The name Cinque Terre means ‘Five Lands’ and it refers to five beautiful coastal villages in Liguria, Italy. The villages are called Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. And together they are listed on the UNESCO world heritage list, are a national park and also a protected waterway.
The villages are full of colourful buildings that cling to the Ligurian cliffs and are a beautiful sight to see. At Avventure Bellissime, we offer several unique tours of Cinque Terre, and so we’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the area. Here’s our take on what you should see and do when you visit:
Each village is unique and has its own characteristics and will offer the visitor something different during their holidays to Italy. For instance,
Monterosso’s beach – this is the only town with a strip of beautiful beach within easy reach. The beach is a beautifully long stretch of sand that is right at the edge of the village and is easy to get to.
Vernazza’s piazza or central square sits right on the water and is quite stunning. Further up the hill, a ruined castle overlooks the village and you can also see the remains of a wall that protected the village from pirates.
Riomaggiore and its steep rise away from the shoreline gives it some quite stunning views, particularly from the water. It has a lovely little harbour and a castle and church.
Manarola’s rustic charm. It is true it’s more rustic than the other villages and so it has a unique atmosphere that some travellers really value.
Corniglia is different from its neighbours because it sits on top of a cliff and not at the water’s edge. You need to climb 365 steps to reach the village from the water. It can be a little quieter particularly in the evenings. This village arguably gives the best views of the region.
Cinque Terre things to do:
Hike the trails
Top of our ‘what to see and do in Cinque Terre’ is hiking. There are numerous trails around the region and by walking along them you’ll really be able to enjoy and experience your surroundings. Many are suitable for beginners, and some are a little more difficult than that. Regardless of which level you choose, you’ll be able to fully experience the area if you do some exploration on foot.
It is here you’ll see the beauty of the coastline and get a feeling for how remote this area must have been in ancient times. It is worth remembering that the area is prone to landslides so if you plan to do a specific trail, check before you depart.
Also, some of the trails require passes that you need to purchase to get access. Avventure Bellissime offer guided tours of the region (small group, private or cruise ship excursions) and by booking with us all access requirements are arranged for you in advance.
Visiting the local restaurants should definitely be on your ‘things to see and do in Cinque Terre’ list. The food here is simple but beautiful. There is a lot of seafood on offer and it tastes sublime. Pesto also hails from this region and tastes magnificent here in its place of origin. All dishes seem to be really enhanced by the other natural products that are produced in the area – whether it is olive oil or the local herbs like basil and oregano.