Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Cinque Terre?

Should you spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Cinque Terre?

Many travelers spend two to five days in Cinque Terre during their visit. After all, the quaint coastal region has plenty to explore such as the hiking, the historic old town, and the small town charm.

Cinque Terre is both a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The area is famous for its five villages that are connected by hiking trails. Vehicle traffic is heavily restricted in the area, so the towns feel frozen in time. They're filled with charming cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and are perched precariously on the hillside looking out on the striking blue ocean waters. The countryside is filled with vineyards and the atmosphere of the area offers a truly unique experience.

Do you have one or two days to visit Cinque Terre? Here's our comprehensive breakdown of how much time you might need for your trip along with some suggestions for things to do.

Is one day enough time in Cinque Terre?

The very popular coastal region of Cinque Terre has many activities and attractions for visitors. So with one day, you'll probably feel rushed to see the main attractions. You really need more time to appreciate everything that the quaint coastal region has to offer. Many visitors prefer to have two to five days to fully enjoy the coastal region. If you have one day or less, we still have some great ideas for what to do while you're in town.

How to spend a day in Cinque Terre

Known for it's hiking, Cinque Terre sees plenty of visitors looking to get outdoors. Spend a day exploring the natural beauty and scenery on a nearby hike. The five towns are part of Cinque Terre National Park and there are 120 kilometers of hiking trails in the park. Most people hike along the trails that follow the coastline and connect the towns. There are fees for the most popular stretch of trails which connect Monterosso to Vernazza and then go from Vernazza to Corniglia. All other hiking is free in the area.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Trekking in the Vineyard in Vernazza with Tastings ($77)
  • Half Day Small Group Hike to Portovenere with Local Guide ($276)
  • Private Cinque Terre Trekking Tours ($186)

The culinary scene in Cinque Terre is world famous, and draws visitors from around the globe. Make sure you spend time enjoying breakfast, lunch, and dinner at some of this coastal region's best restaurants. And consider a food tour, too. Like much of Italy, the area focuses on local flavors that include lots of seafood, as well as local fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The towns are known for their focaccia, which actually originated in nearby Genoa. Anchovies are a favorite here as well, and don't be turned off by your experience with anchovies outside of Italy. They don't compare. Also make sure you sample the pesto, mussels, and any fresh caught seafood.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Trekking in the Vineyard in Vernazza with Tastings ($77)
  • Cinque Terre: Pesto cooking class with sea view in Riomaggiore ($175)
  • Private Tour of Cinque Terre's Wine tasting with a local ($145)

Cinque Terre is a walkable city and easy to explore on foot. With only a day in the coastal region, you'll have no trouble seeing the local sights. Vehicle traffic in the towns are heavily restricted so it's very enjoyable to explore on foot. The terrain is hilly and uneven, but that's part of the charm. There are also hiking trails that connect each of the five towns.

Is a weekend (two to three days) enough time in Cinque Terre?

A weekend is generally not enough time to go hiking, admire the historic sights, savor the small town atmosphere, and appreciate the quaint setting in Cinque Terre. A shorter schedule may leave you with a sense of urgency to enjoy popular activities such as the hiking, the historic old town, the small town charm, and the quaint atmosphere. To genuinely appreciate the highlights of the quaint coastal region, a more lengthy visit is typically recommended. Many tourists opt for two to five days here. After all, Cinque Terre is home to a multitude of sights and attractions, making it an extremely popular destination for tourists. However, if you're working with limited time, we have some great ideas for making the most of your stay below.

Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre

How to spend 2 days in Cinque Terre

With a weekend (two to three days) in Cinque Terre, you'll have a bit more time to enjoy everything that the coastal region has to offer.

The charming atmosphere and history of the old town area is worth exploring, so spend the day learning about the history and culture of the area. Each of the five towns have their own charming old town which have restaurants and local boutique shops.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Cinque Terre Walking Tour with Food and Wine Tastings ($149)
  • Joyful Cinque Terre Walking Tour for Couples ($193)
  • Cinque Terre: Private Walking tour through Villages ($428)

Cinque Terre is known to be such a beautiful destination, so just exploring and taking it all in should be one of the top things to do on your list. The region is famous for its striking beauty and dramatic hills that sit beautifully against the rich blue waters.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • 3-Hour Private Boat Tour of the Cinque Terre ($254)
  • Romance in Cinque Terre: a boat trip at sunset, with an aperitif onboard ($365)
  • Magical Half Day Private Guided Boat Trip to 5 Terre ($331)

The public transit in Cinque Terre is fast and efficient. Over the course of a few days, you should be able to explore the coastal region quite easily and affordably. Most people arrive by train but there are also ferries available.

More Info

If you're looking for more information about Cinque Terre, we have even more advice to help you plan your journey.

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