Our European Backpacking Honeymoon Trip for ~$1,500 Total – Visiting Paradise in Cinque Terre

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Introduction – What is a Backpacking Honeymoon?
Planning – The $100 Challenge
The Departure – Airberlin Flight & 20 Hours in Dusseldorf
Four days in Ancient Rome
Visiting Paradise in Cinque Terre
Relaxing in Florence
Westin Europa & Regina Hotel and Exploring Venice
Park Hyatt Vendome Paris and Surroundings
Grand Hyatt Berlin and 18 Hours in Berlin

After four days enjoying ancient Rome, we hopped on the train to continue our backpacking honeymoon.  It was about a 5 hour train ride along the Ligurian coast to La Spezia, the gateway to Cinque Terre.  Rick Steve’s highly recommends visiting paradise in Cinque Terre in his book and I completely agree.  The train ride had pleasant views of the ocean, but unfortunately the air conditioning was barely working and we sat across from a crazy cross-eyed man and a  man that was playing Destiny’s Child Mariah Carey on his phone without headphones.

After a “pleasant” 5 hours, we arrived in La Spezia and bought the Cinque Terre card for 2 days, which gave us unlimited travel between all 5 cities.  We headed back on the train for another 15 minutes to Corniglia, our destination.

Corniglia is the third town of the five cities and sits on a hilltop and not directly near the ocean.  It is the smallest of all five towns with a population of about 300.  Since it was our “honeymoon”, we opted to stay in Corniglia because it is more quiet and away from the crowds.  In addition, we found a cheap rate of 75 euros per night including breakfast.  I really like staying at authentic local places, but the wife likes staying at nice American hotels such as the Hyatt and Starwood properties.  So we did a little of both on this trip.  Our B&B hotel was pretty simple, included breakfast, but shared a bathroom with another couple.  The highlight of the room was definitely the view of the ocean.  Here are reviews of the place where we stayed.

By the time we settled in, it was already dinner time.  We ate in town and had some delicious pesto.  The Cinque Terre area is where pesto was invented and it was definitely tasty.

Afterwards, the town was having a festival celebrating the Catholic Saint.  We participated in the festival by walking to the ocean and listened to the muscians sing some songs.  Cake and wine followed the festival.  It was awesome to be part of a local celebration!

The next day was a full day of exploring.  We started by heading to Monterosso, the beach resort town.  We rented a pair of umbrellas and relaxed on the beach and swam a bit.  Afterwards, we visited each town one by one.  We also walked from Manarola to Riomaggiore on the lover’s walk trail.  Each town except Corniglia, you could walk down to the coast and go for a swim.  Swimming and eating gelato was nice and relaxing in the blazing hot day.  After a long day enjoying each town, we headed back to Corniglia to eat dinner and relax.

The next morning I ventured out on my own to hike from Corniglia to the next town and back.  The views were breathtaking, walking along the cliff and staring down at Corniglia.  The hike up and down took about an hour.  It was very refreshing and I tried taking some postcard photos.  Unfortunately, our stay in Cinque Terre was coming to an end.  We checked out of our bed and breakfast and said goodbye to visiting paradise in Cinque Terre.  We hopped on the train back to La Spezia and onto Florence.


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12 comments for “Our European Backpacking Honeymoon Trip for ~$1,500 Total – Visiting Paradise in Cinque Terre

  1. MIke H
    December 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Sounds great, I want to go cinq terra some time. I’ll be going to Europe in June 2013 and hit Paris, Nice, Rome, Florence, Switzerland and Barcelona.

    • December 8, 2012 at 5:43 am

      Sounds like a plan! However, I would recommend focusing on one region. Too many cities may be tiresome unless you are going for a long period of time! Italy needs a good amount of time to fully enjoy!

  2. Jacob
    December 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    @ Mike H, agree with Rom. My wife and I did a pretty extensive trip to visit EU. We hit Dublin, Belgium (quick stop in Brugge), Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice in 3 weeks. This was celebrating our 1 year anniversary, and we went for around 20 days. It was intense, lots of fun, but we wont be doing that much again. Just an FYI, plus if you don’t get to visit everywhere you want, just means you have to take another trip!

    • December 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Exactly, slow down your travel. With points and miles, there’s always another time 🙂

    • Mike h
      December 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Thanks for the input. We’re already locked into the itinerary on our three week trip. It will be busy but fun.

      • December 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm

        Awesome, I want to hear all about it later and where you will be staying!

  3. A L
    February 22, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Any reason why you went

    Rome -> Cinque Terre -> Florence -> Venice

    instead of

    Rome -> Florence -> Cinque Terre -> Venice?

    Just curious as I’m planning pretty much the same trip but in reverse.

    Also, I like the recommendations about EasyJet. I am considering taking the Thello night train between Paris and Venice though but it is about 360 euros/2 people and I’m really not sure how comfortable it is.

    Not quite as light of packers as you guys though. We’ll probably have one major piece of luggage and a small backpack each.

    • February 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      We wanted to take a train that was along the coast for Rome to Cinque Terre. Also, there is no direct train CT to Venice. You will have to route through Florence. Other than that, your plan works too!

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