3 Days in Cinque Terre
To get the most out of your visit, I highly recommend staying for 2 to 3 days. Perhaps 2 full overnight stays and 1 full day. While there may not be much to see in the way of sights, you’ll exhaust yourself hopping from town to town all in one day. Each Cinque Terre village is meant to be savored, leisurely and with lots of delicious gelato and pasta so try breaking up your visit.
Below is a sample itinerary for how you might spend your days.
Cinque Terre Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Vernazza
Afternoon: Arrive in Vernazza in early afternoon and grab a taste of the sea with some stuffed mussels and fresh foccacia.
After a quick siesta, head down to the harbor for some great people watching and sunbathing. After a swim and some gelato, head up to the castle for great views over the town.
Evening: End the day with dinner at Al Castello, a fabulous restaurant inside the Vernazza castle.
Overnight: Hotel Santa Marta
Day 2: Hiking & Sightseeing
Morning: Wake up early to beat the cruise day trippers and hike the pathway connecting Vernazza to Monterosso. About 10 minutes into the hike, look over your shoulder and admire the stunning overhead view of Vernazza! Continue on for about 2 hours until you reach the largest of the Cinque Terre villages, Monterosso al Mare.
Afternoon: Grab a gelato to cool down and head to New Town to stake out an umbrella on the beach. Spend the afternoon playing in the waves and grab some local pesto pasta for lunch.
Evening: Head to Riomaggiore for dinner. Grab an extra large pizza to share and picnic on the harbor rocks for unbelievable postcard-perfect views while you watch the sun set. Take the train back to Vernazza in the evening.
Day 3: Saving the Best for Last
Catch the ferry for a different perspective of Cinque Terre’s beautiful cities. Disembark at Manarola and head left from the harbor for the most breathtaking and dramatic views of the town on a small pathway jutting out into the sea.
Take a gazillion photos and make sure to look back every couple feet or so for an even more epic view. Continue on the walking path up through the children’s playground and cemetery to arrive back into the main town.
Head up to see Manarola’s church and grab a snack of fried anchovies if you’re hungry. Head back to Vernazza to pack up and grab a leisurely lunch Italiano style before departing the Cinque Terre!
Where to Stay in Cinque Terre
I would recommend staying in either Vernazza or Monterosso. Vernazza is smaller and more picturesque, with some great restaurant options on the harbor. Monterosso is larger, with a proper beach and has even more restaurants in addition to many lodging options.
1 | Santa Marta in Vernazza has recently renovated rooms with air conditioning (a rarity in Cinque Terre!). Private bathrooms, in-room TVs and comfortable, clean rooms make this one of the better new options in Vernazza.
2 | Hotel Palme is a lush, secluded property on Monterosso’s hill with a beautiful view and short walk to the beach. Rooms are clean and light filled, some come with balconies.
Read more: Where to Stay in Cinque Terre
Enjoy! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about itinerary planning for Cinque Terre, Italy!
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