Cinque Terre holidays aren’t the secret escape they once were. But no one seems to mind. Tucked between Genoa and Pisa on the Italian Riviera, this seductive six-mile stretch of tumbling towns and pastel-coloured buildings is perfect if you’re after an idyllic Italian getaway with a side of adventure. Follow sinuous hiking trails through its five villages, stopping at various beauty spots en route to appreciate sweeping views of the Ligurian Sea and coast. Linger a little at the characteristic cluster of hillside houses in Riomaggiore, weave through Vernazza’s tangle of caruggi (narrow
streets) and pull up a deckchair on Monterosso’s (the westernmost village in the quintet) stretch of sandy beach. Cars were banned over a decade ago (thankfully) but those with sore feet need not worry. The 19th-century railway linking the villages means every type of traveller gets to appreciate the UNESCO-listed stop-you-in-your-tracks beauty on Cinque Terre holidays.

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