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A beautiful string of five dramatic, picture-perfect, and vibrant old fishing villages in Italy with houses tumbling down cliffsides into the Mediterranean Sea.. is how I would describe The Cinque Terre of Italy!

Let’s discover this coastal paradise of Italy through our travel guide!

Cinque Terre is located on the Ligurian coast in Northern Italy and is the most dramatic and picturesque place you’d ever find!

Wide angle shot of Cinque Terre harbour

If you are a fan of rugged coastlines, romantic towns, and villages painted in vibrant colors with an added tinge of a beautiful sunset to end your adventurous day in Italy then Cinque Terre is the ultimate place you have to visit this year 2023!

Getting to Cinque Terre

How to reach cinque terre

There are numerous ways to reach this coastal paradise of Italy! Cinque Terre is a National Park, so vehicle traffic is restricted to residents in the villages.

The roads are terrifyingly narrow with winds and sheer drops and a car isn’t a good option for the same!  

Travelling to Cinque Terre By Car

If you are driving around, you have to park your car at the Levanto or in La Spezia and then catch the trains to Cinque Terre. 

Travelling to Cinque Terre By Train

Trains are the most convenient mode of transportation here as they operate between La Spezia and Levanto which stops at each village. The ticket costs just €5 and if you have the Cinque Terre Card, then it’s free for you! Find the updated Cinque Terre’s Train Timetable here

Travelling to Cinque Terre By Ferry

There is a ferry that connects the villages (other than Corniglia) with Portovenere, La Spezia, and Levanto from March to November.

You can enjoy this journey on a ticket that gives you unlimited journeys for €35 for adults and €20 for children.

The afternoon or single-ticket journeys are comparatively cheaper. You can also rent a boat or take a sailing trip.

Travelling to Cinque Terre By Bus

There is a mini tourist bus serving the cost which is a hop-on and hop-off service that can get you to hamlets further up the cliffs.

Though, this route takes a bit longer than trains or boats!  Tickets start at €18.50.

If you are planning to go around Cinque Terre by bus and are searching for the routes, tickets fares, availability, or book a tour then check it out here!

The Five Villages

Five villages of Cinque Terre

As described, Cinque Terre is a coastal paradise made up of five beautiful villages situated very close to each other so you can choose one village as the base to stay at and visit the other by train or foot!

The five villages are Riomaggiore, Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, and Manarola.


Image of Riomaggiore

This village is at the southernmost tip and is a lively and bustling place! It’s known for its historic castle and a panoramic breathtaking view of the sea around, mesmerizing gardens of fruits and flowers, and its authentic Italian experience!

Monterosso Al Mare

Monterosso Al Mare

The largest village in the city and a perfect place to soak up the sun and relax on the beach! This place is divided into two parts, the old town, and the new town.

The old town is charming with its narrow streets, colourful houses, and a beautiful church, whereas the new town is more modern with stores, restaurants, and bars where you can enjoy some local wine and great food!

Monterosso Al Mare

Hiking is the best way to explore this village. You can enjoy a refreshing swim in crystal clear waters and explore the Medieval Castle and the Statue of the giant as well.


Vernazza, Italy

Vernazza is arguably the most scenic and beautiful place of the five villages! Colored houses, narrow streets, and a stunning Harbor are the highlights of this town! This village is home to a beautiful church, a medieval castle called Belforte, and a beautiful sunset to enjoy a romantic evening with a loved one!


Corniglia, Italy

This is the most secluded and the smallest yet peaceful and tranquil place with winding winds and breathtaking views! This village is perched high on a cliff overlooking the sea with terraced vineyards with plenty of options for hiking trails that lead to other surrounding hills and valleys!


Five villages of Cinque Terre , Italy

If you are looking to taste the delicious local delicacies of Italy then Manarola is the place for you! Manarola is known for its traditional anchovies, pesto, and focaccia with plenty of shops and cafes around to explore.

Hiking in Cinque Terre

Hiking at Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Each town here is easily recognizable with its pastel buildings stacked on one top of another overlooking the beautiful harbors below! Each town offers something different than the others around it and if you are planning to explore this paradise then Hiking is one of the best ways to do so!

I am going to break down how to best explore the hiking trails that go through various historic villages, terraced gardens, citrus orchards, and olive groves!

There are the top 4 trails that we have categorized for you according to the difficulty level experienced by various tourists!

The EASY Ones!

Manarola – Volastra

Easy trail in Cinque Terre, Italy
  • This is 4.3 km out and back near Manarola, Liguria
  • This route is child-friendly and is a perfect place for a long jog, sea views, wildlife, and many historic sites. 
  • You can also visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Health in the small town of Volastra. 
  • While returning you can also catch a bus from Volastra to Manarola.

Corniglia – Scalinata – Lardarina

  • If you are a beginner at hiking, you should try this 2.9 km trail near Corniglia, Liguria.
  • It is considered an easy route and gets completed in 1 hour and 11 minutes approximately!
  • Starting from Corniglia, this route runs alongside the railways and reaches the town of Lardarina and its staircase which proceeds to the beautiful Church of San Pietro.


Sentiero Azzurro (Called the Blue Trail)

The Moderate trail in Cinque Terre, Italy
  • There is over 120 km of marked official walking trails here in Cinque Terre but the most popular hike is along Sentiero Azzuro – Translated to Blue Pathway or the Blue Trail! This Blue Trail connects all the villages from Riomaggiore to Monterosso Al Mare and can be hiked in a day!
  • The Blue Trail at present is limited to the 7.6 km / 4.7-mile section. It runs from Monterosso – Vernazza – Corniglia.
  • The Blue Trail Hiking Card is a mandatory thing here and it costs €7.50
  • The best months for hiking are April-May, September-November
  • It is comparatively challenging but full of fun with pretty gardens, dusty trails, and fancy restaurants on the way!

Manarola – Corniglia

The Moderate trail at Cinque Terre, Italy
  • This is a point-to-point trail near Manarola, Liguria. 
  • This is one of the popular trail tracks for activities like backpacking, hiking, and running
  • The best time to visit is from April through October. 
  • Narrow paths, stunning views, hillsides, and vineyards add up to this trail’s beauty!

Tips for hiking at Cinque Terre

Tips for hiking at Cinque Terre, Italy
  • Carry proper hiking boots or training shoes 
  • Do not forget to carry a light rain jacket, just in case!
  • The CINQUE TERRE TRAVEL CARD is a must (costs €7.50 per day). If you want to know more or skip the long queue then book it online!
  • Be an early bird and start your trail early morning to avoid crowds and mid-day heat!
  • You must stay hydrated! 
  • Pick up a suitable train timetable before leaving your house! Check it out here.
  • As most of the tourists suggest, start from Monterosso and hike south towards Riomaggiore.
  • Do not visit this place during high season as it’s super crowded and the town is buzzing with people around in April. 
  • Take a boat between the towns. It’s one of the best ways to explore Cinque Terre from a different perspective!  
  • The trails close frequently due to many climatic reasons which makes them inaccessible. Always check for any trail closures before starting your hikes.

Food and Drink in Cinque Terre

Food and Drink at Cinque Terre, Italy

Local specialties
As Cinque Terre is a small portion of Liguria it’s home to many traditional, old, and delicious seafood, flatbreads, and fried food! Each of these villages in Cinque Terre offers a wide range of dining options to choose from, including trattorias, street food, and bakeries.

You should definitely try these local delicacies: 

Spaghetti with Pomodoro (tomato and basil)

Spaghetti with Pomodoro (tomato and basil)

This traditional spaghetti dish is a perfect appetizer swirled in Italian sauce, tomatoes, and different herbs, seasoned with basil leaves, and served with wine which totally makes it one of the top Italian classics!

Minestrone (Italian vegetable soup)

Minestrone (Italian vegetable soup)

Typical of Cinque Terre is this delicious soup! This thick Italian vegetable soup is made without animal stock for all the vegetarians out there! You will find this in every nook and cranny of Cinque Terre garnished with fresh parsley and thin slices of carrots sometimes! If you are a vegan, tell them NOT to add the pesto!



If it’s Italy, then surely tasting RAVIOLI has to be a part of your day plan! This is a traditional vegetarian dish from Cinque Terre that most tourists love! Ravioli filled with spinach and cheese mixed well with pesto sauce or butter and sage sauce is something you’d not want to miss!

Pesto Genovese

Pesto Genovese

This is a must-try food in Liguria and Cinque Terre! This dish is a perfect blend of basil, extra-virgin olive oil, grated cheese, sweet garlic, coarse salt, pine nuts, and some homemade eggless tagliatelle (noodles) made by mixing flour, water, and salt!

Focaccia and Farinata

Foccacia Bread

These two types of flatbreads are usually oily, fluffy, and super soft! Farinata is a chickpea flatbread cooked in a pan in a wood oven which can be found in bakeries next to focaccia, quiches, and pizzas!

Monterosso Torta Di Riso (Rice Cake)

Monterosso Torta Di Riso Rice Cake

A desert is always the best way to end your meal and in Cinque Terre, this Monterosso Rice Cake is just the perfect dish made up of pastry puff flour, water, wine, cooked rice, oil, mushrooms, and parmesan cheese! This delicacy is originally from Genoa and can be found in all the towns and villages of Cinque Terre.

Recommended Restaurants and Cafes

Restaurants and Cafes in Cinque Terre , Italy

If you are here in this region.. then definitely you are in for a real treat! This breathtaking region is home to not only some of the most beautiful landscapes, and charming villages but also some delicious wine and cuisine in the world! 

Here are some of the best restaurant recommendations for you which have been carefully selected based on exceptional food quality, stunning ambiance, and outstanding service!

Enoteca Internazionale, Monterosso Al Mare

Enoteca Internazionale, Monterosso Al Mare Restaurant image

This restaurant has been serving one of the finest and oldest wines!

The wine tastings with expert sommeliers and the delicious food served here are worth mentioning!
Website :

La Cantina di Miky, Monterosso Al Mare

La Cantina di Miky, Monterosso Al Mare Restaurant image

This restaurant is located in New Town, Monterosso Al Mare.

The flavorful food here ranges from classics like pasta al pesto accompanied by the best cocktails such as KM0 with Gin Onde and Basil di Prà DOP!
Check it out here

Osteria a Cantina de Mananan, Corniglia

Osteria a Cantina de Mananan, Corniglia Restaurant image

This charming restaurant is a 20-seat spot situated high in the Corniglia Hills.

The menu here includes plenty of fish specialties but you will also find dishes that represent the Ligurians in land traditions like Pansotti with walnut sauce and Testaroli Al Pesto. Know more about the reviews, food, and classic ambiance here.

Accommodations in Cinque Terre

There are many accommodation solutions that Cinque Terre offers in terms of different styled apartments, hotels, and farmhouses! If you are visiting this coastal paradise in the months of summer, I advise you to book it much in advance! 

Here are a few options you can explore to stay here:


Hotels in Cinque Terre

Most hotels in this region are small to medium-sized and all are family-run with 3 stars. The prices may vary based on the location or on the season but they definitely offer the best breakfast options for free! Not many have restaurants as there are excellent restaurants all over this place!

Vernazza has great hotels to stay but the Santa Marta rooms are hands down one of the best recommendations I’d make! It has private bathrooms, in-room TVs, and the most comfortable ambiance with pastel-colored walls around!

Check the current rates and availability here

Bed & Breakfast Rooms

Bed and Breakfast rooms at Cinque Terre

This is the type of accommodation with a small number of furnished rooms with private bathrooms. You can look forward to a holiday in a cozy and comfortable atmosphere and try getting in touch with the locals while you stay here!

Apartments and Villas

Apartments and Villas at Cinque Terre

Apartments and Vilas can be rented usually for a minimum period here. This is the perfect choice for families and groups of friends visiting Cinque Terre this year!

There are several villa options in Levanto! Casa Vacanze Tra Le Mura and Casa Garden are among the top accommodation recommendations I have received lately!


Best Hostels at Cinque Terre

If you are looking for a Budget-friendly accommodation option then Hostels are the most suitable option for you if you are a backpacker, a student, or a budget traveler! Here, you have to share the living rooms, bathrooms, lounge, and kitchen. Breakfast is normally not included in the price and the internet is often available in public areas!

Find the best 10 hostels of Cinque Terre of 2023 here!


Farmhouses at Cinque Terre

If you are out with your family and planning for a vacation in Cinque Tere, then this accommodation option is the best and the most luxurious one!

You can have the best time shopping farm-produced goods such as organic eggs, honey, marmalade, traditional wine, cheese, and olive oil! If you are searching for the best and the most spacious farm stays in Cinque Terre then my recommendations are:
Agriturismo Missanega at Monterosso Al Mare
I Tre Grappoli at Corniglia
Angiolina’s Farm at Levanto
This farm stay features garden views, terrace bars, shared lounges, swimming pools, a children’s play area, and much more amenities that help you zoom out and live amidst nature in sheer peace!

Other Activities To Do At Cinque Terre

While exploring and hiking around the charming villages of this region there are many other activities to enjoy as well! Let’s explore some of the other must-try activities and experiences that will surely be the best addition to your trip to Cinque Terre!

Spending a day at the Monterosso beach!

Monterosso Beach at Cinque Terre Italy

Cinque Terre Wine

If you are a wine person, do not forget to taste the special Cinque Terre Wine in Manarola and Monterosso Al Mare!

Cinque Terre wine

There are two main local wines: The Cinque Terre DOC (a dry white made with the native Bosco grape, together with Albarola and Vermentino) and the Sciacchetrà DOC (a sweet dessert wine)

Explore the Castle Of Vernaza

Learn about the local life, art, and history of the fortified castles like the ‘Castle of Vernaza’ (nicknamed Belforte) and how it helped the kings to keep an eye on the pirates during the Middle Ages!

Castle of Vernazza

Visit the Vernaza weekly markets

Visit the Vernaza weekly markets to shop some fresh flowers, vintage articles, fresh farm fruits, handmade jewellery, and traditional artefacts to take back home!

Weekly market image of Vernazza , Italy

Kayak Tour

Book a Kayak tour and Go kayaking to have an entirely different perspective of Cinque Terre!

Kayaking at Cinque Terre

Essential Travel Tips For Cinque Terre

Explore Cinque Terre: Italy's Most Beautiful Coastal Paradise in 2023

There are many travel tips that you have to hear before visiting this dramatically scenic place in Italy! Here are those:

  • If you are planning to visit Cinque Terre in the summer, I recommend you spend at least a couple of nights here in early June or early September! 
  • If you are a beach person and planning to have a good swim in the waters here, then Monterosso Al Mare is absolutely the best place to stay as it’s the only home to the traditional sandy beach in the 5 villages in Cinque Terre.
  • If you want to go hiking between villages, you will need a Cinque Terre card. It allows you to use trails, use the wifi network in villages, the buses, and much more benefits while travelling!    
  • Book your stay wisely as not all villages are created equal. 
  • If you find the Cinque Terre hotels pricey then always search for accommodation in La Spezia or Levanto. 
  • Beware of train strikes in Cinque Terre as they can massively affect your travelling plans!
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Cinque Terre is a wonderful destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and traditions along with cultural experiences.

With its scenic hiking trails, colourful villages, mouth-watering delicacies, and kind hospitality it’s no wonder why this spot has become so popular with tourists from all over the world.

Whether you are a nature lover, a foodie, a travel freak, a history buff, or an aesthete, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Cinque Terre!

So book your tickets, grab your camera, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Explore Cinque Terre: Italy's Most Beautiful Coastal Paradise in 2023

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