Location: Cinque Terre Region, Italy

Ask anyone off the street what Italy is known for and they will probably say something about the amazing food. However in recent years, the secret about Cinque Terre has gotten out, and travelers are slowly being let known about a formerly well kept secret. Along the coast of Italy, we hiked the rigorous up-and-down pathways of the mountainous terraces, stopping only for the view and to hyperventilate a little. We began our hike after a short train ride from La Spezia, and after hiking up some insanely steep slopes, found ourselves in the jaw-dropping beauty of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. After separating into a few groups, a few stopped in one of the five towns for bruschetta, gelato, photographs, or all three. The second to last town brought some high cliffs to our attention and after seeing a few locals jump off the rocks into the turquoise blue water, we decided that we definitely needed to do the same. The initial fear was well worth the cooling and rinsing off of sweat. It could not be a more enjoyable hike. Upon return we immediately prepared Argo for our three day passage across the Med to Mahon, Menorca – a process we are all becoming quite quick at. We decided to immediately depart and had “the squeeze” and under during passage – always an interesting test of balance and stomach strength. The true test of stomach strength will be unveiled in the next few days!