Explore the stunning coastline of the Cinque Terre (‘five lands’), a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site that stretches for 15km between the beach resort of Lévanto and the port of La Spezia – the perfect spot for a honeymoon or romantic getaway on the Italian Riviera.
Wander ancient paths that have linked the five villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore since the 15th century. These unspoiled villages are perched high on rugged cliffs above tiny harbours packed with colourful fishing boats.
Admire the multi-coloured houses of Riomaggiore that crowd the mountain slopes above a tiny picturesque harbour. Explore the narrow side streets lined with tall 11th century colourful tower houses, arches and portals at Vernazza.
Discover the carruggi (narrow medieval lanes) of the Old Quarter in Monterosso, nestled within rugged steep cliffs overlooking the sea and surrounded on three sides by vineyards and olive groves.
Follow the famous Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail), a centuries-old stone path that winds through picturesque olive groves, terraced vineyards and pine forests, with breathtaking coastal views of the Mediterranean – perfect for active honeymoon couples.
Allow a full day to walk the 13km (8mi) trail, which passes through all five villages; without stopping it can be done in around five hours.
Alternatively, stay in a different village each night and explore other trails around the area. For example, hike from Monterosso up through the pinewoods to the San Antonio church at Punta Mesco for a spectacular panorama of the Cinque Terre coastline.
Cool off with a swim and later enjoy delicious local fish and a glass of chilled white Cinque Terre wine in a quaint restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
The Cinque Terre offers several must-see sightseeing attractions, including the following…
Explore the carruggi (narrow medieval lanes) of the Old Quarter and admire the tall tower-houses, which lie beneath the ancient ruins of the castle.
Stroll inside the 17th century Convento dei Cappuccini and the 12th century Church of San Giovanni Battista. Later, cool off with a swim on picturesque Fegina beach.
Monterossa is the largest and most western village of the Cinque Terre, nestled within rugged steep cliffs overlooking the sea and surrounded on three sides by vineyards and olive groves.
Climb the 377 lardarina (stairs) to the village centre and from the hillside nearby enjoy a stunning view over the other four villages.
Located on a 90m steep promontory, Corniglia is the smallest of the five villages.
Stroll the Via Fieschi past floral-decorated squares and picturesque homes and explore the Gothic church of San Pietro, with its pretty marble rose window.
Cool off with a swim from the Spiaggone di Corniglia.
Take delight in Vernazza’s tiny quaint harbour and charming waterfront piazza overlooked by a watchtower and medieval bastions.
Wander the historical centre, explore narrow side streets and climb steep steps past fortifications, tall colourful tower houses, arches and portals, many of which date back to the year 1080 AD when Vernazza was already a fortified village.
Admire the harbourside gothic church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia, complete with a 40m-high bell tower, which has stood in Vernazza’s Piazza since 1318.
Discover multi-coloured houses that crowd the mountain slopes above the tiny and picturesque harbour.
Admire the 13th century Church of San Giovanni Battista and ruins of the 15th century castle. From here take the romantic Via dell' Amore (pathway) to Manarola.
Wander narrow streets of exquisite pastel-shaded houses that crowd the side of a prominent headland of black rock that rises out of the sea. Discover the 14th century church, the bell tower and the oratory.
Above the village is the hamlet of Groppo, home to the Cooperativa Agricola Cinque Terre – a perfect place to sample the region’s excellent white wines.
Explore the legendary Sentiero Azzuro, one of Italy’s most beautiful walking trails.
Once known as Via Dell'Amore (lover’s way), the centuries-old stone path twists and winds along the rugged coastline, through picturesque olive groves, terraced vineyards and pine forests, with breathtaking views out over the Mediterranean.
This is an easy 12km walk despite some steep climbs to get up and down from the villages. Allow five hours for the complete walk from Monterosso in the north to Riomaggiore in the south.
A more relaxed option is to stay in one village and head out on a new walk each day, returning each afternoon by boat or train; you could also stay in a different village and hotel each night.
The Genoa – La Spezia line stops in all the villages, and boats make regular shuttle runs along the coast.
Note: The section from Riomaggiore to Manarola called the Via dell'Amore is presently closed. However, it is still possible to walk between these villages, although the trail is both steeper and longer than the (closed) path along the waterfront.
Read more about walking the Cinque Terre…
Magnificent! Hike from Monterosso up through the pinewoods to the San Antonio church at Punta Mesco for a spectacular panorama of the Cinque Terre coastline.
Relax with a local pasta dish such as spaghetti al pesto, with basil, garlic, olive oil and cheese. Pesto sauce is said to have been first created here.
Or try a dish of steamed mussels in garlic and tomato, with mozzarella salad.
Enjoy a glass of chilled white Cinque Terre wine and don’t miss the sciacchetra, a prized dessert wine made from prime grapes dried to the point of holding only a few drops of sweet juice.
Choose the perfect beach for a honeymoon or romantic holiday in the Cinque Terre.
Cool off with a swim at this golden-sand beach sitting beneath dramatic mountains, rolling hills and the small pastel-shaded town of Monterosso – the largest of the Cinque Terre towns.
Monterosso has the largest beach in the Cinque Terre, and is the only one with sand.
The beach is divided into sections mainly consisting of private beach clubs, where you can rent beach umbrellas and sunbeds.
However, you can still swim for free at La Spiaggia de Gigante on the western side of Monterosso. The second public beach is on the eastern side of town, and the third beach is a small stretch of sand between two private clubs in front of the railway station.
Because the town is located in a sheltered cove, the water is calm and perfect for swimming.
Honeymoon couples can choose from a range of comfortable family-run hotels and bed and breakfast guest homes. Note: The smaller hotels and B&Bs do not generally accept credit cards.
The best time to visit Cinque Terre is from late-June through late-August; however, anytime from mid-May to late-September is good for outdoor activities.
The months of April, May and October are also good if you want to avoid the high-season summer crowds.
Cinque Terre typically enjoys good weather year-round with a Mediterranean climate of warm, mainly dry and sunny summers and mild but cooler, wet winters.
For more climate info: Cinque Terre Weather Guide…
The Cinque Terre ('five lands') stretches for 15km (9mi) along the northwest coast of Italy in the Liguria region of the Italian Riviera, comprising the five villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
The coastline, villages and surrounding hills are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The most convenient route to the Cinque Terre is by air to Pisa International Airport (PSA), then train to La Spezia (1 hour 7 minutes, leaving every 30 minutes), followed by train, bus or taxi to a Cinque Terre village.
Riomaggiore is located just 13km (8mi) west of La Spezia, a 7-minute train ride every 30 minutes from La Spezia Centrale station.
Alternatively, you have a choice of flying into Genoa, Rome or Milan, then catching a train or hiring a car.
All five Cinque Terre villages are connected by a frequent train service that operates between Genoa and La Spezia, connecting rail services to and from Rome, Milan, Turin, Pisa and Florence, among others.
Access to Cinque Terre by car is limited. The road to Vernazza is narrow and ends a kilometre before the town.
A passenger ferry runs between the villages, except Corniglia. The ferry also runs to Genoa's Old Harbour, La Spezia, Lerici and Porto Venere.
More on how to get to the Cinque Terre…
Latest update: Where to Honeymoon in Cinque Terre: 16 July, 2022