Cinque Terre Travel Guide for 2020: SEE, DO, STAY, & SAVE!

The Cinque Terre includes five beautiful hillside towns on the west coast of Italy: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso.

It’s the most visited regions in every of Italy.

Whether you’re backpacking the Cinque Terre, here to hike, or simply on vacation, you’re likely to think it’s great here.

This area is incredibly picturesque. Whether you’re looking inside Manarola’s Church of San Lorenzo or hiking down from the vineyards into among the colorful towns, every second in Cinque Terre becomes a photo-worthy moment.

This part of Italy is most likely my favorite, and through the summertime, there is nowhere else I’d rather be!

You’ll find a lot of nature walks, trails, and vineyards in the encompassing areas which make it possible to backpack Cinque Terre on a budget.

However, additionally it is a bit expensive. There are just a few hostels, & most accommodations are pricey. Eating out can be expensive. You just have to adhere to these free activities and cheap food.

This Cinque Terre travel guide will help you plan an incredible and affordable visit to the spot!

Cinque Terre

Top 5 What to See and Do in the Cinque Terre

1. Hike the Cinque Terre

Any traveler will let you know that you need to hike the Cinque Terre as a way to really appreciate the region. The coastal walk (blue trail) may be the easiest path and the ultimate way to see the towns. If you would like something more challenging, walk the red path through the steep hills and vineyards.

2. Have a look at Chiesa di Santa Margherita

That is a picturesque harbor with a waterfront piazza which makes an excellent spot for people-watching and when planning on taking a break. The gothic church, Santa Margherita di Antiochia may also be found here. Originally built-in 1318, it includes a bell tower that’s still intact.

3. Visit Torre Guardiola

That is a bird watching center and nature observation center located just southeast of Riomaggiore marina on Fossola Beach. You will find a beautiful trail leading down to an excellent swimming spot. Admission is €1.50 EUR ($1.70 USD). It’s open 9am-1pm and 4pm-7pm (except August). It’s closed during winter.

4. Frolic in the water

The cool, blue waters certainly are a perfect place to frolic in the water (just stay near shore), especially through the hot summer. During Italian holidays, the beach areas get very crowded.

5. Go to the churches

Every town along the Cinque Terre has its assortment of churches which vary in age and architectural style. Have a peek in the Church of San Lorenzo (Manarola), Santa Margherita di Antiochia Church (Vernazza), or San Pietro (Corniglia).

OTHER ACTIVITIES to See and Do in the Cinque Terre

1. Rent a kayak

Being on the water makes the cliffs more dramatic, the colors more intense, and the water a deeper shade of blue. It’s an extremely different way to start to see the five towns. Rentals start at €5 EUR ($5.60 USD) each hour and can be achieved from the towns in the region.

2. Have a geniune Ligurian beach picnic

Grab yourself a basket and check around town for a few local goodies. There are several great little restaurants the serve fresh, hot focaccia and a lot of cheap local wines available. From then on head to among the beaches, where one can eat, swim, and become merry.

3. Start to see the Nativity in Manarola

In the event that you are actually visiting between December 8th and the finish of January, this scene will probably be worth an instant visit. The Nativity Manarola may be the world’s biggest lighted nativity scene, and their opening ceremony is a special day. Many locals turn out and light candles.

4. Camp

Spring through early fall is a lovely time to camp here. There are several campgrounds to pick from offering inexpensive tent set-ups, such as beds and linens. Camping Aqua Dolce is a hotspot close to the town of Levanto, but also very near to the beach. It’s €8 EUR ($9 USD) in the off-season, and €10 EUR ($11 USD) during peak season.

5. Explore castle ruins

In Monterosso, you can travel to the ruins of a 16th-century castle built as a immune system after a Saracen attack. The immune system once included a monastery, a wrist watch post, three town doors, and 13 towers. Now the ruins are made of three circular towers and a square tower that lie close to the cemetery on San Cristoforo Hill.

6. Find out about Italian naval history

The Technical Naval Museum is situated in La Spezia, which may be the gateway city to the spot. The collection occupies two levels possesses a whole lot of information and artifacts from the province’s naval history and naval warfare. Admission is €1.50 EUR ($1.70 USD), and it’s open daily from 9am-7:30pm.

7. Go wine tasting

The spot features some very nice wine and, if you want a break from hiking, have a wine tour! You’ll find out about the initial grape-growing qualities of the area while tasting locally produced wines (and food). Tours vary long and price nevertheless, you can expect a simple tour with a tasting at a couple of wineries to start out from €45 EUR ($50 USD).

Cinque Terre Travel Costs

Hostel prices — There aren’t many hostels in the Cinque Terre, so you’ll want to book your accommodations far beforehand. You should be prepared to pay around €20-25 EUR ($22-28 USD) a night for a 4-6 bed dorm room and about €60 EUR ($67 USD) for an exclusive room. If you would like to find more hostel options, you have to stay static in nearby La Spezia. My favorites are listed in the accommodation section.

Budget hotel prices — A night in a 2-star budget hotel in an area that sleeps two starts around €63 EUR ($70 USD), nevertheless, you can get to pay €20 EUR ($22.30 USD) more in the high season. This consists of basic hotel amenities such as a private bathroom, free WiFi, and television. A 3-star accommodation starts around €85 EUR ($95 USD). For the most options, stay static in Monterosso.

On Airbnb, you will discover shared rooms starting around €20 EUR ($22.30 USD) per night while an exclusive room in a home costs from €63 EUR ($70 USD). Entire apartments begin from around €72 EUR ($80 USD) per night.

Average cost of food — Cinque Terre can be an expensive spot to eat. Generally, restaurant meals cost between €25-35 EUR ($28-40 USD) for meals with drinks. Most restaurants open for lunch, close for his or her siesta, then open again around 7pm for supper. For the most part restaurants, add €3 EUR ($3.35 USD) for the “coperto” (sit back fee) that covers service and the bread at the table. You can aquire cheap wine at the store for about €5 EUR ($5.60 USD) a bottle and pizza, paninis, or the best focaccia for €4 EUR ($4.45 USD). A complete pizza is just about €12 EUR ($13.40 USD).

With all sorts of amazing local ingredients to utilize, a picnic on the coast is among my favorite methods to eat in your community. You’ll pay about €60 EUR ($67 USD) weekly for groceries that may include pasta, vegetables, chicken, and other basic foods. If you discover a discount grocer like Eurospin, In’s Mercato, LD Market, Lidl or Penny Market, you’ll pay much less.

Backpacking the Cinque Terre Suggested Budgets

On a backpacking budget in the Cinque Terre, you’ll spend around €45 EUR ($50 USD) each day. This are certain to get you a bed in a hostel dorm, cheap food like pizza and paninis, cooking your other meals, and sticking with the free pursuits like hiking.

On a mid-range budget around €128 EUR ($143 USD), you can stay static in a two-star budget hotel or book an exclusive room at an Airbnb. It will be possible to cook about 50 % of meals but also splurge on a good dinner or two throughout your stay (while eating cheap food otherwise). Upon this budget, you may get the more inclusive Cinque Terre Card with train travel. When you can cut your accommodation costs down, you can spend more on food and activities.

An extravagance budget can cost you at least €246 EUR ($275 USD) each day. You’ll stay static in a 4-star hotel, all of your meals and drinks you want, and guided tours such a wine tasting tour, a food tour, or a sunset cruise if you would like. The sky may be the limit here!

You may use the chart below to get a concept of how much you will need each day. Keep in mind they are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you may spend less each day). We just want to offer you a general idea of learning to make your budget. Prices are in USD.

Accommodation

Food

Transportation

Attractions

Average Daily Cost

Mid-Range

$70

$25

$18

$30

$143

Cinque Terre Travel Guide: Money Saving Tips

The Cinque Terre is probably the most popular places to go to in Italy, especially through the summer months. It’s expensive. However, there are a few ways to spend less in the Cinque Terre. Listed below are my tips:

  • Hike the region — The hiking trails will be the best and cheapest way to start to see the area. It’s a free of charge activity and can take up the majority of your entire day! Win-win!
  • Eat the pizza and paninis — Sit-down meals in this area are very expensive. Adhere to cheap sandwiches and pizza if you wish to save lots of money. Picnics from food markets around made up of fresh pesto, cheese, and focaccia may be the strategy to use! (Though, the meals is delicious here so do try to splurge on a restaurant meal at least one time — anchovies and pesto will be the local specialties.)
  • Get the Cinque Terre Card — You’ll access all of the hiking trails, shuttle buses, and WiFi for approximately €7.50 EUR ($8.35 USD) each day. You also will get the Cinque Terre Train Card, which include all the same perks with unlimited train travel around Cinque Terre for €17 EUR ($19 USD) each day.
  • Spread the bread — Some restaurants here will ask you for extra for bread however, not inform you of it before check comes, and you’ve polished it off. Send it when it comes in the event that you don’t desire to be tempted.
  • Buy plenty of wine — You can purchase an excellent wine for €4 EUR ($4.45 USD). It’s a whole lot cheaper than drinking at the bars in this area (which are pretty expensive).
  • Drink the plain tap water — Require plain tap water, or you will automatically get expensive water in bottles included on your own bill. Moreover, you can refill your bottles of water at the drinking fountains throughout Italy.
  • Couchsurf — Accommodation is fairly expensive in the Cinque Terre, even in the hostels. Use Couchsurfing to remain with locals who’ve extra beds and couches free of charge.
  • Have an ISIC Card — To save lots of 20-50% on the expense of admission to museums and other places of interest, make sure you present a valid student card.

Getting Around the Cinque Terre

There are various methods for getting around the Cinque Terre, although a lot of people will choose hiking or using the train.

Hiking — Trails vary in difficulty, so bring your sturdy shoes. I enjoy hike between your five towns, and take the train back again to my accommodation for an escape.

In the event that you anticipate just hiking between towns, you can buy a Cinque Terre Card for €7.50 EUR ($8.35 USD) each day. If you prefer a more inclusive ticket, it costs €16 EUR ($18 USD). This ticket grants unlimited usage of the trains, buses, and the footpath that connects the villages for a day. In addition, it includes free entry to some museums.

Train — A train connects all five towns, along with La Spezia and Levanto (at both ends of the Cinque Terre). Single tickets cost €4 EUR ($4.45 USD) each way, so you’re thinking about traveling a whole lot between towns, you’re far better off obtaining the Cinque Terre Card (see above). If you opt to ride the train, be sure to have your ticket with you as the authorities will provide you with a hefty fine if indeed they catch you without one.

For train trips further afield, an excellent resource to use is ItaliaRail.

Bus — There is absolutely no public bus connecting the towns in the Cinque Terre, but each village has its bus which will take you to specific destinations. For instance, the bus in Riomaggiore runs from the city to the Castle of Riomaggiore, as the bus in Manarola would go to Groppo (well-known for its wine) and Volastra. Tickets cost €1.50 EUR ($1.70 USD), or it’s free when you have a Cinque Terre Card.

There’s also a little, visit hop off sort of bus (electric) that connects the five towns to La Spezia plus some smaller villages just beyond the Cinque Terre. It’s called the Explora 5Terre, and tickets begin from €17 EUR ($19 USD).

When to Visit the Cinque Terre

Peak season in your community is July and August. Summer is June-August, where in fact the average daily temperature is approximately 83°F (28°C). Prices increase during this time period as well. However the overall atmosphere and weather are excellent during the summertime, so it’s still worth visiting during peak season.

I believe the best time to go to the Cinque Terre is shoulder season in the spring and fall (March to May and September to October). It’s still warm during this time period but there aren’t as much crowds, and prices are lower. It’s also simpler to meet locals. The temperatures throughout September are nice, with highs of 77°F (25°C). That is a particularly excellent time to hang from the Mediterranean, and the water continues to be warm.

Winter weather here’s from November to February. Most of the region shuts down and you’ll find less shops and restaurants open throughout that time. But in the event that you do come during winter you’ll find hardly any crowds, quiet hiking trails, and cheaper accommodation rates.

How exactly to REMAIN SAFE in the Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre can be an incredibly safe spot to backpack and travel. In Italy, scams and pick-pocketing are normal dangers you’ll face, although it’s significantly less of a concern in the Cinque Terre. If you’re concerned about getting scammed, you can find out about the 14 travel scams in order to avoid the following.

A few of the hiking trails could be steep and slippery, so watch your footing. Bring proper footwear. Should you have mobility issues, you will see these trails challenging.

Always trust your gut instinct. If your hotel is seedier than you thought, escape there. Make copies of your individual documents, together with your passport and ID.

The main piece of advice I could offer is to get good travel insurance. Travel cover will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in the event anything goes wrong. I never embark on a trip without it as I’ve had to utilize it many times previously. You may use the widget below to get the policy right for you personally:

Italy Travel Guide: THE VERY BEST Booking Resources

They are the best companies to use when I happen to be the Cinque Terre. They are included here because they consistently find deals, offer world-class customer support and great value, and overall, are much better than their competitors. They will be the ones I take advantage of the most and so are always the starting points in my own seek out travel deals.

  • Momondo — That is the best booking site. I never book a flight without checking here first.
  • Skyscanner — Skyscanner is another great flight search engline which searches a whole lot of different airlines, including lots of the budget carriers that larger sites miss. While I usually start with Momondo, I take advantage of this site too in an effort to compare prices.
  • Booking.com — The very best throughout booking site that constantly supplies the cheapest and lowest rates. They have a no money down policy, great interface, and the widest collection of budget accommodation. In every my tests, they’ve always had the least expensive rates out of most bookers.
  • ItaliaRail — An excellent resource to use when planning your trip via train around Italy is ItaliaRail. You can compare prices, routes, and schedules and conserve to 60% on your own tickets.
  • Airbnb — Airbnb is an excellent accommodation alternative allowing you to connect with homeowners who book their homes or apartments. (If you’re not used to Airbnb, get $35 off your first stay!)
  • Hostelworld — This is actually the best hostel accommodation site out there, with the biggest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Couchsurfing — This site allows you to stick to people’s couches or spare rooms free of charge. It’s a terrific way to cut costs while meeting locals who can let you know the intricacies of their city. The website also lists events you can focus on meet people (even if you’re not sticking to someone).
  • Rail Europe — If you’re likely to Europe and going for a large amount of high speed or long distance trains, get yourself a rail pass. I’ve used a rail pass 3 x and saved a huge selection of dollars every time. The math just works.
  • Intrepid Travel — If you would like to do an organization tour around Europe, go with Intrepid Travel. They provide good small group tours that use local operators and leave a little environmental footprint. In the event that you embark on a tour with anyone, go with them. And, as a reader of the site, you’ll get exclusive discounts when you follow the link!
  • THE PERSON in Seat 61 — This site may be the ultimate guide to teach travel all over the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you’re planning for a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this web site.
  • Rome 2 Rio — This site allows you to observe how to get from point A to point B the very best and cheapest way possible. It’ll give you all of the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that may get you there along with just how much they cost.
  • Context Tours — Among the best walking tour companies, Context offers in-depth history, food, and cultural tours through cities on the planet, with a speciality in Europe. The corporation gets experts to lead tours (i.e. a chef to lead a food tour).
  • Take Walks — A day tour company in Italy (along with other destinations). Why is them so excellent is they get you inside usage of attractions and places you can’t get elsewhere. Their guides rock too!
  • World Nomads — I buy all my travel cover from World Nomads. They have great customer support, competitive prices, and in-depth coverage. I’ve been with them since I started traveling in 2003. Don’t set off without it!

Cinque Terre Gear and Packing Guide

In this section, I’ll offer you my suggestion to get the best travel backpack and tips about what things to pack when you go to the Cinque Terre.

THE VERY BEST Backpack for the Cinque Terre

What’s the very best backpack for traveling around the Cinque Terre? I would recommend the REI Flash 45 Pack. It’s light and comfy, front loading, and fits perfectly within an airplane’s overhead bin. Size: 45-47L Straps: Thick and cushy with compression technology that pulls the pack’s bunch and inwards so that it doesn’t feel as heavy. Features: Removable top lid, large pocket at the front end, hydration compatible, contoured hip belt

If you wish something a different backpack, make reference to my article on how best to pick the best travel backpack with an increase of tips, advice, and backpack suggestions!

What things to Pack for the Cinque Terre

Clothes

  • 1 couple of jeans (heavy rather than easily dried, but I love them; an excellent alternative is khaki pants)
  • 1 couple of shorts
  • 1 swimwear
  • 6 T-shirts
  • 1 long-sleeved T-shirt
  • 1 couple of flip-flops
  • 1 couple of sneakers
  • 8 pairs of socks (I usually end up losing half)
  • 5 pairs of boxer shorts (I’m not really a briefs guy!)
  • 1 toothbrush
  • 1 tube of toothpaste
  • 1 razor
  • 1 package of dental floss
  • 1 small bottle of shampoo
  • 1 small bottle of shower gel
  • 1 towel
  • Deodorant

Small Medical Kit (safety is important!!!)

  • Band-Aids
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antibacterial cream
  • Earplugs
  • Tylenol
  • Hand sanitizer (germs = sick = bad holiday)

Miscellaneous

  • An integral or combination lock (health and safety first)
  • Zip-lock bags (keeps things from leaking or exploding)
  • Plastic bags (ideal for laundry)
  • Universal charger/adaptor (this pertains to everyone)
  • LifeStraw (A water bottle with a purifier.)

Female Travel Packing List I’m not really a woman, therefore i don’t know what a female wears, but Kristin Addis, our solo female travel guru, wrote this list as an addition to the fundamentals above:

Clothing

  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 sarong
  • 1 couple of stretchy jeans (they wash and dry easily)
  • 1 couple of leggings (if it’s cold, they are able to go under your jeans, otherwise with a dress or shirt)
  • 2-3 long-sleeve tops
  • 2-3 T-shirts
  • 3-4 spaghetti tops
  • 1 light cardigan

Toiletries

  • 1 dry shampoo spray & talc powder (keeps long hair grease-free among washes)
  • 1 hairbrush
  • Makeup you utilize
  • Hair bands & hair clips
  • Feminine hygiene products (you can choose to buy there too, but I favor not to depend on it, and most folks have their preferred products)

For more on packing, have a look at these posts:

  • What I Pack For My Travels
  • THE BEST List For Female Travelers
  • How to pick and Buy the proper Backpack

Cinque Terre Travel Guide: Suggested Reading

Inferno, by Dante Alighieri Inferno may be the first part of Italian writer Dante’s 14th-century epic poem, The Divine Comedy. It tells the story of Dante’s journey through Hell, guided by the ancient poet Virgil. Here, Hell is depicted as nine circles of torment located within Earth — it’s a dense read, but it’s pretty incredible. The book mentioned this is actually the beautifully translated version of Dante’s masterpiece. You may also obtain the entire volume with all three epic poems. It’s been inspiring people for 700 years!

City Of Fortune: How Venice Ruled The Seas, by Roger Crowley Roger Crowley explores Venice’s fascinating 500-year-old advance to the pinnacle of capacity to turn into a city unrivalled for drama and majesty. City of Fortune traces the Venetian imperial saga, from the Fourth Crusade to nov Constantinople, to the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499-1503, which eventually led the Ottoman Turks to becoming the preeminent naval power in the Mediterranean. You’ll also find out about what sort of small city of “lagoon dwellers” became the richest put on the earth. This isn’t a boring history book — it’s a vivid, beautifully written account of Venice and its own people through the ages.

Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown Robert Langdon is summoned to an assignment at a Swiss research facility to investigate a symbol seared in to the chest of a murdered physicist — and discovers the resurgence of a historical secret brotherhood referred to as the Illuminati. Then your brotherhood announces they’ve left a period bomb inside Vatican City, and Langdon must remove to Rome to think it is. Even if Dan Brown isn’t your thing, this book are certain to get you pumped to go sightseeing in Rome.

Beneath the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes Perhaps you have ever dreamt of shopping for up a crumbling villa in Italy and restoring it to its former glory? That’s just what Frances Mayes did twenty years ago with an abandoned property named Bramsole in the Tuscan countryside. This story recounts her restoration journey, along using what it’s like adjusting to reside in rural Tuscany. Mayes is a poet, gourmet cook, and a travel writer — you will literally be drooling over her prose and evocative language. Mayes paints the dreamiest picture of life in Italy. You will need to read this book.

La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind, by Beppe Severgnini Discussed Italians by an Italian, Beppe Severgnini wants you to forget all of the romantic notions of Italy and its own people. This laugh-out-loud book goes beyond the historical attractions and scenic areas, and into places where Italians are in their finest and worst: like the highway, the airport, and the tiny town. Severgnini describes the chaos of the roads and the “theatrical spirit of the hypermarkets” in a manner that will provide you with some deep insight in to the Italian psyche.

AN AREA With a View, by E.M. Forster Well-bred Lucy Honeychurch sets from an adventure touring Italy with her overbearing cousin, and soon falls deeply in love with the handsome (but entirely unsuitable) George Emerson, yet somehow becomes engaged to Mr. Cecil Vyse. Lucy is easily lured from the upper-middle-class Edwardian society by her desiring the man she left out. That is a funny, satirical read that takes the English notion of respectability and turns it on its head. That is Forster’s most beloved book!

My WILL NEED TO HAVE Guides for Planing a trip to the Cinque Terre

Getting Free Flights

This book demonstrates how to easily collect and redeem travel points to get free airfare and accommodation.

Backpacking Europe

Get the definitive guide to backpacking Europe! Read more about what to do, what things to see, where you can go, stay, eat, and how exactly to spend less.

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Cinque Terre Travel Guide for 2020: SEE, DO, STAY, & SAVE!