Where to Stay in Cinque Terre: Best Towns & Places

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View from the ocean of buildings cascading down the cliffside and into the ocean.

Sand, stone, sea—put all that together, and what do you get? That’s a recipe for the Mediterranean if I’ve ever seen one! These are the best places to stay in Cinque Terre.

When your next adventure calls for the Italian coast, finding a place to stay is just one part of the journey. We’re here to help make that step easier. If you’re looking for luxury, affordable, or bed-and-breakfast accommodation in the area, we’ve got you covered with a list of the best places to stay in Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre (pronounced cheen-kweh teh-rreh) is a stunning locale in the Liguria region of Italy. This coastal spot comprises five villages, all showcasing steep hills, bright houses, and incredible views. In other words, everything you need for a beautiful vacation.

You may find that Cinque Terre is not commercialized despite its popularity. Lack of commercialization in smaller towns is par for the course in Italy; therefore, we recommend some preliminary research before you start planning your trip. Think about it like this: what are you looking for?

Preference and travel goals are important, as such specifics may sway your location. For example, each town in Cinque Terre has hotels, but many might operate as bed and breakfasts instead.

While any choice you make will result in an unforgettable vacation, your wants may lead you to stay in different towns. Some, such as Monterroso, offer more options than other, more modest sectors, like Corniglia—and that decision depends on you.

We’re here to help you make it, though. Let us introduce you to the best places to stay in Cinque Terre during your next Italian getaway!

Italy - the Cinque Terre National Italian park. UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historical ancient Mediterranean place.
Igor / Adobe Stock

TL;DR: Where to Stay in Cinque Terre

  • Area for first-timers and tourists: Monterosso al Mare
  • Area for budget travelers: Corniglia
  • Area for luxury travelers: Monterosso al Mare
  • Area for families: Monterosso al Mare
  • Area for adventures: Vernazza
  • Area for younger travelers: Riomaggiore

TL;DR: Best Places to Stay in Cinque Terre

  • Luxury Hotel in Cinque Terre: Hotel Porto Roca, Monterosso al Mare
  • Mid-Range Hotel in Cinque Terre: Hotel Marina, Monterosso al Mare
  • Budget Hotel in Cinque Terre: La Ripa, Riomaggiore
  • Vacation Rental in Cinque Terre: House Mainz, Monterosso al Mare
  • Resort in Cinque Terre: Hotel Marina Piccola, Manarola
  • Family-Friendly Hotel in Cinque Terre: Hotel La Spiaggia, Monterosso al Mare

Map of Cinque Terre

The best way to get an idea of what awaits you is to view the five Cinque Terre villages at a glance. Below, check out a basic map of the five towns that comprise the region. This information lets you easily understand its layout, vicinity, villages, and more.

Cinque Terre Map

Where to Stay in Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre Village Scenery

So many villages, so little time! Where do you start when there’s such variety in things to see and do? If you’re unsure, don’t worry—we have some answers (and accommodations!) for you.

Naturally, the best place to stay in Cinque Terre as a tourist will differ for each person. It depends on their needs, tastes, and budget, so there’s no single answer; some people want a place with the best views or access to hiking trails, while others prefer a bustling city center or secluded getaway. So, before we get into it, think about this: What about you?

To find the ideal Cinque Terre accommodation option, you first need to consider this. Of course, Cinque Terre will have it no matter what you want. A veritable paradise, each town has virtues of its own.

1. Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso, Italy
pabrady63 / AdobeStock

Monterosso al Mare will inevitably be one of your first Cinque Terre stops. The largest of the five villages, Monterosso prides itself on its easy beach access and its beautiful promenade.

Here, you can rent a sunbed, a paddleboard, and an umbrella for your convenience. Likewise, if you’re looking for entertainment, this is where you can find a lot of action!

In the hills, centuries-old castles—dating back to when the town still needed protection from pirates!—watch over beachgoers. Should you choose to explore the hiking path, the stunning views are plentiful amidst just as many historic monuments that showcase the true age of Cinque Terre.

Down by the sea, the water is crystal clear, the drinks and fun aplenty! You’ll find homemade limoncello from lemons in Monterosso among the many restaurants and shops along the promenade.

Despite its population of 1,522, Monterosso showcases a smaller skyline than its sister cities. Still, it’s a beautiful place—if you plan to stay here, the best course of action would be to remain closer to town so you can make the most of its central city delights! Everything you could ask for remains nearby: the parish church, the castle, the beach, the Monterosso Giant.

Alright, traveler! Now that you have something of an idea as to what to expect from each town, what do you think? Did any stand out to you? There are still plenty of things to learn, whether they did or not. Let’s see what else these lovely cities have in store!

See Related: How Much is a Trip to Italy: Average Cost Per Day

Il Giardino Incantato
Il Giardino Incantato / Booking.com

There are plenty of places to stay in the largest village of Cinque Terre. Check out the suggestions below to see what resonates with you, or if you’d prefer, give Booking.com a visit.

Recommended Hotels

  • Il Giardino Incantato: This hotel is a real beauty—a mere 600 feet from the beach, it showcases great reviews. Unlike others on this list, Il Giardino Incantato is nestled in a unique area close to all three beaches in Monterosso al Mare; in other words, you’ll pick up the litter every morning. In addition to these perks, the hotel offers a beautiful garden, great WiFi, air conditioning (which is uncommon), private bathrooms, and complimentary breakfast.
  • Hotel 5 Terre: Not far from the city itself, this hotel is great if you want to be close to the action. It’s 800 feet from the beach, 0.6 miles from the center of Monterosso, and even offers free parking if you drive. Another treat? Pets are allowed in this location with no extra charges!

Luxury Hotels

  • Hotel Porto Roca: This luxury villa boasts outstanding views, a private beach (with sunbeds and umbrellas), an infinity pool, an on-site restaurant, and much, much more. Likewise, the rooms all have WiFi, air conditioning, television access, and a minibar. On top of that, it showcases modern rooms with brilliant sea views.
  • Hotel Villa Adriana: Just 0.6 miles from the city center and 950 feet from the beach, you’ll find easy ocean access and beautiful accommodations at Hotel Villa Adriana. As a boutique hotel, it’s truly special, offering a pool, a restaurant on the property, complimentary breakfast, and proximity to the train station. Cruising around the five towns will be a piece of cake if you stay here.

Bed and Breakfasts, Airbnbs

  • B&B Il Parco: A charming B&B with an excellent breakfast, this locale has a buffet every morning, a terrace, an outdoor pool with sunbeds, and multiple rooms with sea views. If you stay here, the nearest beach is just a short walk—ten minutes, give or take.
  • Sciuscettùa 5 Terre: If you’re looking for a more private stay in Monterosso, this lovely Airbnb is for you. The whole flat is available, with practical accommodations, for a very reasonable price—that means you’ll have an entire kitchen, a terrace, a balcony, and WiFi… All just 250 meters from the beach!

Agriturismos

  • Il Brucaolivo: A stunning estate in a wide, green valley, this agriturismo knows how to make an impression. It’s a ten-minute walk to the city center, so you can access whatever you’d like, but it’s also wonderfully private; if you’re looking for a place to catch up on reading, get some sun, or enjoy homemade, farm-fresh meals, this is the spot to be.
  • Villa Pietrafiore: This agriturismo is located in the heart of the national park, and it’s an impressive terraced property overlooking the sea. Here, you can count on an organic breakfast, an internet connection, and a wealth of sports activities in the surrounding areas.

2. Vernazza

incinqueterre.com photo Cinque Terre town Vernazza, showing large port with multiple colorful buildings

Next on the list is Vernazza! This beautiful town—often considered the most aesthetically pleasing of the villages—boasts an incredible view, with many hills and trails to explore. Vernazza, with a population of 1,500, is a popular destination with stunning, famous views.

You guessed it: The elegant houses of Cinque Terre are prominent here, with colors in every hue of the rainbow. It’s the only natural port amidst the five cities and stands out for good reason!

If you’re walking (after all, it’s a three-hour hike or a six-minute train ride, depending on how adventurous you feel) from Monterosso al Mare, you’ll be sure to encounter some stunning sights.

Situated around a small piazza, Vernazza has several nearby cafes and restaurants conveniently available. Better yet, its harbor is frequented by fishermen who come in throughout the day to sell their wares. That means all your seafood is fresh, straight from the sea!

Santa Marta Rooms - Via Del Santo 25
Santa Marta Rooms – Via Del Santo 25 / Booking.com

Hotels

  • Santa Marta Rooms 25: A lovely, clean, and chic option, Santa Marta Rooms 25 offers plenty of amenities for the discerning traveler. WiFi is free, parking is available, and you’ll have access to a terrace for all your sea-view delights. It’s a short, two-minute walk to Vernazza Beach.
  • Affittacamere PZ: This hotel offers an interesting perspective—you’ll be further inland, enjoying the view of many rolling hills throughout the nearby national park. With parking (that comes free!), You can check all your boxes for family rooms, a terrace, and a bar; this covers your bases.

Luxury Hotels

  • Gianni Franzi: Located just below Doria Castle, those staying at this hotel get an authentic, uniquely Vernazza experience. Here, enjoy proximity to both the beach and the train station, as well as modern rooms with luxurious Ligurian Sea views. But wait, there’s more—free WiFi in public areas means you can post all the pictures you’ve taken on demand.
  • Albergo Barbara: This hotel is luxurious simply due to its centralized location. Placed directly at Vernazza town center, there’s no better position than this. With WiFi and proximity to the beach, you’ll be in the sun every day after quite a short walk.

Bed and Breakfasts, Airbnbs

  • Muin a Ventu Historical Tower: A rare find, this apartment in Vernazza is a five-minute walk from the beach—but that’s not necessarily what makes it unique; it’s special because it’s a tower! A historical monument in its own right, this location has a garden, WiFi, an ATM, and even a concierge service. Look out over the sea from your balcony!
  • Unda de Ma Sea View Terrace Apartment: Private apartments are where it’s at in Vernazza, and that’s what you’ll find here, too. With three bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, WiFi, and a two-minute walk to Vernazza Beach, you’ll have all the space in the world you make yourself home.

Agriturismos

  • Barrani: This lovely agriturismo is family-run and, like some of its sister properties, is further inland, closer to the center of the national park. It spans approximately five acres, showcasing a variety of vines and olive groves, which are sure to please. Enjoy the homemade meals prepared here, designed in typical Ligurian fashion, and sourced from the farm you’re staying at!
  • Agriturismo Costa di Campo: A truly special stop, this agriturismo promises WiFi, facilities for disabled guests, family rooms, a terrace, and finally, free parking. When you stay here, you’ll enjoy a courtesy breakfast each morning. Location-wise, Vernazza is a quick five-minute drive down the road.

3. Corniglia

Aerial view of Corniglia, Cinque Terre - colorful houses inside of a cliffside on the ocean.

Ready for another stop? We hope so! Next on the list is Corniglia. It’s a lovely, tip-top village—and by that, we mean it’s more of a capstone on the hillside than an easy-to-reach beach locale.

Corniglia, like Manarola, is a smaller comune of Vernazza. While it’s not directly on the sea, it does sit atop a raised mass of land, providing an incredible view of the surrounding vineyards. On one side, it drops sharply to the sea in a beautiful, if sheer, rock wall.

Corniglia is accessible via Lardarina, a well-known, long flight of stairs with 383 steps. Be sure to bring your walking shoes!

This is the only Cinque Terre village that is truly cresting the mountainside. Those who visit should be prepared to ascend many steps; it is not recommended as a hiking path for those unable to climb. Likewise, you can reach the village from Vernazza on foot, although it is the longest trek—approximately four kilometers, or two and a half miles.

As Corniglia is one of the smaller, less commercialized towns, there are fewer accommodations to be found; however, it’s incredibly charming, with a variety of restaurants and cafes tucked away for you to find.

Hotels

  • Affittacamere Le Terrazze: This guest house is rented as a hotel room and prides itself on its class. Here, you’ll find double rooms, private bathrooms, a jacuzzi (in some), and unforgettable views. This is a great choice if you’re looking for a cozy stay full of heart.
  • Corto Del Gallo: Located just 0.6 miles from the center of Corniglia, this accommodation prides itself as one of the best hotels. Boasting high ratings and a garden with sea views, you’re sure to enjoy its amenities. The porch and terrace areas are well-equipped with sunset-watching furniture, so you can watch it descend over the sea every evening.

Luxury Hotels

  • Cecio 5 Terre Rooms: This accommodation is hotel-style, with lovely views, good food, and rave reviews from happy travelers. Enjoy the picturesque dining room as you chow down on some of the best food in the north. What else could you need with the internet, a restaurant, a bar and lounge, and baggage storage?

Bed and Breakfasts, Airbnbs

  • IL GRECALE Ca’Mare Apartments: Look out for this deal, with a great location, a garden, and free range of the entire home! If you stay here, you’ll be a five-minute walk to Corniglia Beach, 1.5 miles from Guvano Beach, and within 20 miles of Saint George’s Castle and the Technical Naval Museum.
  • Casa Fiorella: This holiday home is approximately 0.8 miles from Corniglia and 2.2 miles from Guvano Beach. Therefore, this location puts you in a good position—with its two bedrooms, free WiFi, and parking—gratis—this is a good place to stay if you’ve rented a car. When you get there, you’ll have all the privacy you need!

Agriturismos

  • Please note: While Corniglia is lovely and special in its own right, it’s not the largest nor the most popular town in Cinque Terre. Therefore, it’s less commercialized. There are not necessarily many “luxury stays” or even agriturismi in Corniglia, but you’ll find many beautiful, authentic Italian accommodations.

4. Manarola

View from the ocean of buildings cascading down the cliffside and into the ocean.

You’ll be headed downhill once you’re ready to go to Manarola. Manarola is technically a comune of Riomaggiore. This particular Cinque Terre town is situated just beside the water, and it’s a fan favorite because of its structure: The perfect culmination of ocean and cliffside, you get the best of both worlds.

Manarola has a small port where you can dock a rented boat to visit various shops and restaurants. Likewise, tour boats often stop here, so you can hop aboard if it suits you. Eat, drink, and enjoy the sunset at one of the most beautiful beach towns in the world.

Giovanni Rooms Manarola
Giovanni Rooms Manarola / Booking.com

Hotels

  • Giovanni Rooms: If you’re looking for convenience, this Cinque Terre hotel is for you. With an available shuttle service, WiFi, family rooms, and tea/coffee makers in every room, you’re guaranteed an easy start to your mornings. These accommodations are air-conditioned and have both apartments and rooms for rent. The former offers a kitchen with a dining area.
  • Posidonia Cinque Terre: A traditionally modern hotel, this stop is one of the larger options in Manarola. Located just 1.1 miles from Riomaggiore Beach, you’ll enjoy exploring Cinque Terre whenever you step out on the street. Take a ride to one of the nearby attractions—Saint George’s Castle is just ten miles away, while Carrara Convention Center is approximately a 26-mile ride.

Luxury Hotels

  • La Torretta: Like some of the other, smaller villages in Cinque Terre, “luxury” hotels are limited; however, one will catch your eye. A converted medieval tower, La Toretta is a stunning lodge that will be one of the most memorable parts of your trip… And not only is it historic and luxurious, this hotel boasts a series of modern amenities, including a hot tub, WiFi, a bar, and breakfast.

Bed and Breakfasts, Airbnbs

  • Serravallo Vista Mare: This Airbnb, owned by a Superhost, is an apartment available for rent. You can access a full kitchen, a patio/balcony, a washing machine, and free WiFi when you stay here. With all these amenities, it’s a great spot to make yourself feel at home—not to mention the beautiful design of its modern rooms, as well as its convenient location.
  • Affittacamere Ambrosia: Dubbed a “truly wonderful” place to stay, this guesthouse truly embodies its name; ambrosia, the food of the gods, truly becomes a reality when you try the restaurants located nearby. With double rooms and pet-friendly accommodations, you can bring your furry friends along for the ride.

Agriturismos

  • Like Corniglia, the selection of agriturismos near Manarola is limited. Don’t let that stop you, though! If an agriturismo is what you’re looking for, you can stay in one near the surrounding towns; Manarola will always be ready when you swing by for a day trip.

5. Riomaggiore

A view of Riomaggiore

We welcome you to the lovely Cinque Terre town of Riomaggiore. This stop is a beauty with the clearest water and dreamiest hiking trails.

Trail aficionados say that of all the hikes in and around the five villages, the best one to opt for is between Manarola and Riomaggiore. With a romantic air and picturesque views, it’s a must-do.

You’ll be beyond pleased to meet beautiful Riomaggiore, an unforgettable spot on the map. This town—population 1,600—boasts a stunning view from Monte dell’Orso (“The Bear Mountain”) of the locale itself and its neighboring cities, Portovenere and La Spezia.

It’s not all sightseeing and starry-eyed mountain climbing, though; Riomaggiore also showcases a variety of shops and restaurants along the main strip. You can also easily access the train station, which will carry you as far as you’d like to go—even around and back to Riomaggiore if you so desire.

Meanwhile, down by the sea, kayaking and swimming are popular; however, there’s no large beach, so it’s not exactly an ideal location for sun-worshiping. Even so, you can spend time lounging at local restaurants and bars—plenty to go around.

This town is also a quick ride to La Spezia, a more inland town that connects you to other buses and trains.

A view from Crêuza de Mä

Hotels

  • Crêuza de Mä: Bold, bright, and beautiful, this hotel showcases four flourishing garden terraces, a solarium, two gardens, a heated hot tub, and even some outdoor showers for your convenience. Likewise, it’s a short walking distance from everything you might be looking for—supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, and even an ice cream parlor are nearby for your pleasure.
  • Il Borgo Di Campi: Sitting at an impressive 886 feet above sea level, this hotel is in the famed national park, quite close to Riomaggiore. This spot is unique because it was a former countryside “hamlet” until it was renovated. The overhaul of the hotel was completed while simultaneously preserving the local architecture.

Luxury Hotels

  • Cinque Terre Residence: This location shines bright at night—literally! With an impeccable city view, as well as open gardens and terraces, there are so many different ways to view sunsets. Step out of your comfortable rooms to check out the panoramic patio, and if you’re in the mood, pop into the private external hot tub. Now, that’s what we call luxury!
  • Villa Argentina: This hotel takes luxury to the next level with many amenities. Air conditioning, free breakfast, a rooftop terrace, private parking, and high-speed internet are just the beginning. Step: You’ll enjoy lovely views of the sea and old town Riomaggiore from your room, as well as easy access to the many beautiful hiking trails.

Bed and Breakfasts, Airbnbs

  • Bright Light: Along with an adorable name, this Airbnb comes with something all guests want to see—a Superhost! When you stay here, you can rent out an entire unit for a reasonable price. Inside, there’s an incredible terrace you can use to eat breakfast while looking out over the Ligurian Sea, and outside, you’re as close to the action as it gets! Many guests rated this rental high in terms of location. If you want to be close, this is the place to be.
  • 5 Sensi Di Mare: This spacious rental is an exclusive, beautiful unit with a view unlike any other on this list. Located smack dab in the middle of Riomaggiore’s harbor, you’ll have a picturesque view to wake up to every morning. The beach, city center, and train station are all nearby.

Agriturismos

  • Agriturismo Tuvo: Located outside of Riomaggiore, closer to La Spezia, Tuvo is an agriturismo that hosts a litany of guests. Your accommodations will have washing machines, kitchens, dishwashers, televisions, and private terraces. Enjoy the various excursions in the area in your free time.
  • Agriturismo La Bianca Fattoria: This seaside agriturismo is located in La Spezia, near Sarzana’s historic center. Guests will have access to a kitchen, offering “homely” food, a swimming pool, table tennis, mountain bikes, and a playground for guests with children.

Choosing Your Cinque Terre Accommodation

When it comes time to decide which beach town(s) you want to stay in, as well as which of the Cinque Terre hotels best suit you, the choice is yours.

Still, if you’d like our advice, the best idea is to consider what all the Cinque Terre towns offer. You can most certainly visit all of them, but is there a preference you have for your accommodation options? If so, start there.

Maybe a luxury hotel is ideal for you. In that case, Riomaggiore or Monterosso al Mare are your best bets—as the larger towns with some of the most popular destinations, you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for. Conversely, a place like Corniglia is ideally located if you’d like to stay in a sweet, quaint place.

Whatever you decide, remember: There are plenty of things to do and see—you must get started. Now that you know all the best places to stay, it’s time to plan your trip officially! When visiting Cinque Terre, you’ll probably not spend all your time on the beach (unless you are, in which case, more power to you).

No matter your intentions while traveling, whether it be relaxation, exploration, or neither, there are plenty of activities to entertain. Where do you begin? You can start here.

Place Ideal Accommodation Price Range Distance to Beach Typical Amenities
Riomaggiore Hotel $$-$$$ 5 min walk Pool, restaurant, free breakfast
Vernazza Airbnb $-$$$$ 2 min walk Kitchen, terrace, sea view
Monterosso al Mare Bed and Breakfast $-$$$$ 10 min walk Garden, balcony, free parking
Manarola Vacation Rental $$$-$$$$ 5 min walk Private beach access, outdoor shower, air conditioning
Corniglia Hostel $-$$$$ 15 min walk Shared kitchen, free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities

Different Types of Cinque Terre Accommodations

Cinque Terre Village and Ocean View
Igor / Adobe Stock

When you’re staying in Italy—or whenever you travel in general—it quickly becomes apparent that there are different accommodations. Of course, you know about the typical hotel, Airbnb, bed and breakfast scenario, but what if we told you there are more?

Curious? Fret not. Below, you’ll learn all about the typical (and atypical) options available when traveling the Italian coast.

Hotel

Cinque Terre hotels are pretty self-explanatory. Book a room and bring your luggage—the valet covers you. When you get a room, you might find it comes with complimentary breakfast, access to a pool, gym, or sauna, and other perks.

Hotels are often available as both luxury and practical options, so your array will be plentiful in any popular region—and Cinque Terre is no exception. In these five towns, expect to find a handful of larger-scale hotels, some luxury hotels.

Some of the best hotels in Cinque Terre include Hotel Porto Roca and il Magàn – Cinque Terre, both feature a beautiful terrace overlooking the ocean.

Family-friendly options are also available to you for comfort and ease. If that’s what you’re looking for, the following accommodation options will check all your boxes: Hotel Marina Piccola, located in Manarola; Hotel La Spiaggia, in Monterosso al Mare; and finally, Hotel Souvenir, also located in Monterosso.

Likewise, you can opt for a mid-range hotel (Hotel Marina, Monterosso al Mare), a budget hotel (La Ripa, Riomaggiore), or a vacation rental (House Mainz, Monterosso al Mare). All will provide the accommodations you need to start your wonderful vacation.

Airbnb & Vacation Rentals

An Airbnb or vacation rental on VRBO means to rent an apartment, home, or room and use it for your stay. Of course, the company has grown in popularity in recent years, and for good reason; the convenience of staying in “your own” place, supplying your food, and so on, is unmatched.

There are a multitude of Airbnbs available on the Italian coast, but it depends on the time of year, the town in question, and of course, the demand. If you’re thinking about getting one, be sure to book in advance and check its location—some might be a little off the beaten path, given their standard living arrangements and not conveniently placed for tourists.

Bed and Breakfast

A bed and breakfast is often considered a reinterpretation of your typical hotel. Often designed to be smaller, quaint, and cozy, bed and breakfasts offer you a place to sleep with a meal in the morning—but there’s more to it than that. When you stay at a B&B, you’re more likely to experience the culture you’re delving into like a local.

They’re less commercialized than hotels and can usually be found in more suburban areas. Likewise, B&Bs aren’t designed to be identical to luxurious hotel suites; therefore, they will likely offer you unique rooms with equally unique amenities.

Cinque Terre provides a wealth of bed and breakfasts like any other charming place on the planet, so if that’s your style, you’re in luck.

Agriturismo

This is where we start to verge into uniquely Italian—or perhaps European—experiences. An agriturismo, or a “farm stay,” is a hidden gem when it comes to staying in the country… but what is it? Ultimately, agriturismos provide a vacation style in which travelers stay in a farmhouse. How does it differentiate itself from a hotel, an Airbnb, or a B&B, though?

The truth is, it’s some combination of all the above. Agriturismos are usually privately owned properties that the owners have decided to use to accommodate visitors.

It’s a great way to get to know your location intimately, and as a bonus, while it depends on the place, the cost of your stay typically includes breakfast and dinner. Who doesn’t want farm-fresh Italian food?

On top of all that, your agriturismo may have barn animals to interact with, thanks to its farmland. An adventure like that could be fun for the whole family, and there are, in fact, several agriturismo available to travelers near Cinque Terre if you stay a bit closer to La Spezia.

Ostello della Gioventu’ (Hostel for Young People)

Just as the name suggests, an Ostello della Gioventu‘, or a hostel, is a great option for many, whether you’re a budget traveler or not. It does tote itself as a place “for young people,” but that’s not necessarily about the crowd.

It’s more about saving money, creating a community to meet with if you’re interested, and, on the whole, offering reasonable accommodation for those who may not be able to travel otherwise.

Hostels differ from all the places above because they’re more integrated. There’s less privacy in the rooms, as you’ll often share them more often than not; the bathrooms may be communal, and visitors are encouraged to keep their valuables in a provided locker for safekeeping.

The payoff is worth the experience if that’s what you’re looking for—and we’re here to do exactly that: help you find the best accommodation options for you.

Tips for Booking Cinque Terre Accommodation

View of Monterosso al Mare beach
Rangzen / Adobe Stock

Cinque Terre comprises five villages, one to five miles apart, with stunning views. They’re quite small, but they’re also conveniently walkable.

While exploring different places to stay is all good, we encourage you to remember that sometimes, locations vary. A few options may be built in more convenient positions than others, and accessing your accommodation could take time.

Agriturismi, for example, may stray further from the center of town than a typical hotel might. The same goes for vacation rentals and other privately owned residences. This is just something to think about as you move forward with deciding where to stay.

While there are places to stay aplenty, booking months in advance is recommended; beach towns sell out quickly! The best time to visit the area is between April and September.

We recommend skipping out on Cinque Terre travel between November and January—very few storefronts are open, and walking paths may not be up to snuff with little winter maintenance.

Rail is the most popular form of transport between the five towns, and travel is quick—it typically takes less than ten minutes to traverse between each train station. You can secure a Cinque Terre card locally, allowing complimentary access to trains and hiking trails.

Boats are available for hire, as they are a popular way to travel between towns or excursions. It’s more expensive than taking the train, but it is its own experience (reserve at least twelve euros for the ferry). Likewise, other boats can be independently hired.

If you like hiking, there are various paths available to intrepid explorers. Each trail ranges between approximately one to three miles, so come prepared!

The villages of Cinque Terre are closed to vehicle traffic except for one road. Thus, it’s better to avoid driving in the area for convenience but to save money. On the street, parking costs around 15 euros a day, and only some hotels offer lots, usually at a price.

Activities and Sightseeing in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre National Park

Picture this: You’re walking from Corniglia to Vernazza. The sun is shining, the seabirds are calling, and it’s a lovely stroll through a charming village. What else catches your eye as you go?

The Best Hidden Gems in Cinque Terre

 Lardarina Stairway in Corniglia Cinque Terre Italy
Kris Black / Adobe Stock

Lardarina: If you’re in and around Corniglia, you’re probably not headed to the beach, given its location. Instead, you can enjoy the views afforded you by Lardarina. Allow it to carry you to Saint Mary’s Terrace—a terrace overlooking the other four villages, as well as stunning panoramas of the coast.

Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre: While the villages of Cinque Terre are technically encompassed within what’s considered the national park, there’s more to it than the towns. Cinque Terre National Park (or Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre) is the smallest national park in Italy, spanning approximately 38.6 square kilometers, or 14.9 square miles.

This park is unique because it’s been labeled a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning its cultural and historical significance earn it legal protection. The trails connecting each town allow you to explore the stunning coast and its beautiful flora and fauna.

Best Beaches in Cinque Terre

If you are headed to a beach, the best will be found at Monterosso, La Spezia, and Portovenere. These will be the most accessible, providing a stunning location and the ultimate convenience of having lounge areas.

Best Places for Wine Lovers

Wine connoisseurs will enjoy a stop in Manarola or Monterosso al Mare for their wineries and agriturismos, respectively. Check out the Cinque Terre walk and drink and the Buranco Agriturismo if you’re interested.

Similarly, if you’d like to hit a secretive spot near the beaten path, visit Oltrepò Pavese, which prides itself as Italy’s lesser-known wine region. You can try Barolo, Barbaresco/Grinzane, and Barbaresco/Roero, to start. Likewise, foodies will love La Spezia, Portovenere, Lerici, and Levanto, as they offer plenty of restaurants to explore and pair with your wine.

Best Hikes in Cinque Terre

Adventurers will love the available regional hikes, including treks from Riomaggiore to Corniglia, trails that take you up the mountain, and courses that carry you downward into Vernazza. Remember that sometimes, the best time to hike will be later in the afternoon when it’s cooler outside.

How’s that for activities? Grab yourself a snack (maybe from one of the many olive groves? Tread at your own risk!) and get on the road to enjoy Cinque Terre with more originality than any travel blogger out there. Of course, when your vacation finally comes around, relax and see where the wind takes you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What town is best to stay in Cinque Terre?

It depends on your preferences, but some hold greater appeal. Considering the location, the quality of its beaches, and the size of the village, the best place for most people to stay in Cinque Terre is Vernazza. It’s an attractive medieval village that boasts of canals, bakery storefronts, and a captivating charm, so it should check all your boxes!

Which Cinque Terre beach is best?

As always, the “best” is a matter of opinion; still, a few stand out more than others. By our estimation, the best beaches for traditional relaxation and swimming are Monterosso Beach, Vernazza Beach, Manarola Beach, and Riomaggiore Beach.

Can I find family-friendly accommodations in Cinque Terre?

All of Cinque Terre is family-friendly, what with its accessibility via trains, its many bright colors, its gelato, and its interactive playgrounds; however, if you’re looking for a specific, family-friendly hotel, we recommend the following: Hotel Marina Piccola, Hotel La Spiaggia, and Hotel Souvenir.

Where is the best place to stay in Cinque Terre without a car?

The Cinque Terre villages of Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza are great options to stay without a car as you’ll have decent access to the train station. Hotels and B&Bs can often shuttle guests to the town center or the train station for a small fee or complimentary with required advance notice.

Monterosso al Mare is best for families and couples without a car since it’s the only town with formal accommodations like hotels and campsites. The best time to visit Monterosso al Mare is May through October, when you’ll be woken up by waves crashing into a cliff.

Where is the best place to stay in Cinque Terre with a car?

The best place to stay in Cinque Terre with a car is Monterosso al Mare. But it can be cheaper to park your car in one of the bigger towns nearby and take the train from there.

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Lana Valente
WRITTEN BY

Lana Valente

A bona fide expert in budget travel, Lana has been to 25 countries across four continents (although she hopes to round that up to seven soon!), as well as 29 U.S. states. She has a penchant for country hopping and proudly presents tips and tricks to help our readers do the same. Lana is currently based near Philadelphia, but spends a significant amount of time in Italy with family.

She's fluent in three languages - English, Italian, and American Sign Language - and, through her studies, has been inducted into the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars and the Gamma Kappa Alpha Italian Language Society.

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