Do you want to discover a special land in Italy? If you are looking for rare moments of relaxation, in the untouched landscapes of the Ligurian coast, visiting Cinque Terre is your right choice.
Between cliffs of limestone and rock, colorful houses perched between lanes and coves, and a dreamy atmosphere, the Cinque Terre villages will offer you an unforgettable stay. Along with the astonishment that only places suspended between heaven and earth can offer you.
Do you want to get to Cinque Terre? Do you want to visit the nature reserve, the Cinque Terre marine protected Area and a spectacle you have never seen before? Let’s travel, then!
Read more: Reaching Portofino by car from Genoa
Cinque Terre towns, discovering the 5 villages
They are the villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore which extend from Punta Mesco to Capo Montenero and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, since 1997.
With their beaches, the romantic coves and the medieval charm of the hinterland, these villages will enchant you. It will be for you love at first sight.
This is the oldest of the Cinque Terre villages and is located on the west side of the Cinque Terre National Park, on the promontory of Punta Mesco. Monterosso is divided into two districts: the east side is the historical and medieval village, with a network of lanes and the characteristic marina.
The west side, indeed, is newer, with its promenade between the railroad tracks and the waterfront. This area is full of hotels, restaurants and small shops: to visit and discover quietly.
Between Corniglia and Monterosso, Vernazza is a little gem nestled in the harbor bowl, which once hosted the naval fleets. Its pastel-colored houses, which from the top of the promontory slope down to the sea, offer the visitors a spectacular view. And a great delight if you go through them, walking among the alleys that from the ancient watchtowers lead to the sea.
Corniglia village sits atop a rocky promontory, without direct access to the sea except for a 377 steps stairway carved in stone. It is the only one of the Cinque Terre towns to maintain an agricultural vocation.
Although the wilder aspect, Corniglia has a mysterious charm, due to the Gothic atmosphere you breathe here. Even if it is difficult to reach, a stop on the local beach is required, if you want to get wet in incredibly blue waves.
Connected to Riomaggiore by a footpath known as the Via dell’Amore, Manarola is located along a stream that flows into the sea. Its brightly colored houses go down from the higher part of Manarola to the marina, to climb to the top of the cliff overlooking the marina.
Even Manarola, among Cinque Terre towns, will let you discover an uncontaminated beauty, while enjoying the spectacle of nature, in every corner of the street.
You cannot complete your Cinque Terre walk without visiting Riomaggiore. Its houses, lighted at night, are enchanting and evoke a small crib set between cliffs and sea. It will be poetic and romantic to walk along the path of love (Via dell’Amore), where a breathtaking view will certainly speechless.
Small fishing boats among the rocks in the small marina will complete the magic of this fabulous place. I assure you, you will never forget this Cinque Terre tour.
What to do in Cinque Terre
Walking along the narrow streets and squares of Cinque Terre villages is enough to live a very extraordinary experience. But if you have a few days off, there are some sights in Cinque Terre you cannot miss.
If you like adventurous walks and you want to enjoy Cinque Terre hiking, you cannot miss the Sanctuaries Ways. Between forest landscapes, streams, endangered animals and sea views as far as the eye could see, you will visit, through this path, 5 important holy places:
- Sanctuary of Our Dame of Montenero in Riomaggiore
- Sanctuary of Our Dame of Graces in Corniglia
- Sanctuary of Our Dame of Health in Manarola
- Sanctuary of our Dame of Soviore in Monterosso
- Sanctuary of Our Dame of Regio in Vernazza.
There are other places which are worth a visit:
- The Aurora Tower, the Castle and the Convent of the Capuchins, the Church of St. John the Baptist.
- The Church of Santa Maria of Antioch in Vernazza, with medieval and Renaissance elements.
- The Church of San Pietro in Corniglia, with its refined Gothic style
- The White Bell Tower, the Church of San Lorenzo, the Oratory of the Flagellants of St Catherine and the Hospital of San Rocco.
- The castle on the Hill of Cerricò in Riomaggiore.
Cinque Terre hiking experience is not complete without the Blue Path (Sentiero Azzurro), ideal if you succeed in walking for a whole day. This road connects all the Cinque Terre towns. Otherwise, you can choose the Way of love (Via dell’Amore), connecting Riomaggiore to Manarola.
Where to stay in Cinque Terre
Are you asking what are the best places to stay in Cinque Terre? You can book of course a hotel room before your visit. Among the best hotels in Cinque Terre:
- Baia Hotel or Suisse Hotel in Monterosso
- Hotel Gianni Franzi in Vernazza
- Hotel Marina Piccola in Manarola
Or you can choose among many comfortable B&B or more expensive but very cosy Luxury Apartments, overlooking the sea. In these cases, everything is in your hands, it depends on your preferences about your Cinque Terre tour.
Cinque Terre food specialties and best restaurants
You cannot miss the typical Ligurian cuisine. Especially seafood served with the renowned Sciacchetrà wine. For an unforgettable lunch or dinner, you can choose:
- Ancora della Tortuga Restaurant in Monterosso
- Rio Bistrot in Riomaggiore
- Trattoria dal Billy in Manarola
- Belforte Restaurant in Vernazza
- Osteria A Cantina de Mananan in Corniglia.
These are just a sample of Cinque Terre restaurants where you can taste the land and sea flavors of Liguria. While there, my advice for you is to ask the inhabitants of the villages, according to your desires and your tastes. And perhaps you will discover a typical and characteristic place, you will refer, then, in this post.
Read more: Luxury car Genoa tours for cruises
How to get to Cinque Terre
Your Cinque Terre tour is coming to an end. But I want to give the most important information, explaining you how to get to Cinque Terre by train, boat or car.
How to get to CinqueTerre by train
To get to Cinque Terre by train, you can take the Pisa – Genoa line which stops in all Cinque Terre villages. Or Cinque Terre Express Train line (from Sestri Levante to La Spezia), which runs every 15 minutes and allows children under 4 years to travel for free, and those up to 12 years to get 50% discount.
Train trips are more frequent in summer, while in winter it is not so easy to get to the villages by train. Then, take care to organize your transfer to Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre by boat
To get to Cinque Terre by boat, in spring and summer there are daily departures from La Spezia, Portofino, Lerici and Portovenere. To choose the departure port, to check the ferry schedules and ticket costs, I recommend you to visit the site of the Consorzio Marittimo Turistico Cinque Terre.
How to get to Cinque Terre by car
Driving to Cinque Terre is an alternative to trains and boats, but you have to bear in mind that the villages do not have many parking lots. Sometimes, indeed, it is almost impossible to leave the car parked for a long time, so that the Cinque Terre tour becomes a stressful experience.
If you want to get to Cinque Terre by car there is actually a great solution for you. All without the hassle to park or to wait for train or boat schedules or delays. You can choose, indeed, a luxury car rental service with private driver, it will give you peace of mind.
Are you ready for this tour to Liguria?
Looking for a few days in the wonders of Cinque Terre? Experience an exclusive trip. Choose our luxury cars with private driver and let us take you to paradise aboard vans or elegant Sedans. Cinque Terre are ready to welcome you.