The Cinque Terre

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About The Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is one of the most spectacular spots on the Ligurian coastline, known for its naturally dramatic landscape and collection of five remote fishing villages — reached only on foot. These pastel-coloured hamlets, with an incredibly colour-changing sea beneath them, and misty, purplish hills behind, have been Heritage Listed since 1997, so accommodation within the towns is limited, but out Gurus have found plenty of contenders for their list of the best places to stay in the Cinque Terre in the hills and valleys surrounding the towns. They like a couple of agriturismos, converted farmhouses and villas, a couple of traditional Italian charmers, and some more contemporary picks.

Now that the Cinque Terre is car-free, the only way to reach the villages and their surrounds is along spectacular trails on the clifftops, or on the train which cuts through the mountains. The train starts in La Spezia, and finishes in Levanto. La Spezia is one of the best places to stay in the Cinque Terre if you’re looking for a larger base, with a cobbled old town, and museums and sights of its own. The first of the towns you reach from La Spezia is Riomaggiore, the largest town, and a great base for walkers. It’s very steep, with a charming main street and a pretty marina.

Manarola is only 852 metres away from Riomaggiore, so many people walk through it without stopping, so it’s our pick if you're looking for peace and quiet — in the evenings you’ll have the place to yourself. Corniglia is next, 100 metres above the sea and surrounded by vineyards, then it’s Vernazza, the steepest of the villages, and a fantastic choice for photographers. Vernazza has the best fishing port of the villages, so it’s also ideal for foodies. Monterosso is last, the grandest of the towns, with resort-style hotels, the best beaches, and the easiest car access. Levanto is at the other end of the train line, and with its sandy beaches and great facilities, it’s the town our Gurus find themselves recommending most often as the best place to stay in the Cinque Terre for families.

The Best Places to Stay in the Cinque Terre

For the Italian Riviera Experience

  • With bags of old fashioned charm, and a stunning location on the cliffs above Monterossa, the Hotel Porto Roca is a trick the Portofino set are clearly missing. The Mediterranean yachting views are fabulous, and idyllic when appreciated from one of the hotel’s private balconies or from a sun lounger by the pool — one of the most perfect on this stretch of coastline. The restaurant terrace offers that classic combination of white wrought-iron furnishings, bougainvillea, and sea views. The 40 rooms are dressed in traditional Italian style, perfect for the location.

For Ocean Views

  • The Grand Hotel Portovenere is a monastery turned hotel which sits right on the harbour wall at Portovenere. There’s very little of the monastic left in this grand building, except possibly the wonderfully vaulted ceilings in some of the public areas, and the clean lines of the decor in the 56 rooms and suites. It’s definitely not minimalist, though, more stylishly contemporary, with luxurious fabrics and finishes, and lots of light through huge windows of private balconies. The restaurant has a spectacular terrace overlooking the water, and serves innovative cuisine, and there’s a chic bar, and beautiful spa.

For a Beach Break

  • The best thing about the Hotel Marina Piccola has to be the view: across to the marina at Manarola. Though that’s saying quite a bit because the 13 modern rooms with their exposed original stonework, carefully chosen furniture and mod cons, are extremely comfortable, the seafood restaurant specialising in Ligurian cuisine is excellent, and the location is ideal for the beach and for the coastal path.

For Foodies

  • La Sosta di Ottone III is a six room restaurant with rooms nestled into the Levanto Valley, above the town at the end of the Cinque Terre route. The views here are incredible — to the extent that it’s difficult to decide if it’s the food of the views that should get top billing — and the chef has previously worked in Michelin-starred restaurants, and offers personalised ’jam session-style’ cooking classes tailored to guest’s individual interests. The decor varies from room to room, with some traditional options and some more contemporary picks; our favourites are those with the most spectacular views.

For Families

  • Looking more like a converted villa than a converted farmhouse, the Agriturismo Villanova is a rural B&B, with nine guest rooms and self-catering apartments, and great family-friendly features. Plenty of farmhouse charm has been retained in the decor, and simple, classical furnishings added, making for a cosy, comfortable atmosphere. As well as the atmosphere and space, families may also appreciate the outdoor lagoon pool, lush gardens complete with a playground and tennis courts, and the hearty organic breakfasts. The location is back from the coast, just outside Levanto.
  • Palazzo Vannoni is a beautifully restored historic villa in the elegant old heart of Levanto. There are just 11 rooms and suites, all of a good size, but the family suites are especially spacious, and they’ve all been modernised to a minimalist standard — except for the wonderful original frescoes on some of the walls and ceilings, which have been beautifully restored. No restaurant, but a buffet breakfast is served daily.

For Great Value

  • The Hotel Suisse Bellevue is idyllically positioned on a hill behind Monterossa, so benefits from views of both the pretty town and the beautiful bay. There are just 30 rooms and suites, decorated in a simple manner, the best with private balconies. The hotel has a private beach, gardens and a wonderful sun terrace. There’s no restaurant but breakfast is included.
  • The Ca' D'Andrean is a traditional hotel in Manarola. Most of the hotel’s ten rooms overlook the Ligurian Sea, and all have pleasantly simple decor, with pale tiled floors and white walls; the best have private balconies too. Outside is a charming garden, with lemons trees and places to sit and enjoy them. There’s no restaurant, but they do serve breakfast.

For a private apartment or villa

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Depending on where you start out, Pisa International Airport, Florence Airport, Genoa Airport, and Milan’s Linate Airport and Bergamo Airport are all convenient for the towns of the Cinque Terre. Pisa is about an hour away from La Spezia, by car; Florence Airport is about an hour and a half by road, or about three hours away by train; Genoa Airport is similar; and Milan’s airports are about two an a quarter hours away by road, or almost five by rail. Once you’ve arrived in La Spezia or Levanto you can catch the Cinque Terre Express, which stops at all five towns: Monterosso, Corniglia, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
  • If you plan to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • The Cinque Terre is no longer the under explored treasure it was 40-odd years ago, and summers here are now quite busy on the trails, on the train and in the towns. Many visitors are only here for the day, so if you opt for one of the hotels we’ve recommended within the towns you can expect quieter evenings. But if you’re planning a trip in July or August you should steel yourself for crowds. May and June are quieter, as are September and October, but the long, warm hours of sunshine are still very appealing, so it’s definitely worth booking in advance. Winter in the Cinque Terre is very beautiful, and it’s worth considering travelling at this time, though the days are obviously shorter.

Still not sure where to stay?


Monthly Weather in The Cinque Terre

Best Hotels in The Cinque Terre

  • Ca'D'Andrean Cinque Terre, The Cinque Terre 10 rooms from £104

    Hideaway  -  Quiet location, views over the sea from the lemon tree garden, walkable seafood restaurants and the other Cinque Terre villages
    Great walks  -  Walks between the Cinque Terre villages; path between Corniglia and Vernazza has olive groves, rosemary and vines
    Less £  -  A simple little hotel that offers good value rooms in what is traditionally a very expensive region!
    Sights nearby  -  Right in the centre of Manarola, plus the other Cinque Terre villages are close by
    Air conditioningGardenViewsNo pets

    A traditional hotel overlooking the Ligurian sea. Charming, light-filled rooms with views and all the modcons. Lemon trees in the garden terrace add to the tranquil atmosphere. An ideal spot to explore the Cinque Terre villages and enjoy the scenery. Basic, but excellently positioned. See More

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  • Palazzo Vannoni The Cinque Terre 11 rooms from £121

    Families  -  This child-friendly hotel provides a comfortable, charming and affordable base for families looking to explore Italian's coast
    Local exploring  -  Located in the centre of Levanto which is five-minutes by train to the famous, stunning cliffside villages of Cinque Terre
    Beach Life  -  Visit the dozens of nearby dazzling beaches such as Spiaggia Levanto
    Sights nearby  -  Levanto is a beautiful, historic town full of shops and restaurants and the hotel will also provide picnics for day trips!
    Air conditioningPet friendly

    A beautifully restored ancient palazzo in the heart of the historic seaside town of Levanto. Rooms have had a complete refurbish leaving them fresh and simply styled drawing attention to the wonderful original frescoed ceilings. The bathrooms are contemporary and equally luxurious. Superb! See More

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  • Hotel Suisse Bellevue The Cinque Terre 30 rooms from £130

    Hideaway  -  Outstanding views over the Cinque Terre, plenty of beaches and surf spots to explore, walking paths and fresh seafood
    Sights nearby  -  Fegina Beach, Monterosso Beach, and Vernazza Beach, Bonassola Beach and Porticciolo Di Framura.
    Views  -  Wonderful views over the Ligurian Sea
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Air conditioningGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    A charming hotel overlooking Ligurian sea. Rooms are delightfully simple, some with balconies, all with new bathrooms and brightly painted walls. Stunning views across the bay. Private beach, gardens and sun terrace to enjoy. A perfect choice for a beach break. See More

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  • Hotel Marina Piccola Cinque Terre, The Cinque Terre 13 rooms from £130

    Beach Life  -  Beaches, coastal walks with aloe and prickly pear plants. Fresh seafood throughout the 5 villages and stunning views
    Sights nearby  -  From Manarola, head to Punto Bonfiglio. Find a pretty park with a summer bar and children's play area
    Great walks  -  The coastal path which links all five villages is a wonderful route
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyViews

    A contemporary chic hotel with bags of style in Cinque Terre. Rooms are modern with exposed bricks, white lines and all the mod cons. Excellent Liguirian cuisine in the seafood restaurant and stunning sea views. Beaches and other villages walking distance away. Perfect for a beach holiday. See More

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  • Agriturismo Villanova Levanto, The Cinque Terre 9 rooms from £148

    Eco  -  The property aims to be as eco as possible including solar heated water, agriculture without pesticides, organic breakfasts..
    Families  -  Lovely place for children with a play area and gardens, and with the coast just a short drive away
    Self catering  -  There are nine self catering apartments the biggest sleeping up to 6
    Cooking classes  -  Villanova offers cooking classes in traditional Ligurian cuisine, followed by candlelit dinner under the stars
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyParking

    Charming agriturismo nestled in the hills above Levanto. Rooms, suites and apartments are done in classical style and have plenty of period features. Hearty organic breakfasts, lovely gardens, small outdoor pool & stunning views. Plus a playground for the kids! Family friendly rural hideaway. See More

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  • Hotel Porto Roca Monterosso al Mare, The Cinque Terre 40 rooms from £156

    Views  -  Stunning views over the bay of Monterosso
    Swimming Pool  -  Lovely Outdoor Pool
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews

    Charming old fashioned hotel in the Cinque Terre. Stunning views from every bedroom most with a large balcony. Relax on a lounger by the pool and pretend you're part of the Portofino set. See More

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  • Grand Hotel Portovenere The Cinque Terre 56 rooms from £167

    Beach Life  -  The area is known for its charming coastal villages, pristine waters, beaches and marine reserves, an ideal coastal retreat
    Cooking classes  -  Do one of the cooking classes arranged by the hotel and learn to make fresh pasta and pesto sauce or its famous tiramisù
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A grand hotel in a former monastery overlooking the harbour. The light-filled rooms are furnished in elegant fabrics and smart contemporary fittings. Expect innovative cuisine at the atmospheric restaurant on a spectacular verandah overlooking the sea. A luxurious harbourside base! See More

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  • La Sosta di Ottone III The Cinque Terre 6 rooms from £200

    Good wine list  -  Chef and Sommelier Luca Palmero Scatena joined in 2013
    Cooking classes  -  Luca Palmero Scatena offers 'jam sessions'; personalised cooking classes to guests based on their interests and experience
    Restaurant  -  Traditional Ligurian cuisine. The restaurant is closed on Sundays, but you can preorder a delicious picnic instead!
    Sights nearby  -  The perfect base for exploring the villages that make up the Cinque Terre
    Air conditioningRestaurantViews
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    Nestled in the Levanto Valley, La Sosta offers traditional & contemporary rooms with exposed wooden beams and stonework alongside incredible views of the Mediterranean Sea. Soak up the local history and sights or simply relax on the terrace and enjoy the culinary excellence of Luca Palmero Scatena. See More

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