About Cinque Terre
The vibrant, colourful houses, vineyards clinging to the steep terraces with breath-taking scenery, harbours housed with fishing boats and seafood eating joints, and the cliffside hike trails that link the villages should be reasons enough to visit Cinque Terre for your next holiday.
Moreover, all these towns offer the best of sights, including Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero, a viewpoint in Riomaggiore. Additionally, the food scene in Manarola’s Nessun Dorma is the very best, and besides gorging on Italian delicacies, you can also take up a Pesto making class here. Or you can try out some of the most flavoursome ranges of wines, bubbles, grappa and Passito wine within Cinque Terre.
How to Reach Cinque Terre
You can reach Cinque Terre by flying into the Genoa Airport - the closest airport to Cinque Terre. From Genoa, you can take the shuttle bus at the Airport to reach the Genoa train station. There are direct trains that reach the villages of Cinque Terre.
The overall travel time from Genoa train station to Cinque Terre villages is around 1 hour 20 minutes. Further, you can also drive to Cinque Terre from either Pisa or Genoa which would take around 1.5 hours.
Best Time to Visit Cinque Terre
For the best-ever experience, the shoulder season –starting from September & lasting till October is regarded as the best time to visit the Cinque Terre in Italy.
Summer Time: The best time to visit the Cinque Terre is from September to October. This is the time when the tourists look forward to spending the summertime in full enjoyment.
Winter Time: The given period offers access to cooler temperatures with emptied-out trails of the region. The region is known to witness wintertime from the months of November to February. As such, the place remains chilly and unpleasant during this time.
Moreover, you might as well experience some amenity closures during the winter season in Cinque Terre. While the cold season is averted by most tourists out there, December vacation is still known to bring some glow into the region during the chilly days. At the same time, you might as well get access to cheaper accommodations in the region.
Spring Time: Spring in Cinque Terre is another pleasant season to explore the region & its natural beauty. Spring –just like fall, might allow you to embrace the beauty of rainfall in the region.
What Not to Miss at Cinque Terre
Trekking or hiking the trails that are known for connecting various villages of Cinque Terre are the main activities that attract the tourists while keeping them entertained at the same time. While visiting Cinque Terre, all the places of tourist attractions in the region are located within the premise of Cinque Terre National Park.
Cinque Terre is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Italy. A visit to one of its unique five villages or towns is living proof of its overall popularity amongst the travel-enthusiasts of the world. Cinque Terre is a place that is assured to grace the beautiful postcards that you take along with you back home.
Situated in the north-western area of Italy, the five spectacular villages of Cinque Terre are set up along the steep hills & atop high-end cliffs. These villages overlook the majestic Mediterranean to provide you with breathtaking views of your life.
5 Villages of Cinque Terre
The five villages of Cinque Terre are known to be crowded with tourists all year round –especially during the summer season. If you wish to enjoy your vacation in Cinque Terre for a few days, it is recommended to book your vacation in advance. This is because you might not get accommodation if you get too late. In addition to the summertime, the place is also a beautiful place to stay in during the offseason.
If you are visiting Cinque Terre, the five villages that you should aim at exploring are:
1. Vernazza: The village of Vernazza has recently reclaimed its reputation of being one of the most picturesque towns in Cinque Terre. Vernazza is acclaimed as a small fishing village that is known to be loaded with ample charm all over. In addition to its bespoke natural beauty, the place is also home to a wide number of functional ports that form the major part of the village’s economy. It has the best harbor in the entire Cinque Terre.
Moreover, these narrow streets have step-like constructions all over to allow you to explore the place freely. If you wish to maximize your overall experience in the village, taking a stroll between Vernazza and Monterosso is a special treat to the tourists. The hike is a picturesque one and lasts for around 90 minutes.
2. Manarola: Just like other towns of the Cinque Terre, Manarola is known to be situated on top of a beautiful cliff and overlooks the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It is regarded as the smallest town and also the oldest one in the entire group of Cinque Terre towns. If you are visiting Manarola, you will be awestruck by the beauty of the narrow streets that are stoned and feature amazing, historic buildings all around.
If you love hiking, Manarola is a great place to be in. You can go on fun-filled hiking trips across the town to the nearby vineyards and hills. You might as well consider walking to Riomaggiore - one of the most famous walks in Cinque Terre.
3. Riomaggiore: It is the southernmost region in Cinque Terre delivering abundant natural beauty all around. Sitting atop an impressive cliff, the place is known for a wide range of beautiful spots and picturesque destinations to surprise the tourists pleasantly. You will be amazed by the unique construction of the multi-coloured houses that cling to the cliff and overlook the sprawling Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, the steep hills of the region invoke the photographer in you to capture a few stunning images of the surrounding region.
4. Corniglia: This beautiful town in Cinque Terre is known to feel quieter. However, it oozes beauty and charm just like other towns in Cinque Terre. The town sits on top of a rising cliff that falls steeply into the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The best part of this small, charming town is that it is surrounded by sprawling vineyards all over. Situated on top of an impressive cliff, Corniglia is known to provide access to bespoke views of the Mediterranean Sea and its crystal blue waters.
Here, you can also come across Genoese fortifications all across Corniglia as the main historical artifact in the town. These establishments were set up during the 16th century and play a vital role in boosting the overall tourism of the place –in addition to a wide array of colorful homes.
5. Monterosso al Mare: It is yet another small village that is situated along the northwest coast of some of the best beaches across Cinque Terre. Monterosso is home to some of the best, scenic beaches in Cinque Terre. At the same time, the town is also known to feature a wide number of the best wine shops in the region. Here, you can also come across exclusive restaurants, hotels, artisan shops, and hotels for comfortable accommodation.
Visiting the Church of San Francesco is a major attraction in the region. It is a high-end monastery that takes pride in featuring the exclusive Van Dyck painting. Additionally, the small, beautiful village is also famed in the region for its white wines, olives, and lemons. Therefore, as a traveler, you can be assured of taking along several packages of these supplies as you head back home.
Other Essential Information About Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre is situated along the coastal lines of Liguria –in northwest Italy. Given its prime location towards La Spezia’s western end, the Cinque Terre has become a famous tourist spot in the region.
The closest airport to Cinque Terre is Genoa.
The place is full of picturesque views that allow you to capture stunning images of the scenes nearby.
Where Should I Stay in Cinque Terre?
Cinque Terre is composed of five beautiful cliff-side towns that offer abundant options of high-end as well as budget-friendly accommodation for every type of traveler out there. Being one of the major tourist attraction spots in Italy, the towns of Cinque Terre are home to a wide number of accommodations that are widespread across the towns –overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. All these towns provide access to multicolored houses and sprawling sea-facing vistas for an amazing vacation ahead.
When you are visiting Cinque Terre towns, it is important to note that these are fishing villages. Most of the available accommodations in the towns are in the form of luxury private rooms in some of the historic family-owned buildings.
1. Hotel Villa Argentina- a high-end accommodation located in Riomaggiore. The hotel is known to provide bespoke views of the entire Mediterranean.
2. Hotel Marina Piccola- Situated in the village of Manarola, this hotel offers a perfect romantic getaway to those who are searching for serenity and ultimate beauty.
3. Sandra Villa Rooms- One of the most famous villa rooms in Corniglia, this accommodation option is highly sought-after by those who wish to enjoy the true essence of Cinque Terre.
4. Manuela Rooms & Apartments- If you wish to live in a place like home, this premise offers easy access to lavish rooms & even apartments in Vernazza.
5. Hotel Villa Steno- Get access to ultimate hospitality at this leading Monterosso hotel. The hotel also provides access to luxury amenities for your overall comfort.
What to Eat in Cinque Terre?
The Cinque Terre towns are not only known for their splendid views of the sprawling Mediterranean, but they are also famous for the huge variety of the Mediterranean delicacies the place has to offer.
Visiting the Cinque Terre & its small towns is not only a feast to your eyes, but also a great delight to your taste buds. If you are here, we have prepared a list of the top food items that you should try out during the foodie break in the majestic Italian Riviera:
1. Anchovies: The immensely bright & silver-textured “acciughe” in Cinque Terre is something you must try out on your trip. This is because the anchovies here are famous for the overall exquisite quality in entire Italy. The locals in Italy are known to enjoy the seafood in a variety of ways –with a sprinkle of lemon & olive oil, stuffed, raw, with parsley & garlic, cooked with potatoes, fried, and various other types.
2. Pesto: Liguria in Italy is hailed as the birthplace of Pesto -a delicious sauce that originates in Genoa, Italy. Cinque Terre is renowned for presenting its own unique range of Pesto. This basil variant in Cinque Terre is known to have a stronger essence in comparison to the basil from Genoa. The Cinque Terre’s pesto or basil grows in the shade of olive trees and the vines. As such, you get to try the flavors of slightly less minty and more citrusy basil in comparison to the one that is grown in full sunlight.
4. Seafood: The Mediterranean is rich with a wide variety of seafood other than fish. The only exception to the fish variety found in the Mediterranean is the Anchovies. In addition to the impressive array of seafood, you will also come across friggitoria in most of the restaurants in Cinque Terre. You can also come across several takeaways in the region offering ‘fritto misto’ -a type of snack that is deep-friend and piled onto a paper cone.
5. Wines: In addition to the myriad of options that you get with food in Cinque Terre, the five villages of the place are also renowned for their exclusive vineyards. These vineyards are responsible for producing exotic, world-class wines that are high on demand across Italy and other parts of the world. Some of the exotic wines to try out in the region are White Wines (the Cinque Terre DOC White Wines), Sciacchetra (a local dessert wine), and other wine variants.
Things to Know About Visiting Cinque Terre
Some of the top things to know before visiting Cinque Terre in the Italian Riviera are:
1. Cinque Terre National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site: The tourists from all over love visiting the Cinque Terre villages that also comprise a national park –a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Cinque Terre is Quite Hilly: Featuring a wide number of hiking & trekking trails, all the villages in Cinque Terre are situated atop steep cliffs & hilltops. Therefore, be prepared with your sneakers to hike across the hills. You would be required to walk a lot. Try packing as light as possible to avoid issues while hiking up or down the steep cliffs in the region.
3. Avoid the Summer Time: Cinque Terre is home to as many as 4000 residents. At the same time, this famous tourist destination in Italy is known to receive around 2 million visitors per year. The majority of such visits happen during the summer months. This is the reason why you would find accommodation in the region quite expensive and sparse at the same time. Instead, you will get access to warm temperatures during the spring & fall. Therefore, it is the best time to visit the region.
4. Fly into Pisa: Pisa serves to be a convenient touching point when you wish to reach Cinque Terre easily & comfortably. Pisa International Airport is located conveniently –just a few kilometers from the main town center. Moreover, you can also reach Cinque Terre from Pisa easily via the regular train services. Pisa serves to be an ideal pitstop when you wish to travel in a budget-friendly manner –especially when you are traveling from some other city in Europe. By doing so, you can be convinced of significant savings throughout.
Tips for Visiting Cinque Terre
You can look forward to having a great time in Cinque Terre. Here are some additional tips to make the most of your time in Cinque Terre.
1. If you are visiting for the first time, it is recommended to look into your accommodation options initially. Cinque Terre being home to five small villages, the accommodation options can be limited especially during the peak tourist season.
2. Look out for budget-friendly accommodation options in the region.
3. Research on the best dishes or restaurants in the area.