How To Spend One Excellent Day In Cinque Terre

This submit could comprise affiliate hyperlinks. We could obtain a small fee, without charge to you, should you make a purchase order. Learn Disclosure.

Cinque Terre is a ravishing area on the Italian Riviera and showcases a special facet of the nation. It’s quaint, colourful, and steeped in historical past.

Although there are literally 5 cities in Cinque Terre, you may simply see the area in a single excellent day.

looking at harbor and colorful buildings of Riomaggiore

How is it attainable to spend in the future in Cinque Terre you ask? On this information, we’ll present you the way!

We visited Cinque Terre for 2 nights, staying outside in La Spezia. Even with catching the practice out and in we noticed and did lots. We had one full day in Cinque Terre, and we really feel we hit all of the highlights.

However first…

Is One Day in Cinque Terre Sufficient?

colorful buildings of vernazza on harbor

You’re most likely questioning whether or not you may see all of Cinque Terre in in the future, and the reply is sure, so long as you don’t thoughts not seeing each city. 

Other than Monterosso al Mare, which is the one city with a seaside, the opposite villages provide related vibes, so that you don’t must see each one in all them to take pleasure in the very best of Cinque Terre.

Nevertheless, you do want a full day to discover Cinque Terre. In in the future, we had been in a position to see three of the 5 cities, skipping Corniglia, which is simply accessible by a steep staircase or practice, and Riomaggiore which was furthest away. 

We might have traveled to Riomaggiore after Manarola to expertise the nightlife, however we had been completely satisfied to name it a day after the sundown.

You’ll additionally wish to get lodging for the evening earlier than, and presumably the top of the day too, so you may actually take pleasure in all of the area has to supply.

hotel on cliff face
lodge on the cliff face

You’ll be able to at all times see Corniglia and Riomaggiore within the morning of the second day, so if you wish to see all 5 cities, put aside 1 full day and one-half day to see all of it.

I recommend staying in Monterosso al Mare for 2 nights and utilizing this as a base to get round. From right here, it’s simple to go to the opposite 4 cities both by climbing, by boat, or by practice.

If you’re brief on time and wish to see all 5 cities in in the future, your finest wager is to ebook a guided boat tour from La Spezia, which can take you to all 5 cities – although you’ll miss the attractive hike to Vernazza!

One Day in Cinque Terre Itinerary

Now you already know the place to base your self and the way lengthy to put aside, let’s get into how one can spend one excellent day in Cinque Terre…

Cease 1: Monterosso

rocky headland and crystal clear waters and white sand of Monterosso beach
So sparkly!

Start in Monterosso al Mare and get up vivid and early for a full day of exploring. Begin your morning by wandering by the charming streets of Monterosso’s Previous City. Admire the colourful buildings, browse the native retailers, and absorb the environment of this picturesque village.

Don’t miss the chance to indulge within the native delicacies for breakfast. Seize a chew to eat at one of many conventional trattorias or pattern some well-known pesto dishes, which is a specialty of the area. 

There are a number of bakeries alongside the beachfront providing you a fast and simple breakfast to take onto the seaside with you. 

bougainvillea draped over restaurant awning with people at tables
Good bakery the place we bought pastries to go
coffee and a beach view
Espresso with a view

On the far finish of the seaside, close to the rock that sits out within the water (our favourite view), are some sidewalk chairs providing the very best espresso view in Monterosso. They’ve smoothies for the youngsters, or should you favor one thing completely different. 

Be sure you go to the Church of San Giovanni Battista, positioned within the coronary heart of Monterosso, and marvel at its stunning structure and step inside to see the gorgeous inside.

After that, loosen up on Monterosso Seashore, also referred to as Fegina, which is a ravishing sandy seaside and the one one within the Cinque Terre area.

caz and savannah swimming in the beach

There’s a small part of free seaside at Spiaggia Fegina which is the place we laid down our towels. As we arrived very first thing within the morning, there was room, however it stuffed up rapidly. 

The remainder of the seaside are lidos, that are Italian non-public seashores or golf equipment. You pay a payment to make use of the seaside in addition to the loungers and seaside umbrellas. I can see this being value it should you spend your entire day there. 

looking at monterosso beach and colored buildings from the ocean
Spiaggia Tragagia, Monterosso

There’s additionally one other seaside, Spiaggia Tragagia, which is left from the station and across the nook. We didn’t understand it was there till our boat tour! 

Don’t miss The Big on the northern finish of Fegina seaside. It’s a 14m excessive sculpture of Neptune. We additionally loved the view of it from our Cinque Terre boat cruise. 

kayaks on monterosso beach
The Big watching over the ocean

Whether or not you favor swimming in crystal-clear waters or just lounging on the seaside, it’s an ideal solution to begin your day.

Monterosso was by far our favourite of the 5 Lands. After we arrived, we had been blown away by how stunning it was, and had been disenchanted we didn’t keep right here. 

In all of the articles I learn on Cinque Terre earlier than I got here right here, most gave it little greater than a paragraph that mentioned it had a swimming seaside. None painted the image of its magnificence, coastal attraction, and resort type really feel.

I loved the opposite Cinque Terre cities lots, however I wasn’t wowed by them. I used to be for Monteroso. 

Sadly, we solely had half a day right here. 

caz and craig standing at view overlooking beach

We had been intending on a fast swim earlier than departing on the hike to Vernazza. We quickly scrapped these plans and determined to make use of these two hours to loosen up on the seaside and funky off from the new solar! 

Subsequent time I’ll take a kayak tour from right here, spend a whole day right here chillaxing, and ebook lodging right here and use it as a base. Utilizing this as a base, would give us extra time to dedicate to the hike, which we do want we did, however had been okay with lacking. 

By mid-morning, you’re going to wish to lace up your climbing boots as you stroll to the following cease…

Cease 2: Hike to Vernazza (or take the practice)

looking over rocky beach
Views from the path

One of the crucial fashionable issues to do in Cinque Terre is climbing. There’s a stunning 7.5 mile coastal path, aptly named The Blue Path (Sentiero Azzurro), which connects all 5 cities of Cinque Terre.

Arguably essentially the most stunning portion of the path is from Monterosso to Vernazza, which gives gorgeous vistas of the Mediterranean Ocean.

It’s estimated to take 2 hours to hike from Monterosso to Vernazza, however quick hikers can do it in 1.5 hours. The space is simply 2 miles and reaches an elevation of 175 meters. 

kayakers and swimmers in vernazza beach

It’s fairly a simple hike, however should you’re visiting in the summertime and the climate is sizzling, you would possibly wish to take the practice as an alternative.

There’s little or no shade on the path, so you might discover it too sizzling to hike. And I’d counsel cheap health and durable sneakers. They gained’t allow you to hike with out them. 

Within the peak summer time months, you’ll need a climbing move to stroll any part of the path. 

The Cinque Terre hiking card prices 7.50 euros for a one-day card and 14.50 euros for a two-day card.

Cinque Terre Treno MS Card, provides you entry to the climbing trails along with limitless practice journey on the Cinque Terre Specific practice. The cardboard prices 18.20 euros for a one-day card, 33 euros for a two-day card.

Cease 3: Vernazza

looking at colored buldings of vernazza from shore
Vernazza from the ocean

If you happen to left in mid-morning, it is best to arrive in Vernazza simply in time for lunch. Seize a chew to eat at one of many native eating places or cafes, and style the contemporary seafood dishes or take pleasure in scrumptious gelato.

We discovered a restaurant referred to as Bar Gianni Franzi on the harbor with stunning views and an amazing menu at cheap costs. Be aware, most eating places right here shall be on the dearer facet. 

Anchovies are one of many specialties of this area, so I ordered a scrumptious anchovy and tomato dish. As with every Italian meal, it’s scrumptious and comes with simplicity. Fried seafood can also be a Ligurian specialty (and also you’ll discover it lots within the snack bars) Savannah ordered a bowl of this. The menu will function closely with seafood and historic Ligurian dishes.

bottle of cinque terre wine on table next to glass

Craig and I additionally ordered a half bottle of native wine. It’s fairly extraordinary to see the vineyards clinging to the mountain faces all alongside the Cinque Terre shoreline right here so we couldn’t not less than attempt it. 

Be aware, that Cinque Terre wine is dear. They’re recognized for his or her candy, and uncommon Sciacchetrà, a dessert wine that has been made because the Center Ages. Since that’s not one thing we take pleasure in, we settled on a dry white, which I discovered refreshing and scrumptious. 

After lunch, take a leisurely stroll by the charming streets of Vernazza. Admire the colourful buildings, browse the native retailers, and absorb the genuine environment of this picturesque village.

looking at colored buldings of vernazza from shore
Vernazza is attractive

We discovered this to be essentially the most picturesque of the villages on the water. Its harbor is a bit wider and extra spacious. So stroll round it and benefit from the gorgeous views of the harbor. Watch the fishing boats bobbing within the water and take within the picturesque surroundings. 

It’s also possible to discover a spot to sit down and loosen up whereas having fun with the ocean breeze and revel in that Gelato.

Round to the proper of the harbor is a well-liked swimming space. There isn’t a seaside. You’ll have to enter by the use of a simple rock scramble. There are a couple of rocks right here excellent for a bit of cliff leaping. This was Savannah’s favourite place in Cinque Terre as a result of she jumped off the rocks right here. It was a very nice place to swim. 

If you happen to’re up for a bit of journey, you may stroll a part of the Blue Path right here. We advocate you not less than do that, should you’re not climbing from Monterosso to Vernazza.

overlooking the town and beach of vernazza
stunning views of Vernazza incl Doria Fortress

As we didn’t do the hike, we walked 10 minutes up the path, which winds behind the village, and alongside the cliff prime. You get stunning views out over the water and searching again over Vernazza. It’s uphill, however comparatively simple. 

Or, you may go in the wrong way and climb as much as Doria Fortress for panoramic views of Vernazza and the encircling shoreline. 

Cease 4: Afternoon Boat Journey

savannah on boat smiling with riomaggiore in background

If you happen to hiked earlier within the day, then you definately’ll wish to do one thing stress-free within the afternoon, so we advocate climbing onboard a ship journey to discover the remainder of Cinque Terre.

We caught the practice again to Manarola the place our afternoon two-hour boat tour with Captain Cosimo started (leaving at 4pm) on his small boat. There have been solely 4 different individuals who joined us. 

caroline and kalyra taking photos on boat
On our Cinque Terre boat tour

It concerned dancing to a enjoyable playlist, limitless beer and wine, a little bit of historical past, three swims (together with exploring a small sea cave) and gorgeous views. 

I beloved seeing the 5 cities from the angle of the ocean, particularly after we circled at Monterosso and will see all 5 cities in a single panoramic view. 

coastline cinque terre national park
The expansive view

The opposite good thing about doing a small group boat tour is you could escape the loopy crowds on land. 

(Learn extra about that right here)

There are additionally different boat excursions that take you from city to city, however they’re 8 hour excursions with restricted time at every city, and they’re much larger ferries. 

For not that rather more, you get a extra private and personal expertise on these smaller boat excursions. 

small boat moored to the marina

It’s also possible to catch the ferry from Vernazza to Manarola, passing Corniglia alongside the best way. The ferry doesn’t at all times cease at Corniglia, however you may see the city from the ocean. 

The primary attraction of Corniglia is the 382 steps main as much as it, which after climbing from Monterosso to Vernazza sounds too exhausting, so we had been completely satisfied to maintain going to Manarola.

boat moored in sea off Riomaggiore
A smaller ferry

The ferry is simply 20 minutes, gives unbelievable views of the shoreline, and permits you to see the distinctive structure and vibrancy of the coloured buildings from a special perspective.

Once more, if time and price range permits, I might do the small group boat tour. It was one of many highlights of our whole European summer time journey and our prime factor to do in Cinque Terre. 

It’s usually cheaper to ebook your tour on-line, however you will need to ensure you verify your particulars rigorously as excursions get booked up and it’s not at all times attainable to ebook them final minute. This was the tour we ended up doing.

It’s also possible to book a private boat tour of Cinque Terre, which might be rather more stress-free and intimate, albeit dearer. It’d work out cost-effective although if in case you have your personal group of six.

Listed below are some fashionable boat excursions of Cinque Terre:

Cease 5: Sundown at Manarola

savannah taking photo of the sunset
Sundown views

The final cease of the day is Manarola, which gives among the most awe-inspiring views in Cinque Terre. (conveniently Captain Cosimo dropped us off right here)

The mixture of its colourful buildings, dramatic cliffs, and the glowing Ligurian Sea creates a picturesque backdrop for a memorable sundown.

Manarola is understood for being a extra laid-back and tranquil place, and because the day winds down and the golden hour arrives, this peace and serenity is finest captured.

bar on hill at manarola
Nessun Dorma on the hill

Stroll up the path heading north to the highest of the cliff – you will notice all of the individuals on the path. There’s a actually fashionable bar there, Nessun Dorma that serves drinks and charcuterie boards. Folks like to go right here for its superb views trying again over Manarola. 

They don’t take reservations. As a substitute you be a part of the waitlist through their app. As we didn’t have wifi this was ineffective for us, and the traces had been extremely lengthy. 

I might skip it, and as an alternative simply benefit from the sundown from their playground on the very prime of the cliff. There’s a small open grass space the place many come to sit down and watch. 

orange sun setting behind the mountain at manarola
The opposite sundown view

What makes this even higher than Nessun Dorma is you may see the solar setting over the ocean AND the golden colours on the MAnarola buildings. With the place of the bar on one facet of the cliff face, you may solely see Manarola Harbor. 

I might get some snack meals from Manarola city (and maybe a bottle of wine if you may get one from a retailer) and take it as much as the perspective for a a lot better sundown expertise. We want we did that. 

We ate at a restaurant that was overpriced and never adequate to advocate to you! 

In any other case, there are many native eating places or trattorias serving contemporary seafood dishes and conventional Italian delicacies to take pleasure in whereas savoring the lingering fantastic thing about the twilight sky.

In the primary avenue of Manarola, there’s a gluten free and dairy free place promoting crepes and ice cream. Their crepes had been scrumptious! 

Cease 6: Nightlife in Riomaggiore (non-obligatory)

colorful homes on the harbor

If you happen to nonetheless have some vitality left, you may catch the practice to Riomaggoire, the final of the 5 cities of Cinque Terre.

Riomaggiore gives a vibrant and distinctive nightlife expertise and is residence to quite a lot of energetic bars that come alive after the solar units. You’ll be able to take pleasure in a refreshing drink or pattern native wines whereas immersing your self within the energetic environment of the city.

Many bars and eating places in Riomaggiore function stay music, making a vibrant musical backdrop to your night. Sip cocktails and immerse your self within the music, whereas socializing with different like-minded vacationers.

colorful buildings on narrow road leading to harbor
The streets of Riomaggiore

We visited Riomaggiore on the night earlier than this present day in Cinque Terre and loved the bustling most important avenue working by city. We spent a while stress-free in a bar for Aperitivo Hour with an Aperol Spritz and a few snacks watching the world go by! 

If you happen to’re visiting in the summertime, you would possibly even discover a competition going down in Riomaggiore, which regularly entails music, dancing, and native traditions. It’s the place to be should you take pleasure in an evening out.

Ideas for Visiting Cinque Terre in One Day

overlooking riomaggorie

To take advantage of your journey, listed below are some phrases of recommendation for visiting Cinque Terre in 1 day…

  • Examine the climate earlier than climbing. If you happen to’re visiting in the summertime months, be aware that Italy can get fairly sizzling and there may be often little or no cloud cowl, so that you may not wish to hike and go for a practice as an alternative.
  • Carry loads of water and keep hydrated.
  • You will want a good pair of climbing sneakers – they do ask and have indicators saying you aren’t allowed to hike with out them. I’m undecided in the event that they verify, however it’s to your personal security to put on them. 
  • Know the practice instances. Trains come each 20 minutes, which isn’t an extended ready time, however once you solely have in the future in Cinque Terre each minute counts. Be sure you notice down which trains it’s worthwhile to take to remain on schedule.
  • Likewise, know the ferry times too. The ferry is a good way to get round Cinque Terre, however just like the practice, it’s worthwhile to know which ferry to get to remain on schedule.
  • Pack evenly. As you discover Cinque Terre, you might encounter steep hills and stairs. To make your journey extra snug, it’s advisable to pack mild and convey solely important objects. This may make it simpler to navigate the terrain and revel in your time within the villages.
  • Get up early. Not solely to keep away from the crowds but additionally to ensure you can maximize your day and provides your self time to cease and revel in a spot you want. You’ll not slot in all our solutions and have a good time should you don’t begin in Monterosso by not less than 9am. 
  • Keep watch over your little ones. Cinque Terre can get fairly busy, particularly through the peak season, so ensure you maintain your eyes in your little ones to keep away from shedding them within the crowds.
  • E book upfront. Gone are the times when you could possibly rock up and ebook a ship tour of Cinque Terre on the day. If you happen to don’t wish to miss out, ebook upfront. We advocate not less than per week earlier than.
  • Plan for an extended keep. In case your Italy itinerary isn’t totally set, then enable your self the choice to remain longer. To totally discover the entire villages in Cinque Terre, you would possibly want not less than two days within the space. 
  • Examine the map beneath for lodging choices, together with motels and trip leases, within the Cinque Terre Nationwide Park.

Last Ideas

craig smiling on boat
Thumbs up

Cinque Terre is a very distinctive area and one that can enchant anybody who visits. If you happen to solely have in the future in Cinque Terre, then we hope this information helped you take advantage of out of your go to.

We all know that not each traveler is blessed with time, so we’ve finished our greatest to incorporate all of the highlights and offer you an actual taste for this attractive area.

Extra Italy Journey Ideas

It’s possible you’ll be inquisitive about these guides for close by locations: