skip to Main Content

Where to stay in Cinque terre

Where to stay in Cinque terre

For many who haven’t yet been there, Cinque Terre (five lands) includes five bright colored cliff-side villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare) down the Italian riviera starting from Genova, and about a couple of hours by train from Florence. Every one of these small towns features its own unique appeal; actually, residents will explain that they also have distinct dialects.

italy cinque terre

What is Cinque terre

The Cinque Terre is a National Park of Italy since 1997 and is a UNESCO protected site. Cinque Terre offer you a crystal clear sea, attractive hiking paths with awe-inspiring views, old churches, sanctuaries, oratories and a few castles, diving in Riomaggiore, and food and wines of excellent quality.

Where to hike in the Cinque Terre

The most famous network of hiking trails in the Cinque Terre: Trail #2, or Sentiero Azzurro

One of the hiking paths in the Cinque TerreThe “Via dell’Amore,” between Corniglia and Manarola
The most popular way to enjoy the Cinque Terre on foot is to follow Trail #2 (the Sentiero Azzurro, or “Blue Trail”), which is made up of four individual paths along the coast. You can walk the entire route in about six hours, if you take short breaks—although many hikers prefer to spread the route out over a few days at a strolling pace, stopping to enjoy the towns along the way.

You can start from either direction (Monterosso, heading south, or Riomaggiore, heading north). But here’s a tip: Start from Riomaggiore, where the paths are easier and paved, and work your way up to the more challenging trails. That way, you can stop at any time… and head to the nearest train station if you have to! (Here’s an easy guide to using the Cinque Terre train).
Just remember, admission to Trail #2 usually requires purchase of the Cinque Terre card (5-7 euro/day for trail and museum access, or 10 euro/day for trail, museum and unlimited train access).

No matter how many trails you’ve walks its hard not to fall in love with the Cinque Terre on this “Lover’s Lane.” Wide, flat and paved, it is by far, the easiest section of Trail #2. And it’s famous for its kissing statue and tunnel covered in declarations of love! Length: 1.2 miles (2km); 40 minutes to walk.

Retrieved from

cinque terre towns

Which Cinque terre village to stay in

Monterosso is in an ancient village located atop a hill, offering amazing panorams to all who venture here.
The main tourist attractions are the Old Castle, the Church of Saint John the Baptis,t and the Convent of the Capuchin.
The modern town stands at the foot of the Fenigia Hill, and boasts ruggedly beautiful beaches and natural areas. Finally, the Statue of Neptune, called the Giant, majestically guards the coastline from on high.

Riomaggiore is Cinque Terre’s most famous town, as well as the closest town to La Spezia.
This is the start the zone’s famous trekking route, dug into the rock in the early 20th century, and leading to Manarola where we have the famous Via dell’Amore or “Way of Love”. Another route not to be missed is the Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail), traversing the National Park of le Cinque Terre.

Vernazza features a picturesque small port, evidence of its ancient maritime traditions. The old town bears defensive structures, elegant architecture, decorative portals and elaborate colonnades running between the narrow lanes convergin on the main piazza, adjacent to the small port.
The Parish House of Saint Mary of Antioch, the Doria Castle and the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Reggio are Vernazza’s main tourist attractions.

Manarola is positioned at the top of a cliff that seems to tumble down into the sea; it is a fine example human manipulation of a harsh environment that is now made up of generous soil, terraces and vineyards and orchards.
Tourists can enjoy awe-inspiring landscapes from the Punta Bonfiglio headland, or from the churchyard of Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Salute di Volastra’.

Corniglia is located on the top of a promontory, where the people produce excellent wines, such as the Cinque Terre DOC, the Pollenza, and the very well-known Sciacchetrà. The so-called Givano Beach, a famous nudists’ beach, lies below.

Retrieved from

vernazza cinque terre

Things to do in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is now a national park. There are easy trails the run the length of the coast and you can hike from one town to the next. This year, certain sections of the easy (blue) trail are closed due to landslides.

As with the Tuscan hill towns, in Cinque Terre, the towns themselves are the attraction. This is a great place to forget about your agenda and just relax.

Take a hike, dip in the Ligurian Sea, get lost down narrow side streets, eat some good seafood.

Swimming in Cinque Terre, and along most of the Ligurian coastline, is unique. Due to the rocking coast, there are very few beaches, as we think of them in the US. The “beaches” are often boulders, or small areas made of gravel.

Although this is less enticing to sit on (never stops the Italians) it ensures crystal clear water, because the sand is not mucking it up.

It’s fun to stay in the quaint hotels of Cinque Terre. Yet if they are booked, or you are trying to save money, consider staying just North or South of Cinque Terre.

Retrieved from

Cars have been completely banned from the Cinque Terre for more than ten years, so touring this interesting area is done mostly by train, local electric buses, or by walking. If you intend to remain for several days, think about acquiring the Cinque Terre Card, that provides you access to unrestricted train travel, each of the hiking paths, local buses, and a variety of museums and cultural sites. When you’ve received your Cinque Terre Card  you’re ready to start exploring!

Recently there were rumors about the limit on visitors of Cinque Terre in 2017, but it was Officially announced: the park is open for tourists with no restrictions!


Cinque terre map

Back To Top