Cinque Terre in Italy has become the extremely popular travel destination. To get most of your time and avoid disappointments, read my tips for planning your visit.

1) What time of the year to go?

If you are not a heat and crowd lover, better go in April, early May or September/October. But whichever you choose, make your bookings about six months ahead to have your pick of the accommodation. Pictured: Manarola.

riomaggiore cinque terre 1050762

2) How long to stay?

It depends on what kind of traveller you are. Technically it's possible to see everything in one day but it will be quite a busy trip then. If you plan on hiking all the villages, consider staying for at least two days to avoid exhaustion and fully enjoy the atmosphere and the views. In any case, think about including Porto Venere in your itinerary. It is located next to Cinque Terre villages. Together with Cinque Terre, this area is the site of world heritage. Your decision also depends on whether you want to relax at the beaches of Cinque TerrePictured: Porto Venere.

porto venere

3) How to get there?

Think of using public transport instead of a car. The roads are hilly and the parking is expensive. If you use a car, you'll need to go back to collect it after hiking or a boat ride.

4) Where to stay?

If you plan to use the train to get there and back, know that many long distance trains stop just in La Spezia and Monterosso and not in the villages in between, so I'd recommend choosing those towns as a base. Pictured: Monterosso.

monterosso cinque terre 1050908

5) What kind of accommodation to choose?

B&Bs might be cheaper than hotels, you just have to agree with the owner on your arrival time as they mostly don't have 24 hour reception. In La Spezia I very much recommend Affittacamere Le Farfalle Bed and Breakfast for its nice interior and exceptional customer care.

Affittacamere Le Farfalle 1050482

6) What about hiking?

Check what paths are open before your trip as landslides have damaged some trails recently. Consider your fitness level because hikes have uphill parts... But the views on the way are your reward for the effort! Pictured: view to Vernazza from a hiking trail.

vernazza distant view cinque terre 1050847

7) What to do with your luggage?

If you have limited time for your visit, try traveling with a light backpack only. You may leave heavy luggage at the hotel or train station but it means you'd have to come back for it which steals your precious time.

8) How to get from one village to another?

If you plan on hiking for just a part of the trails, take a boat to the other villages. The only village you can't reach by boat is Corniglia which sits about 300 feet above the Ligurian Sea and therefore has no port. Traveling by train you won't see as many views because trains go through tunnels most of the time. Pictured: Vernazza.

vernazza cinque terre 1050823

Have you been in Cinque Terre? Share your experience in comments!CinqueTerre

  • Published by Anita on May14, 2016


Author: Anita Sāne

Anita 03 18

About the author
Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.



Hello, I would love to go to Cinque Terre, with my family. Do you book hotels and tours? I am also a photographer and have been waiting to go to this area. I went to Orvieto and Chivita and loved it. If you have any suggestions can you please help?

Comment from the Author:
Hello Elizabeth!
Thanks for your comment and questions. I am a travel blogger and photographer, so I just book hotels and tours for myself, not for others. In my opinion, you do not need a tour of Cinque Terre, you can do it yourself. I wish you happy travels! Best, Anita

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Great post and tips. I've been keen to visit Cinque Terre ever since I saw it on Instagram. It looks like a photographers paradise!
Thank you for the tip about checking the hike status! I didn't realize there had been landslides and that is hiking to the lookout points is one of the main things I want to do if I visit.
I'd love to go to Cinque Terre! Thank you for answering all those important questions about planning the visit!
This is a truly exceptional itinerary! Cinque Terre is outstanding!
Cinque Terre is so high on my bucket list! Great travel tips :)
I've been to Italy but didn't get the opportunity to go to Cinque Terre yet. It's so beautiful that I think I'd go mad taking photos there.
I've been thinking of going here with my parents as a 'family vacation'. So i'm really glad you posted this! It's going to help me so much with planning :)
What incredible photos. I really want to visit here, and I really appreciate the advice on getting around. Hoping to hike between all the villages, so saving for later!
Gorgeous place, and your photos truly capture the beauty of Cinque Terre. It's on my list!
You have given some really good tips, especially the one about the train not stopping at some places. I would add try and avoid tourist season, it gets very crowded!
This is great! We are spending about 10 days there this summer so your guide will come in very handy :)
I was lucky enough to stay at a friend's family home in Cinque Terre with a group of friends a couple of years ago. I absolutely loved it! Such a beautiful place, I would recommend it to anyone.
I'd love to hike along these cliffs and through the villages. What a colorful place to explore. Thanks for sharing your tips about the best times to visit - not a fan of heat or crowds!
Cinque Terre is high on my list! This is an awesome guide I will be referring back to.
Such a beautiful place! Great tip on using the public transport instead of bringing a car. Seems like it would save some frustration.
Great tips! It looks like a wonderful place to hike - plenty of food stops on the way! ;)
It really looks nice :)

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