The area covered by the Cinque Terre National Park includes a number of even smaller towns up above the coastline that give a totally different sense of coastal Mediterranean life. Places like Campiglia, San Bernardino, and Volastra. Far from the madding crowds, these tiny hamlets offer spectacular views of the sea, and offer a refreshing respite from the touristy atmosphere below.
We often take our clients through Volastra on our tours. As a hiking destination, it is ideal. To get up to it, you hike along a ridge from Manarola that takes you through great examples of dry stone walls, then the rest of the way through the olive groves further up, groves that have that heady feeling of Gethsemene.
The town, constructed somewhat like an amphitheater, dominates the Cinque Terre and the Mediterranean like nothing else. It is a wonderful little place to walk through, where often your only other companions are furtive cats. And from here, you can continue along other trails through sun-drenched vineyards, gazing down on the azure waters below.