Cinque Terre, a 5 stars colour trip!

A few words about Cinque Terre 🗣️:

A one-day excursion to Cinque Terre is enough to convince you that it is one of the best places in Italy (the best according to many)! The Five Lands or the five colorful villages of the Italian Riviera have been established by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The place constantly gains ground, firstly due to the huge advertising campaign and secondly due to the uniqueness they present. The five fishing villages that compose it –from south to north- are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. The thousands of tourists that visit it daily might have tainted the once pristine beauty of the area, yet they continue to gain –rapidly- ever more followers from all over the world, due to the wild, natural beauty, the picturesque trails and the crystal clear waters that invite you in!Important: The villages are more beautiful early in the morning or late at night (i.e. when the thousands of visitors are not there). If you can afford to spend 2-3 days, do it.


The 5 villages / What to do in Cinque Terre 🛶

RiomaggioreThe first of the five villages that you will meet –if you come from the south side- is Riomaggiore. Nestled between two steep hills, this village might tire you, due to the upward roads, yet it has natural beauty that makes it stand out in comparison to the other ones. We suggest that you move on to the next village (Manarola) via the easy trail Via dell’Amore (Road of Love). ⛔ Closed until 2019.
📸 Best photo shot: From the sea or a drone camera.

CornigliaIt is the only village that is not by the sea, but rather high…so much so that you will need to climb 382 –wide- steps to find it! Due to its location it does not have very high visitor rates, so there is a sense of –moderate- relaxation among its narrow streets. We devoted most of our time on this village, accompanied by a glass of wine and the wonderful view!
📸 Best photo shot: From the Corniglia – Vernazza trail or a drone camera.

VernazzaVernazza combines many elements that help it get established as the tourists’ favorite village. It has the fewest upward roads, it is built around a beautiful, natural harbor and has a large –considering the size of the villages- square, with a plethora of options around it. Although it received a strong blow a few years ago, when it was hit by floods, it managed to stand back up on its feet and today it gains ground constantly.
📸 Best photo shot: From the Monterosso – Vernazza trail or a drone camera.

ManarolaIt is the oldest and probably the most beautiful village of Cinque Terre. It is responsible for the great publicity that the place has gained, as it is captured in most photographs, as the colorful village that is pinned on the steep rocks. The best time to visit it is during sunset, when the colors of the houses intertwine with those of the sky, offering a unique scenery. Do not miss out on trying the local wines and the fragrant Limoncello.
📸 Best photo shot: From Manarola Scenic Viewpoint or a drone camera.

Monterosso al MareAt the end of the route you will come across Cinque Terre’s most commercial village. It is the largest in size and stems away from the style of the rest, as it is built on –comparatively- even ground and it is divided in two parts, the old and the new village. Monterosso al Mare is especially loved by tourists, because of its level layout and long beach, by the name of Fegila. We would say that it somehow resembles a small Greek island.
📸 Best photo shot: From the Capuchin Friars Monastery or a drone camera.


Accommodation Cinque Terre 🏨Accommodation in Cinque Terre is a matter quite difficult and expensive. Options are limited, and demand and prices are rather high. You can only find hotels in the village of Monterosso al Mare, while in the rest of the villages you will find rooms to rent. The average price per night (during high season) is 150€…! The most economical solution is to rent in La Spenzia or the surrounding villages.

Zia Letizia Bed And Wine: It offers the best quality/price ratio in Cinque Terre. With rooms that are comfortable, functional and modern, Zia Letizia Bed And Wine should be included in your choices. You must have made reservations a few months in advance, as demand is very high.  Monterosso al Mare

Sailors Rest Riomaggiore: It is a quality accommodation site with wonderful aesthetic, a lot of amenities and reasonable price. Riomaggiore

Alla Marina Affittacamere: At the port of Riomaggiore you will find a value-for-money option for accommodation. The room is good, the location is central and price is quite low (compared to the area’s standards). Riomaggiore

The First – Manarola 5 Terre: Possibly the most high-quality accommodation site of the area with excellent aesthetic and a breath-taking view (and price)! Manarola

Affittacamere La Torre: It is located in the quietest of the five villages and targets those looking for affordable stay in Cinque Terre and have no high expectations. Corniglia

Camere Nunzio: Newly-renovated, clean and bright rooms is what Camere Nunzio offers. The price is a bit high for the area’s standards. Corniglia


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Ways to move around 🚉Transportation in Cinque Terre is something that you must have researched in advance. The best option is to reach La Spenzia by train or car and from there get the train transport pass. If you attempt to move by car from one village to another, bear in mind that parking spots are scarce and highly priced.

  • Train: 2.1€ for the trip to the next village.
  • Trails: There are cards for 1-2 days that cost 7.5 & 14.5€ respectively.
  • Boat: 7€ for the trip to the next village (with return), 5€ for the trip to the next village (one-way). 25€ for all the villages (with return). Prices change frequently, so make sure you check out the official price list HERE.

  • Car: Opting for transportation by car is not an easy decision when it comes to Cinque Terre. The roads between the villages are hard and narrow, while the parking lots located at the entrance of each village are small and you might not manage to find a spot. However, in Monterosso there are two parking lots with plenty of spaces (12-15€ cost). In Vernazza the cost is around 25€ per day, Corniglia only has a 30-minute stopover area, Manarola has a parking lot with a few spots for 25€ per day, but if you are lucky you might find a free parking space on the street. In Riomaggiore it is the same as in Manarola, but with an upwards difference in price. Finally, the best and Free solution is to leave your car in the d’Armi Square of La Spezia and take a 5-minute walk to the train station.
  • Combo ticket:  It is the most cost-effective of all (if you are planning on visiting all villages) as it includes Unlimited transport on the trails – Unlimited transport via train – Free use of the WC facilities – Free wifi and Transport to the village of Corniglia by bus. There are cards for 1 & 2 days that cost 16 & 29€ respectively. See the official price list and the full benefits Here.

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Food Cinque Terre 🍕Food in Cinque Terre is something that will not disappoint you, as long as you stay away from tourist spots. Those are the ones at the water’s edge, the largest ones at the square and serve everything! Do not miss out on trying the local focaccia, their seafood (they are fishermen, after all), the farinata, the fresh pesto spread on bread, as well as the exquisite varieties of wine. A two-person meal with wine will cost you 60€.

Fuori Rotta: It is one of the best restaurants in Cinque Terre. It is outside the tourist trails and ideal for drinks or beer, accompanied by a cold platter, but also for lunch/dinner. Riomaggiore

Nessun Dorma: We will deviate a little bit from our views and recommend you the “tourist” Nessum Dorma. It is located on the best spot of Cinque Terre and serves wine, drinks, juices and rich platters in relatively reasonable prices! Manarola

Enoteca da Eliseo: Pretty, traditional with a wide variety of wines and foods. Quality falls in line with price and the restaurant is a very good option for food/drink. Monterosso al Mare

Il Frantoio: It is the best choice for you to get a taste of focaccia, pizza, farinata and other snacks. Prices are reasonable and service is very good. Monterosso al MareBar Nunzio: In its courtyard you will get the chance to taste pleasurable dishes in reasonable prices. The quiet and beautiful view should be added to the list of its positive traits. Corniglia

Da Eraldo: The restaurant is fine and offers tasty and satisfying portions. And as far as prices are concerned, they are reasonable for the quality and portions of the dishes. Monterosso al Mare

Gelateria 5 Terre: This shop will sweeten you up for good. It offers a wide variety of gelato, crepes, desserts and more. Manarola


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Useful tips Cinque Terre 💡

  • Even though prices are extremely high, permanent residents are granted discounts that reach as high as 50% (in almost all businesses)!
  • Start at Monterosso al Mare and end up at Riomaggiore. This route is more rational and will offer you better images.
  • Caution: Train routes after 20:00 run every 40-60 minutes.
  • Opt for a bus ride to the village of Corniglia, as the ascent is tiring.
  • In every village there are founts with free potable water. You should only carry a bottle.
  • Get away from the “central” streets. The magic and simplicity of Cinque Terre hides in the unknown alleys, where chances are you will be alone!
  • From the village of Corniglia you can see parts of all the other villages that compose Cinque Terre.
  • Trains are not always on time.
  • The villages are more beautiful early in the morning or late at night (i.e. when the thousands of visitors are not there).
  • From the village of Corniglia you can see parts of all the other villages that compose Cinque Terre.

  • Via dell’Amore (the pat of love) will remain closed ⛔ until 2019.
  • If you reach the village of Vernazza by car, you have to know that a little before reaching the destination the road becomes very narrow (only one car can pass at a time).
  • For food, pick the village of Corniglia. It has the most decent options.
  • Walk with your head high! The colors of the houses, the smells from the kitchens and the hung clothes will take you back to childhood!
  • Do not buy souvenirs or other gifts from Monterosso al Mare. You will find them in the other villages at lower prices.
  • When in Vernazza, follow the trail to Monterosso al Mare. After 500 meters you will come across the famous balcony where you can take many photos!

Excursion to Cinque Terre!


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