The Cinque Terre is DREAMY. Honestly, it’s so cheap to get to (fly into Genoa), then you can easily take a train and within a few hours you have all these cool things to do in Cinque Terre to enjoy…
Most of the best things to do in the Cinque Terre involve food and drink, but thanks to its location you kinda get to walk it off as you walk between the 5 villages. That’s what ‘Cinque Terre’ means by the way, ‘5 villages’, right on the Italian Riviera.
Each have their own personality and overflow with traditional food, local wine and stunning village views. Apart from food, the next best things to do here is to hike the Cinque Terre – you can easily walk between the five, along the coast.
For lovers of gelato, crayon-coloured houses and the smell of the sea, Cinque Terre is going to quickly become your new dream destination. Trust me.
52 Coolest Things to Do in Cinque Terre
1. Watch the sunset from the stunning Riomaggiore Harbour.
2. Try to stop yourself taking 5000 photos of the colourful houses in the crag and pretty rowboats.
3. Purchase a cone of fresh calamari from Mamma Mia.
4. Hike the 1km ‘Path of Love’ between Riomaggiore and Manarola.
5. Consider cliff jumping, keep considering…
6. Actually cliff jump (although, I’d never do this, but you might be braver / stupider than me).
7. Find total seclusion on the small Fossola Beach.
8. See the Cinque Terre from a different perspective by going diving from Riomaggiore into the underwater caves of the protected marine area.
9. Struggle to say ‘Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero’ as you ask for directions to this beautiful, remote church and monastery with sea views.
READ MORE: Your Guide to the Cinque Terre
10. Do the Manarola Vineyard Walk to free your mind of any thoughts but those about wine.
11. Once you reach the end, be surprised at how pretty the Punta Bonfiglio Cemetery and Park are.
12. Back in the town, treat yourself by trying the local sweet wine of sciacchetra.
13. Learn a little more about your new favourite tipple at the Sciacchetra Museum.
14. Learn how to whip up the best pesto with a class at Nessun Dorma.
15. Indulge in some of the best seafood and Ligurian views at Trattoria dal Billy.
16. They say some of the country’s best focaccia is made right here so guzzle it up at La Cambusa.
17. Travel from Manarola to Volastra, aka ‘the village of the olive’, and walk around the groves.
READ MORE: Where to Go for a Long Weekend in Italy
18. Power through the burn as you climb the 370+ steps that make up the Lardarina leading from the Corniglia station to the village.
19. Deliberate whether or not you dare to bare all on a visit to Guvano Beach.
20. Find a local who can tell you all about the hippy communities of Guvano back in the day – they’ve got a tale or two to tell!
21. Become slightly addicted to the creamy gelato of Alberto Gelateria.
22. Give thanks for the heavenly food of the Cinque Terre with a visit to the baroque style Church of St Peter.
23. Follow Via Fieschi through the village to the viewpoint of Belvedere di Santa Maria.
24. People watch in the rainbow-coloured Piazza Marconi.
25. Climb the Belforte Tower at Doria Castle and take in the panoramic sea views.
26. Burn off the bread with a hike from Vernazza to Monterosso.
27. Sip away with a wine tasting session at the Cantina Cheo Winery.
28. Breakfast on the best pastries at the tiny Burgus Bar.
29. And then go back again in the evening for a nighttime vino with views of the piazza and beach.
30. Give back to this beautiful northern spot with a bit of voluntourism. You can help repair damage done by mudslides, harvest grapes or rebuild walls.
READ MORE: How to Hike from Monterosso to Vernazza
31. Add a little adrenaline to your trip by paragliding from Monterosso over the five villages.
32. Shop in the little boutiques for locally made souvenirs like olive oil and pesto.
33. Tick another church off the list by poking your head into the Church of San Giovanni Battista.
34. Eat a slice of Pizzeria La Smorfia’s best.
35. Buy a bottle of the good stuff from the oldest wine shop in town, Enoteca Internazionale.
36. Take it down to the harbour and drink while you admire the views of the sea and cliffs.
37. Sunbathe on the only sandy beach of the Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare.
38. Go night fishing for anchovies with the local fisherman.
39. The next day, watch how the local ladies salt them at the anchovy salting centre.
40. Then eat the anchovies of course, but do it like a local by adding oil, oregano and garlic.
More cool things to do in the Cinque Terre
41. Take in the fabulous five villages with a boat tour.
42. Learn how to cook an Italian three course meal with a cooking class in nearby La Spezia.
43. Discover hidden coves and beaches by kayaking from Levanto to Portovenere along each of the five villages.
44. Paddleboard from the Bay of Levanto along Cinque Terre just in time to see the sunset.
45. Do a day trip from Monterosso to Portovenere to explore the forgotten beaches and caves.
46. Wherever you are, make sure to order a plate of pansotti (the Riviera’s take on ravioli) at least once.
47. Take a drive to Chiavari and keep carb loading at centuries old Luchin by trying farinata, a pizza made of chickpea flour.
48. Visit the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto.
49. Get a a short introduction to sailing with a tour of the coast.
50. Rent your own little boat and try your hand at captaining the Ligurian coast.
INTERESTED IN AN ITALY ROAD TRIP? Read my Italy road trip guide!
51. Take a morning drive to the nearby city of La Spezia and stock up on cheese, fruit and meats at the local Piazza del Mercato.
52. See some of the best sea life by snorkelling in Portovenere’s Natural Park.
I love the Cinque Terre and remembering all the great things I did there last time has totally made me want to go again, soon! Any more ideas for cool things to do in the Cinque Terre I’ve missed?
Friday 24th of April 2020
Cinque Terre is in my opinion the best place to visit in Italy. So beautiful, so romantique, so unique. And is car free which is even greater. We've been there long time ago now, but I can still remember the relaxing and breath-taking walk that we've had from village to village on Via dell'Amore. Now, is our time to offer to anyone interested to go to Cinque Terre and not only, a memorable holiday and experience.
Stelian at World Lifetime Journeys https://www.worldlifetimejourneys.com
Thanks Vicky for sharing with us these 52 amazing things to do in Cinque Terre
Friday 29th of November 2019
The 52 most interesting things to do in Cinque Terre are very interesting. I really like your share. Thanks for sharing.
Friday 6th of December 2019
No worries. I'm glad you've enjoyed my post :)
Thursday 7th of March 2019
Thanks for sharing this quality information with us. I really enjoyed reading.
Friday 8th of March 2019
Oh great! Hope it helps with your trip planning. Thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know :).
Cinque Terre, Italy
Saturday 18th of August 2018
[…] post as I didn’t visit the area with writing about it in mind, but I have found this list of Things to do in the Cinque Terre very useful as well as this Hiking Guide to the Cinque Terre which has certainly made me want to […]
Wednesday 20th of June 2018
I never knew that Cinque Terre meant 5 villages - it all makes more sense now! Beautiful pictures and a very tempting list of things to do!
Friday 22nd of June 2018
The Cinque Terre is SUCH a great place for a weekend away. I went by myself but I think it'd be great for a couple, or friends, basically just so you feel more comfortable, but also for the company, of course. It's not all about food, gawd VickyFlipFlop. :)