Photo Essay: Exploring Cinque Terre

On our tour around Italy last month, we spent two days in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site of Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is situated in Liguria, a region in the north west of Italy. The Cinque Terre national park consists of 5 beautiful terraced villages right by the coastline and the surrounding hills. It’s easy to visit these villages by train or boat, however I wouldn’t advise visiting by car.

We were staying in a stunning agriturismo in the hills of Levanto, and explored 4 villages from there. After an already hectic itinerary before arriving in Liguria, we wished we could have stayed an extra day to relax in these hills. It’s the perfect place to unwind and a perfect location if you’re into photography. Unfortunately, the seas were rough when we were there, so I wasn’t able to take photos from the sea, but while hiking from village to village you can capture some great photos of the villages.

Levanto

Levanto beach sunset, Cinque Terre
Levanto sea sunset, Cinque Terre
Levanto sea, Cinque Terre

Levanto is in the north of the Cinque Terre national park and a perfect base to explore the region. It’s very popular with surfers and beach lovers as it has an actual beach (Out of the 5 Cinque Terre villages, only Monterosso has a beach). It doesn’t have the cosy streets and character of the other villages, but it’s lively in the evenings and has plenty of dining options. We were staying in the hills, only a 5 minute drive from the beach.

Monterosso

Monterosso town, Cinque Terre
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre
Monterosso, CInque Terre

Monterosso is one of the 5 Cinque Terre villages. We reached the village by train from Levanto. You can purchase a day ticket that can take you all the way to La Spezia, while stopping at each village on the way. If you like to spend time on the beach, Monterosso is the place to go as it has the only beach in the Cinque Terre national park.

Monterosso Beach, Cinque Terre

Hiking Monterosso to Vernazza

Hiking is a great way to move from village to village and seeing another side of the beautiful coastline. We hiked from Monterosso to Vernazza and were treated on some amazing views of both villages as well as the coastline. The hike is not too hard and took us around 1,5h. You’ll need to pay to access the hiking trails. We bought the Cinque Terre card, which allowed us to use the train, shuttle buses and the hiking trails.

Hiking Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre hiking path

Vernazza

Vernazza, Cinque Terre
Vernazza harbour, Cinque Terre
Vernazza detail buildings, Cinque Terre

It was a pretty spectacular sight when we approached Vernazza from the hiking trail. It’s one of the reasons why I would suggest hiking at least one trail. The colourful houses and the picturesque bay are perfect photography subjects. The village was incredibly busy, and quite a few people were swimming in the bay. The sea was pretty rough and quite often, the breaking waves would splash everyone who were standing on the pier (a welcoming treat in the Italian heat).

Manarola seas, Cinque Terre
Vernazza view from the hills, Cinque Terre

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is one of the more well known villages. We only spent half an hour here, as we found it a bit too touristy. We tried to capture the village, rushing up the streets to a higher vantage point, but I failed to be able to get the photo I wanted. I think you would be able to get some amazing photos from the sea.

Riomaggiore streets, CInque Terre
Riomaggiore , Cinque Terre

Manarola

Manarola was my favourite Cinque Terre village. Cosy and beautiful from every side. We spent some time here waiting for the sun to set before heading back to Levanto.

Manarola, Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre sunset

Our stay in Levanto

We stayed in the beautiful Agriturismo Costa di Faraggiano in the Levanto hills. Apart from the character bedrooms, it boasts a stunning swimming pool and Jacuzzi, overlooking the hills. It was the perfect place to unwind and relax, and I regret not booking an extra day in Cinque Terre.

Agriturismo Costa di Faraggiana, Cinque Terre
Agriturismo Costa di Faraggiana, Cinque Terre, views

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Lies

Lies

Hi! I'm a Belgian travel blogger currently living in Vancouver, Canada after living in the UK for 7 years. I have a keen interest in responsible travel, volunteering and archaeology and I'm always on the lookout for new adventures around the world!

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10 thoughts on “Photo Essay: Exploring Cinque Terre”

  1. Outside Suburbia

    Love this, have to save all the tips for our trip someday.. hope fully not too far away! Beautiful captures.

  2. I have officially fallen in love with your blog. Your photos are amazing and you just seem to capture the beauty of these places!

  3. Lara // the passage

    I was just speaking with a friend a friend of mine about hiking Cinque Terre the other day! Now, thanks to your beautiful photographs I have some images rattling around in my brain to help fuel my imagination further… Colourful houses on rocky outcroppings… the sea… Italian food… idyllic! Hope to make it there soon- thanks for the links and tips!

  4. A great post about Cinque Terre and Levanto! Amazing pictures and appreciate you sharing.

    Can’t wait to head there myself next summer. I love hiking so I am planning more time there. How’d you end up choosing to stay in Levanto? Debating staying there or Monterosso, beaches are important for when I’m not hiking lol

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