If you’re a fan of beautiful coastal walks, traditional Italian cuisine, and delicious fine wines then you absolutely must visit Cinque Terre.
Situated along the idyllic Riviera coastline in northern Italy, this famous region is made up of five colourful fishing villages as well as breath-taking hillside vineyards and olive groves. Travellers have been coming here for decades to drink, swim, and stroll in front of unforgettable sunset views in a truly historic setting – and you could be one of them.
In fact, there are so many things to do in Cinque Terre, and so much to see, that you’ll wish you could come back year after year. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Go Cliff Jumping in Riomaggiore
Riomaggiore is famously photogenic. The classic view of the town (the one which appears on all the postcards) is from the water, and what better way to get into the water than by jumping off a cliff?
Okay, this activity is definitely not for the faint of heart and caution must be exercised (definitely don’t try and jump in with your camera!). However, so long as you stick with the locals and take sensible precautions, this promises to be an adrenaline kick you’ll be talking about long after your trip has finished.
Make Pesto at Nessun Dorma, Manarola
Nessun Dorma is an incredible restaurant in the delightful town of Manarola, with striking views over the harbour. Their whole menu is phenomenal, bursting with mouth-watering platters to share, but their speciality is pesto (which is one of the most delicious meals you will ever taste!).
What’s more, the restaurant actually offers pesto-making classes for those looking for more hands-on things to do in Cinque Terre. The reviews on TripAdvisor could not be more positive, so even if you’re not usually one for experimenting in the kitchen, it’s worth stepping out of your comfort zone for this!
Check Out the Churches in Corniglia
Corniglia is a timeless Italian gem made up of a magical tangle of narrow streets and old pretty churches dating back to the fourteenth century. There are a number of churches to choose from, but The Oratory of the Disciplinati of Saint Catherine is especially worth visiting as its located amongst a cluster of bars and restaurants offering refreshing beverages and traditional gelato. Tucking into a gelato is one of the top things to do in Cinque Terre as they’re exactly what you need when you’ve spent most of the day out in the sun!
Go Shopping in Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso al Mare is probably the most touristy of the five villages which make up Cinque Terre, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The village is still beautiful, and Monterosso is probably the best place to get your holiday shopping done.
There are lots of small side streets lined with adorable little boutiques, so it’s well worth exploring properly. You might even stumble across Enoteca Internazionale, the oldest wine shop in town, where you can try the region’s speciality, a luxury dessert Sciacchetra wine which is sure to tickle your taste buds.
Book a Hiking Tour
One of the most popular things to do in Cinque Terre is hiking. There are a whole host of spectacular walking routes between the villages which boast stunning views over the surrounding countryside and the sea. Indeed, most people come to Cinque Terre specially to hike!
At Walkabout Florence we even offer a one-day hiking tour of the region, which is a great way to make sure you’re making the most of your time as it saves you the hassle of planning your routes and getting lost. The tour is perfect for travellers based in Florence who are looking to venture a little further into the Italian countryside.
A typical tour will involve meeting at Florence station bright and early at 8am. You’ll then be transported by coach to Manarola, where you’ll be guided through a gentle stroll of the town before taking a short train ride to nearby Corniglia. The guides are exceptionally knowledgeable and friendly. You should definitely ask them for even more recommendations for things to do in Cinque Terre, as they’ll likely know some local secret gems it would be a shame to miss out on.
Warning! To actually reach Corniglia from its train station, you’ll need to climb over 350 steps. The climb is challenging, especially if you have weak knees, but the views are very rewarding, and the open air of the stairway is actually massively preferable to the crowded sweaty bus service which offers the only other way up the hill.
After refuelling with a hearty lunch, you’ll begin the real hike. The walk from Corniglia to Vernazza is around 3.5km and winds through magical olive groves and vineyards along ancient mule trails. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the hot weather and that you’re wearing comfy walking boots! Once you reach Vernazza, you’ll be able to cool off with a refreshing dip in the sea or relax in one of the town’s many quaint cafes.
The final stages of the tour include a quick train journey to Monterosso and then, weather-permitting, a boat ride to Riomaggiore. The boat ride is a perfect way to end a perfect day and, out of all the things to do in Cinque Terre, this is one of the most memorable. The views off the coast are every bit as extraordinary as the views from land, although be warned that the ferry moves quickly so you need to be prepared to get a little wet from some sea spray!
Cinque Terre is undoubtedly a top place to visit in 2020. The wonderful views, food, wine, and architecture make it an absolute must-see destination. Walkabout Florence’s hiking tour is an especially good way to get to know the region if it’s your first time visiting the area. What’s more, there are so many things to do in Cinque Terre beyond hiking, from cookery classes to extreme sports, that one visit just won’t be enough!
We Are Walkabout Florence
Here at Walkabout Florence we’re renowned as one of the most trusted independent tour operators in the industry. If you’d like to find out more about our fantastic day trips and experiences don’t hesitate to get in touch. From cooking classes and vineyard tours, to Vespa and Fiat 500 tours, we’ll help you uncover the authentic delights of Tuscany.
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence https://walkaboutflorence.com/tours/best-tuscany-tour
Experience the very best of Tuscany on this fun-filled day trip to immerse in the food, wine, culture and history of this iconic region. A day to remember!