INCREDIBLE 3 Days in Cinque Terre Itinerary

the village of riomaggiore in cinque terre by travel blogger kevmrc

Planning to visit Cinque Terre, but not sure which village you should visit, and what to do there? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

This 3 days in Cinque Terre itinerary will help you plan your trip there, with the main things to do and to see in this part of the world, day by day and where to stay during your trip!

This Cinque Terre guide will include hotel recommendations and where to stay. A key tip for booking a hotel in Cinque Terre is booking far in advance as hotels get booked out pretty quick there, as it’s one of the most popular destinations in Italy.

Ready to discover the beauty waiting for you in Cinque Terre? Let’s get started!

Table of Contents
    1. Day 1 of 3 Days in Cinque Terre Itinerary
    2. Day 2 of 3 Days in Cinque Terre Itinerary
    3. Day 3 of 3 Days in Cinque Terre Itinerary
    4. Where to Stay in Cinque Terre

Day 1 of 3 Days in Cinque Terre Itinerary

la spezia next to cinque terre from kevmrc

For the first day of your 3 days in Cinque Terre, we’ll start by actually getting to Cinque Terre, with a quick stop in La Spezia before entering the wonders of the National Park.

Quick Stop in La Spezia

La Spezia is a coastal city, between Genoa and Pisa and a wonderful addition to your Cinque Terre itinerary. It’s often considered as the gateway to Cinque Terre, because it’s located right next to the National Park and chances are that you’ll pass through it on your way to the villages.

If you’re visiting Cinque Terre by train, you’ll probably have to switch train in La Spezia. While most travelers simply stay put in the station and wait for the next train, I highly recommend using this free time and going out to explore the city, even if just for a little bit!

You don’t have to walk really far from the train station to be amazed by the city; just wander for a bit in the streets, and enjoy the unique coastal vibe and stunning scenery.

If you have over 30 minutes to wait for your next train, walk to the Castello San Giorgio. This castle is roughly a 13-minute walk from the train station, and it’s built on a hill; you’ll have a great view over the town all the way to the sea.

Then, when your train is about to arrive, head back to the station, hop on the train, and go to your first village in Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore.

Enjoy the View in Riomaggiore

Be sure not to get too comfortable in the train from La Spezia as it only takes 8 minutes to reach Riomaggiore!

As you exit the train in Riomaggiore train station, you’ll have to walk for around 5 minutes in a tunnel to reach the heart of this charming village.

At the end of the tunnel, keep going straight to the stairs in front of you; walk up the stairs, and you’ll be on the Piazza Vignaioli, one of the main squares in the village. Walk all the way to the end of the square, and you’ll have a great view over the sea!

Ready to see the iconic view with the colorful houses?

Head back down the stairs, and take the stairs leading down. Follow the stairs all the way, and when facing the sea, take the stairs to your left. Climb the steps, and when you reach the top, turn back. And voilà!

Here. you’ll have the best view in Riomaggiore, looking back at the colorful houses right next to the sea.

Swim in Spiaggia del Paese

If you ever get tired of the view, which will be hard to do but try and brace yourself for the next amazing stop on your first day of your 3 days in Cinque Terre itinerary.

Keep going on the path from the viewpoint and climb the stairs down. You’ll turn around the cliff, and you will soon reach the Spiaggia di Riomaggiore, the Riomaggiore beach.

Truth be told, it’s not the best beach as the beach is made of big stones, all of all different sizes, and it’s not very comfortable to walk on. However it’s a great place to swim, and definitely nice to be able to fight the heat for a while there, plus the water is stunning.

Hike the Via dell’Amore to Manarola

To reach the second village I recommend during your first of 3 days in Cinque Terre, you can either hop on the train, or you can soak in the stunning scenery and take the long way by hiking the famous Via dell’Amore (the Lovers’ lane). I definitely recommend the latter.

Via dell’Amore is a trail carved straight in the rock, on the side of the cliff. It takes only 30 minutes to reach Manarola, and you get to experience amazing views all along the path.

Catch the Sunset in Manarola

At the end of your short hike, you’ll be in Manarola. Explore the meandering streets of the village, and then make your way to the best viewpoint in town to catch the sunset.

To reach the viewpoint, walk down the main street towards the harbor, then keep following the path along the coast to go on the other side of the sea, across the village. There, you’ll find a railed pathway with benches to sit on, the best view in town!

After the sunset, head back to your hotel in Manarola, and get some rest to be ready for your second day in Cinque Terre!

Where to stay in Manarola

La Torretta Lodge is an elegant property is the perfect base for the beginning of your 3 days in Cinque Terre in Manarola. Overlooking the Ligurian Sea and Piazza Della Chiesa, you can’t beat this incredible location!

Offering elegant and upscale rooms with everything you’ll need. Be sure to upgrade to a room with a balcony too for a private enchanting view of the coast and Manarola all from your room!

There are even rooms that have private courtyards, in case you don’t want to upgrade though you can still enjoy the property’s bar which has a terrace offering amazing coastal views.

Book La Torretta Lodge now

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Day 2 of 3 Days in Cinque Terre Itinerary

vernazza in cinque terre from kevmrc

For the day 2 of this 3 days in Cinque Terre itinerary, we’ll explore the 3 other villages in Cinque Terre: Monterosso, Corniglia and Vernazza.

Enjoy the Largest Beach in Monterosso

Why should you start your day 2 of 3 days in Cinque Terre in Monterosso? Because this village, the westernmost village out of the 5, has the biggest beach in the Cinque Terre. Plus its home to a sandy beach!

Since Monterosso is furthest away, you’ll want to take the train there so you can fit as much as possible in and all my suggestions on this 3 days in Cinque Terre itinerary.

As you may imagine, this beautiful sandy beach attracts the crowds, and the later in the day the more crowds rush to the beach.

If you want to enjoy the beach in Monterosso, you’ll need to get there in the morning to make sure you have a spot for you and if you’re traveling with anyone else, a spot for your loved ones as well.

Go to the local shop, grab some Italian snacks, get a takeaway coffee, and go down to the beach to enjoy a lovely breakfast in the sand.

Enjoy your morning laying on the beach, soaking in the warm sun, and go for a swim if you fancy it.

When you’re ready to move on, or maybe when hunger awakes, head to the city to grab lunch in a coastal restaurant.

Climb the 382 Steps to Corniglia

As the crowds start to gather in the main villages, it’s time to explore the less crowded village of the Cinque Terre: Corniglia.

Corniglia is the only village not built directly next to the water; rather, it’s built on a hill, and you’ll have to climb no less than 382 steps to get to the village.

If that sounds too much for you, don’t worry: there are buses that go to/from the train station.

Take the time to explore the streets of Corniglia, and sit at the terrace of a local café to enjoy a fresh drink. If you still have some energy, you can climb down to the rocks below the village for a swim.

Viewpoints & Sunset in Vernazza

And finally, we’re off to the last village of the Cinque Terre, Vernazza to watch the sun go down at the end of your second day on your Cinque Terre itinerary.

Often called the Jewel of the Cinque Terre, it’s considered by most as the most beautiful village out of the five. That’s a bold claim, and I’ll let you be the judge.

Take the train from Corniglia for one stop to reach Vernazza, it’s a very short ride around 5 minutes long.

Start by going to one of the two best viewpoints, to the left side of the village.

Take the Sentiero Azzuro (blue trail), and climb up to the Ristorante Bar La Torre. When you reach the restaurant, turn back, and enjoy the view over Vernazza! You may even want to have a small bite and a glass of wine here, but don’t spend too long as there’s another amazing view!

After enjoying this view, go back down the trail to the village, and take the time to explore the village (try some of those delicious gelato shops too!)

Still up for a swim? Go down to the Vernazza beach and swim for a while before getting ready to watch the sunset.

Before the day ends, make your way to the best viewpoint in Vernazza: head to the right side of the village, on the Monterosso-Vernazza trail. Hike up the trail, and turn back at different points to see the view you’ll get over Vernazza!

When you’ve found a great spot, enjoy the view and wait for the sun to set, setting fire or cotton candy colors to the sky and leaving you with a wonderful sight to end your day 2 of 3 days in Cinque Terre!

After sunset, make way to your hotel in Vernazza to spend the night.

Where to stay in Vernazza

La Malá is a stunning hotel overlooks the Ligurian Sea with majestic views. Besides having incredible views, this hotel property also has a great location just a quick walk to the Vernazza train station and along the waterfront.

You’ll find minimalist-chic rooms in this Ligurian-style house. Each of the rooms offer either a coastal view, castle view, or village view, so no matter where you stay you’ll have an amazing picture-perfect scene outside your window.

There’s also a gorgeous terrace offering panoramic views!

Book La Malá now

By the way, make sure to book your hotels in Cinque Terre in advance, as they get booked out pretty quick! It’s a protected area, so there are no big hotel chains in Cinque Terre: only small hotels and Airbnbs!

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Day 3 of 3 Days in Cinque Terre Itinerary

corniglia in cinque terre from kevmrc

Corniglia in Cinque Terre

On the final day of your 3 days in Cinque Terre, you’ll be exploring outside the five famous villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia, and Monterosso.

Enjoy the Laid Back vibe of Levanto

To catch a break from all the crowds in Cinque Terre, take the train to Levanto, a nearby village and amazing place to add to your 3 days in Cinque Terre itinerary.

There is a huge beach in Levanto, just like in Monterosso, where you can lie down on your towel and relax for a while making it the perfect place to cool down and relax on a hot day with gorgeous views.

You can also explore the streets of the city, without having to avoid tourists every step of the way.

Discover Carrara

The last stop of this Cinque Terre itinerary is actually a bit further than the rest of my recommendations: it takes around 23 minutes to reach Carrara by train which still isn’t too bad!

What’s to see in Carrara? Well, Carrara is famous for being the world capital of marble, and it produces some of the world’s finest marble.

You can actually go inside the quarries, and discover this impressive white mountain. You’ll need to sign up for a guided tour as you can’t freely enter, but it’s definitely worth it!

Book your Carrara marble tour in advance which includes transportation and a guide!

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Where to Stay in Cinque Terre

manarola in cinque terre from kevmrc

Manarola in Cinque Terre

As mentioned before in this guide and 3 days in Cinque Terre itinerary, I recommend staying in Manarola your first night and Vernazza the second two nights of your 3 days in Cinque Terre.

Be sure to book and secure your hotels well in advance as they book out well in advance and you’ll want to stay in these amazing coastal towns in the National Park to do all your exploring to and from. 

Here are the best places to stay in Cinque Terre:

La Torretta Lodge in Manarola

This elegant property is the perfect base for the beginning of your 3 days in Cinque Terre in Manarola. Overlooking the Ligurian Sea and Piazza Della Chiesa, you can’t beat this incredible location!

Offering elegant and upscale rooms with everything you’ll need. Be sure to upgrade to a room with a balcony too for a private enchanting view of the coast and Manarola all from your room!

There are even rooms that have private courtyards, in case you don’t want to upgrade though you can still enjoy the property’s bar which has a terrace offering amazing coastal views.

Book La Torretta Lodge now

La Malá in Vernazza 

This stunning hotel overlooks the Ligurian Sea with majestic views. Besides having incredible views, this hotel property also has a great location just a quick walk to the Vernazza train station and along the waterfront.

You’ll find minimalist-chic rooms in this Ligurian-style house. Each of the rooms offer either a coastal view, castle view, or village view, so no matter where you stay you’ll have an amazing picture-perfect scene outside your window.

There’s also a gorgeous terrace offering panoramic views!

Book La Malá now



Booking.com

monterosso in cinque terre from kevmrc

Monterosso in Cinque Terre

So there you have it, your 3 days Cinque Terre itinerary! I hope it helps you plan your future trip to this part of Italy, and I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time there.

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About the Author

travel blogger kevmrc profile photo

Kevin is a French travel blogger & photographer from Paris. He always has his camera out to document his travels through photos & written travel guides, to share his adventures with the world on Kevmrc.com as well on social media! Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

 
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