all municipal museums and galleries for 24h (this includes Musee Matisse and others)
  3. Bus #100 is a famous bus that connects Nice to Monaco, and it terminates at Menton (close to the border with Italy). Since it's only 1,5€, it's naturally a busy route and although there is one bus serving the route every 15 (weekdays) to 20min (Sunday and French Holidays), you can expect it to be packed. The best views along the ride are on the right hand side of the bus, so it's useful to seat there if you can. If it's too busy, you can always wait for the second bus to get that right seat. At the end of the day, the buses get so busy due to people returning from Monaco, that you might be let in if there is no more room for  passengers. You are strongly advised to take the bus at the last stop, Place de Moulins, in order to guarantee a seat, specially if you're back at the end of the day! In Monaco, it stops in 4 different places: Place d’Armes (at the tunnel entrance), The Port, Monte Carlo/Casino/Tourist Office and Place de Moulins (by the elevator to the Japanese Gardens). 
  4. Getting back from Monaco to Nice at the end of the day: since Monaco is so expensive, most people will prefer to stay in Nice, and pay the 3€ return ticket on the #100, along with french workers who do the same. However, when comig back, you should be very careful as the last bus runs at 8:30pm, and the last train at 9:20. If you're visiting Monaco on any day from Thursday to Saturday you will be lucky enough to get the N100 night bus (exclusive to this days), stopping at Place d'Armes at around 11pm, 1am, 2am and 4pm - check the correct times online or at the tourism office! 
  5. Uber is banned in Monaco! Taxi from Monaco to Nice will cost you around 90-100€, so the only option to pay less (around 40€) will be to walk out of the Monaco area, so that you can take a Uber back to where you're staying.
  6. Nice's bus stations have changed a lot over the years, even the buses itself. When you read this, this information might not be updated anymore: both regarding buses and bus stops. Because of this, I trully recommend you to visit a tourist office/tourist point once you get there, and ask for the buses that you want to take, and ask them to show you on the map exactly where do you need to take the buses from!
  7. Eze is devided in two different area: i) Eze, the old medieval village over the hill; ii) Eze-sur-Mer, a modern area of Eze by the sea. If you are planning to visit Eze and not Eze'beaches, and you are not in the mood to do a great uphill workout, then make sure you catch a bus to Eze, and not to Eze-sur-Mer!

  1. Monaco has a 5,50€ pass that includes the Bateau Bus too!
  2. In Monaco, you can get your passport stamped for free! You only need to visit the Local Tourism Office and ask at the front desk to get a beautiful red stamp on it.

pesquisar drone!

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