Cinque Terre is the picturesque stretch of Mediterranean coastline that is home to five beautifully iconic Italian villages. In this blog I’ll share with you the perfect Cinque Terre itinerary, to make sure you get the most out of your quintessential Italian seaside adventure.
In our itinerary, we visited for 5 days to make sure we had enough time to see the 5 towns of Cinque Terre!
Day 1 – Manarola
Arrive into the pastel coloured village of Manarola and start soaking up the vibes! We chose Manarola as our base for our Cinque Terre trip as it’s centrally located and has one of the most beautiful views of the village. Wander through the busy streets and head around the harbour to the lookout spot. From here you get amazing views of the colourful village perched above the steep cliffs. From the lookout you can grab lunch or an aperitif at Nessun Dorma, a popular wine bar with these same breathtaking views of Manarola. We had to wait a long time in the line as it’s very popular, but now Nessun Dorma has an app to save a lot of the wait time!
Finish your day with a sunset wine and pizza. Enjoy one of the oceanfront restaurants or grab your wine and pizza to-go and find a secluded spot around the harbour to enjoy the setting sun. We loved doing this!
Day 2 – Manarola / Riomaggiore
Wake up in Manarola and after grabbing a coffee and breakfast, head down to the harbour. As the day heats up, this is the spot to be. Watch locals and travellers diving from the rocks into the deep blue sea. Or find a spot to lay your towels and circuit between soaking up the sun and taking a dip in the sea.
Now it’s time to check out another of the five villages of Cinque Terre. The trains are the best way to navigate between the villages, so jump on the next train and head to Riomaggiore. Riomaggiore is the nearest town to Manarola and only 2 mins away by train.
Travel Tip: You can also walk between many of the villages on great hiking tracks. However it is very hot in summer and sometimes some of the trails are closed, so check this out before deciding to set off on a hike.
Riomaggiore is very similar in appearance to Manarola. Bright coloured houses built on top of the cliff, with a small harbour below. Riomaggiore is slightly more colourful and we loved being here at sunset for views of the village from the waters edge. Otherwise walk down the main street and soak up the energy of the village. Stop along the way at a few spots to taste the antipasti and drink Negronis.
Travel Tip: There are no cars in the villages of Cinque Terre, making them perfect for a leisurely stroll!
Day 3 – Monterosso
We are beach lovers and so we dedicated a full day to visiting Monterosso. We jumped on the train from Manarola and arrived early in the morning to secure daybeds in a good spot for the full day. It was around 30 Euro for two sunbeds and an umbrella for the day. Although there’s a small patch of public beach where you can lay your towel on the sand for free, we decided to make a day of it and grabbed sunbeds at one of the beach clubs.
This is the best sandy beach in Cinque Terre and the water was so clear and refreshing to swim. The stretch of beach at Monterosso is the ultimate Italian summer scene. Bright umbrellas as far as the eye can see, with people dotted in the sea and lounging on the beach. The only time we left the beach was to grab foccacias for lunch and afternoon gelatos.
We brought with us a change of clothes to Monterosso so that we could explore the town after sunset. A very short walk around the bend takes you into the town, where we found a tiny traditional restaurant that served the most incredible seafood I think I’ve ever had. I’m sworn to secrecy about this place from some locals, but if you look hard enough you’ll find plenty of amazing places to eat!
Day 4 – Vernazza
Today we decided to visit another new village, so we headed to Vernazza. Similar to Manarola and Riomaggiore, Vernazza is another Italian gem. We grabbed some pizza slices and headed down to the harbour. We jumped off the little concrete pier between the little fishing boats and soaked up the sun for a few hours. Once the temperature started to cool down, we took a little coastal hike North of the village. It’s a steep walk but gets you high above Vernazza, with stunning views down to the harbour and the vibrant colours of the town.
Travel Tip: The hikes around Cinque Terre are very hot and steep, so consider avoiding them in the middle of the day, especially during summer.
Day 5 – Corniglia / Revisit your favourite
On our final day in Cinque Terre, we’d suggest checking out the last of the five towns – Corniglia. Though if you feel like you’d like to revisit your favourite town, then take the day to satisfy your travel needs!
Having loved our beach day so much, we decided to take another day at Monterosso. The other four villages are very similar, so that’s why we gave time to Monterosso to experience some more beach vibes.
We got to Monterosso earlier this time to grab some photos of the beach before it was super busy. I’m still so obsessed with this place and the aesthetic of the coastline!
I hope you love exploring the magic of Cinque Terre with this 5 day Cinque Terre itinerary.
Like this post? Pin it for later and share it with others!