Cinque Terre Travel Guide

Italy  #4 in Best Day Trips from Florence
Credit

Courtesy of d!g!tALE by Alessandro Ciabini/Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Cinque Terre

Trekking or hiking the trails that connect the small villages of Cinque Terre is the main attraction here. Keep in mind that all of them are enclosed within the Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre and some of the paths will require a small fee. You can purchase a Cinque Terre Card for access to all of Cinque Terre's trails. Travelers should also take some time to step off the trails and explore the streets of the various villages. Seeing the region from the water via a boat tour is another popular pastime in Cinque Terre.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated November 3, 2017

  • #1
    Things to do in Cinque Terre
    View all Photos
    #1 in Cinque Terre
    Hiking, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The trail that connects Monterosso to Vernazza is a beautiful yet challenging one. At the trailhead, travelers will ascend a daunting number of stairs, but the views of citrus orchards and vineyards more than compensate for the climb. After the initial ascent, the mostly flat trail affords views of the sea and panoramas of Monterosso and Vernazza. On maps, you'll see this marked as the "Blue Trail" and labeled with a No. 2.

    Recent travelers agreed that you must be in reasonably good shape to attempt this hike from Monterosso to Vernazza, since there's a steep incline to traverse at the start of the trail. Others recommend beginning your hike early in the morning to avoid the heat and hordes of other tourists.

  • #2
    Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre
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    #2 in Cinque Terre
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    At only about 15 square miles, the Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre is one of the smallest national parks in Italy but with a population of about 4,000, it's also one of the most heavily inhabited. In fact, that's what makes this national park – also called Park of Man – so unique, since for centuries, the people of Cinque Terre cultivated the steep, sloping land and built stone walls to hem it in. In 1997, it also became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Visitors to the Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre raved about their trips to the five towns that make up the Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre. Reviewers loved the atmosphere, the views, the food and the people, but also cautioned that the towns are packed with tourists. Many planned a daytrip from Milan or Florence and recommended travelers short on time do the same (check Trenitalia for train timetables).

  • #3
    Sentiero Vernazza a Corniglia
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    #3 in Cinque Terre
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Sentiero Vernazza a Corniglia is the name given to the hike that connects Vernazza with Corniglia. Along the way, hikers will enjoy views of meadows, olive groves and vineyards as they pass through the sleepy villages of Prevo and San Bernardino on their way to Corniglia. You can also veer off the trail halfway between the Cinque Terre villages for a visit to the clothing-optional beach, Guvano.

    Recent visitors called Sentiero Vernazza a Corniglia a semi-strenuous hike. Some highly recommend trekking from Vernazza to Corniglia (versus Corniglia to Vernazza) since the initial part of the hike has a steep grade and loose rocks that could be difficult to descend. Reviewers also recommend starting early in the morning to avoid the midday crowds and sun. You'll also want to check the weather – if there's any rain in the forecast, the trek can be even more difficult.

  • #4
    Church of San Francesco
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    #4 in Cinque Terre
    Churches/Religious Sites, Hiking, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Hiking, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Built in the 17th century, the Church of San Francesco is also known as the Convento dei Cappuccini e Chiesa di San Francesco and the Capuchin Friars Monastery, and it contains many marvelous works of art, including the "Crucifixion"by Anthony van Dyck.

    Recent visitors said the view and peaceful atmosphere on the monastery's grounds were worth the strenuous hike to reach it. Others highlighted the harmonious singing and serene atmosphere that emanated from the church, calling it truly beautiful.

  • #5
    Cinque Terre Boat Tours
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    #5 in Cinque Terre
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you only have a limited amount of time in Cinque Terre and want to get an overview of the area, many travelers recommend seeing the five towns by boat. Plus, the experience of cruising the water is often accompanied by delicious snacks, drinks or even multicourse Italian meals. And weather-permitting, many boat operators stop in little-known coves along the tour for swim breaks.

    Along with enjoying the beautiful scenery, recent visitors loved getting to know the locals who run the tours. Reviewers recommended Enjoy Cinqueterre Boat Tours and Angelo's Boat Tours.

Explore More of Cinque Terre

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