Many travelers find it challenging to decide on a specific location to visit in Italy because of the abundance of fantastic options, from the scenic beaches of Sicily to the opulent ski resorts in the Alps. But this isn’t always a bad thing. On the contrary, having so many incredible choices makes the process of selecting a destination even more exciting. If you’re looking for a must-visit location, consider a fully planned Cinque Terre tour package.
Cinque Terre tours—Get to know the top reasons to visit Cinque Terre, Italy
- Admire picture-perfect views
Have you ever imagined stepping into a postcard and transporting yourself into a whole new world? This is what visiting Cinque Terre feels like. The area is indescribably beautiful, with each twist and turn the perfect background for a painting or a new profile photo.
Cinque Terre can be found in Liguria, a coastal region in northwest Italy. Thanks to their distinct location, these villages are surrounded by breathtaking views from all angles, featuring the crystal-clear waters of the Ligurian Sea and the cliffs of Liguria. The area itself is dotted by charming, colorful houses stacked on top of each other.
- Never run out of places to explore
Not many tourists know that Cinque Terre’s name is surprisingly self-explanatory. Roughly translated into “the Five Lands,” this is a very appropriate name for an area consisting of five different villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
But don’t let their proximity to each other fool you—each of the five towns in Cinque Terre has something unique in store for the first-time visitor.
For example, Monterosso al Mare is not only Cinque Terre’s largest village, but it is also home to the only extensive beach in the area. It’s a wonderful destination for a summer getaway, lined by a variety of shops, restaurants, and hotels.
In comparison, Cinque Terre’s central village, Corniglia, is a little harder to reach. Sitting on a cape 100 meters above the sea, this tiny town is only accessible via the steep Lardarina staircase or a shuttle bus. However, the journey is worth it—Corniglia is encircled by lush vineyards and lined by stunning stone terraces.
- Challenge yourself with a hike.
If there’s one thing you should not forget to do in Cinque Terre, it’s to go on a hiking trip. All five villages in the area are connected, so it’s not impossible to visit every town on foot.
You can start your hike in Monterosso, heading to the neighboring town of Vernazza via a 3.6-kilometer path. This trail will take about 1.5 hours to complete, but you can always take a break and admire the scenic views of the coastline from above.
The trail from Vernazza to Corniglia is quite similar to the previous one, spanning about 3.5 kilometers. Then, you can head from Corniglia to Manarola via Volastra, but make sure you’re prepared. This path is 5.4 kilometers long, taking about two and a half hours to complete.
Finally, you have two options when going from Manarola to Riomaggiore: one path via dell’ Amore and another via Becarra. The first trail is ideal for beginners, taking only 30 minutes to cross. If you’re up for a challenge, you can take the route via Becarra, which takes you on an intense climb through a steep mountain.
Before going up any trail in Cinque Terre, make sure to check if it’s open. Some paths may close temporarily due to extreme weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances.
- Discover historic destinations
Like many Italian destinations, Cinque Terre has a rich and interesting history that dates back thousands of years. This coastal area is home to ancient wonders like the Church of San Lorenzo and the Church of San Pietro, which are unforgettable examples of Gothic architecture.
If you find yourself in Vernazza, make sure to check out Doria Castle. This historic building is in a perfect spot, overlooking the Poet’s Gulf and towering above Portovenere.
- Indulge in authentic Italian cuisine.
Everybody knows that pesto has Italian origins, but were you aware that this delectable pasta dish was founded in Cinque Terre? The Ligurian region is famous for its aromatic basil leaves, the star ingredient of pesto.
But don’t be fooled—your food choices in Cinque Terre don’t end at pesto. Because of its coastal geography, this Ligurian area is also a wonderful destination for seafood lovers. One must-try specialty is muscoli, or mussels, which are typically served in two ways: stuffed with a special seafood sauce or marinated in white Ligurian wine and parsley.
If you’re going on a hiking trip through the five villages, make sure to stop by each one and replenish your energy with the local street food. Here are some popular recommendations: frisceu, a street snack made with fried cod, panissa, or bite-sized chickpea fritters seasoned with oil, pepper, and lemon, and fris de burbugiun, or zucchini flower fritters.
- Stay refreshed with Italy’s favorite drink.
Cinque Terre is known for many things—picturesque landscapes, scenic hiking trails, friendly locals, colorful houses, and so much more. But on top of all this, there’s one Ligurian specialty you should not miss: limoncello.
Limoncello is a zesty liqueur made from—you guessed it—lemons. This classic Italian beverage is smooth and sweet, but you won’t fail to notice the intensity brought by the lemons. What’s great is that limoncello can be served in many ways, including on its own, mixed with sparkling water, or as a cocktail ingredient.
Nobody ever regrets going on a Cinque Terre tour. Nevertheless, to ensure that you have the most comfortable experience possible, consider booking a trip with a certified travel operator. Top-rated tour providers can give you access to exclusive activities and premium services, including private transportation, custom-designed excursions, professional guides, and hotel assistance.
Booking a tour package can also take the burden of planning off your shoulders. This way, all you need to do is be at the airport on time and pack your belongings.