Cinque Terre, which means Five Lands, comprises the five small coastal villages of RiomaggioreManarolaCornigliaVernazza and Monterosso located in the Italian region of Liguria. They are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List..

Over the centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside.

The five villages are connected by hiking trails open all year round. For the trails Monterosso - Vernazza - Corniglia you will need a Cinque Terre Card. All other trails are free! The Cinque Terre Express trains are running every 20 minutes between the five villages. You can also enjoy this scenic coastline by taking the ferry and hop on and off where you like.

1. Monterosso

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Monterosso is the largest of the five towns and has the most amenities. Beach-lovers should definitely stay here. Monterosso has the only sandy beach in the area, you can rent chairs and umbrellas, or a kajak to explore the many coves around the coast.

Monterosso is built to accommodate many tourists in large, modern apartments and hotels. It is relatively flat compared to the other Cinque Terre villages and it is much easier to get around.

2. Vernazza

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Vernazza has the only proper harbor in the Cinque Terre and is a charming, small fishing village. Vernazza was founded about 1000 AD, and was ruled by the Republic of Genoa starting in 1276. Vernazza's medieval castle, Belforte, towers above the harbour and was built in the mid-1500s, primarily to protect the village from pirates.

Vernazza is the perfect starting point for hikes along the Blue Trail to Monterosso and Corniglia. There are some great photo spots at the initial parts of the trails. You don’t need to walk too far up the steep path to be greeted by the breathtaking view of Vernazza from above. 

On October 25, 2011, Vernazza was struck by torrential rains, massive flooding and mudslides that left the town buried in over 4 metres (over 13 feet) of mud and debris, causing over €100 million worth of damage. The town was evacuated and in a state of emergency for many months. Vernazza returned with hard work and help from people around the world, and is as lovely as ever.

3. Corniglia

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Corniglia is located in the heart of the Cinque Terre National Park. It is the only village which is not built directly on the sea, but on a cliff 100 metres above sea level. It is the smallest of the five villages and the least accessible. You have to climb 382 stairs to reach the village or you can take the shuttle bus from the station.

Corniglia is probably the most genuine town of the five and with the least amount of tourists. This is a great place to enjoy the sunsets and the romantic atmosphere in the evenings. There are a few small, high-quality hotels in Corniglia, all with amazing sea views.

Corniglia is the ideal starting point for hiking tours. Here starts the two most spectacular trails connecting Corniglia with Vernazza and Manarola

4. Manarola

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Manarola is a town filled with boats, at least on the lower part of it. Cover

ed boats of all kinds line the main street, but it is hard to say when they had last been out. There are many lovely places to eat and drink in Manarola. La Cantina Dello Zio Bramante serves acciughe (anchovies) fresh from the sea, with lemon, olive oil, and fresh, crusty bread.

Manarola is one of the most famous villages of the scenic Cinque Terre coastline. The village has a small harbor with a boat ramp, picturesque multicoloured houses facing the sea and a tiny piazza with seafood restaurants. This is the perfect place to spend a lazy day sunbathing and watching people jumping off the cliffs.

Here you will find some really romantic guesthouses with spectacular ocean views. If you are travelling with your family or a group of friends, it can be more convenient to rent an apartment in Manarola.

From Manarola you can easily reach the other Cinque Terre villages by boat or by train in just a few minutes. Manarola is also connected to the other towns by hiking trails.

5. Riomaggiore 

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Riomaggiore is considered to be the most romantic of the Cinque Terre villages, ideal for young travelers or couples looking for a base which is great to hang around in during the day and also has some nightlife. Near the picturesque harbor you will find guesthouses with sea views perfect for couples on a romantic getaway.

The village is basically a cascade of multi-colored houses in the typical Ligurian style, all tightly clustered around a tiny natural harbor carved out in between the rocks. This is, in our opinion, the best sunset spot in Cinque Terre. 

There is a pebble beach behind the rocks, not far from the boat docking point. In the harbor there are compnies offering boat and kayak rentals, as well as boat tours.

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Oktober 21, 2023 — Ashore Shop