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Sightseeing Tours

Cinque Terre Tours & Activities

About Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, nestled between Pisa and Genoa is a string of seaside villages - Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia and Riomaggiore. Situated on a mountainous stretch overlooking the Italian Riviera coastline these towns make for the dreamest of summer expeditions.

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. 

This quaint Italian destination is best explored on foot, taking up the hiking trails along the cliffs with majestic vistas of the Italian coastline. Or the next best option is a train ride to travel between the five centuries-old villages.

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.
Cinque Terre has some of the most alluring sunsets that one can witness. Climb up the many viewpoints across the five towns to engrave a golden-hued evening in your memories or capture the moment in photographs. Further, surrounded by clear azure water, it would be a shame, not to take a dip in the sea or go on a boat ride. In Cinque Terre, you can go to several beaches, including Monterosso Beach in Manarola village.

Another nearby place worth seeing, although not part of Cinque Terre is Porto Venere. This UNESCO world- heritage village is situated on the Ligurian coast and is known for Porto Venere Regional Natural Park, a protected area with trails and dive sites, Fezzano and Le Grazie.

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. 

If you are visiting Cinque Terre anytime soon, here are some of the top things that you should not miss out on:

1. Visit the Trattoria dal Billy: This place is hidden across the narrow lane towards the upper reaches of the town. The Trattoria is known for delivering access to relish on some of the best seafood items in the region. 

2. Traverse Across the Footpath Monterosso: This famous trail is known to connect Vernazza & Monterosso. The trail is indeed beautiful, yet challenging at the same time. When you come across the trailhead, you are expected to ascend a series of stairs. While this might appear challenging, you can still enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding vineyards and orchards featuring some of the best produce of the region. 

3. Explore the Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre: Also going by the name as “Cinque Terre National Park,” the park is spread across a mere area of just 15 miles. This is the reason why it is the smallest national park in Italy. However, the park still features an impressive population of 4000 species of flora & fauna. Therefore, it has become one of the most densely inhabited parks in Italy. In 1997, the park also became a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. Go on an Adventurous Stride on the Sentiero Vernazza a Corniglia: It is a name that has been imparted to the famous hike that is known to connect Corniglia with Vernazza. As you move along the hiking trails, you are bound to enjoy the scenic beauty of the sprawling meadows, vineyards, olive groves, and orchards all around. At the same time, you will also be passing through the steep villages of San Bernardino and Prevo as you move from Vernazza to Corniglia. 

5. Go Spiritual at the Church of San Francesco: Set up during the 17th century, the Church of Francesco also goes by the name as Convento dei Cappuccini e Chiesa di San Francesco. It is a famous monastery in Cinque Terre and provides access to marvel various pieces of bespoke art. It also features the world-famous “Crucifixion” painting by the renowned Anthony van Dyck.

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. 

The village is a perfect postcard-picture spot that is known to sit atop a cliff that overlooks the majestic Mediterranean Sea. You can explore the place easily on foot while enjoying the amazing hiking experience all around.  In fact, the foot is the only permitted way to traverse across the village as cars are not allowed through the narrow streets of the village.

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. 

The town is also home to a series of charming, vibrant, colorful buildings all over. These buildings provide the perfect background for your vacation pictures. Also, Manarola in Cinque Terre is famous for being a small fishing town. It hosts an impressive harbor for the ease of transportation. Additionally, the town has also garnered the respect of being a leading wine-producing town in Cinque Terre that have also been mentioned by the Romans.

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. 

The town is famous for its historic buildings that you would love to explore during the vacation. At the same time, the small town in Cinque Terre is also famous for its exotic wines. For your ultimate entertainment, Riomaggiore is home to a small, beautiful beach on the Mediterranean as well. On the beach, you can come across a wide number of impressive shops as well as restaurants to satiate your hunger. 

Another best experience to take place in this beach heaven is to hike across the Via dell’Amore to reach Manarola. It is a highly sought-after tourist activity and draws the attention of thousands of tourists from all corners of the globe. At the same time, you would also love to explore the majestic Church of San Giovanni Battista (in the name of St. John the Baptist). It is a medieval church known for its innate calm & serenity on the cliff-end upon which it has been constructed.

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.

The town can be easily reached on foot by taking around 382 steps. However, if you are not willing to walk, you can get access to the local buses as well that might be available on the road at fixed timings. Corniglia –just like other towns of Cinque Terre, is characterized by the presence of narrow streets as well as quaint buildings.

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. 

Monterosso is divided into two regions including the New & Old Town. These towns are connected to each other with the help of a tunnel that is utilized by the pedestrians. The best way to reach Monterosso is by train as you get to easily access it while being assured of the overall cost-effectiveness. However, if you are traveling by car, you should have the courage to navigate across the narrow streets that are steep and immensely winding all around.

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

Location :
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. 

Entry Fee:

When you are visiting the exclusive Cinque Terre National Park in the region, you can expect to pay around 7.50€ for the adults and 4.50€ for the kids for one day. The entry fee to the park is inclusive of unlimited utilization of the park buses for commuting. If you wish to commute by train, there is an additional fee of 16€ for the adults & 10€ for the kids.

Distance from the Nearest Airport:
The closest airport to Cinque Terre is Genoa.
Distance from Genoa Airport -100.7 km

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. 

3. Focaccia: Focaccia is a famous Italian bread product that is baked in the oven. If you are out on a hiking trail, you can consider taking along this hiking-friendly snack –quite famous amongst both the tourists as well as the locals here in Cinque Terre. This snack is a staple in most of the bakeries in Liguria. It is believed that the locals even tend to dip the focaccia in their morning coffee. 

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.
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People Also Ask About Cinque Terre

  1. How many days do I need?

    Cinque Terre can be explored fully in 1-2 days. While you can see the entire place in one day, it is still advised to stay in Cinque Terre longer (preferably two days) to get the most out of your Mediterranean vacation. The subsequent villages in the region can be reached out with the help of train transportation. Moreover, by staying here for at least two days can allow you to bask yourself in the Mediterranean sunlight in some of the famous beaches o
  2. How hard are the Cinque Terre hikes?

    While some trails are moderately difficult, most of them are easily accessible by foot. The most famous trail is the Blue Trail that connects Riomaggiore with Monterosso al Mare. It would take around 5 hours to complete this trail. You should purchase tickets in advance to ensure the fun-filled hiking experience.
  3. Do I need a permit?

    While you are allowed to visit multiple villages for free, you still need a permit to walk the famous trails in this world-famous national park. If you would like to go on a hiking trail from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza or from Vernazza to Corniglia, you would require obtaining permission in advance. Luckily, permits are easily available. Therefore, there is no need to be worried about missing out on the unique hiking opportunity in the national park.
  4. What should I bring with me?

    When you wish to make the most of the hiking experience across the Cinque Terre National Park, it is recommended to be well-prepared in advance. For the best-ever experience, you should bring: 1. hiking poles for ensuring maximum convenience and the ease of hiking. Make sure that the hiking poles that you carry along are lightweight. 2. extra socks 3. bottled water 4. some snacks 5. your first-aid kit.
  5. Is the Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre Better?

    Both the Amalfi Coast & Cinque Terre offer spectacular sea views. Amalfi Coast is that it remains better connected as well as better positioned. Cinque Terre is an ideal option if you are planning a short trip to some beachside location and looking for fun ways to entertain yourself. Depending on your travel preferences, you can choose to visit any one of the leading destinations.
  6. Which Cinque Terre town is the best?

    Different towns in Cinque Terre feature unique specifications that attract thousands of visitors from different corners of the world. All towns are unique in their own ways. Vernazza: It is one of the most picturesque villages in Cinque Terre. There are multiple viewpoints from the famous Cinque Terre trail. Even when you are taking the trail, you could still visit the viewpoints of Vernazza. - Monterosso al Mare: It is the northernmost village in Cinque Terre. The small town is famous for its beaches and unmatched views of the Mediterranean Sea. - Corniglia: It is one of the quaintest villages in Cinque Terre. Located atop a hill, Corniglia has gained impetus to be a leading tourist destination in the Italian Riviera. - Manarola: The town is known for its bespoke sunset and sunrise views. - Riomaggiore: Being slightly larger in comparison to other Cinque Terre towns. You can consider spending here a day or two to explore the entire city.
  7. What are the 5 towns of Cinque Terre?

    A trip to the Cinque Terre is renowned for the collection of 5 little towns across its geography. These towns are given the status of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and feature their own personality. Monterosso: It is one of the most developed towns of Cinque Terre. It is divided into two distinct areas that are connected to each other with the help of a tunnel. - Vernazza: It is regarded as the most picturesque village in Cinque Terre and features an ancient castle that overlooks the splendid Mediterranean Sea. - Corniglia: It is one of the highest Cinque Terre villages. The town is situated atop a steep cliff and provides bespoke views of the entire Mediterranean. - Manarola: It is regarded as one of the most colorful towns in Cinque Terre as all houses and buildings here are painted with bright colors. - Riomaggiore: It is the southernmost village in Cinque Terre. The narrow streets of the town are lined with various restaurants, shops, and guest houses all around.
  8. What does Cinque Terre mean?

    Cinque Terre means ‘Five Lands’ -composed of five small villages.

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