Are you looking for where to stay in Cinque Terre during your next holiday?
Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful areas in all of Italy, and it’s no wonder that it’s such a popular tourist destination. If you’re wondering where to stay in Cinque Terre, we’ve got you covered.
We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about visiting Cinque Terre. So whether you’re planning a trip there yourself or are just curious, keep reading for all the info you need.
Note: This post was written by a friend who is native to Italy, so you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for here!
Where to Stay in Cinque Terre: Best Towns
“Cinque Terre” quite literally means “Five Territories”. This unique region is situated on the Ligurian coast of Italy and consists of five historic fishing villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
Today these unique little towns are protected within the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, a national park.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, adventure holiday, or relaxing family vacation, keep reading to find the perfect place to stay during your Cinque Terre trip in Italy.
1. VERNAZZA – Where To Stay In Cinque Terre For A First Time Visit
If you’re looking for a charming and picturesque town to stay in during your first time in Cinque Terre, Vernazza is the place for you. This town is located in the heart of the region, situated along the coast between Monterosso and Corniglia.
This small village is brimming with history and culture, full of winding cobblestone streets leading to stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The traditional painted houses act as a beautiful color pop against the rugged cliffs.
Vernazza is the only ‘natural’ port along the Cinque Terre riviera thanks to its perfectly suited cliff formations. It’s also a working fishing village, so be sure to indulge in some fresh seafood, paired with fine Italian wines.
Note: There is no car access to Vernazza. The town must be reached by train, on foot, or by bike along the coastal path.
Where To Stay In Vernazza
📍 Albergo Barbara – $$
This traditional hotel offers incredible value for money. It’s one of the most affordable hotels in the area and it’s located right in the heart of Vernazza, looking out to the port.
The building has a romantic air of decay about it when you approach it from the outside, but not to worry! The rooms are very clean and modern. Amenities at this hotel include large double beds, simple yet elegant decor and direct access to the marina.
📍 FiveStay Casa Gabriella – $$$
This 3-bedroom luxury apartment is centrally located in Vernazza town and only 1.5 miles away from Corniglia beach. Here you can truly embrace the Italian riviera lifestyle and sip coffee or wine from your terrace overlooking the sea.
This entire apartment is fully furnished in chic Italian style. Amenities include 3 full-sized bedrooms, flat screen TV, patio, air conditioning, washing machine, and fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher.
➡️ Check prices for FiveStay Casa Gabriella here!
Best Things To Do In Vernazza
✔️ Climb up to Castello Doria
You can reach this ancient castle by walking up the steep steps from Vernazza harbor. Castello Doria is the highest point of Vernazza, it was the old watch tower in pirate days. From the top of this medieval fortress, you’ll have 360° views of the striking coastline and nearby Monterosso town.
✔️ Indulge at Vernazza Cinque Sensi
This is a quaint little wine bar in the center of Vernazza offering tastings of local wines, beers, and liquors from the region. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a long day of exploring. Or, if you’ve been lounging at the beach all day, just pop in for a refreshing cocktail.
2. MANAROLA, Where To Stay In Cinque Terre With Family
The second smallest of the Cinque Terre towns after Corniglia, Manarola emanates a laidback vibe, perfect for a family leisure holiday. In fact, Manarola has been voted one of the best small towns in Italy.
Manarola is instantly recognizable with its colorful traditional fishing houses descending from the top of the hill down to the Mediterranean Sea. This village dates back to the 1300s and is a great base for exploring the other Cinque Terre towns.
For the kiddos, Manarola has a great playground, the beautiful sandy Palaedo Beach is nearby, and many of the hiking trails are suitable for older kids or you can bring a pushchair. You should definitely walk along the Via Dell’ Amore (trail of love).
Where To Stay In Manarola
📍 Da Baranin Bed & Breakfast
This quaint B&B is located in the upper part of town, close to the Manarola Scenic Viewpoint. Then the center of the village is just a 5-minute walk away (call it 15 minutes with little kids).
There are 9 rooms in this accommodation, each with a balcony and kitchenette. So, there is a self-catering option. A private shower, electric kettle, and fresh towels are also provided, and the guestrooms offer gorgeous sea views.
➡️ Click here to book your stay at Da Baranin Bed & Breakfast!
📍 Arpaiu Guesthouse Manarola
This charming beachfront guesthouse is a short stroll away from the center of Manarola and offers incredible views of the rolling hills and sea. This accommodation includes free Wi-Fi and a delicious breakfast, and family rooms are available to book.
Each room has large windows that provide enchanting views and a ton of natural light. Amenities include a private bathroom, free toiletries, a hairdryer, and a coffee machine. You can also book self-catering studio apartments.
➡️ To book your stay at Arpaiu Guesthouse Manarola, click here!
Best Things To Do In Manarola
✔️ Walk to Eugenio Montale square
You can wander up Via Belvedere from the marina in the lower part of town, then follow the road to Eugenio Montale Square. Named after one of Italy’s most famous poets born in the area, this square offers the best views in town. In fact, it’s nicknamed “balcony overlooking the sea”.
✔️ Take in the panorama on the Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail)
The Blue Trail is an easy walking route that connects all five of the Cinque Terre towns, this trail has been used since medieval times for trade between the villages. In total, the path is 7 miles long, but you can take your time stopping at the many viewpoints. You can also ride a train or bus back.
3. LA SPEZIA, Where To Stay In Cinque Terre With A Car + On A Budget
This larger city of about 93,000 people is a great place to stay if you’ve rented a car and you’re traveling on a budget. Due to its size, this city offers much more affordable accommodation compared to the limited places to stay in the Cinque Terre themselves.
Most of the Cinque Terre do not allow access by car, so you can leave your car parked at La Spezia, then take the train that stops at all five of the famous coastal towns.
Since you’ve got a set of wheels, La Spezia is also a great base camp for road trips around the rest of the Liguria region. If you want to venture further afield to Tuscany, Pisa and Florence aren’t far either.
Where To Stay In La Spezia
📍 Costello Hostel
As hostels go, Costello is delightful. Set in a traditional townhouse with colorful tile floors, this hostel has a very friendly atmosphere. Centrally located, just 2 miles from La Spezia Castle, 0.7 miles from the port, and a half mile from the Technical Naval Museum, it’s easy to get around on foot or using public transport.
There is free Wi-Fi throughout the property, with a shared kitchen area and lounge. Many guests congregate at the local hang-out, Bar Castan, just 5 minutes away.
📍 Miramare Apartments & Suites
If you’re looking for something a little classier, but still budget-friendly, then Miramare Apartments & Suites is a great option. These self-catering apartments sit 2,625 feet above La Spezia’s marina, so you are guaranteed incredible views. – Hence the name, “Miramare” means “Sea View”.
All the suites have a view of the sea and include a living/dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a flat-screen TV. Some even have a private terrace. And all guests have access to the property’s private outdoor pool.
➡️ Check prices for Miramare Apartments & Suites by clicking here!
Best Things To Do In La Spezia
✔️ Tour the Cinque Terre while you sip on limoncino
This over 18s only tour (the legal drinking age in Italy is 18) departs from La Spezia port. In this guided boat tour you will visit three of the five Cinque Terre villages: Vernazza, Monterosso and Riomaggiore. You will be invited to taste limoncino, the local lemon-based liquor, along the way.
✔️ Go on a local food tour
Of course you know food plays a huge part in Italian culture, so why not indulge in the local cuisine? This gastronomic tour will take you around La Spezia’s historic downtown where you can taste traditional delicacies at five different food stops.
4. PORTO VENERE – Where To Stay In Cinque Terre For A Honeymoon
Technically, Porto Venere (or Portovenere) isn’t one of the Cinque Terre towns, but it still lies within the Cinque Terre National Park. This village sits along the Ligurian coast outside of La Spezia. However, this is an incredibly romantic town that’s perfect for a honeymoon or an elopement.
Porto Venere literally means “Port of Venus”, so just by the name, you should figure out that it’s a truly special place. This idyllic village is nestled in the ‘Gulf of Poets’ and is said to have inspired the literary works of the British poets Lord Byron and Shelly.
If you really want to splurge on your romantic getaway, you can visit the neighboring sister towns of Porto Fino, Porto Cervo, and Porto Rotondo. These seaside towns offer the height of luxury, they’re a well-known port of calls for celebrity yachts.
Where To Stay In Porto Venere
📍 Albergo Ristorante Paradiso
A restored riviera villa, this hotel offers outstanding views of Palmaria Island and the Apuan Alps. Couples in particular have rated this accommodation very highly.
You can start your day with a fresh breakfast on the terrace overlooking the Gulf of Porto Venere, then later dine at the onsite restaurant that’s open until 11 pm. All rooms come with air conditioning, a minibar, and fantastic views of the sea.
➡️ Check prices and book your stay at Albergo Ristorante Paradiso here!
📍Grand Hotel Porto Venere
Once a 17th-century monastery on the Porto Venere marina, the Grand Hotel offers tasteful luxury. The views from the terrace and rooms are to die for! You can see for miles across the old town center and out to Palmaria Island.
This hotel is just an 8-minute walk from the beach and guests can enjoy a buffet-style breakfast on the sun-soaked terrace. All rooms are beautifully decorated and include air conditioning, a private luxury bathroom, toiletries, LED TV, and a minibar.
➡️ To book your stay at Grand Hotel Porto Venere, click here to check prices!
Best Things To Do In Porto Venere
✔️ Go on a boat trip
There are many boat trips to choose from departing from Porto Venere. Of course, you can do a guided tour of the five Cinque Terre villages, or you can visit the nearby islands of Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto.
✔️ Visit Byron’s Grotto
This natural cavity in the coastline is located just west of Porto Venere town, dramatically positioned beneath the Porto Venere Castle and Church of San Pietro. It’s believed that this grotto was Lord Byron’s favorite meditation place and it’s here that he found inspiration for many of his poems.
5. MONTEROSSO – Where To Stay In Cinque Terre Without A Car
Monterosso is the largest out of all the Cinque Terre towns with a population of about 1,500 people. This is also the most visited out of the five villages due to Monterosso’s glorious long sandy beach.
This is also a great spot to base yourself on your Cinque Terre trip if you don’t have a car. Monterosso is the first train stop from Genova on the west of the Cinque Terre route. So once you fly into Genova, you can simply jump on a train and start your vacation in no time.
Not only a famous beach, but Monterosso also has plenty of charm with its painted houses, twisting cobbled streets, lovely promenade, and plenty of great restaurants. Just be aware that this is the most touristy out of the five villages.
Where To Stay In Monterosso
📍 Villa Accini
As the name suggests, this hotel was once an old Italian villa owned by a local family. When it comes to location, you have hit the jackpot with this hotel! Villa Accini is just 350 feet from the beach and is nestled within a beautifully landscaped park, just a short walk from Monterosso train station.
The tasteful rooms come with all modern amenities and you can enjoy breakfast in the garden each morning. Villa Accini guarantees a quiet and relaxing stay.
➡️ Book your stay at Villa Accini by clicking here!
📍 Hotel Porto Roca
One of the more upscale hotels in Monterosso, Hotel Porto Roca sits high above the cliff, overlooking the town center and only a 2-minute walk from the beach. The hotel has terraced gardens overlooking the sea and an outdoor infinity pool.
The rooms have a charming classic decor and come with air conditioning and satellite TV. Most rooms also have a private balcony overlooking the crystal clear waters below. All guests are welcome to use chairs and umbrellas on the beach, provided by the hotel.
➡️ Click here to book your stay at Hotel Porto Roca!
Best Things To Do In Monterosso
✔️ Visit Covento dei Cappuccini
This is an old monastery set on a hilltop that divides the old town of Monterosso from the newer Fegina quarter. Construction started in 1618 by Capuchin monks, the monastery is also home to the Church of San Franceso.
✔️ Relax on Fegina Beach
This is the main beach in Monterosso that tourists and locals alike flock to on warm sunny days. Although you won’t be able to escape the crowds, it’s still a fantastic beach with panoramic views of the town, sea, and coastline. It’s a great place to unwind and watch the sunset after a long day of sightseeing.
6. RIOMAGGIORE – Where to Stay In Cinque Terre For Nightlife
For those traveling from La Spezia, Riomaggiore is the easternmost village of the Cinque Terre. Although Riomaggiore is just as charming as the other four towns, it offers more choices of nightlife with bars that stay open later.
So, Riomaggiore is the better option for travelers who are full of joie de vivre and want to keep their holiday vibe going after the sun goes down. But don’t worry, Riomaggiore is still brimming with old-world charm, in fact, it dates back to the 7th century.
And if you’re traveling with your significant other, be sure to walk along the Via Dell’ Amore that starts in Riomaggiore. Legend has it that if couples kiss along the path, at the end of the tunnel leading to Manarola, then their hearts will be joined forever.
Where To Stay In Riomaggiore
📍 Cinque Terre Residence
Set on the hillside overlooking the town of Riomaggiore, this hotel is particularly favored by couples. While the rooms are quite simple (but clean), the main attraction of this hotel is its panoramic terrace and private hot tub.
All rooms have a private terrace and include all the standard modern amenities, including air conditioning. A buffet breakfast is also available every morning. Most guests enjoy grabbing a drink from the hotel bar and watching the sunset from the patio.
➡️ Click here to stay at Cinque Terre Residence!
📍 La Vista Di Marina Hotel
This 4-star hotel is perfect for those who want to indulge in the finer things in life. La Vista (“the view”) does in fact offer incredible views of the entire town and seafront. Situated just 350 feet from Riomaggiore Beach and 1.1 miles from Canneto Beach, this hotel is perfectly located for a summer holiday.
Each unit has self-catering capabilities with a fitted kitchen and seating area. Guests will also receive complimentary slippers and bathrobes. Every room also has a private balcony overlooking the garden.
➡️ Check prices for La Vista Di Marina Hotel here!
Best Things To Do In Riomaggiore
✔️ Walk to the Castle of Riomaggiore
For the best easy-to-get-to views in town, head up to the castle at the top of the town. From there, you will have incredible views of the deep blue waters, and surrounding vineyards and lemon tree groves.
✔️ Wine & Dine at Vertical Bar
A popular hang-out for both locals and tourists, Vertical Bar is probably the most popping place in town when it comes to nightlife. Here you can enjoy local light dishes and sip on wine, beer, or a refreshing Aperol Spritz. Vertical Bar offers a friendly ambiance and good music.
7. CORNIGLIA – Where To Stay In Cinque Terre For Hiking
The smallest and most isolated village of the Cinque Terre, Corniglia is the best spot for a relaxing holiday in nature. You can enjoy the slower pace of life – in true Italian fashion – or set out on hiking adventures, without hordes of tourists.
Corniglia dates back to Roman times, it was founded by the Gens Cornelia, an aristocratic Roman family who purchased the land for wine production. To this day, Corniglia is known for its picturesque vineyards and top-quality wine.
This ancient village is situated at the halfway point between the other Cinque Terre towns, so it’s the perfect base camp to explore the surrounding area… And if you’re truly feeling at one with nature after a long hike, you can cool off at the nearby nudist beach, Guvano Beach. – Hey, you’re in Europe after all!
Where To Stay In Corniglia
📍 B&B Da Beppe
This is a charming Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Corniglia, overlooking the medieval town square and right next to the church of St. Peter – one of the most beautiful churches in the region.
The friendly host, Beppe, will be sure to greet you with a big smile and a shot of limoncello – welcome to true Italian hospitality. All rooms include a private bathroom, kettle, TV, traditional Italian breakfast each morning, and parking. This B&B is in a great location, only a 5-minute walk from Corniglia train station.
➡️ Book your stay at B&B Da Beppe by clicking here!
📍 Boutique Hotel Arbanella
If you’re looking for something a bit more refined, Boutique Hotel Arbanella is full of rustic charm with a modern twist. This traditional townhouse with exposed stone walls has been beautifully renovated for guests.
Most rooms have a private balcony overlooking the hills and sea. All rooms are equipped with an ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, flat-screen TV, mini bar, and coffee machine. The hotel is just 2,150 feet from Guvano Beach is and 1.6 miles away from Vernazza Beach.
➡️ Check prices for your stay at Boutique Hotel Arbanella here!
Best Things To Do In Corniglia
✔️ Kayak to Guvano Beach
Guvano Beach used to be accessible by a 1-mile long tunnel from Corniglia, but after a landslide, you can only reach it by boat. This helps keep the beautiful pebbled cove unspoiled. So instead, you can rent a kayak and depart from Corniglia marina, making your way across the turquoise waters to the beach.
✔️ Get a gelato from Alberto Gelateria
You’re in Italy, there are gelato shops galore, so why this particular gelateria you may ask? Well, Alberto Gelateria offers a true flavor of the Ligurian coast – they have basil-flavored ice cream! After all, you are in the basil growing region, this is where the delicious Italian pesto sauce comes from.
Visiting Cinque Terre, Italy: FAQs
So, now we’ve given you an overview of each of the Cinque Terre villages, as well as couple of nearby towns. But we understand that it’s quite a lot of information to process and you’ll probably have a bunch of questions.
In the meantime, you can find the answers to other frequently asked questions below.
Which Is The Most Beautiful Cinque Terre Village?
This is a tough one! Each of the towns, although similar in their architecture and positioning along the cliffs, has its own individual charms. But we are going to have to nominate Vernazza as the most beautiful of the five villages.
Vernazza takes the crown for its outstanding sunsets. Thanks to the town’s unique positioning around the natural geological features of the craggy cliffs, visitors and residents are granted the most beautiful sunset views.
Is Vernazza or Manarola Better?
This depends on what you consider “better”. As we explained above, Vernazza is considered the most beautiful Cinque Terre town, but this also makes it one of the most heavily trafficked by tourists.
Personally, we prefer Manarola, as we felt that we had more breathing space. This town is more spread out compared to Vernazza, so you can walk around more easily. Also, Manarola has lovely trails that wind around the harbor and through vineyards.
How Many Days Is Enough For Cinque Terre?
Again, this depends on the type of vacation you’re planning. The minimum amount of time we recommend to tour the Cinque Terre is two days. This is fine if you don’t plan on walking too much. You can take the train from town to town and enjoy the main sights.
However, if you enjoy more active holidays and want to hike, swim or go on excursions, you should plan for 4-7 days.
The Wrap-Up: Where To Stay In Cinque Terre, Italy 2022
So there you have it. We’ve given you the breakdown of the best places to stay in the beautiful Cinque Terre region of Italy. No matter what type of vacation you’re planning, whether it’s a family fun holiday or a romantic getaway, we hope we’ve given you some inspiration in this blog post.
Just be sure to brush up on some basic Italian words; we recommend keeping a travel phrasebook on hand. Unlike the northern European countries, Italians are not renowned for their English speaking skills.