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Alternative to Cinque Terre? Perhaps French Riviera?

Alternative to Cinque Terre? Perhaps French Riviera?

Jul 16th, 2011, 10:22 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Alternative to Cinque Terre? Perhaps French Riviera?

I keep reading how touristy the Cinque Terre has become, and as a result I am beginning to 2nd guess my 4-night visit next July.

We have 4 available nights as we close out our Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris Honeymoon. I initially was undecided between Venice & CT, however grew frightened when I kept hearing the horror stories about Venice in July!

Would love to experience something similar to the Cinque Terre - minus - the tourists.

Does this place exist?
jpopp24 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 10:53 PM
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Well the French Riviera won't be an alternative to CT - still has tourists, lots of them on beaches too. In fact most places in Europe in July will have tourists. So, here's what you have to ask yourself - where would we like to go/see most, regardless of potential crowds?

As part of your honeymoon, either place would fit in nicely. CT is busy with hikers, but you can still find a pretty little place in Manarola to sit on a (small) balcony and gaze at the sea. Or you could spoil yourselves and stay in Portofino or Santa Margherita Ligure in a lovely seaside hotel. Both will still be busy, but not with hikers. Venice in Summer can be beautiful, especially in the late evening as the day-trippers leave town and you feel like you have some parts to yourself again. Granted, not the main areas, but that's the beauty of Venice, just around a corner or over a canal there's quiet to be found.
madamtrashheap is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 12:00 AM
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We spent 5 nights in cinque terre last june and it was lovely. Yes there are tourists, but its easy to avoid them. The walk between Manarola and Riomaggiore is easy and gets clogged with tour buses, so do it early or avoid it. Everywhere else was fine. There is a reason tourists are there.

I would also say the same thing about Venice. The road between St Marks and Rialto bridge is a tourist nightmare but walk away from that area and there are quiet serene squares and lovely cafes with no tourists.
jamikins is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 06:03 AM
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July is a busy time throughout ALL of Italy. Given that, there are some places that are "crazy busy, packed" vs. 'just' busy. The CT is a part of the Italian Riveria that can fall into former category. You may want to consider one of other towns along coastline which would also allow you to make a daytrip to CT (if you still feel need).
JBX is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 06:04 AM
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You will probably find most of the places you are interested in seeing filled with tourists. The places you want to see, everyone wants to see. So go with whatever attracts you most. The rest of your trip is quite distant from the places you have mentioned so, apart from the Frence Riviera, you will have to fly from Paris.

It would give you more time if you choose a place and arrange an "open jaw" (multicity on the reservation sites) and fly into Amsterdam and fly home at the end of your trip from your final destination.
mamcalice is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 07:38 AM
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Menton, France is just a "hop" to Italy and it has a nice beach, small casino and lovely old centre. We stayed there and took bus and train to Nice to the west and Genoa to the east.

As other posters have suggested, July will be busy everywhere.
TDudette is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 08:19 AM
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There is NO alternative to CT!!! Awesome..tourists or not!!! The easy 20 minute walk fron Manerola to Riomaggio is bresthtaking but remember to bring along a padlock to put on the wall or fence..Lock in your love!!! A great place for a honeymoon. You will have a wonderful time no matter where. Stay cool, hydrated and happy!!!Everywhere will be blistering but CT has wonderful breezes,lovely towns and of course tourists (for a very good reason).
amer_can is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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I live on the Italian Riviera and seldom go to le Cinque Terre because it is so toursty. There are plenty of more pleasant alternatives. Consider instead, for romance, Camogli -- beautiful boat rides, lovely hikes, great views, good food, sweet shopping and nearby cultural attractions on the train line and the buses that zig zag over the mountains. Very few tourists other than Italians. And if you feel like going to le Cinque Terre, it is less than an hour away by train.


zeppole is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 09:40 AM
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Here's a video of Camogli in July 2008

zeppole is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 09:47 AM
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Here a photos of a hike from Camogli to Punta Chiappa, above the sea

zeppole is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 09:59 AM
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CT and French Riviera are noting alike. CT is a group of 5 small rather simple towns right on the coast and the major activity is hiking from one to another.

The French Riviera, although it has several cities and numerous smaller towns is likely to be much more crowded, much more expensive and more touristy/glamorous. It is not a place for hiking along the coast (much of which is upscale hotels or private residences) and although there are some simpler towns up in the hills that you can hike from - it is NOTHING like the CT.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 10:01 AM
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Another hike above Camogli, with views of mountains and seas


ferry from Camogli to San Fruttuoso

zeppole is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 10:53 AM
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zeppole, thank you for posting the information about Camogli. Filing that away for my next trip . . .
MoonGirl is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 02:02 PM
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We stayed in Cap Martin in March (next door to Menton). It was charming. We also like St Paul de Vence and Eze in France.

Italian costal towns we love are Camogli, Portovenere or Lerici, which are still crowded but more with Italians than CT. We have stayed in CT in July and it was fine.
jnjfraz is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 02:58 PM
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I had heard how touristy and crowded CT was, but we went in July and it really wasn't very crowded. We were so surprised.


Perhaps it helped that we stayed where Italian locals stayed just a short train ride away but none of it was crowded when we were there. We even had Portofino practically to ourselves as well.

That said, last July we were in a gorgeous French village that reminded me a bit of CT and it was even less crowded ...and almost only French right in the town.


Most of Europe is crowded in July and August ...especially at seaside locations as all of Europe goes on extended summer vacation at once...and it is the best weather.

We've been in Barcelona since late May this year and even June was cold and rainy a lot.

BUT if you want to really skip the crowds in a beautiful spot in Europe in July ..go to Galicia!

WTnow is offline  

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