The residents of the extraordinary Cinque Terre coastal villages can certainly be considered lucky. One atop another, they open the Mediterranean shutters of their colourful, ancient buildings and stare out upon the Ligurian Sea, with nothing but the quaint ports between them and the peace of the vast azure blue water. For a select few however, that gaze is reciprocated. The better views can be had from the sea.
Aboard a yacht charter in Liguria, it is possible to enjoy the tranquillity of the sea while equally witnessing an exclusive perspective of the dramatic mountain cliff villages that characterise the coastline. The impossibly steep villages stacked in a rising crest to the cloud covered mountaintops take the breath away.
The region begins at La Spezia, the Cinque Terre boat charter capital. The port is the largest of this particular Italian province and so provides an excellent point of embarkation. Upon leaving the bay the true adventure begins. On the opposite side of Portovenere’s protruding peninsula is the emphatic silhouette of the Gothic church of San Pietro. Sail past to the timeless sound of church bells ringing, or anchor nearby for a taste of the famous Italian cuisine, from spicy seafood dishes to freshly served pasta cooked.
Amble further down the coastline, past the terraced vineyards of Sciacchetrà grapes, and arrive in Riomaggiore and neighbouring Manarola. These are two towns of unrivalled beauty. Their spiralling and rising towers of multi-coloured houses akin to a Disney castle on the sea. Drink the sparkling produce of the local vineyards under the Italian sun before stretching your legs along the romantic Via Dell’Amore. The lover’s path is an exquisite seaside walk that connects Riomaggiore with Manarola.
The coastline is rugged and charming. The jutting rocky outcrops are ideal for a yacht charter, allowing exclusive access to the myriad coves and seclusions, where diving conditions are perfect for viewing exotic fish in their natural habitat. Along the way, however, there are excellent golden beaches for opportunistic sunbathing in natural surroundings. The most impressive of these is, perhaps, the long sandy beach at Monterosso further north of Roimaggiore.
For a more rural Italian experience along the Cinque Terre yachting highway, visit Bonassola. Nestled above a pebble crescent bay, the small coastal town has a beehive of slim alleyways flooded with enticing boutiques and craft shops. The outdoor terraces of the many bars and restaurants are a great opportunity for romantic dinners by candlelight. The streetlights around illuminate the town among the obscured rolling hills that encircle Bonassola.
Portofino is naturally the last stop of Cinque Terre yacht charters. The vibrant harbour demands that you take pictures whether exploring its under water depths or its peculiar labyrinth of cobbled streets, its town square and the green vegetation that grows wild and free. Experience that freedom for yourself aboard a luxury yacht on the beautiful Cinque Terre.