Where to Stay in Cinque Terre

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Cinque Terre is a collection of gorgeous cliff top villages along the Italian Riviera. The stuff of picture-perfect postcards, Cinque Terre is one of the most highly sought after travel destinations in Europe.

Boasting incredible panoramic views from each of the five main towns, there is something hopelessly romantic and dreamlike about Cinque Terre. A destination favored by the more esteemed, luxurious traveler, there is, in fact, an accommodation option to suit every budget in Cinque Terre.

Each of the five main towns has their own distinct character and charm. This whole region of Italy, Liguria, is one of the most pristine landscapes in western Europe, but it is the town of Cinque Terre that tops the charts. Liguria is best known for being the home of pesto. You can sample this green, garlicky sauce everywhere you go, with every restaurant boasting that their homemade recipe is better than the last.

From the sandy bay of Monterosso al Mare to the bobbing boats of Riomaggiore, and everything in between, it is a real joy to explore Cinque Terre. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this place is never going to fade away.

Let’s take a look at where to stay in Cinque Terre.

Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso Al MareSource: Shoriful Chowdhury / shutterstock
Monterosso Al Mare

Monterosso al Mare is the first, northernmost town of the Cinque Terre’s five towns. Boasting an impressive selection of luxury hotels and even more impressive views of the Italian Riviera, Monterosso al Mare is a great starting point.

Monterosso al Mare is the gateway to the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre. With cliff top walks and pastures abundant in wildflowers, wherever you choose to stay in Cinque Terre, a walk through Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre is not to be missed.

It is the beaches of Monterosso al Mare that are the town’s biggest drawcard. Even on murky, cloudy days the water still glistens a vibrant azure. When the sun does come out to play, you’ll need to put your sunglasses on; the contrasting hues of blue are overwhelming to the eyes – in a good way though.

The giant statue of Neptune on Fegina Beach is a hidden gem well worth searching for.

Good For: Active Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Beach Bums, Budding Historians, Couples, Foodies, Luxury Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Fegina Beach, Neptune Statue, Church of St. John the Baptist, Sanctuary Soviore, Aurora Tower, Antico Castrum, Convent of Capuchin Monks

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Albergo Degli Amici – Albergo Degli Amici is a wonderful hotel in Monterosso al Mare, set just a three-minute walk from the beach. This humble and homely bed and breakfast is locally owned and managed. Guests can relax on the sun terrace and rooftop garden while enjoying views of the Italian Riviera. The breakfast is superb.
  • B&B II Parco – This is a family run B&B within a short walk of the beach. Guests are welcome to laze by the plunge pool or seek a shady spot in the garden. Surrounded by olive groves, B&B II Parco is an authentically Italian accommodation option in Monterosso al Mare.
  • II Giardino Incantato – II Giardino Incantato is one of the closest hotels to the beach in Monterosso al Mare, just a two-minute walk. All rooms have a private ensuite bathroom, tea and coffee making facilities and flat-screen TV. Breakfast here is exceptional and served a la carte, with traditional Italian options.


VernazzaSource: iryna1 / shutterstock

Much like all the five towns that create the Cinque Terre, Vernazza boasts incredible coastal views, rugged cliff-tops and colorful houses. So what is it that makes Vernazza a little bit different?

For starters, it frequently gains accolades for being one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. As a fortified town, Vernazza is a little more tumble down than its neighbors. One of the most impressive landmarks is the Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia. Standing over 40-metres tall and featuring an octagonal tower, this church is the beacon of Vernazza.

One wonderful way to explore Vernazza is to walk the city walls. Although it is not possible to walk the full length, there is something quite humbling about walking next to structures that date back to 1080.

Vernazza boasts two beaches – both are small and sandy, but if you arrive early enough you may just secure a sunny spot.

Good For: Active Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Beach Bums, Budding Historians, Couples, Foodies, Luxury Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Vernazza Beach, Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia, Castello Watch Tower, City Walls, The Sanctuary of our Lady of Regio, Corniglia – Vernazza Walking Trail

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Michela Rooms Vernazza – In terms of location, Michela Rooms gets top marks. Across the board, in fact, Michela Rooms gets great feedback from guests and it is easy to see why. The simple rooms are affordable and have all the amenities you need. All rooms have an ensuite bathroom, air conditioning and free WiFi.
  • Pensione Sorriso – Simple, affordable, and just 50-meters from Vernazza Train Station, Pensione Sorriso is a great budget hotel in Cinque Terre. There is a cute garden that features a seating area. There is a cute hotel bar too, where guests can meet other travelers or use WiFi. Breakfast is an optional extra.
  • Santa Marta Rooms 25 – Chic, stylish and a little bit luxurious, Santa Marta Rooms 25 offers modern decor with a homely feel. Guests are welcome to enjoy their morning coffee or juice in their room. There is a kettle and a mini-fridge in each room. Family rooms are available and WiFi is free.


CornigliaSource: Andrew Mayovskyy / shutterstock

Corniglia bucks the trend on the Cinque Terre. Not sitting directly adjacent to the sea and home to only 150 permanent residences, this tiny town is often overlooked. Corniglia is the hidden gem of Cinque Terre, ideal for travelers who want to avoid the crowds.

Within walking distance of Vernazza, Corniglia is a great place to stay if you want to explore the Cinque Terre to the fullest and be as active as can be. If you want to test your strength and stamina, brace yourself and climb the 370 steps of Lardarina. They are pretty darn steep but the views are well worth it.

Corniglia is the oldest of the five towns of Cinque Terre. This town was likely once a slave colony during the Roman era. Steeped in history and nestled on the steepest of hills in the area, Corniglia is a mysterious and marvelous place to stay in Cinque Terre.

Good For: Active Travelers, Authentic Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Budget Backpackers, Budding Historians, Couples, Country Bumpkins, Like a Local Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Church of St. Peter, Lardarina Hill, Saint Mary’s Terrace, Via Fieschi, Secret Beach – Guavo, Low Tide Beach – Spiaggione, Corniglia – Vernazza Walking Trail, Oratorio dei Disciplinati di Santa Caterina

Hotel Recommendations:

  • La Posada – Simple, basic and affordable, La Posada can be found at the heart of Corniglia. Each apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen, small balcony and a flat-screen TV. No need to watch the TV though, many apartments offer amazing coastal views. There is free WiFi in every apartment.
  • Corte Del Gallo – As one of the most popular hotels in Corniglia, Corte Del Gallo offers great facilities and a quintessentially Italian welcome. There is both air conditioning and WiFi throughout the hotel. Guests can relax in the sun-kissed garden or seek the shade on the terrace. A very good breakfast is included.
  • Affittacamere Le Terrazze – This is a classic Italian guesthouse with quaint decor. There are both double rooms and spacious apartments available. The apartments have a kitchen featuring everything guests could need to make a decent dinner. There is free WiFi but only in the garden, breakfast room and reception. Affittacamere Le Terrazze is great for couples.


ManarolaSource: leoks / shutterstock

Manarola is the second smallest of the five towns of the Cinque Terre and was once a frazione of the commune of Riomaggiore. Now a town of its own, Manarola, like Corniglia, is often overlooked.

If you seek a quieter place to base yourself for your explorations of Cinque Terre, Manarola should be high on your shortlist. Hikers, ramblers and avid walkers will be mightily impressed with the range of routes that start from Manarola. The pathway that winds to the northern edge of Manarola brings about some of the most impressive views of the coast, unobstructed by other tourists.

Manarola’s harbor is about as cute as can be. Although there is not much beach there are plenty of rocky outcrops to settle into and sunbathe on. Swimming here is magical, you really feel like you are stepping back in time. A great place for some good, old-fashioned fun in the sun.

Good For: Active Travelers, Authentic Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Budget Backpackers, Budding Historians, Couples, Country Bumpkins, Like a Local Travelers, Off-the-Beaten-Track Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Church of San Lorenzo, Manarola Harbor Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Salute, Volastra, Biggest Lighted Nativity in the World (December only), Via dell’Amore

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Giovanni Rooms – Bright and airy, Giovanni Rooms is an affordable choice in Manarola. Located just 100-meters from Manarola Train Station, Giovanni Rooms is at the heart of the town. Guests can catch the sun from their balcony overlooking the ocean. There are apartments available and smaller double rooms too.
  • Posidonia Cinque Terre – Right in the heart of Manarola and offering guests the opportunity to relax in the garden or on their private balcony, Posidonia Cinque Terre is a little gem. All rooms have air conditioning, an ensuite bathroom and access to free WiFi. Tea and coffee makers are featured in every room.
  • Ca’ D’Andrean – The breakfast at Ca’ D’Andrean is really what seals the deal. Consisting of cappuccinos, croissants, fresh juice and other homemade Italian goodies, this is reason alone to book. There is free WiFi throughout the hotel, including in the rooms. Guests can relax at the bar or in the garden.


RiomaggioreSource: cge2010 / shutterstock

Riomaggiore is the southernmost town of the Cinque Terre quintet. Featuring all rugged cliffs, gorgeous beaches and stunning architecture, Riomaggiore is a real treat.

If you are thinking about hopping from one town to the next, good for you. There is no need to book a taxi from Manarola to Riomaggiore though; just take a leisurely stroll through Via dell’Amore, The Way of Love. This coastal pathway is one of the most popular activities in Cinque Terre and runs for just over one kilometer. At sunset, this space is simply magical. Bring your camera and capture the spectacle.

Riomaggiore is home to Castello di Riomaggiore. This amazing castle offers incredible views over the Italian Riviera. Maybe this vista is the best of the Cinque Terre? You can decide, you are so spoiled for choice.

The best man-made feature of Riomaggiore is the beautiful Church of San Giovanni Battista of Riomaggiore, standing proudly in the center of the town.

Good For: Active Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Beach Bums, Budding Historians, Couples, Foodies, Luxury Travelers, Romantic Getaways.

Neighborhood Highlights: Church of San Giovanni Battista of Riomaggiore, Castello di Riomaggiore, Via dell’Amore, Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero, Riomaggiore Beach

Hotel Recommendations:

  • II Borgo Di Campi – Set high above the town, II Borgo Di Campi offers beautiful views of Riomaggiore below and out over the Italian Riviera. II Borgo Di Campi offers studio apartments that can cater for families as well as couples. Each apartment has its own patio and kitchenette space. Breakfast is an additional cost.
  • Cinqueterre Residence – Cinqueterre Residence is one of the most highly recommended hotels in the area, not just in Riomaggiore. Guests have access to their own private hot tub and sun terrace. There is WiFi throughout the property and air-conditioning in all rooms. An exceptional breakfast is served on a complimentary basis.
  • Crêuza De Mä – Crêuza De Mä is a beautiful, luxurious hotel in Riomaggiore. Located just one minute from the beach, guests can explore with ease. Alternatively, guests are welcome to relax on one of the four terraces, two gardens, one of the two swimming pools or in the hot tub. They have thought of everything.

Where to Stay in Cinque Terre:

  • Monterosso al Mare
  • Vernazza
  • Corniglia
  • Manarola
  • Riomaggiore