Cinque Terre is a picturesque area in Italy made up of five villages: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare. The villages are connected by walking trails and offer stunning views of the coastline.
Cinque Terre is a popular tourist destination and can be crowded, so it’s important to plan your trip in advance.
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Here is a suggested 3-day itinerary for Cinque Terre. Depending on the location of your accommodation, you might need to switch it up a bit.
Arrive in Cinque Terre and check into your accommodation. Spend the afternoon exploring the village in which you’re staying. Our favorite villages are Riomaggiore, Manarola, and Corniglia. I also recommend staying in one of these three villages.
If you decide to explore one of the nearby villages on your first day, make sure to stop at one of the many viewpoints to take in the stunning views of the coastline.
In the evening, enjoy a traditional Italian meal in one of the villages.
In the morning, start your day with a hike to another village. Depending on where you’re staying, you could opt for the nearby villages of head to the further one.
For example, you could head to Monterosso al Mare. Once you arrive in Monterosso al Mare, spend some time relaxing on the beach before heading to Vernazza. In the evening, enjoy dinner with a view in Vernazza.
Vernazza has some of the most beautiful restaurants. In fact, the views from some of the restaurants are pretty iconic.
Spend your last day in Cinque Terre exploring the coast from the sea. Rent a kayak, or a boat, or simply join a boat trip to see Cinque Terre from a different perspective.
Depending on your departure time, you should have enough time to soak in the views one last time.
Cinque Terre Travel Tips
Below you’ll find a lot of travel tips for visiting Cinque Terre. Then, we’ll dive a bit deeper to help you plan an unforgivable trip to Cinque Terre.
- Cinque Terre can be crowded, so it’s important to plan your trip in advance. For example, you should book your accommodation in advance as there are not a lot of options and they can get sold out quickly. The same applies to boat trips or activities.
- Cinque Terre is a hilly area, so comfortable walking shoes are a must!
- There are many stairs in Cinque Terre, so be prepared for a bit of cardio. The villages of Cinque Terre are connected by walking trails. Be sure to pack water and snacks for the hike. If you’re there during summertime, bring sunscreen too.
- Cinque Terre is known for its seafood. Try the traditional dishes like focaccia with anchovies, or spaghetti with clams.
- Cinque Terre is a popular tourist destination, so there are many souvenir shops.
- Cinque Terre is a beautiful area, but it can be crowded during the summer. If you’re looking for a more relaxed trip, consider visiting in the off-season.
- To access some hiking trails, you’ll need to buy a ticket. Tickets can be bought at the Cinque Terre National Park office or at the train station.
The price of the tickets has increased in 2022. Here’s an overview:
- The Cinque Terre Card for one day: EUR 18.20
- The Cinque Terre Card for two days: EUR 33
- The Cinque Terre Card for three days: EUR 47
Best Time To Visit Cinque Terre
The best time to visit Cinque Terre depends on what you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed trip, consider visiting in the off-season. April to June and September to October are considered the shoulder seasons and offer milder weather and smaller crowds.
July and August are the busiest months, so if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting in the off-season. The weather is still nice and you’ll be able to enjoy Cinque Terre without the crowds.
Where To Park In Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is a hilly area, so there is limited parking. If you’re planning on visiting by car, it’s best to park in one of the larger towns like Monterosso al Mare or La Spezia and take the train to Cinque Terre.
Parking in Cinque Terre is expensive and can be difficult to find. If you do choose to drive, be sure to arrive early to find a spot.
We suggest you book accommodation that provides parking and walk between the villages instead of using the car.
How To Get Around Cinque Terre
The best way to get around Cinque Terre is by train. Cinque Terre is located on the Genoa-Rome railway line and there are trains connecting the villages of Cinque Terre. The trains are frequent and run on a schedule, so be sure to check the timetable in advance.
You can also get around Cinque Terre by boat or ferry. They depart from the ports of each village. Tickets can be bought at the port or at the Cinque Terre National Park office.
Finally, if you’re in Cinque Terre, you should also use your feet to explore the area. Cinque Terre is known for its walking trails with stunning views.
If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking, get a Cinque Terre Card. It will give you access to the trails and to the train if you ever get tired at some point.
How To Reach Cinque Terre From La Spezia
Cinque Terre can be reached by train from La Spezia. Cinque Terre is located on the Genoa-Rome railway line and there are trains connecting Cinque Terre to La Spezia. The journey takes about 30 minutes.
You can also reach Cinque Terre by boat from La Spezia. Boat trips are a unique way to see Cinque Terre.
If you’re driving, Cinque Terre can be reached by car from La Spezia. Depending on the village you wish to visit, the length of the trip can change.
Cinque Terre can also be reached by bus from La Spezia, but we recommend the train over the bus. It’s faster and you will avoid feeling carsick on the windy roads.
Best Places To Stay In Cinque Terre
There are many accommodation options available in Cinque Terre.
If you’re looking for the easiest options, consider staying in one of the larger towns like Monterosso al Mare or La Spezia and taking the train to Cinque Terre.
If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, consider staying in one of the smaller villages like Vernazza, Manarola, or Corniglia. There are a limited number of accommodation options available in the smaller villages, so be sure to book in advance. These villages are also great options if you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking.
Finally, consider staying in Riomaggiore if you wish to hike, but also enjoy the several restaurants. It’s one of the biggest towns and they have some of the best restaurants in the area. Riomaggiore is located at the beginning of the Cinque Terre hiking trail and has more accommodation options available.
Final Thoughts On Cinque Terre Itinerary
Cinque Terre is a beautiful area of Italy and offers something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing trip or an adventure-filled vacation, Cinque Terre is the perfect destination. Be sure to plan your trip in advance and consider the best time to visit Cinque Terre based on what you’re looking for.
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