Exploring the Cinque Terre, Italy

The Cinque Terre is a must-visit destination for those who love the outdoors, hiking, the seaside and all that the Mediterranean offers. The five villages are all within a beautiful National Park and they are together a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We recommend at least three to four nights to be sure that there is time to visit each village.
Vernazza Cinque Terre village stairs
Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are accessible by foot, train, boat (weather dependent) and car / motorbike for those who have experience driving on narrow and steep roads. The preferred way to visit the villages is by hiking the world famous coastal tracks from village to village. You can then get back with the ferry or train (both are priced very reasonably). 
Cinque Terre
All of the villages have a tiny port except for Corniglia which is the only village that is perched on clifftops accessible by a regular bus service.
Hiking in the Cinque Terre
Monterosso al Mare is the only village with sandy beaches with both paid and public beaches for basking and bathing after long hikes in the hills.
Monterosso Cinque Terre
The village is split between the charming historic center with narrow lanes of pink and orange painted buildings and the more modern side to the north.
Monterosso historic center
The monochrome Church of St John the Baptist is worth a visit while exploring the old village.
Church Monterosso Cinque Terre
There are also two restaurants, mentioned in the Michelin guide, serving fresh seafood and local specialties. One is Da Miky, the other L'Ancora della Tortuga.
The picturesque village of Vernazza has a quaint and sheltered harbor with the village square and church on the waters edge.
Vernazza Cinque Terre Italy
Vernazza from the sea Cinque Terre Italy
Vernazza sunset Cinque Terre Italy
Vernazza square at night Cinque Terre Italy
There are plenty of great restaurants to choose from, and many people enjoy buying takeaway and picnicking on the beach or harbor side.
View to harbour Vernazza Cinque Terre Italy
Sunset Vernazza Italy Cinque Terrre
The Belforte restaurant is built into the rock wall under the Castello Doria and is a lovely place to enjoy the sunset.
Belfort Restaurant sunset view Vernazza Cinque Terre
Ask for a table on Andrea's terrace ... you will understand when you're there! Vernazza is a great village to be based for your visit. 
Corniglia is a gorgeous hilltop village with a pretty square that is buzzing with restaurants and church-bells under the shade of plane trees.
Corniglia Cinque Terre
Corniglia Cinque Terre Italy
Steps hiking tracks Cinque Terre
Track Corniglia to Vernazza Cinque Terre Italy
Corniglia shouldn't be overlooked for visiting, hiking or even as a base for your stay. As it is probably the most difficult to access it is less touristy than the other villages. 
Manarola Cinque Terre Italy
Manarola view from hiking track cinque terre italy
Manarola is a lush village with breathtaking views. A must visit is Nessun Dorma - Sara and Simone do it all - restaurant, wine tasting, boat tours and for the armchair traveler they even post boxes full of local wine and produce around the world. 
Riomaggiore Cinque Terre Italy
Riomaggiore is the most southern village and is irresistibly photogenic. The colorful homes are built into the rugged rocks and there is a mini-harbor and boat ramp in the middle tucked in between the U-shaped village. There are two restaurants that are noted in the Michelin guide and are well worth visiting; Dau Cila and Rio Bistrot
Prickly pear
If you're wondering what you will see on the menu in the Cinque Terre - forget any 'land' foods. This is the place to enjoy ultra-fresh seafood and Ligurian Trofie al Pesto. Of course wine and gelati is always within easy reach! 
Vernazza Cinque Terre
Don't forget your hiking gear! Andiamo!
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So lovely! Gorgeous pictures and narrative. It’s wonderful to re live such beautiful memories… thank you! 🌻

Giselly May 11, 2021

I feel like I’ve just been on holidays with you!! (Wishful thinking I know)
Clare xx

Clare Kenwood October 25, 2020

Very well written and recorded travelogue ….. thank you . In the absence of any hope of travel you took me right back there . Thank you xxx

Sioned October 25, 2020

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