Top Navigation

Sailing Down the Coastline Cinque Terre, Italy

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 109I have never been sailing. Boating, yes. Made the transit across the Atlantic by ship, yes. Panama Canal, yes. But never sailing. Which is an absolute sin, I’ve just learned. Megan & Will happened to find a groupon for a weekend of sailing out of Genova down the Cinque Terre coast. For 250 euros a person, they could have 6 friends join the party. My name happened to turn up.

Before we set sail down the Cinque Terre coast, let me tell you a little bit about Cinque Terre. If it hasn’t made your travel list, wanderlust list, places I hope to go someday list, its time to mark it down. Located just South of Milan, directly along the coast, and on the rim of the inner loop as you make the turn up out of Italy, its definitely worth a trip. For more information better check herehere, and definitely here.

In Naples, the beauty of the Amalfi Coast easily competes with Cinque terre, but for me, Cinque terre is unexplored territory which made this excursion particularly exciting. A new place to discover and my first time sailing, my expectations and excitement were both extremely high for this trip!

GETTING THERE

Naples to GenoaThe sailboat was in port Genova and the easiest way to get there was by train. I really enjoy traveling by train because you can bring snacks, drinks, a full bar if you want to and you can nap, relax, and enjoy your trek up the coast stress free. To get from Naples to Genova, it took about 6 hours. We purchased the tickets ahead of time so we could all sit together and because its always cheaper when you are thinking in advance.

We had a stopover in Rome which we didn’t have a lot of time to get from one track to the other and this involved some serious running, bags and all.

Leaving after work, we got into Genova after dark, around 22:00, just in time for an all you can eat sushi bar, and then we headed straight over to the sailboat. 15 minute walk from the train station to the port. We arranged ahead of time to stay on board for the night, as the Groupon didn’t start until that next morning.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 12What’s that submarine doing over there?

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 107Did you know that Christopher Columbus was born in Genova in 1454?

SAILING THE CINQUE TERRE COAST

Cinque Terre Sailing Trip .Our trek over the weekend. Sailing out of Genova we headed to Santa Margherita for the first night, from Santa Margherita we planned to sail all the way to Portovenere on day 2, however, seas were pretty rough the second day and I only made it just under halfway by sailboat (end of the red line) which is where a couple of us trained to Vernazza and hiked some of the Cinque Terre coast before catching a train to La Spezia and a taxi to Portovenere.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 120Making the return journey back, it was a leisurely sail back to Santa Margherita for the 3rd night and after a quick hike in the morning to Porto Fino, the final leg of the journey back to Genoa.

DAY 1, SAILING FROM GENOA to SANTA MARGHERITA

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 13Waking up in the morning we were ready to go! Unfortunately we had to wait for the Captain that we did not maintain a great relationship with throughout the trip. He was an extremely old grumpy Italian man who I think had 1/4 of the sailing skills the guys we were with had, which was extremely frustrating and at times very dangerous.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 21

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 17While waiting I decided to go up the bow for a mini photo shoot.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 108

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 113This is the good ship Eileen, our sailboat and home for the weekend, a 43.4ft. Beneteau sailboat. With room to sleep 8 people, our captain, and his deckhand you’d think it’d be a tight fit, but actually I didn’t find that to be the case. I instantly fell in love with everything about the sailboat, our bunk room, the living area down below, the bow, the seating areas up top.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre ItalyOnce the captain arrived, loaded up the goods for our trip and made a few quick adjustments, we were pulling away from the pier, all topside and waving goodbye to Genova, an adorable little port town.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 2Waving us off on our journey.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 3Leaving the port, we slowly made our way out into open waters.

Source: @MeganH

Source: @KyleS

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 19The sun was shining, we were sitting topside watching the Italian towns slip away and sipping on prosecco. I’d say that’s a good start to the weekend.

PORTO FINO

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 35Just feeling the wind rushing through your hair is quite a liberating feeling. We sailed along for a couple of hours just enjoying ourselves and taking in the scenery. Then we slowly came up the coast and around the bend to the area where we would be spending the night. After a chat with our captain he reluctantly agreed to take us into Porto Fino to have a quick look around before heading over to Santa Margherita where we would be docking.


Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 36House on the cliffs. One of the reasons we would not be staying in Porto Fino for the night was the price. That’s where most of the big and rich yachts are.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 37Sailboats at anchor.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 38 The town is mesmerizingly beautiful as are most small towns in Italy, but this one really left me a bit breathless.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 42 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 45 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 47That’s paint on that building but it looks like those are carved statues. So crazy.

Source: @KyleS

SANTA MARGHERITA

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 48Bet that cost a pretty penny. Small boats aren’t cheap, yachts are off the chain expensive.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 49Coming into the port, just past the break water and we were silently gliding into the dock.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 50Capturing some of the beauty of the place.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 51 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 52

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 5

Source@KyleG

Well hello boys..! They were trying to take control of the sailing situation although the captain was holding a very tight reign on his ship.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 130Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 57Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 53Finally backing into our place on the dock, we hung out while the captain and his deckhand made lunch.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 54Just imagine living this life on the regular. Sailing your boat around the Mediterranean.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 20Chow time. We were pretty hungry so we ate quickly, cleaned up and we’re running off to explore Santa Margherita for the evening.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 55Fishing gear in bins, boats lined up, a colorful town, I don’t even have to be a photographer to make this look damn good.

IMG_3095A floating dock restaurant where you can eat right on the water.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 131Up at the church, I snapped a shot of the guys admiring the cathedral.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 132Turns out there was a wedding happening up there.

After walking around the town and heading back to the sailboat to relax and prepare for the evening, we headed off to dinner, which was filled with seafood and wine. Afterwards the ladies ended up at a night club for some dancing.Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 24Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 117

DAY 2 SANTA MARGHERITA TO PORTOVENERE

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 58One of my favorite places to wake up to in the morning was sitting at the bow right after finishing a cafe, book in hand. If I had a sailboat I would find myself there regularly. This is where I would haul up until we started bringing in lines to get underway. Then it was book stored, camera in hand.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 59There’s those boys again, doing all the work. “At any point you could haul in that anchor. We don’t want to be sitting here all day..!”

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 60Its time to go!

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 61He seems so taxed.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 63See you in a day Santa Margherita. Mwah.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 64 Yep, just starting their day on paddle boards weaving in between yachts. Jealous much?

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 66 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 67Our morning started off like this until we got out into open waters and the seas continued to increase until not even the motion sickness pills could save me.

On that first leg, I knew I was doomed. There was no way around it, I was going to be sick. I hauled up in the back, white as a ghost and so nauseous I couldn’t move. Which reminds me of a buzz feed article I saw once depicting “what you think is happening” on instagram vs. “what is really happening” with travel blogging all stars. I’ll give you an example at my own expense.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 31“What you think is happening on the sailing trip”

Source: @KyleG

“What is really happening on the sailing trip.”

Yep, I’m the SWO that gets sick. Ugh.

For me it was obvious that I wouldn’t be able to continue on. I petitioned them to just drop me off near land and I would swim to shore, catch a train down the coast, and enjoy the sea from afar, hike part of Cinque Terre, and end in Portovenere. I was resigned that I would spend the rest of the day alone but after a frustrating hour of the captain trying to illegally moor to a buoy close to land, a couple of other people decided to join me. The guys who ended up staying back told me the seas got way worse and I’m so glad I decided not to stay on board.

HIKING CINQUE TERRE

I honestly don’t know the name of the town we got off the sailboat at, but that town had a train and within an hour we were in Vernazza, buying snacks, stocking up on water, and beginning our hike.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 135 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 80 The route would be Vernazza to Corniglia. But first, Megan knew where we had to climb for the iconic Cinque Terre photo so we back tracked about a half of a mile for the shot.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 73 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 70Meanwhile down by the sea, the waves were crashing in.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 71 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 137Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 75Every Italian town is seriously so beautiful.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 77 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 78Coming back down so we could head in the right direction to Corniglia.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 79Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 139 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 82How to check the weather forecast for the day.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 83The hike itself takes about 2 hours. There are many ups and downs so be prepared to climb old and slightly crumbling steps.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 84As you walk along the edge of the cliffs, Corniglia will start to come into view. Meanwhile we were trying to locate our sailboat as it sailed down the coast right past us.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 85Corniglia, up close and personal. The hike to the next town was closed and so were the  next 2 hikes after that, meaning this would be the end of our journey.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 87Once we got to Corniglia we decided to have a look around town and stop for a group pic. Here’s where things got a bit sticky. We weren’t sure of the train schedule and a train flew through minutes before we arrived. Now there was an hour wait to get to La Spezia. There are no roads down the mountain pass. Luckily we were able to catch the train to La Spezia an hour later and after looking at our transport options to Portovenere we grabbed a cab and drove down. There was a small chance we would have had to spend the night!

PORTOVENERE

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 28 Porto VenereLook how the town was lit up at night! It was beautiful. We arrived just in time for a quick shower and change for dinner. Then it was off to bed because we were exhausted.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 97In the morning, this guy got away with a few scrapes of breakfast as we enjoyed the morning walking around.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 121Portovenere is not part of the Cinque Terre route, it just happens to be at the tip of the peninsula and a very nice stop on your journey if you have time. There were tourists, but it wasn’t overwhelming.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 90Town Walk about.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 92Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 142

DAY 3 BACK TO SANTA MARGHERITA

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 122Girls being girls.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 105

Source: @KyleG

While dudes are being dudes.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 123There are 5 towns that make up Cinque terre:

  1. Monterosso al Mare
  2. Vernazza
  3. Cornigla
  4. Manarola
  5. Riomaggiore

We may not have been able to hike all of them but we certainly sailed past them stopping for a swim break and some lunch along the route as we sailed (drove) North.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 126Hey Everybody!

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 99I opted for an afternoon nap but they made sure to wake me just in time for the sunset.

 

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 101 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 100 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 98 Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 103Back to Santa Margherita for the night for more good food, and a couple of gins.

DAY 4, BACK TO GENOVA

In the morning we decided to hike from Santa Margherita to Portovenere which was about a 1.5 hour hike around. At first we were going to just swim out to the sailboat but everyone wanted to walk around and enjoy the town so the sailboat pulled in and then came to pick us up shortly after.

Another relaxing day with frequent breaks for swimming and food, we took our time heading back. Even came across a couple of kids and a buoy that we would try to tip over and fling the boys with. Their mothers were probably having a heart attack from shore. We had even come to a truce with the captain and there were no debacles as we sailed in the port of Genova. Sliding silently into the docks we unloaded our stuff and were headed back to that sushi place for round 2.

Sailing the Coast of Cinque Terre Italy 128Afterwards heading straight to the train station so we could catch our overnight train back to Naples. My first time sleeping on a train and it wasn’t bad. I slept pretty much the whole night!

This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.

Cassey

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Tell me what you think!

%d bloggers like this:
More in Europe, Italy, Travel
WE ARE WE ARE LEEDs. Leeds / Reading Festival UK 2015

Leeds / Reading Music Festival in the UK :) Over 50 bands performing over 3 days, couldn't possibly capture them...

Close