Things to Do in Cinque Terre: Explore the Hidden Gems

Cinque Terre
Mika Korhonen, Unsplash
January 5
Written by Elena Kostas

Discover the best things to do in Cinque Terre and explore its hidden gems. From scenic hikes to charming villages, there's something for everyone in this breathtaking destination.

Welcome aboard the express trip to an Italian Riviera dream, where a string of centuries-old seaside villages are waiting to capture your heart. Welcome to Cinque Terre. Did you know, these pastel-hued hamlets seem to defy gravity, clinging to the rugged cliffs along Italy's western coastline? A sight that leaves even the most seasoned travelers breathless. This magical place offers such an array of things to do that choosing can be as tricky as capturing a perfect sunset shot of its vivid landscapes.

Wandering through the narrow, winding lanes is one of the top places to visit in Cinque Terre, with each turn revealing a new surprise, whether a panoramic sea view or a charming family-run trattoria. It's practically a living, breathing postcard, and we're here to be your perfect Cinque Terre guide.

Between exploring dramatic hiking trails, discovering hidden beaches, devouring fresh seafood, or simply basking under the Mediterranean sun, there’s a lot about what to see in Cinque Terre. So, are you ready to surrender to the charms of these five lands, and start your Italian adventure of a lifetime?

1. Scenic Hiking Trails of Cinque Terre

Natural Spaces and Parks
a view of a village on a cliff overlooking the ocean
Scenic Hiking Trails of Cinque Terre / Sami Hobbs, Unsplash

Cinque Terre is a beautiful region on the west coast of Italy, known for its picturesque fishing villages and stunning coastal landscapes. But in addition to its charming villages, Cinque Terre also offers incredible scenic hiking trails that will allow you to explore the region's natural beauty.

The scenic hiking trails of Cinque Terre offer a variety of routes that will take you through forests, vineyards, and cliffs, providing you with amazing panoramic views of the Mediterranean coast. Each trail offers a unique experience and will immerse you in the history and culture of the region, giving you the opportunity to discover ancient villages, churches, and fortifications along the way.

If you are a nature lover and enjoy outdoor walks, you cannot miss the opportunity to explore the scenic hiking trails of Cinque Terre. Along your path, you will encounter numerous viewpoints where you can stop and marvel at the views of the crystal clear waters and colorful houses nestled on the mountainsides.

2. Charming Village of Riomaggiore

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a view of a village on a cliff overlooking the ocean
Charming Village of Riomaggiore / Ljubomir Žarković, Unsplash

Discover the charming village of Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre. This picturesque destination is located on the Italian coast and is known for its colorful architecture and narrow streets. Riomaggiore is the perfect starting point for exploring the Cinque Terre region and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

In the charming village of Riomaggiore, you will find pastel-colored houses that cascade down the mountainside. Take a stroll through its narrow cobbled streets and admire the architectural details of the buildings. Don't miss the Church of St. John the Baptist, with its distinctive bell tower and beautiful frescoes.

One of the best ways to enjoy Riomaggiore is by walking along the coastal trails that connect the five villages of Cinque Terre. From here, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views and discover beautiful hidden beaches. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of this unique place!

3. Relaxing on Vernazza Beach

Natural Spaces and Parks$$$
seashore during golden hour
Relaxing on Vernazza Beach / Jack Ward, Unsplash

Vernazza Beach is a must-visit in Cinque Terre. Located in the charming village of Vernazza, this sandy beach invites you to relax and enjoy a day of sun and sea.

With its crystal clear waters and stunning natural surroundings, Vernazza Beach is the perfect place to unwind and recharge. You can bring your own towel and soak up the sun, or rent a sunbed for added comfort.

Don't forget to explore the beach's surroundings, where you'll find restaurants and shops with local products. Spending a day at Vernazza Beach is definitely a unique experience you shouldn't miss when visiting Cinque Terre.

4. Exploring the Historic Village of Manarola

Historical Monuments and Architecture
Cinque Terre, Italy
Exploring the Historic Village of Manarola / Justin Owens, Unsplash

The Historic Village of Manarola is one of the most charming destinations in Cinque Terre. Situated on the coast of Italy, this picturesque village offers visitors a unique experience in a scenic and traditional setting.

As you stroll through its narrow cobblestone streets, you'll feel transported to another time. The colorful houses clinging to the mountainside and the crystal-clear sea stretching out to the horizon create a stunning backdrop.

One of the main attractions of Manarola is its famous white wine, known as Sciacchetrà. This sweet wine is produced in the vineyards of the area and is a unique delight that you must try during your visit.

5. Sampling Local Cuisine at Corniglia

Food and Markets$$$
a view of a village on a cliff overlooking the ocean
Sampling Local Cuisine at Corniglia / Ansgar Scheffold, Unsplash

Visiting Cinque Terre is always a delight for food lovers. And in the charming village of Corniglia, you can't miss the opportunity to sample authentic local cuisine. Here, you can enjoy a tasting of traditional dishes made with the freshest ingredients from the region.

Among the specialties you can try in Corniglia, stand out fresh pasta with pesto, freshly caught seafood, local wines, and tasty homemade desserts.

A gastronomic experience in Corniglia is much more than just eating. It is a way to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions, while enjoying breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the peaceful atmosphere of this charming village.

6. Cinque Terre Wine Tasting Tours

Food and Markets
macro shot of seaweeds
Cinque Terre Wine Tasting Tours / Thomas Schaefer, Unsplash

Discover the flavors of Cinque Terre

Wine tasting tours in Cinque Terre are a unique experience that you cannot miss. Immerse yourself in the Italian wine tradition and be amazed by the flavors of the local wines.

Explore the most picturesque vineyards

During these tours, you will have the opportunity to visit the most picturesque vineyards in Cinque Terre, enjoying breathtaking views while learning about the different wine-making processes.

Taste a variety of authentic wines

You will have the chance to taste a wide variety of authentic wines from Cinque Terre, from refreshing whites to robust reds, paired with exquisite local tapas.

7. Boat Trip along the Coastline in Cinque Terre

Outdoor Activities and Sports
white boat on body of water
Boat Trip along the Coastline in Cinque Terre / Mike L, Unsplash

Boat Trip along the Coastline in Cinque Terre

Experience an exhilarating Boat Trip along the Coastline in Cinque Terre and discover the magic of this beautiful region in Italy. Sail the sea and enjoy stunning views of the colorful coastal villages.

Explore the charming fishing villages of Manarola, Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Monterosso, and Corniglia. Each one has its own unique charm and will captivate you with its colorful architecture and cobblestone streets.

This incredible Boat Trip along the Coastline is an experience you cannot miss when visiting Cinque Terre. Book your ticket today and get ready for a day of adventure and natural beauty!

8. Visiting Monterosso's Old Town

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a view of a village on a cliff overlooking the ocean
Visiting Monterosso's Old Town / Tim Wildsmith, Unsplash

Visiting Monterosso's Old Town is an experience not to be missed if you are traveling through Cinque Terre. This charming and picturesque corner of the Italian coast will transport you to the past with its cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and peaceful atmosphere.

Exploring the Old Town is like walking through a fairy tale. You can get lost in its narrow streets and discover charming corners. Here you will find local craft shops, traditional restaurants, and cozy bars where you can taste delicious Italian wine.

One of the main attractions of the Old Town is the Aurora Tower, an ancient symbol of Monterosso and the highest point in the area. From the top of the Tower, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the sea and the surroundings.

9. Photographing the Colorful Houses

Historical Monuments and Architecture
landscape photography of mountains
Photographing the Colorful Houses / Kristine Tanne, Unsplash

If you're wondering what to do in Cinque Terre, don't miss the opportunity to visit the famous colorful houses. This charming tourist destination located on the coast of Italy is known for its picturesque villages and unique architecture.

Stroll through the narrow streets of Cinque Terre's five villages and admire the vibrant colored houses that contrast with the intense blue of the sea. Each house has its own charm and personality, creating a perfect picturesque scene for photography enthusiasts.

Explore the best spots to photograph the colorful houses, such as Vernazza, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each village offers stunning views and unique opportunities to capture the magic of this place in timeless images.

10. Sunset Views from the Cinque Terre National Park

Natural Spaces and Parks
sunset under beach
Sunset Views from the Cinque Terre National Park / Ollie Tulett, Unsplash

Discover the wonder of sunsets in Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre National Park offers panoramic views of the Italian coast that will leave you in awe. If you're looking for a visually spectacular experience, you can't miss the sunsets in this incredible tourist destination.

The Cinque Terre National Park is famous for its picturesque coastal villages and breathtaking cliffs. During sunset, these landscapes transform into a vibrant palette of colors that reflect the magic of dusk.

Whether you're looking for a romantic spot to enjoy with your partner or simply want to delight your senses with natural beauty, the sunsets in the Cinque Terre National Park are a must-see. You won't regret witnessing the magnificence of the sunset in this corner of the world.

11. Scuba Diving in the Crystal Clear Waters of Cinque Terre

Outdoor Activities and Sports

Scuba diving in the crystal clear waters of Cinque Terre is an experience you can't miss if you visit this beautiful tourist destination in Italy. Dive into the depths of the sea and discover an underwater world full of life and beauty.

During this activity, you can explore the coral reefs and impressive cliffs of Cinque Terre. The crystal clear water allows for exceptional visibility, making diving even more thrilling.

In addition to the incredible marine life, you can marvel at the underwater landscapes, full of unique colors and textures. Experienced divers will find a wide variety of marine species, while beginners can enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the crystal clear waters.

12. Sanctuary of Our Lady of Reggio

Religion and Spirituality

Visiting the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Reggio in Cinque Terre

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Reggio is a sacred place located on the beautiful coast of Cinque Terre. This historic sanctuary is one of the main tourist attractions in the region and attracts visitors from all over the world.

With a rich history and impressive architecture, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Reggio is a must-visit during your trip to Cinque Terre. The sanctuary offers stunning panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and the picturesque coastal towns of the region.

13. Enjoying the Stunning Panoramic Views of Cinque Terre

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Enjoying the Stunning Panoramic Views of Cinque Terre: Cinque Terre is known for its incredible panoramic views that showcase the area's natural and architectural beauty. From the cliffs to the beaches and charming villages, there is so much to see and enjoy in this Italian tourist destination. Discover the best viewpoints and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the Ligurian coast.

Exploring the Coastline: One of the best ways to experience the panoramic views of Cinque Terre is by hiking along the coastline. Along the coastal trails, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the sea, cliffs, and villages. Don't miss the famous paths of Via dell'Amore and Sentiero Azzurro, which will take you through stunning landscapes.

Discovering the Villages: In addition to the panoramic views, the villages of Cinque Terre are attractions in themselves. From the colorful houses of Riomaggiore to the tranquil charm of Vernazza, each village has its own unique charm and beauty. Explore the narrow alleyways, discover the local culture, and savor coastal living in each of the five villages that make up Cinque Terre.

14. Cinque Terre Festivals and Events

Entertainment and Pop Culture

Festivals and events in Cinque Terre are an important part of the local culture and offer visitors a unique experience. From traditional celebrations to outdoor concerts, there is something for everyone.

One of the highlights is the Moon Festival, which takes place every summer. During this event, the streets are illuminated with paper lanterns and music and dance performances are held.

Another popular event is the Harvest Festival, which celebrates the region's winemaking tradition. Visitors can take part in grape harvesting and enjoy wine tastings.

15. Discovering Hidden Coves in Cinque Terre

Natural Spaces and Parks

If you're looking for adventure and natural wonders, you can't miss the experience of discovering the incredible hidden coves in Cinque Terre. This coastal region of Italy will surprise you with its breathtaking landscapes and rich history.

The coves of Cinque Terre are unique rock formations that are located along the sea. These small caves are home to a variety of marine flora and fauna, making them a true paradise for nature lovers.

Explore these coves through winding paths and enjoy unparalleled panoramic views. Dive into crystal clear waters and discover the rich marine life hidden beneath the surface. For the more adventurous, there are also options for snorkeling and diving in some of these coves.

16. Shopping for Local Handmade Crafts in Cinque Terre

Shopping and Commerce

Discover a wide range of shops and markets in Cinque Terre where you can find beautiful local handmade crafts, perfect as souvenirs of your visit to this wonderful tourist destination. From ceramics and jewelry to textiles and decorative objects, you will find everything you need to take a piece of the magic of Cinque Terre with you.

The local craft shops in Cinque Terre are known for their high quality and authenticity. Local artists put all their talent and passion into each piece, creating unique and charming products. Whether you are looking for a special gift or simply want to enjoy the pleasure of looking at beautiful creations, these shops are a must-visit on your tour of Cinque Terre.

In addition to the shops, you can also visit the local markets, where you will find colorful and lively stalls offering a wide variety of handmade products. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the markets, haggle and enjoy the experience of buying directly from the producers.

17. Visiting the Monterosso Citrus Grove

Natural Spaces and Parks

Visiting the Monterosso Citrus Grove is a unique experience for those wishing to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Cinque Terre. Located in the heart of Monterosso, this citrus grove is one of the region's hidden treasures. With its wide variety of fruit trees, including orange and lemon trees, it offers a fascinating visual and olfactory spectacle. During your visit, you can enjoy a relaxing walk among the trees and taste the delicious fresh fruits grown in this beautiful setting. Don't miss out!

The Monterosso Citrus Grove is a must-see for nature and agriculture enthusiasts. In addition to its aesthetic charm, this place offers a great opportunity to learn about the history and traditional cultivation methods of the area. During your visit, you can get up close and personal with the tree care process and discover how delicious lemon oil and other citrus-based products are produced. It will be an enriching and tasty experience for all your senses.

You can't leave Cinque Terre without visiting the Monterosso Citrus Grove. Immerse yourself in its natural beauty, learn about its history, and savor the fresh products of the region. An unforgettable experience!

18. Sea Kayaking Adventures

Outdoor Activities and Sports

Sea Kayaking Adventures in Cinque Terre are one of the most exciting activities you can do in this beautiful coastal region of Italy.

Explore the incredible marine landscapes as you glide through the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy panoramic views of the picturesque villages of Cinque Terre and discover hidden spots that can only be accessed by kayak.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced kayaker, these adventures are perfect for all levels. Paddle through sea caves and grottos, discover remote beaches, and relax under the sun while admiring the natural beauty that surrounds you. Don't miss out on this thrilling experience that combines sport, nature, and fun in Cinque Terre!

19. Exploring the Maritime Museum

Museums and Art Galleries

Exploring the Maritime Museum in Cinque Terre

The Maritime Museum of Cinque Terre is a must-visit for all history and maritime culture enthusiasts. Located in the charming village of Riomaggiore, this museum is the perfect place to dive into the region's rich maritime heritage.

Experience the history of navigation

At the Maritime Museum, you can learn about the history of navigation in Cinque Terre, from ancient fishermen to the traditional boats used in the region. Discover how the sea has influenced the culture and life of the local inhabitants throughout the centuries.

Immerse yourself in the life of fishermen

The museum will also take you on a journey into the life of the fishermen of Cinque Terre. Learn about traditional fishing techniques and see how they have evolved over time. Hear the stories and legends surrounding life at sea and appreciate up close the legacy of this maritime community.

20. Relaxing in the Hot Springs

Natural Spaces and Parks$$$

If you are looking for a moment of relaxation and tranquility during your visit to Cinque Terre, you must visit our hot springs. Here you can disconnect from daily stress and immerse yourself in thermal waters that will provide you with an unparalleled sense of well-being.

At our hot springs, you can enjoy different services and treatments, such as mud baths, therapeutic massages, and spa circuits. Our highly qualified staff will be at your disposal to ensure that your relaxation experience is unforgettable.

Come and enjoy the best relaxation in the hot springs of Cinque Terre and let yourself be pampered in a natural and peaceful environment. We are waiting for you!