Hey my travel family! Today I will give you all our tips and tricks in this complete travel guide to Cinque Terre in Italy! We have been there in September to avoid the crowd and we stayed in 3 days in Cinque Terre. After that we have been 5 days to the Amalfi coast. During this trip we have visited Cinque Terre and also the Amalfi coast. The Cinque Terre are five beautiful villages: Manarola, Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Corniglia and Monterosso.
If you are planning to get there this spring or summer, you will find all the informations you need here! We will talk about the different ways to get there, how to move in Cinque Terre, where are all the most beautiful places to visit, what are the best hotels to stay and the best restaurants!
Where is located Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is a region in the north est of the Italy, on the Mediterranean coast. It is really close to France and Switzerland. Cinque Terre is composed of 5 villages located for most of them in beautiful coves. These villages, by their charm and beauty belongs to the UNESCO heritage.
How to get to Cinque Terre
We have decided to go to Cinque Terre by train with an Interrail Global Pass, you can find everything about our experience with this pass here. We came from south of France to Cinque Terre in 12 hours, but the time just flew by! It was amazing because we could admire the different Mediterranean landscapes from South of France (French Riviera) and the Italian west coast. This is the biggest advantage of taking the train. Also, you will arrive directly to La Spezia in the Cinque terre. Then, if you want to visit other cites in Italy during this trip, the train is a very good way! We have visited Cinque terre and the Amalfi coast during the same trip.
The second way to get to Cinque terre is by car. If you are coming from European countries, you can easily come with your own car to Cinque Terre. But before considering taking your car, you need to know that there are not so many parkings and they are so expensive! Also, the Cinque Terre are really well served by the local train (it’s like a subway). So you don’t need a car to move between the different cities.
Tips: if you really want to come with you car, park it in Monterosso, it is the best way to find a place for a better price!
Then, you can come by plane to Cinque terre. It’s pretty easy, you can take a flight to Genes and then, take a train from Genova principe to La Spezia centrale (Cinque Terre)
How to move in the Cinque Terre
What is really cool in Cinque Terre is that it is really easy to get from a village to another. You can take the train with is actually like a subway. It come from Monterosso and go to Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore in less than 30 minutes. And it is really cheap, 4€. You can buy your ticket directly in the train station.
Little tips: you can buy a Cinque Terre card, it will allow you unlimited trajects on this line. The trains are coming regularly (every 15 minutes in average)
Also, Cinque Terre is famous for it’s beautiful hiking way! You can get from a village to another by walking on this amazing way. It is not free (7,5€ per person) but it really worths the price!
The third way to visit the Cinque Terre is by boat. We didn’t try this option because it was really expensive (20€ per person in average) and there were many people. If you want to take the boat, take your tickets in advance!
Where to stay in Cinque Terre
Most of the hotels in Cinque Terre are habitations managed by locals, the rooms are a kind of Airbnb. You need to know that the villages are really small and so are the rooms. Also, you will probably be disappointed by the price-quality ratio. And if you arrive after 9PM you will have to pay a tax of 20€ per person. We have payed 145€ per night for a small room with breakfast in Riomaggiore but it was worths it because the village was incredibly beautiful.
The Cinque Terre
Riomaggiore was our absolute favorite village. The color of the buldings were gorgeous. And we felt the soul of this place. Especially in the morning and for the sunset. We have often taken away some pizza and we went to the harbor to eat while watching the sunset.
Where to eat in Riomaggiore?
Our favorite restaurant was La Lampara. It’s an excellent pizzeria where you can sit or take away. The pizza are delicious and they have many choices! Alson, you need to know that in Italy when you’re going to the restaurant, there is a supplementary tax for the cutlery (2€ per person).
The squid cones are famous there; but you should avoid eating this if you want to protect the environment and not favorise the overfishing!
Monterosso et Monterosso Al Mare
We also really loved Monterosso al Mare and the village of Monterosso. The beach was beautiful and typical. But it is a pebble beach, so you need to take your shoes lol.
If you want to go there, you can visit the typical village of Monterosso, full of typical Italian restaurants and markets and also Monterosso al Mare with the beautiful beach.
The private beaches of Monterosso al Mare
There are many private beach and only a few public ones. You need to know that the private beaches with long chairs and umbrellas are pretty expensive (15€ per person and per day). Also, if you are coming during summer you need to book in advance because there are many locals.
The beautiful beach of la Spiaggia Fegina was an amazing memory for us. We went there during September so there were no many people and the weather was amazing. The water was really warm. The orange and green umbrellas and the turquoise water made us travel in the 60′!
Monterosso is the biggest and oldest of the Cinque Terre. Here, you can visit the famous Church of San Giovanni Battista and the Chapel Mortis and Orationis to enjoy the Baroque style of these churches.
Also, if you are looking for parties, Monterosso is a good place to stay. There are many bars there.
Vernazza is located between Monterosso and Corniglia. This is a very small village, we have visited this place in a half day. The hike until this point of view is amazing! You will have a gorgeous view on the harbor. You need to do this if you are going there! We have not had a lunch there because all the restaurants were full.
Corniglia is a little bit different from the others villages because it is not located near the sea. This village is perched in the cliffs. You can come only by train or car. The main activity to do in Corniglia is the tour of the vineyards from the hiking trail and visit this small village. Personally I advise you to come in the morning early enough to enjoy the special atmosphere that this village gives off. Enjoy an Italian coffee with the sea view. Nothing like the morning!
We have spent a whole day in Manarola. We arrived early in the morning and we have visited this little Italian village. Don’t be afraid to be lost in the little streets! It is the best way to find amazing places. In term of point of view, you have to follow the coast and you will find a cliff just in front of the village. In this place you have the best restaurant of Manarola, the Nessun Dorma. We advise to go there for the sunset. It was one of the most beautiful sunset of Cinque Terre. Orange and pink colors reflecting on the cliff, on the village and on the turquoise water. It was amazing!
Little tips : check out on internet the hour of the sunset and come to the restaurant 30 minutes before! The restaurant is always full so you will have to come in advance!
Also, you can jump from the cliffs to the water. Many people are doing this on the afternoon and there is a good ambiance! The people are watching the jumps and are applauding it’s really funny!
When to visit Cinque Terre
We decided to visit Cinque Terre in September to avoid the crowd and have cheaper prices and it was perfect! You can enjoy the amazing weather without the mass tourism. I recommend that you don’t go there in July and August because it’s the high season. The best time of the year to go to Cinque Terre is May-June and September-October.
To conclude, Cinque Terre is beautiful and is very special. You need to go there one day! If you are planning to visit this place soon we hope this post will help you! 🙂 Don’t forget to comment below! And follow our next adventures soon on Instagram! Have a great day! xxx