The 5 Villages of Cinque Terre (Italy) & Why You Must Visit

Cinque Terre is a coastal region of Liguria in northwest Italy. The Cinque Terre means “five lands” and the area is made up of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The Cinque Terre region is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe for tourists worldwide due to its beautiful nature and rich culture. In this post, we’ll highlight the uniqueness of each village and things that you should experience while visiting Cinque Terre – from hiking trails to wine tasting tours!

1. Monterosso

Cinque Terre, Italy - MonterossoImage Credit: Million Dollar Sense, 2021.

Monterosso is the largest city in Cinque Terre, and it’s also where you will find your hotel if coming here by train. It has a charming town center with lots of restaurants, cafes, and shops to browse. It takes around 30 minutes to walk from one end of the village to another, so I recommend staying overnight at least once during your visit! The beach is long enough for everyone but sometimes gets crowded. If you want to enjoy some peace and quiet, then head over towards Levanto, which is just 15 minutes away on foot or take a boat trip out into the open sea instead – this option costs about 20 Euros per person. One other thing that needs mentioning is the castle – Castello di Monterosso. Although it’s not as old as some of the other castles in Cinque Terre, it offers excellent views over the village and coastline, so make sure to visit while you’re there!

2. Vernazza

Cinque Terre, Italy - VernazzaImage Credit: Million Dollar Sense, 2021.

Vernazza is one of the most picturesque villages in Cinque Terre and was voted “the most beautiful village in Italy” a few years ago. The harbor is worth visiting with its brightly colored houses and boats bobbing about in the water. It can be quite busy during peak season but if you climb up to the upper part of the village (or take stairs from the harbor), you’ll find much quieter streets with amazing views. There are a few restaurants here with outdoor seating so you can enjoy lunch while watching the world go by.

3. Corniglia

This village is also on a hill and offers excellent views of the Cinque Terre coastline! It’s about an hour’s walk from Monterosso, but some steep sections along the way make it unsuitable for less experienced hikers or people who have difficulties climbing up hills. One thing that needs mentioning, in this case, is that if you are not fit enough, I would recommend taking one of the Cinque Terre hiking trails instead as they will take you to Corniglia without climbing all those stairs! Once at Corniglia, explore its narrow streets before heading back down.

4. Manarola

Cinque Terre, Italy - ManarolaImage Credit: Million Dollar Sense, 2021.

Manarola is the smallest village in Cinque Terre, and it’s located in a beautiful spot. The harbor has colorful buildings with boats bobbing about in the water – definitely take some time to wander around here and snap some pictures! There are also a few restaurants scattered around so you can enjoy lunch or dinner while taking in the views. If you’re feeling adventurous, I would recommend hiking from Manarola to Riomaggiore (the next village) as it’s a nice hike that takes around an hour.

5. Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is the southernmost of Cinque Terre villages and is located right on the coast. It has a charming town center with restaurants, shops, and bars clustered together along its narrow streets. Hiking trails also start here, which means you can easily get to Cinque Terre hiking trails on your way up (or down) the mountain!

What is the Best Time to Visit Cinque Terre?

The best time to visit Cinque Terre would be during spring or autumn when it’s not too hot but still warm enough to swim in the sea or walk without getting tired!

Wrap Up

Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful places in Italy and is worth visiting (if you can) during your trip to this country! It’s not very big, so all Cinque Terre villages are located within a short distance from each other. If you want great views, fresh seafood, and lots of things to do, then Cinque Terre would be an excellent choice for spending some time while on vacation here!

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