Manarola, Cinque Terre
Manarola Travel Blog› entry 10 of 14 › view all entries
Quaint little Manarola, with it's colourful and vibrant road leading to the seaside, has an even more serene feel to it than Riomaggiore. Although there is no traditional beach here, there is a beautiful harbour area that had the best water for swimming and generally splashing around out of all the towns. To get to it, however, is more of a challenge. There is a boat ramp leading down to it, though this is often packed with sunbathers, especially on the weekends, and there is a rocky outcrop into the sea, but by some ways or means, you will find yourself in that gorgeous water. You may see a steel ladder leading down to the water from the boat ramp - this is the way to go, do not try and get into the water from the end of the ramp, it is much more slippery than it looks and I saw a number of unfortunate beach goers have painful looking accidents trying to walk into the water that way.
Also, if the ladder looks busy with traffic, there is actually another one on the other side of the rocky outcrop which leads to the sea-side rather than the sheltered harbour area - much easier to get in but not so great if you are not a confident swimmer.
I spent ages becoming prune-like in the water here, it's the best feature of this town by far, though admittedly I didn't get to sample any of the restaurants here.