Cinque Terre Travel Guide

cinque terre italy travel guide for beach views on boat in vernazza

We LOVED Cinque Terre and if you can fit it into your travel plans, we’d highly recommend it! 2 days or more would be ideal but if you can only swing a day-trip based on timing, DO IT and utilize the boat tour to maximize what you’re able to efficiently see. It’s such a unique place and provided a totally different aspect to the trip. It’s lush, scenic, and relaxed. We’re also huge pesto fans so it was really cool to explore the region it originated in! Check out where we stayed, ate, and did – as well as our 2-day itinerary for the full Cinque Terre experience! This Cinque Terre travel guide has you covered on it all!

Where to Stay

Hotel Porto Roca – Such an amazing view and great pool. The staff was amazing and we feel like it’s the best hotel option in Cinque Terre.

Where to Eat

Nessun Dorma – We did the pesto making class with Simoné, which is a MUST! It’s so much fun, the food is amazing, and you CAN’T beat the view either! Reel on this here.

La Cantina di Miky – Casual vibe right on the water and absolutely delicious! If you’re feeling adventurous, get the deep fried anchovies with lemon. Their cocktails were great also. 

L’Osteria – Loved the food! I ordered the pesto (of course) and Andrew ordered mussels in a lemon garlic sauce. We were both obsessed. The place is casual, no frills, and authentic. 

Enoteca Internazionale – Great spot for a glass of wine and bite to eat! 

Nessun Dorma Cantina – Go for wine tasting! 

Torre Aurora – Great spot for cocktails before dinner. It is a stunning photo spot with amazing views but we would recommend cocktails and heading somewhere else for dinner. 

cinque terre italy travel guide for torre aurora restaurant in monterosso al mare

What to Do

Boat Tour – This is the best way to see all of the 5 towns in a short amount of time! We used Stefano from Matilde Navigazione and stopped off at a few towns – Vernazza and Manarola – to walk around. One of the most fun experiences of our trip!

Hike through Each Town – We didn’t personally do this but if you love to hike and have the time, we’ve heard it’s incredible with breathtaking views. 

Go to the Beach at Monterosso – Beach club vibes but nothing too bougie or fancy. It was relaxed, laid-back, and lots of fun! 

2-Day Itinerary

Day 1

  • Check into hotel (we stayed in Monterosso)
  • Food and wine tasting at Enoteca Internazionale
  • Boat tour to see/visit all five towns (We loved Vernazza)
  • Aperitivo at Torre Aurora
  • Dinner at L’Osteria

Day 2

  • Breakfast at hotel or local cafe
  • Walk around Manarola
  • Pesto making experience at Nessun Dorma
  • Nessun Dorma Cantina
  • Relax at Monterosso Beach
  • Walk around Monterosso town
  • Dinner at La Cantina di Miky

Notes & Tips

  • The most popular way to get to Cinque Terre is by train. From the west, you’ll take the train from La Spezia and from the east, you’ll go from Levanto.
  • You can’t drive within the villages except for a little bit in Monterosso, though it’s easier to walk around.
  • To go between Monterosso and Riomaggiore, it only takes about 15 – 20 minutes by train and is easily accessible by foot. It’s super convenient and makes stops in Vernazza, Corniglia, and Manarola.
  • If you want to drive to get to Cinque Terre, I’d recommend hiring a private driver because the roads are very windy. You can also drive to La Spezia or Levanto and leave your car at the parking garage of the train station.
  • Another great accommodation option is to try an agriturismo.
  • The most iconic view of Cinque Terre is of Manarola.
  • Our pick for where to stay is Monterosso because it’s lively, has lots of restaurants and a sandy beach. It’s also the least hilly and most accessible.
  • The region is known for pesto and also has great local white wine.

If you liked this Cinque Terre travel guide & itinerary and are interested in checking out more about Italy, we have several more guides here!

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