Set on the dramatic Italian Riviera Coastline, the centuries-old villages that make up Cinque Terre are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare and, for a nearby must-see and excellent starting point into the Cinque Terre, Levanto.
Linked by a hiking trail, a ferry, as well as a train that runs between La Spezia and Levanto, the villages are together characterized by their pastel-colored buildings, nearby agriculture, and rugged coastal charm.
Through visiting Cinque Terre and doing extensive research on the area, we’ve not only compiled the benefits of staying in each village, but our top accommodation recommendations as well. If you’re looking for the best place to stay in Cinque Terre, here are our top picks for where to stay in each village!
The Best Hotels in Cinque Terre (And How to Choose)
The most eastern of the Cinque Terre villages, Riomaggiore dates back to the 8th century and is home to the main park office of the region. Riomaggiore is perfect for travelers looking for more of a local vibe and who don’t mind carrying their luggage up several flights of stairs.
While staying in the village, head on up to Torre Guardiola (a lookout where you’ll find excellent views and birdwatching), spend time at pebbly, rugged Fossola Beach, visit Riomaggiore’s well-equipped diving centre, or visit Via Colombo, the main street where there are plenty of shops and restaurants.
Where to Stay in Riomaggiore
For a budget-friendly place to stay in Riomaggiore, check out Hotel Due Gemelli.
If you’re looking for a good mid-range option, consider Affittacamere Le Giare Guest House.
If luxury accommodations are more your thing, then Agave Bed and Breakfast is the place to stay.
Less than ten kilometres from Riomaggiore lies the second smallest of the Cinque Terre villages, Manarola. This colorful village is home to an abundance of sweet grapevines, so sampling some of the village’s famous Sciacchetra wine is an activity not to be missed. Stay in Manarola if you want to be right in the heart of Cinque Terre and you don’t mind dodging a few tourists (as it’s one of the most popular of the 5 villages).
Also, if you’re looking to snap that iconic shot of Manarola, you know, the one with the brilliant blue water on the right, the colorful town in the middle, and the lush hills to the left? Simply follow the path around the port until you come to the lookout, and then take a look back.
Where to Stay in Manarola
For a great budget-friendly place to stay in Manarola, check out Arpaiu – Odeyo Sas Guest Houses.
For a mid-level option, try out The First – Manarola 5 Terre.
La Toretta Lodge is great luxury accommodation in Manarola.
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Corniglia is the only town of the Cinque Terre without a seaport and, because of this, it relies more on the agriculture industry than fishing. To make the land around Corniglia productive for farming, they carved the steep hillside creating rugged, yet farmable, terraces; resulting in a most unique landscape that is as unique as it is hikeable.
Keep in mind that because Corniglia is situated up atop the cliffs, there is a bit of a hike to get to the village — about 365 steps worth. The views from these steps are phenomenal, but if you have luggage or are in need of a more accessible way up, there is a bus that runs from the train station right into the centre of the village.
Where to Stay in Corniglia
For great budget accommodation in Corniglia, consider Casa Orietta Apartments.
For a mid-range option, consider Camere Nunzio Guest Houses.
For a more luxury stay, try out Affittacamere Le Terrazze.
Vernazza, a steep, car-free village covered with cobblestones, is home to quiet hiking trails among the vineyards, the only natural harbour of all the Cinque Terre, and two beaches. Vernazza is great for travelers looking to do some hiking and don’t mind staying up late (or remember to bring a good set of ear plugs!) because it can get noisy at night.
For added fun while in Vernazza, if you hear rumblings around town of Festa dei Pirati, definitely show up. While the festival has no exact date, every year Vernazza is invaded by a percussion group known as “Batebalengo”, the members of which are dressed like pirates. The festival is a reminder of when the Sacaren Pirates invaded Vernazza hundreds of years ago, but now it’s a fun festival with music and parties.
Where to Stay in Vernazza
For budget accommodation in Vernazza, consider Hotel Gianni Franzi.
For a good mid-range option, try out Cadè Ventu Guest Houses.
If luxury accommodation is more your thing, then look into MaDa Charm Apartment.
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Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso is characterized by its soft-sand beaches, hills brimming with vines, colorful reefs, and abundance of tourism options. The town is marked in two by the Tower of Aurora, which divides the old town of Monterosso from Fegina, which is full of quality hotels and restaurants.
In Monterosso, spend your time exploring the old town’s many ruins and medieval streets, get some sun by lounging on the beach, or hit up one of the village’s many festivals such as Sagra dei limoni (The Lemon Festival) in May, or Festival Bandistico in September, in which bands from all over Italy congregate to play.
As Monterosso is the flattest of the Cinque Terre, it is also a good option for those with reduced mobility.
Where to Stay in Monterosso al Mare
For budget accommodation in Monterosso al Mare, try out Fiordarancio.
For a good mid-range option, consider Zia Letizia Bed And Wine.
For luxury accommodations, look into Seaside Apartment.
While not technically classified as part of the Cinque Terre, Levanto acts as a doorway of sorts into the other villages, being one of the towns where the train servicing the other villages originates. Only about four minutes from Monterosso al Mare by train, Levanto is home to some excellent hikes, scuba diving, beach walks, and historical districts.
We’ve spent several nights in Levanto and enjoyed having a quieter place to retire at night. During the busy season, this might be your best option for hotels!
Where to Stay in Levanto
For a budget option in Levanto, try out Cicale Di Mare.
For a good mid-range option, check out Hotel Abetaia.
For luxury accommodations, consider Resort Costa Morroni.
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Cinque Terre Packing Essentials
Hiking Gear: As hiking is a popular activity in Cinque Terre, proper hiking shoes or boots, hiking socks, and even a hiking pole for those steep slopes are recommended.
Sun Protection: Spending time out in the sun is pretty much a given in Cinque Terre, so make sure to pack some sunglasses and sunscreen.
Comfortable, Style-Forward Clothing: Italy is a very fashion-forward country, but in a place as outdoorsy as Cinque Terre, you’re also going to want to also be as comfortable as possible.
A pair of comfortable flats are perfect for walking around town, breezy summer dresses will be sure to keep you looking and feeling cool, a pashmina is great for covering up at religious sites, and a cross-body bag will keep your belongings safe.
Swim Gear: If you plan on spending any time on the beach, then a swimsuit, quick-drying towel, sarong, and pair of water-shoes should be on your packing list.
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