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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.