Whichever of the villages you plan to visit, going for a swim is one of the best things to do in Cinque Terre. It’s not only a great way to refresh yourself on a hot summer way but also get scenic views of the village. Swimming in Riomaggiore is lovely as the water is not too choppy. Better yet, it’s the perfect place to laze about, and people watch. There is no real beach in Manarola. However, the seaside rocks create a swimming-pool-like experience ideal for a quick suntan and a swim (there're ladders to help you get in and out of water). On the contrary, Vernazza, offers a sandy beach, a perfect place if you get tired of lying on rocks. Nevertheless, the “beachiest” of all the villages is Monterosso. Make sure to pop into the local Tourist Information Centers for up-to-date information on beach access.
If you feel like your trip deserves a little splurge... sign up for a boat tour! It'a perfect way to admire the view of the villages from the sea. There is nothing like seeing those rocky cliffs riddled with colorful houses and vineyards above bathing in the sunshine! By far the best vantage point for your holiday pictures. Plus, the refreshing breeze of the sea that ruffles your hair as the boat breaks the waves makes the sightseeing so much more enjoyable. It’s an ideal opportunity to get to the beaches not accessible by foot. Joining a boat tour is particularly a great idea if you are staying in Florence or Siena. These day trips allow you to explore at least three of the five villages while learning all there is to know about the area. The best way to get the most of a short visit.
From all the best things to do in Cinque Terre, finding a quiet spot to watch the sunset over the horizon is one of the most compelling. There is something incredibly enchanting about watching the village aflame with the colors of the golden hour. Honestly, you might even cry a little! To take the experience to a whole new level, sneak yourself some freshly baked pizza and a bottle of locally produced vino. With most of the day-trip tourists gone at the time, the atmosphere could not be more romantic and swoony. This is the time to declare your love be it for your special someone or the whole world. It’s hard to feel anything but happy, peaceful, and suspiciously full of love as the sun paints the world in fiery gold or soft pink. Each village has its best spot to watch the spectacle - ask the locals!
During such raids, locals had to abandon their homes and take cover in the rugged surroundings. What matters is their heritage has endured, and today we can admire the massive stone walls holding the terraces sprinkled with homes and vineyards. In fact, a large part of the authentic local cuisine is rooted in the poor peasantry which makes the culinary experience of Cinque Terre all the more special.
Today, Cinque Terre is a famed destination which reputation revolves around picturesque hiking trails, incredible beaches as well as gastronomic experiences and great wine. However, this was not the case a few decades ago. Before the 1960’s, the five villages used to doze away in the greenery of surrounding vineyards, olive groves, and ever-present sunshine.
Although now discovered and beloved, it’s not a mainstream tourist destination. Given it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms a part of National Park of Cinque Terre, we don’t have to be worried about mass tourism ruining its cultural fabric being. Browse below to discover day trips to Cinque Terre as well as more ideas on what to do in Cinque Terre villages.