Tucked away in a mountainous kink of the eastern side of the Italian Riviera, the villages of the Cinque Terre are truly a spectacular sight to see.
Featuring the unforgettable pastel-coloured villages dotted along the rugged cliffs, which blend with the nearby sapphire waters. No matter how long you spend in this tranquil region, you’ll be enchanted by the authentic Italian charm.
Perhaps one of the most interesting specialities about Cinque Terre is that it’s not one, but five separate fishing villages, known as Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Riomaggiore, and Manarola. Visitors can either travel through all of these charming villages or simply choose one to visit during their stay here.
Monterosso al Mare
The most beloved village of Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare is the northern village of the region. It is a popular tourist spot, bursting with a stunning pebble beach lined dotted with comfy lounge chairs and umbrellas. Found throughout the colourful streets is an endless number of charming restaurants and cafes. The village is divided into two parts, the old village and the modern, also known as Fegina. Featuring chapels, churches, and monasteries, this village is perfect for those looking for a historic region with beautiful buildings. Home to some of the oldest and prettiest spots in the region!
Sitting along a natural harbour, the town of Vernazza provides the perfect spot for boats and swimmers looking to cool off from the boiling summer sun! Both the locals and tourists come together at Vernazza’s waters, sunbaking the day away and splashing in the shallow waters. The town has countless luxury hotels to stay in, nestled on the cobbled stone streets and providing enchanting views of the coastal region. After spending your morning at the beach, visitors can hike up to the village’s highest peak to see the local castle. Guaranteeing one of the greatest views of the area, and perfect for your next insta-worthy photoshoot!
This village is the only one in Cinque Terre that isn’t nestled on the water, which makes it a bit more unpopular to tourist compared to its others. However, it’s still worth the visit, with its streets twisting and turning between the ancient buildings to create a true maze of madness. You are still able to see the sea as well, so make sure to get a hotel room with a balcony, so you can watch the sunset over the sea horizon at night. The village makes up for its limits in water attractions and delivers bustling markets, historic hot spots, and buckets of charm.
Perched on the very edge of a coastal cliff edge, Manarola is truly a picture-perfect region. An extremely romantic setting, perfect for those interested in a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the busier coastal towns. Surrounded by grapevines, Manarola is the go-to place for some delicious wine, known for producing the Cinque Terre wine, Sciacchetrá. Spend your days wandering the tiny harbour, past the picturesque multicoloured houses facing the sea, and stopping into the tiny piazza with seafood restaurants for dinner. Enjoying a night of delicious food to go with the local wine! If you are after an adrenaline-inducing adventure during the day, you can try the local activity cliff jumping, leaping from the rocks into the warm waters below!
Lastly, there is Riomaggiore, often known for being the quietest village in Cinque Terre. The streets are free of crowds, and the village seems peaceful at all times of the day. For those looking for a truly serene escape from the chaos of life, Riomaggiore is perfect. The sunset casts a warm glow onto the buildings here, bathing it in orange every night while you sip on some wine and dine in at the local restaurants.
Related article: Exploring Cinque Terre