Cinque Terre is the name of five neighboring communities on the beautiful Italian Riviera.
The five centuries-old coastal villages are known for their colorful houses and the vineyards with sea views. The harbors fascinate with small fishing boats, delicious seafood and the typical Italian atmosphere.
One of the highlights is the Sentiero Azzurro trail that connects all the villages and offers some panoramic views over the sea.
If you want, you can walk from village to village and explore Portovenere as well as La Spezia.
The picturesque villages in the National Park Cinque Terre are really crowded through the high season between June and September but they still own their charm.
The towns are really close to each other, so it’s possible to explore Cinque Terre in two to three days, because it’s all about exploring and hiking. I will show you the highlights of Cinque Terre, some tips on where to stay, what to see, how to travel and the best things to do in Cinque Terre.
There are several ways to travel to Cinque Terre. Winding paths crisscross impregnable cliffs, while a 19th-century railroad runs through coastal tunnels.
Thankfully, cars were banned over a decade ago. You always have to park your car outside the village and pay between 1€ to 2€ per hour.
The best way to travel to Italy is by plane or by car.
Simpley leave your car in La Spezia and take the train or a boat. It’s far cheaper then parking outside of the villages and you won't need your car when you're there.
To get from village to village it’s easy to walk, to take the train or to book a boat.
Cinque Terre is known worldwide and that’s why hotels are extremely expensive. The best way is to check the prices on sites like booking.com and to get an overview of prices and locations.
I definitely recommend booking an apartment on Airbnb. I love to stay in little charming villages and apartments to get to know to “real” Italian vibe.
Look for beautiful views and balconies!
You can also stay in La Spezia and take a train or a boat. Use the tourist boat excursions with a hop-on, hop-off service. The day pass cost €35.
Get to know my travel tips for all those pretty villages on the Ligurian Sea.
Cinque Terre isn’t known for its museums, galleries or classic "sightseeing stuff".
It’s perfect to experience the Italian way of life.
• Hiking is one of the most famous activities, even for Italians itself. You can explore one of the many paths that lead from village to village. Enjoy the most beautiful sea views and sunsets.
• If you want to enjoy the views from the other side, make a boat tour. You can start in Portovenere and hop-on and hop-off wherever you like.
• The Cinque Terre is known for its beautiful beaches. So if you’re not hiking just take a sunbath.
• Explore other places like Portofino, Portovenere or Lerici.
When you plan your visit to Cinque Terre, there are several things you should consider:
• Cinque Terre is extremely crowded. That’s why you should explore the villages in
the morning. The typical tourist groups always walk through the central streets
between 10 a.m and 4 p.m. So simple avoid those hours or take other streets
• In Cinque Terre it’s all about walking and hiking. The towns are very hilly with a
lot of stairs. So pack your hiking shoes and enjoy the pretty views. But be aware that
the hiking trails aren’t always open and sometimes really challenging. Always pack your sunscreen and two bottles of water.
• All towns are pedestrian-friendly only. So it’s expensive to travel to Cinque Terre with your car.
• Internet and cell service aren’t always accessible. Some Hotels and Apartments offer Wi-Fi, but there isn't a citywide connection.
As the only one of the five villages of Cinque Terre, Corniglia isn’t located at the sea, it’s on a 100 m high hill and surrounded by vineyards.
Monterosso is the most northern and largest village of Cinque Terre. It consists of two parts: the center on a natural beach and the district Fegina with beaches and a boulevard.
In the narrow valley of Manarola, the locals used every meter to build houses over and next to each other. The place is a beautiful composition and it’s known as a place for painters.
Riomaggiore leads a wide main street with multi-storey buildings through the village to the sea. The houses shine in different colors and shades. So romantic at sunset!
Vernazza is incredibly beautiful - the location on a small peninsula thrilled, the old castle, the rocks and the piazza on the sea are inspiring.
Do you miss anything in my Travel Guide for Cinque Terre?
Let me now in the comments!
P.S. Safe on Pinterest if you like :)