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Discover the Villages of Cinque Terre

Situated in the Liguria region amidst some of the most awe inspiring coastal scenery, Cinque Terre encompasses five spectacular fishing villages perched high on the Italian Riviera, which until recently were linked only by old walking tracks and accessible only by rail or water as cars were banned int he area nearly 10 years ago. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it has some of the best preserved natural and semi-natural areas, as well as offering an impressive view of the Mediterranean Sea. Visit Cinque Terre as part of our Highlights of Italy North Small Group Journey, or let us help you arrange a Private Journey to the area. The coastal towns make for a great seaside holiday, and a perfect few days to relax between some of the more popular areas of Tuscany, Venice and Florence nearby.

Here are some of the best views and things to do in each town:

Riomaggiore

Closest to the main city of La Spezia this village is only made up of one main street. Plenty of restaurants scatter the area across the harbor and rocky beach, where you can watch a beautiful sunset. Find the tunnel off the main street towards the train station and walk the windy residential streets Via T. Signorini. You will also find a castle and church to explore with idyllic views over the sea. Our recommendation for the most picturesque view is down by the seafront (which is the opposite direction of the town when you leave the train station).

Italy, Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore

Italy, Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore

Manarola

Just north of Riomaggiore is another one street village with a small harbor area where you can swim – or cliff jump if you’re game enough! You may recognise the area as many tourists who come here find it an extremely picturesque spot and enjoy taking their photos here. The best view of the town is from the walkway down by the sea front.This town has a great relaxed vibe, and is a good place to grab an evening drink. If you enjoy walking, Manarola is connected to Riomaggiore by the famous Via dell’Amore, “Lovers’ Lane” – a footpath carved into the rocks above the sea.

Via dell’Amore , "Lover's Lane", Cinque Terre

Via dell’Amore , “Lover’s Lane”, Cinque Terre

Vernazza

A beautiful and picturesque town with a church on the water and a castle that remains protected by an old wall. For the best view, head to the mountains next to the town (which you can find via the small side streets). Be sure to visit the Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia, built on the rocks overlooking the sea. There is also a good walk from Vernazza to Monterosso (amongst many other good hiking trails in the area).

Vernazza, one of the five villages of Cinque Terre

Vernazza, one of the five villages of Cinque Terre

Corniglia

You’ll be fit as a fiddle as you arrive here after walking up the 365 steps far above the ocean on top of the cliffs. It’s a great place to just get away from all the hustle and bustle. Surrounded by vineyards, the timeless narrow alleyways surrounded by colourful houses characterise the area. Visit the Parish of San Pietro, which is a perfect example of the gothic Ligurian style, and is one of the most interesting monuments of the entire coast. Take a boat ride for the best view looking back on the town from the water.

Monterosso al Mare

The largest of the 5 villages, this might be the only place where you’ll really see cars driving around. Made up of an Old and New Town that are linked by a tunnel, the area is well known for its lemon trees and anchovies. An abundance of sandy beaches (this is the best village if you want to enjoy the beach) and a nice stroll down the promenade makes it a great destination for families. The old town of Monterosso is dominated by the ruins of the castle and has typical narrow medieval streets, “carruggi”, with multi-coloured terraced houses.

Monterosso al Mare from the water, Cinque Terre, Italy

Monterosso al Mare from the water, Cinque Terre, Italy

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