🇬🇧 2 days in Cinque Terre 🇬🇧

What do to in 2 days in Cinque Terre.


2/20/20249 min read

🇫🇷 Retrouve cet article en Français ici ! 🇫🇷

During our 15 days road trip in Italie, we stopped in Cinque Terre.

In this article, I will talk about our visit, what we did, what we visited and where we stayed.

Cinque Terre is a National Park which include 5 villages : Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola et Riomaggiore.

Located on the west coast of Italy, the Italian Riviera, the villages are built on a rugged and steep landscape, in coves and on cliffs.Terraces allowing agriculture have been built there but access to these villages remains difficult. I will explain everything to you later in this article.

For how long ?

We left for 2 days, from Friday July 29 to Sunday July 31. It was enough for us to visit the 5 villages but I would have loved to spend more time there. Indeed, after returning from our trip, I realized that we had not seen certain well-known places in Cinque Terre. So I came back with a little regret and above all the desire to go back.

But if you can't leave for more than 2 days, know that it is possible to see a lot. Favored traveling by train (as I explain below) to save time and fully enjoy the villages.

Where to sleep ?

I can tell you that we are very proud of our find. We stayed in an Airbnb, located in the village of Manarola. It was very small but absolutely awesome. Very clean, with an incredible owner who explained to us lots of things about Cinque Terre and above all : a dream location ! Indeed, located in the heart of Manarola, our balcony overlooked the vineyards, the hills and the sea. It was magnificent and very relaxing. Of course during the day there are a lot of tourists in the streets, but in the evening the village empties and it seems like there are only a few person in the village. It was a great experience and I recommend this apartment 100%. We paid 248€ for 2 nights, which was very reasonable compared to hotels and other apartments rented in Cinque Terre.

If you can't find a place to sleep in one of the 5 villages, I suggest you to look in La Spezia or Levanto, these are the 2 towns located at each end of the national park. I know that many tourists favor these cities and that the prices are less excessive there.

How to move ?

As I told you above, the Cinque Terre is a group of villages, located several kilometers from each other.

Cars are not allowed in the villages, and there are no roads practicable by cars anyway. However, there are small parking lots at the entrance of every villages. But there is very little space compared to the number of tourists arriving. Since we were sleeping in Manarola, we left our car on the side of the road just before entering the village. The parking lot was full and very expensive. So we left our car on the side of the road for 2 days and we had no problem.

We then had to walk a little bit to our apartment. Get ready to walk, the villages are all high up and full of stairs!

It is also possible to travel from village to village on foot. Hiking trails exist. But some are closed during different period of the year. You should inform yourself before leaving. We decided to do just one hike, between Manarola and Riomaggiore. We walked for 1h20 before arriving at the village and I can tell you that it was not easy. It was extremely hot that day and the paths were not easy to follow. Each village is located between 2 hills, so you have to climb one hill before going down the other side. If you like hiking and are very sporty, I suggest you to do several, the landscapes are magnificent and it is worth a look.

But if you're not athletic, don't panic ! There is a train that travels between the 5 villages. All you need to do is buy a train ticket, which costs around 18€ per person, and you can travel for the entire day between villages. So that’s what we did after our hike to go to the next village and it was extremely convenient and quick ! The only negative point is that there are a lot of people, especially during the holidays…

Day 1 :

The first day, we arrived around 6 p.m. After parking our car on the side of the road, walking at least 20 minutes to arrive at the foot of our apartment with our suitcases, and finally settling into our superb apartment, we set off to explore the village of Manarola.


We were very lucky to have stayed at Manarola. Indeed, it is the most colorful and romantic village of Cinque Terre. Built on a rock 70 meters above sea level, it is filled with stairs and steep streets. We discover passages and small hidden alleys as we walk along. All these narrow and steep streets lead to the sea and the small port. The ideal place for a swim. You will find swimmers there all day long, having fun among the small colorful boats and jumping from the small surrounding cliffs.

This is actually what we did. After a nice walk around the village, we sat at the water's edge and enjoyed the sea at 22°C (71°F) under a magnificent setting sun. An incredible moment of our trip. It was also the time when all of the tourists are leaving, so there were very few people with us in the water and it was very pleasant. I loved Manarola !

Then we returned to our apartment and enjoyed the beautiful sea view before a good night of sleep.

Day 2 :

Being in one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, we had to do at least one hike. So that morning, we set off directly on foot from Manarola towards Riomaggiore.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore

So we left Manarola around 10 a.m. and it took us 1 hour 20 minutes to arrive in Riomaggiore. The walk was magnificent. One of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done in my life. The scenery was incredible. Between the hills and the sea, it was magical. But it was also one of the most difficult. The climb was very, very steep. But I think it was mainly because of the temperature. Indeed it was around 30°C (86°F) under a blazing sun. It was exhausting. So prepare yourself before you leave. You don't have to be a complete beginner and have a lack of training! This is why we decided to do just one hike, and to continue our visit to the other villages of the Cinque Terre by train.


After this magnificent hike, we finally arrived in Riomaggiore. It is the southernmost village of Cinque Terre. Most of the village is squeezed into a narrow, steep valley, with tall, colorful houses on either side of the main road and a small harbor.

Monterosso al Mare

Then we took the train from Riomaggiore to go up to the top of the Cinque Terre, to the very first village arriving from the north : Monterosso al Mare.

It is the largest village in Cinque Terre. It is protected by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves. It is also the only village that has large beaches. So if you are planning a beach day, come to Monterosso al Mare ! It must also be very pleasant to swim in the magnificent crystal clear water, but be careful, you have to pay to get in those beaches.


Back in the train towards Vernazza.

The small fishing village is probably the most characteristic of the Cinque Terre and attracts a lot of people with its large square surrounded by colorful houses and its harbor filled with small boats. It also has a small pebble beach.

After taking the train again, we arrived at the next village : Corniglia.

It is the only village perched on top of a cliff and which does not have access to the sea. To get there, you have to climb the 377 steps of the gigantic staircase ! Don't panic, for those who cannot walk, a small bus is available. Of course you have to pay for it and it is often filled to the brim !

Corniglia is surrounded by vineyards and hills. The houses have a slightly different architecture than the other 4 villages. They are lower and very narrow. I found this village very charming and much less crowded than the others.


Then we took the train one last time which took us back to Manarola.

We went for a swim again, at the same place as the day before. But unfortunately around 5 p.m. there were still a lot of people.

Trattoria dal Billy Restaurant

The culinary specialty of Cinque Terre is of course fish and seafood. That evening we decided to eat in this magnificent restaurant recommended by our host, just in the street below our Airbnb. We had an incredible view on the sea and the sunset. We also ate extremely well (shrimp pasta and good desserts). I recommend 100%! Remember to book in advance, as it is a very popular place.

Day 3 :

It was on the morning of the 3rd day that we hit the road for our next and last destination of our road trip : Turin.

I loved Cinque Terre ! It’s a magnificent place. Between the sea, the hills, the vineyards… We don’t know where to look. The colors are breathtaking. The mix between the houses, the water and the grass, all my photos came out amazing.

In July there were a lot of people. If you have the opportunity to go there during another time of the year I am convinced that you will enjoy the place even more.

In short, I recommend 100% for a total change of scenery!

You can also find our stay in Cinque Terre in my Youtube video below :

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it was useful to you. Do not hesitate to send me a message via the "contact" tab at the top right of the screen or to subscribe to my Newsletter.

I'll see you soon in a new article!

Laura :)