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How to Spend 1 Day in the Cinque Terre

How to Spend 1 Day in the Cinque Terre

Largely unknown to tourists until a decade ago, the five pastel villages clinging to the Ligurian Coast known as the Cinque Terre have become one of the most popular destinations in Italy. An overnight stay is ideal, allowing you to savor the region in peace after the crowds have left, but if you only have one day, here’s how to spend it. 

Morning: A Day on the Trail

The postcard-perfect coastal villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore have been largely untouched by the passage of time, primarily because they were cut off from the outside world for most of their history. Set between the Mediterranean and Liguria’s steep coastal peaks, the villages are difficult to reach by land, and the easiest way to travel between them is via local train or on the scenic trail that skirts the coast. Explore the villages one by one this morning on a guided hiking day trip or a tour that includes train passes and guided walks through the villages.

Afternoon: Head to the Water

The Cinque Terre are crowded most of the year, but numbers swell in the summer months, and by midday, the tiny lanes and coastal footpath can get overrun. Escape the hordes on land by heading out to sea on a private or shared half-day boat tour along the coast, and enjoy the photogenic views of the villages from the water, access to tiny hidden beaches, and stops to swim in the waters off the Cinque Terre National Park. Active travelers can opt for a kayaking experience along the coast, or you can hire a deck chair and umbrella and while away the afternoon on one of the Cinque Terre’s many pretty beaches.

Night: Sunset on the Coast

Even if you are only visiting the Cinque Terre for a day, stay into the evening hours so that you can experience this enchanting stretch of coastline without the relentless crowds. As the sun begins to wane, the villages empty of tourists and become quiet and charming. Take a peaceful walk through the pedestrian-only village centers or along the deserted footpaths, stop for an aperitivo and a slice of traditional focaccia in a tiny local bar, or take in the view from the water on a sunset sail along the coast.  

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2 Tours and Activities

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Cinque Terre Half Day Kayak Trip from Monterosso

Cinque Terre Half Day Kayak Trip from Monterosso

star-5
65
Explore the waters of the Italian Riviera on this 3-hour kayaking trip along the Cinque Terre coastline. Departing from Monterosso, paddle alongside an expert guide, passing hidden coves, rugged cliffs and the bright, pastel hues of the five villages. Pause to stretch out on the beach or cool off with a swim before continuing on your journey. For an evening adventure, choose the sunset option with a stop in a cove for wine and snacks. Numbers are limited to twelve, with all skill levels welcome.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$100.13
From
$100.13

Private Sunset Boat Tour Along the Cinque Terre

Private Sunset Boat Tour Along the Cinque Terre

star-4
5
Book a private Cinque Terre boat cruise, and see the region’s coastline in the soft, early evening light. As a skipper navigates the boat, you’ll sit back and admire sights of the Cinque Terre’s fishing villages on a 2-hour route from Riomaggiore. Sip on wine, enjoy olives and focaccia, and watch the sun slip into the sea. Food and drinks are at your own expense. 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$424.67
per group
From
$424.67
per group