If you’re on Instagram like most of us you probably have seen the colorful towns along the Italian Riviera known as Cinque Terre. The enchanting towns of Cinque Terre is made up of five beautiful fishing villages built along the coastline. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and has quickly become a top destination. I visited late May and the weather was perfect!! Here is a quick guide to the enchanting towns of Cinque Terre.
What to wear and pack
- Beach towel
- Hiking shoes
- Wear comfortable hiking clothes
Travelers arrive by train from Rail Europe or Italia Rail. Make sure to check train schedules as it can take 2.5-3 hours to arrive from Florence. If you’re spending a few days in Cinque Terre, make a stop at Pisa on your way in or on your way back.
Most people hike to each town, I thought I could do it but I was only able to hike the first trail, then used the train for the rest of the day due to limiting time. Another option to reach each town is by boat. Since I was doing a full day trip I started my hike at the first town, Riomaggiore. You can either start at Riomaggiore or Monterosso. I suggest starting at Riomaggiore, ending at Monterosso will give you a large beach to relax in after a long day! Make sure to give yourself plenty of time if this is a day trip, I started my day as early as 6am.
This is the only town I did not actually visit. Once we arrived I started my hike from Riomaggiore which connects to Manarola. I’m not sure why I didn’t see this town but wish I did! Riomaggiore also has the most famous Cinque Terre walk called via dell’Amore (the Lover’s Walk). This trail is an easy walk and can take up to 25 minutes, unfortunately it was closed during my visit due to recent landslides. I ended up following other hikers and ended up with a strenuous hike! I must have taken the hard route as I climbed up and along the hillside into Manarola. It did give me a great exercise and had amazing views!
Manarola is one of the most photogenic towns facing the sea. The picturesque multicolored houses was so magical and enchanting, I truly fell in love! This is probably my favorite out of all the towns and had the best gelato!
At this point, I was too exhausted to hike from Manarola to Corniglia so I took the train. Corniglia is the only village that is not directly on the coast but on a hill. By this time it was lunch time, we found a great pasta shop with outdoor seating and had amazing wine. It was a great way to relax and recharge before the next town.
Vernazza is one of the most popular towns of Cinque Terre. Fairly small in size compared to the others but it has the marina where I saw tourists bathing. There are also lots of authentic Italian restaurants and bars here. We even found a cave that lead us to a beach!
Monterosso is the biggest town and where most tourists stay. There are many hotels along the beach and I recommend booking a night here. Visitors can swim, relax and sunbathe on the sandy beach. If you were like me and only spending a day in Cinque Terre, I recommend checking the train schedule as the last train stops at a certain time.
Cinque Terre is an experience you must do during your trip to Italy. No trip is complete without it! I wish I had more time to hike other trails but that just means I will have to come back to experience it again.
If you’re looking for tips, check out Exploring Kiwi’s Guide to Cinque Terre!
Have you been to Cinque Terre? Which is your favorite town? Comment below!