Shore Excursions Daytrip Most popular Fun & Adventure Cinque Terre and Liguria

Where to go, What to see and what to expect when visiting Cinque Terre!

In recent years, it seems like everyone wants to visit Cinque Terre. Perched over the Ligurian Sea, these five colorful fishing villages are now a popular stop on many itineraries. But learning more about them can be tricky with so much information online. Luckily, KissFromItaly has you covered with answers to all of your questions about Cinque Terre! 

Why is Cinque Terre so famous?
Cinque Terre, which means "Five Lands" in Italian, is well-known for its colorful villages by the sea: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, these picturesque towns offer breathtaking views and great hiking trails. With unparalleled charm and beauty, it’s no wonder it attracts so many tourists each year. 

Which village in Cinque Terre is a must visit?
Since everyone has different interests, it can be hard to narrow down a must visit village in Cinque Terre. Though all are incredibly beautiful, each one has its own distinct character. Perhaps the most popular recommendation is Vernazza. Boasting a picturesque harbor and a colorful cascade of cliffside buildings, it embodies the essence of Cinque Terre. It also offers easy access to hiking trails, along with a wide selection of dining options to sample the local cuisine. To find out better which town best suits your needs and interests, feel free to contact us. 

How many days in Cinque Terre is enough?
While one may want to spend 2 to 3 days in the Cinque Terre, a day trip can be enough to take in all that it has to offer. The best way to make the most of a short trip in Cinque Terre is to book a private tour. This will ensure that you beat the tourist crowds and get a comprehensive exploration of the area’s treasures.

What shoes to wear in Cinque Terre?
You’ll want to wear comfortable shoes like sneakers when visiting Cinque Terre! This will allow you to tackle the cobblestone streets, hiking trails, and stairs with ease. It's best you ditch the flip-flops, sandals, and high-heels. Not only are they impractical, but improper footwear is prohibited when walking the trails that connect the five villages. Failure to comply can result in a hefty fine! 

Should you take a private tour of Cinque Terre?
Absolutely! While you can visit Cinque Terre on your own, a private tour will ensure a smooth experience. Navigating the complexities of train and boat schedules can be stressful, which is why it’s better leaving it to the professionals. This is especially important if you’re a cruise ship passenger and want to be sure that you get back to the port on time. But the benefits of a private tour extend beyond logistical reasons. A local guide can help you avoid the crowds as best as possible, making for a more pleasant and serene experience. They’ll also know the best spots to snap the perfect photos for your Instagram feed that will surely make your friends jealous! If your budget allows for a private tour, opt for it instead of a standard group tour. This will provide you with a customized and flexible experience, tailored to your needs and interests. 

How do you avoid the Cinque Terre crowds?

The best way to avoid crowds in Cinque Terre is to visit during the late spring and early fall. There tends to be less tourists during these months. Another great tip is to schedule your activities in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday crowds.

How do tourists travel between the 5 villages of Cinque Terre?
There are many ways to travel between the five villages of Cinque Terre. These include train, boat, and hiking trails. The regional train service is scenic and efficient. Meanwhile travel by boat offers breathtaking views and an opportunity for the perfect photos. But for the active traveler, a hike on local trails like the Sentiero Azzurro is a true delight. It’s important to note that travel by road between the villages is not a viable option as it would result in a lengthy and inconvenient journey. 

What should I not miss in Cinque Terre?
There are several unmissable spots and experiences in Cinque Terre. If time permits, you’ll want to explore each of the vibrant villages, which have their own unique character. To get the most of the area’s picturesque views, consider taking a boat tour to appreciate the coastline. Leisure seekers will enjoy a stroll through Vernazza Harbor with its array of colorful boats. Meanwhile, relaxation seekers will enjoy the beauty of Monterosso Beach. But if you’re more adventurous and athletic, set foot on a scenic hike along the iconic Sentiero Azzurro. And don’t forget to savor the local cuisine, like trofie al pesto and fresh seafood, along with locally-made wines.

Which village should you skip in Cinque Terre?
As previously mentioned, given that everyone is different, it can be difficult to determine which village to skip when visiting Cinque Terre. But if you have to skip one of the five towns, most will tell you to pass on Corniglia. This is largely because of its geographic position, which makes it less accessible. With approximately 380 stairs, getting to Corniglia can be a challenge for many. It’s also the only town of the five without direct access to the sea. 

Where is the most photographed place in Cinque Terre?
Manarola is probably the most photographed place in Cinque Terre! Just perform a search online of Cinque Terre and the most popular photo result will be the iconic harbor of Manarola. Perched above the sea, its colorful buildings offer a spectacular sight especially at sunset. Manarola’s harbor is best seen by the nearby hiking trails. That being said, there are many popular photo spots in the Cinque Terre. If you’re looking to get great Instagram photos, we can guide you to the best spots!

Where is the best place to base yourself in Cinque Terre?

The best place to stay in Cinque Terre really depends on your wants and needs. A popular option is Vernazza, for its vibrant atmosphere and convenient transportation options. This picturesque town is well-connected by train and boat, allowing you to explore the area with ease. Meanwhile, Monterosso al Mare is a great choice if you're in search of sandy beaches. To help you decide which of the five villages to stay in, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to find the right fit for you! 

How long does it take to walk the 5 villages of Cinque Terre?
The amount of time it takes to walk the 5 villages of Cinque Terre can vary depending on one’s pace. In general, it can take between 5 and 6 hours to hike the Sentiero Azzurro, which is approximately 9 miles long. 

What is the best month to visit Cinque Terre?

The best months to visit Cinque Terre are May and September. Characterized by mild weather and moderate crowds, this is a pleasant time to experience the area. You don't have to rule out a visit during June, July or August, but be mindful that tourist crowds will be larger. 

What food is the Cinque Terre known for?
Cinque Terre is famous for its fresh seafood, especially anchovies. This should come as no surprise since the fishing industry has long been crucial for the five towns. From appetizers and main courses, to spaghetti alle vongole, seafood is always on the menu. But pasta al pesto is without a doubt the area's most popular dish. Made in a mortar and pestle, locally-grown basil and pine nuts are the star ingredients in pesto. In the Cinque Terre, trofie is the pasta of choice to be dressed with pesto. All these local delicacies are accompanied by locally-grown wines. 

Which is more beautiful, Amalfi or Cinque Terre?
The Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre are both beautiful destinations. Beauty should not be a factor when deciding which to visit, since they both offer picturesque seaside scenery. Instead, one should focus on their personal interests when choosing between them. The Amalfi Coast offers glamor and luxury with its 5-star hotels and designer boutiques. Meanwhile, Cinque Terre will appeal to people in search of a leisurely experience. From authentic shops and restaurants, to rugged hiking trails, this is a laid-back destination. 

Which is better, Portofino or Cinque Terre?
This really depends on your preferences and the kind of experience you’re seeking. Despite close proximity to one another on Liguria’s stunning coast, they offer different atmospheres. Cinque Terre offers a more leisurely experience with its colorful villages, quaint charm, and hiking trails. On the other hand, Portofino will appeal to those in search of luxury and sophistication with its fine dining and posh shopping.