The Cinque Terre, five enchanting villages dotted along a stretch of the Italian Riviera in Liguria, have a multitude of activities for the traveller. From a lazy beach day to a rugged mountain hike to a cuisine that emphasizes fresh seafood and the world-famous local basil, there is so much to do in this magical Italian destination. We have made it a little bit easier to plan your trip with these tips on the best things to do and see in the Cinque Terre.
Make the most of your time exploring the Cinque Terre by joining Culture Trip’s specially curated 10-day Northern Italy trip, led by our local insider.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Go to Guvano Beach
While there is plenty of coastline here, the beaches in the Cinque Terre are small, with pebbles and huge rocks instead of sand. They are primarily managed by private beach clubs that rent sun loungers and umbrellas. In the summer, they can get quite crowded so if you are looking to swim in peace, hike to the beach between Vernazza and Corniglia. The descent takes about an hour down a few hundred stairs on an unmarked path. One other important thing to know about Guvano beach is that parts of it are clothing optional.
Eat Pansotti and Farinata
While anchovies are the primary dish along this part of the Italian coastline – and you really should give them a try – there are two other tasty dishes that are particular to the Cinque Terre.
Pansotti are a type of ravioli stuffed with a mixture of soft cheese and greens, served with a walnut sauce. The most authentic version of this dish calls for a mix of wild greens known as prebuggiun foraged from the rocky slopes above the Mediterranean that can include borage, nettles, wild fennel, dandelion and even wild poppy. The traditional cheese used is called prescinsêua and is kind of like a creamy sharp ricotta. You will also likely find these triangle shaped ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta, which is almost as delicious.
For a snack look for Farinata, sold at focaccia and pizza stands. It is made from chickpea flour, water and oil and traditionally baked on a special wide flat copper tray called a testo in a wood-burning oven. Farinata is served in triangle-shaped slices and you can have it plain with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper or sometimes with wild herbs or capers and onions baked in.
Hike The Path of Love
There are hundreds of miles worth of hiking trails in the Cinque Terre, but if you are short on time or not able to trek on some of the more challenging routes, the La Via Dell’amore (The Path Of Love) is accessible to almost everyone. This paved stone stretch of the very popular #2 Blue Path requires an entry fee and links the towns of Riomaggiore and Manarola.
Look up and you will see that there are a lot of vineyards clinging to the cliffs above the five Cinque Terre villages. One of the most unique wines that is produced here is called Sciacchetrà. It is a sweet dessert wine that tastes best with a wedge of cheese or dessert at the end of your meal. The laborious process of making this sweet nectar starts with handpicking the most perfect and juicy Bosco grapes from the vine and then slowly drying them. The long slow drying part is called passito. Once bottled, the wine is cellared for about two years, resulting in a honey hued amber liquid with notes of fig and apricots.
Visit an Island
There are three islands, Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, that make up the archipelago across from the town of Portovenere, just beyond the towns of the Cinque Terre. Palmaria is the largest and most developed of the three. On the island of Palmaria, you will find well marked hiking trails, lovely beaches and plenty of bars and restaurants. The views over the Bay of Poets are spectacular. To reach the island, there is a regular ferry service from La Spezia and from Molo Doria in Portovenere, or you can take a private boat for the quick journey across the bay.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.