Last updated on January 02nd, 2023
Considered one of the most visited destinations in Italy, Cinque Terre is not just a single place but a combination of five coastal towns. The five gorgeous clifftop villages overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.
Each town has its unique attractions so it would be better if you had a taste of them all. Tourists can choose to stay in one of the towns and visit the others from there. There is no need to shift the accommodation between the towns, as they are close to each other. There are also varying means of transport such as the ferry and the train. What’s the best town to stay in Cinque Terre ? All the villages have accommodation for all types of budgets, and each has its unique personality, meaning visitors have to choose their base town depending on their tastes and preferences. Check out below.
Apart from being a UNESCO World Heritage site, Cinque Terre is also a national park full of coastal and hillside paths with eye-catching views of the multi-coloured buildings and the Sea. These paths offer perfect hiking routes through the challenging rocky grounds and steep uphill trails. Hiking is also a great way of fully enjoying all the towns’ features at your speed.
The commonly used trail is the Sentiero Azzurro trail that connects the three towns of Monterosso, Vernazza and Corniglia. The trail starts at Monterosso and takes around four hours to get to Corniglia. The first stretch from Monterosso to Vernazza takes 2 hours and Vernazza to Corniglia another two hours. Below is more about the best place to stay in Cinque Terre.
What’s the best village to stay in Cinque Terre for a first time visit, best views, when driving by car, or where to stay for swimming & beaches or when on a budget? Read on below to find out more best towns and villages to stay in Cinque Terre Italy.
Best Area to Stay in Cinque Terre
Where to Stay in Cinque Terre
- Best Luxury Hotels in Cinque Terre
Hotel Porto Roca • Hotel Palme
- Best Great Value – Top Rated Hotels
Stella Della Marina • Locanda Il Maestrale
- Best Cheap Hotels in Cinque Terre
Albergo Al Carugio • Hotel La Spiaggia
- Best Bed & Breakfast
B&B Il Parco • La Casa di Andrea Relais
- Best Holiday Apartments for Rent
Appartamento Giovanna • Tramonto sul Mare
Best Areas To Stay in Cinque Terre
Where to stay in Cinque Terre for sightseeing? Riomaggiore
Riomaggiore is the second largest among the five villages. Most visitors use it as the starting point for exploring the villages or even use it as their base stay point. This town’s wider area means there are more accommodation option as well as more views. Riomaggiore has stunning pastel-hued buildings, plus its position on as the easternmost point of the Cinque Terre neighbourhood makes it a perfect base for exploration. It’s the best town to stay in Cinque Terre for sightseeing.
Where to stay in Cinque Terre for best views? Manarola
Manarola is one of the most visited towns in Italy. Here you can enjoy the stunning views that have inspired photographers and painters from all over the world. The town is a perfect choice for visitors looking for the best views. You will find some of the best views along the Ligurian coast. It’s the best village to stay in Cinque Terre for amazing views.
What’s the best village in Cinque Terre for swimming & the beach? Monterosso al Mare
If you are swimming fun, then Monterosso al Mare is the perfect match for you. Despite being the largest, this town is home to the best beaches in the area. Unlike the other town’s beaches that are rocky and pebbly, the beaches in Monterosso are sandy and spacious enough.
Though not classified as part of the five villages of the Cinque Terre, the towns of La Spezia and Levanto, located outside Cinqueterre can offer excellent accommodation if you are driving a car. Finding parking in the Cinque Terre is a challenge, and the parking fees are also high. The town is one of the starting points for the train servicing the villages, meaning you can park your car at the train station and tour the villages by train.
Where to stay in Cinque Terre on a budget? Corniglia
The fact that fewer people prefer Corniglia as their accommodation place makes the hotels in the area more affordable than in the other villages. The main reason why few people rule out this neighbourhood is that it is not along the coast. The town is the smallest and settles on a cliff, some distance away from the Sea. When looking for cheap places to stay in Cinque Terre, Corniglia is a good choice.
The 7 Best Villages & Towns in Cinque Terre Italy for Tourists
This southernmost village of the Cinque Terre is a perfect place to stay for tourists. The town is big enough to accommodate a variety of hotels and entertainment spots and is full of fun activities. Another of its features includes stunning, colourful structures, medieval streets and beautiful views. Tourists can easily access the town by train or on foot through the popular coastal pathway. The pathway is also perfect for romantic hiking, especially in the evening to experience the magical sunset.
Hiking fans can enjoy nearby walking trails such as the way of love and the Riomaggiore Ring. The way of love is a 900m walking stretch connecting Riomaggiore and Manarola. It is the shortest and easiest trail in the Cinque Terre.
Must-visit places in Riomaggiore include the historic church of St. John the Baptist, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta located at the centre of the village and Castle of Riomaggiore. The castle of Riomaggiore is one of the oldest buildings in the town and has a rich history of protection against barbarian attacks.
- Best Hotels (Great Value): Cinqueterre Residence • Crêuza de Mä (Guest House)
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Hotel Del Sole • La Dolce Vita
This pretty village is a source of attraction for a majority of tourists who visit the Cinque Terre. This picturesque town is home to the single natural port in Cinque Terre, plus it has two beaches that are open to the public. You can choose this town as your accommodation area if you want to interact with tourists from other regions. The hotels are always fully booked and restaurants full of tourists from other towns during the day.
Apart from swimming, one can enjoy the nearby wonderful hikes like the Blue Path, 2c and the Blue Path, 2d. The blue path, 2c leads to the Guvano beach through the forest and gives an impressive view of the Cinque Terre Riviera. The Blue Path, 2d, on the other hand, connects Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza through a 3.3 km stretch.
Must-visit places in Vernazza include the Church of St. Margaret of Antioch, Church of San Francesco and the Belforte Tower and A. Doria Castle. The Castle tower is a perfect place to have a birds eye’s view of Vernazza and the coast.
- Best Accommodation (Great Value): La Polena – Affittacamere (Guest House) • Santa Marta Rooms 25 (Guest House)
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Albergo Barbara • Hotel Gianni Franzi
Monterosso is the largest and the oldest of the five Cinque Terre villages. The town is divided into the old town and new town. The new town, as the name suggests, has modern architecture buildings while the old town sits on the original village. Most tourists prefer this town due to the high presence of accommodation places, restaurants as well as entertainment spots.
The reason why most people prefer to stay here is the fact that that the town is close to the first town when entering the Cinque Terre from the larger district towns.
Tourists also prefer to stay at Monterosso due to the town’s unmatched beaches. This town’s beaches are sandy and full of activities such as swimming, diving and sunbathing. It has the biggest beach of the entire Cinque Terre, therefore, attracting tourists who have swimming and beach activities as part of their fun activities. Monterosso al Mare is the best town to stay in Cinque Terre near the beach.
- Best Accommodation (Great Value): Il Giardino Incantato (Guest House) • A cà da Alba Rooms (Guest House)
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Stella Della Marina • Locanda Il Maestrale
This second town from the south is also the oldest and the second smallest among the five. Unlike the bigger towns, this town is often overlooked, thus making it less crowded than the others. The village may not be a choice for many but can be a perfect pick for nature lovers. This town attracts a lot of photographers due to its stunning postcard views that are just some minutes’ walk from the town. Most of the hike trails starting from Manarola will give you impressive views of the Sea and the coast, or you can move upwards to enjoy viewing the lemon and vine gardens close to the town.
The fact that there are fewer nightlife activities and fewer visitors makes the town a choice for those who prefer a quiet place away from the daily hustles. Beachgoers may not choose the town because it does not have a classic beach, but the Manarola’s harbour is full of fun activities such as sunbathing and swimming.
One of the areas to visit in Manarola include the fortress ruins, the church of San Lorenzo and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of The Health. Another activity you can enjoy at Manarola is wine tasting. The village is surrounded by grapevines farms and hamlets where you can taste and buy local wine.
- Best Hotels (Great Value): Hotel Marina Piccola • Ca’ D’Andrean
- Best Guest Houses: Alex Room • Amanarola
Corniglia is the smallest of the five towns and also the one at the highest point. The town doesn’t have beaches and can only be accessed on foot. For this fact and the remoteness, very few tourists prefer staying in Corniglia. The lower tourist population keeps the accommodation cost at this village lower, hence making it an excellent choice for budget travellers.
The quite environment also makes the village is attractive to tranquillity seekers and hiking fans. Some of the walking trails near Corniglia include the 2km Blue path, 2b that connects the Corniglia Railway Station with Manarola and the 3.2 km blue path, 2c that passes through the forest. This trail is famous for the beautiful panoramic view of the Corniglia and the other villages.
The must-visit places in Corniglia include the Church of St.Peter, Ruins of Genoese Fortress and Chapel of Saint Catherine flagellants and the monument in the town’s central square.
- Best Places to Stay (Great Value): Affittacamere Arbasia De Ma (Guest House) • Daa Maduneta (Guest House)
- Best Apartments to Rent: rosa dei venti • La Torre Apartments
6. La Spezia (outsite Cinque Terre, but easy to reach by train)
La Spezia is the first stop for people visiting the Liguria region using cruise ships. The town is a perfect staying location for tourists who want to explore the Cinque Terre. You can easily access the villages using the town’s train services or the easily accessible daily bus trips.
Tourists staying in La Spezia also enjoy the unique boat tours that enable them to access the villages from the Sea. Apart from being close to the Cinque Terre, this town has its attractions such as the waterfront, the Naval Technical Museum and the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta.
- Best Accommodation (Great Value): The Poet Hotel • Le Ville Relais (with Pool)
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: La Taverna del Metallo Rooms • Hotel Nella
7. Levanto (outside Cinque Terre, but easy to reach by train)
Levanto is not part of the Cinque Terre, but a lot of tourists prefer staying here. This town acts as the gateway to the five villages, especially for people who prefer using the train. People with private cars also prefer this town because they can park their vehicles at the safe Railway Station parking in the town. It is better to leave your vehicle at Levanto and visit the villages by train as most of the Cinque Terre towns lack enough parking.
Despite being outside the main attraction area, Levanto is home to a variety of activities like scuba diving, hiking and other beach activities. The place is also full of restaurants and hotels for different budget types and is also quieter than some of the villages in the Cinque Terre.
Best Places to Stay in Cinque Terre Italy
There are so many great places to stay in Cinque Terre, but we have three places that we can certainly recommend. Here we’re going to recommend you our favorite luxury hotel, mid-range hotel, and best beach property.
Best Luxury Hotel in Cinque Terre: Hotel Porto Roca
This hotel is located 200 metres from Monterosso’s historic centre in a position that overlooks the Sea and the harbour. It is perfect for both couples and families as there are children activities and spacious rooms. This hotel is an ideal pick due to the availability of both a private beach and a pool.
The location between the beach and the highest point of the cliff makes this hotel’s environment quiet and relaxing. The rooms also boast of a private balcony and breathtaking views of the sea and the neighbourhood.
Best Mid Range Hotel in Cinque Terre: Hotel Marina Piccola
If you are looking for the perfect Mid-Range hotel in Cinque Terra, look no further than the Hotel Marina Picolla. This hotel offers the best about Manarola close to you. Some of the key features include a private balcony, flat-screen and air conditioning. The rooms give you an ocean view, plus the rocky beaches are just a few meters away if you need a closer look.
The hotel also offers free breakfast and is close to some Mediterranean restaurants — where you can enjoy both local and international dishes. Being just 5 minutes’ walk from Manarola Train Station, the hotel is also a perfect choice if you wish to tour the villages by train.
Best Beach Hotel in Cinque Terre: Roca Du Ma Pasu
Named after the tunnel that connects old Monterosso and new Monterosso, Roca Du Ma Pasu is a few minutes drive from Levanto and a walking distance from Buranco Agriturismo. This beach hotel is a choice to many due to its perfect beachfront with perfect sunbeds and shades.
Guests also enjoy additional services such as free parking, baggage storage and free breakfast. The facility has four well-appointed rooms that are air-conditioned to ensure that guests have a comfortable stay. Hiking activities are also easily accessible from this facility due to its proximity to the Monterosso- Vernazza footpath.