You can choose from our collection of handpicked holiday accommodation including self-catering apartments, and B & B hotels in the best locations in and around the five stunning villages - namely Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Feel free to ask our experienced travel experts for advice on the best places to stay, or have a look through the catalogue and choose whatever suits you best.
It's no surprise that these five villages are listed as Unesco World Heritage sites. The sea and land meet in such a drastic way to create an evocative and unique landscape. The terraces on the landscaped hills flourish with olive groves and vineyards, interspersed with characteristic coloured buildings. You can easily get from one town to another by train, or by boat, and there are even many ancient hiking paths which you can take to link from one to the other if you are up for a good hike.
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The area is world-famous for these wonderful walks you can take them from one village to another. Some paths are wide enough for mountain biking and horse-riding, but if you want to go all the way from Monterosso to Riomaggiore, there’s only one way to do it – put your best foot forward. The trip takes about four hours.
Don’t worry if you are exhausted when you get to Riomaggiore as you can take the train back to Levanto from here. The train stops at all the villages in Cinque Terre, so you can always jump on if your legs get too tired.
Corniglia marks the halfway spot on the walk to Riomaggiore. There is a perfect beach here if you feel in need of a rest. From Corniglia, you continue along the bay to Manarola. Beyond Manarola, you should head for the path ’Via dell’Amore’ (Lovers’ Lane). It is carved out of the cliffs and surrounded by rugged scenery and a magnificent view of the sea.
On the popular hiking trail (Il Sentiero Azzurro) which connects the five cities via paying paths, it is currently possible to walk along these routes:
- Monterosso -> Vernazza
- Vernazza -> Corniglia
- Manarola -> Corniglia (may be periodically closed due to maintenance)
Furthermore, there are many free and low-traffic trails in the area from where to enjoy the sea air and the breathtaking panoramic views: for example, the routes:
- Monterosso -> Madonna di Soviore -> Vernazza (long)
- Monterosso -> Levanto (via Porto Roca)
- Manarola -> Volastra -> Corniglia (which is a little challenging alternative to stretch Manarola -> Corniglia)
- As well as many other walks up behind towns in Cinque Terre.
- Manarola -> Riomaggiore, also called Love Trail (temporarily closed)
Note: Since the area is very mountainous, it happens from time to time that there is some slippage on the trails. This may cause the trails to be closed for a short period to undertake essential repairs.
Hop on a boat to see the towns
You can even take a boat along the coast from place to place which is a spectacular sight. Weather permitting that is. Tickets for the tour boats can only be purchased at the ticket hatches on the quay in the four cities (minus Corniglia perched high) and not in the welcome centres, as you usually find at the train stations
Monterosso is the largest of the towns, and the only one that has a real beach - and is therefore an ideal choice for families with children. Alternatively we recommended the nearby towns Moneglia, and Levanto, both of which also have good child-friendly beaches and direct train to the Cinque Terre towns.
Travelling to the Cinque Terre
Nearest airports to Cinque Terre are Pisa, Genoa and Florence. From Pisa Airport is only an hour's drive to La Spezia, which is the entrance to the Cinque Terre, and usually you can find direct flights to Pisa in the summer, while both Genoa and Florence will require a stopover.
You can also enter one of the major airports in Milan or Rome, but with significantly longer run time thereafter. The rail network in Italy is reasonably well developed, so if you do not want to drive yourself, it is possible to be transported by public transport all the way.
You can search for accommodation - apartments, B & B and hotels in the Cinque Terre using the search machine above, or feel free to ask for our advice - we have Italy travel experts waiting to help you. Just email us using the contact link at top of the page, use the chat option to the left, or call us on the number to the right.