Decades ago the five villages that comprise the Cinque Terre had no road access. Clinging to cliffs overlooking the azure Mediterranean, their houses were an artist’s palette of terracottas and creams. Then the first tourists arrived and now the walking tracks that connect the five are almost always thronged with visitors, though the villages retain their postcard-perfect charm. It is possible to walk between the northernmost village of Monterosso and Riomaggiore in the south in one day, but it’s far better to take your time, stay in one village for a few days and explore the villages on foot. If you don’t fancy the walk, there are roads now (nervous drivers beware!) or more preferably you can ride the local train. For an entirely different view, take to the sea on the ferry.