Should You Visit Cinque Terre?

Are you thinking about visiting Cinque Terre, Italy? Here's what you need to know before planning your trip.


Is Cinque Terre worth visiting?

Yes, it's worth visiting this coastal region for two to five days because of the many great activities. During our first trip to Cinque Terre in the fall of 2008, we fell in love with the quaint and colorful villages with the stunning views and hiking trails through vineyards. We've come back several times since then to experience it even more. 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. It's often mentioned as one of the best places to visit in major publications, such as in The Guardian's Best Holiday Destinations 2023.

Monterosso in Cinque Terre Monterosso in Cinque Terre

Reasons to Visit Cinque Terre

Food
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.

Historical Sights
Each of the five towns have their own charming old town which have restaurants and local boutique shops.

Hiking
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.

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
The surrounding waters are part of the of the Pelagos Sanctuary. The area has many rocky coves which are fun to explore with a mask and snorkel. There are also boat excursions available that may let you stop to snorkel, as well as a few dive spots in the area.

Beaches
The area is more about the towns than the beaches. The most typical beach setting is in the newer part of Monterosso. There's a long sandy beach with chairs and umbrellas available. There's also a beach near the town's old town. Several of the other towns have swimming areas, including a small stretch of pebbly sand in Vernazza. It's fun to swim between the months of May and October, when the water temperatures are fairly warm.




Is Cinque Terre worth visiting in the Summer?

Summer is the high season for travel in Cinque Terre, so expect more visitors and higher prices. This is an extremely popular destination, and in the high season it's busier than usual as this is when most people are able to travel. Expect large crowds of tourists, longer lines, and higher prices for hotels. On the other hand, you'll find that everything is open and you'll have a wide array of activities, things to do, and places to eat.

The warm weather in summer is one of the reasons people visit at this time of year. Temperatures average around 24°C (75°F) with daily high temperatures often more than [No Data].

The nearby hiking this time of year is a must-do, so take some time to get out on the trails, take in some fresh air, and enjoy the scenery. Don't miss the small town charm during summer. Just take some time to wander through the local shops and see the historic landmarks around town when the weather is nice. You'll also find it quite easy to get around on foot, because this is a very walkable coastal region, especially in the nice weather. You'll find plenty to do during summer, as you'll be able to lounge on the beach, explore the small town, and discover the nearby hiking trails. Also, you can check out the historic old town.


Summer Weather in Cinque Terre
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 24°C (75°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
August 24°C (75°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
September 21°C (70°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)

Is Cinque Terre worth visiting in the Autumn?

This is the shoulder season for travel in Cinque Terre. As a very touristy destination, even in the shoulder season you'll see plenty of tourists when you visit. However, good prices and deals are to be found at this time of year.

Keep in mind that it can be fairly rainy during autumn, and temperatures hover around 17°C (63°F).

Soaking up that old town charm in the autumn is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. During this season it's fun to experience the gorgeous scenery, the historic old town, and the quaint atmosphere. Also, you'll be able to get out into nature and wander through the small town.


Autumn Weather in Cinque Terre
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 17°C (63°F) 150 mm (5.9 in)
November 12°C (54°F) 110 mm (4.3 in)
December 9°C (48°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)

Is Cinque Terre worth visiting in the Winter?

The weather in Cinque Terre can be quite cold during winter, and averages around 8°C (46°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

The low season for travel in Cinque Terre is during the winter. This is an extremely touristy destination, so in the low season you'll still see plenty of other travelers when you visit, but less than other times of the year. Good deals are to be found on hotels and tours because it's not the best time of year to visit.

This is a great time of year to enjoy a meal at a restaurant and admire the historic sights.


Winter Weather in Cinque Terre
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January 8°C (46°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)
February 8°C (46°F) 95 mm (3.7 in)
March 11°C (52°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)

Is Cinque Terre worth visiting in the Spring?

Spring is the shoulder season for travel in Cinque Terre. As a very touristy destination, even in the shoulder season you'll see plenty of tourists when you visit. However, good prices and deals are to be found at this time of year.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during spring with average temperatures around 14°C (57°F).

The scenery of the town this time of year is absolutely beautiful. Admire the gardens, parks, and fantastic architecture, too. Soaking up that old town charm in the spring is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. You'll find plenty to do during spring, as you'll be able to admire the quaint atmosphere, take in the beautiful scenery, and take in the local charm. Also, you can browse around the old town.


Spring Weather in Cinque Terre
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 14°C (57°F) 85 mm (3.3 in)
May 18°C (64°F) 75 mm (3 in)
June 22°C (72°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Cinque Terre

Nightlife
Most people don't associate Cinque Terre with a lively nightlife scene. The whole point of a trip to the area is to soak up the quiet village atmosphere. There is basically no nightlife in most of the towns, but you will find a few bars in Monterosso.

Shopping: Cinque Terre isn't exactly a shopper's destination. The towns are more about the atmosphere than the shops, but the best shopping can be found in the largest town of Monterosso. You'll find jewelry, clothing, and local food items that are fun to take home as souvenirs.

Lots of Tourists
Cinque Terre sees a high number of visitors every year, which means you might have to wait in line and deal with large crowds during your visit.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Cinque Terre might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Cinque Terre here or see if Cinque Terre is expensive here.

Related

What is Cinque Terre most famous for?

Cinque Terre is most famous for its charming villages, beautiful vineyards, picturesque waterfront setting, and stunning walking trail. People visit this impressive coastal region for its great food, historical sights, and hiking. Many people love the scuba diving & snorkeling and beaches, too. It is often described as charming, picturesque, idyllic, quaint, seaside, stunning, and traditional.

What is the most famous sight in Cinque Terre?

The most popular sight in Cinque Terre is Vernazza Harbor. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Cinque Terre on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for Vernazza Harbor and other attractions here.

Cinque Terre

How touristy is Cinque Terre? Is it a popular coastal region to visit?

Cinque Terre is a very touristy coastal region that attracts travelers from around the globe. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)

  • 3-Hour Private Boat Tour of the Cinque Terre: $249
  • Cinque Terre Pesto experience in Riomaggiore: $49
  • Cinque Terre Private half day tour with Official Tour Guide: $267
  • Cinque Terre Private Boat Tour: $217
  • Cinque Terre Morning Tour: $131
  • Private Cinque Terre Trekking Tours: $183
  • Kayak tour from Monterosso to Vernazza: $98
  • Cinque Terre Sunset Tour: $141

How long should I spend in Cinque Terre?

The ideal length of time for a trip to Cinque Terre is two to five days. Since Cinque Terre has a variety of activities such as dining, historical sights, and hiking, most people need this much time to see and do everything here.

If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Cinque Terre?, Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Cinque Terre?, and Should I spend 1 or 2 weeks in Cinque Terre?.

More Things to Do in Cinque Terre