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How to Spend 1 Day in the Cinque Terre

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How to Spend 1 Day in the Cinque Terre
Largely unknown to tourists until a decade ago, the five pastel villages clinging to the Ligurian Coast known as the Cinque Terre have become one of the most popular destinations in Italy. An overnight stay is ideal, allowing you to savor the region in peace after the crowds have left, but if you only have one day, here’s how to spend it. 

Morning: A Day on the Trail
The postcard-perfect coastal villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore have been largely untouched by the passage of time, primarily because they were cut off from the outside world for most of their history. Set between the Mediterranean and Liguria’s steep coastal peaks, the villages are difficult to reach by land, and the easiest way to travel between them is via local train or on the scenic trail that skirts the coast. Explore the villages one by one this morning on a guided hiking day trip or a tour that includes train passes and guided walks through the villages.

Afternoon: Head to the Water
The Cinque Terre are crowded most of the year, but numbers swell in the summer months, and by midday, the tiny lanes and coastal footpath can get overrun. Escape the hordes on land by heading out to sea on a private or shared half-day boat tour along the coast, and enjoy the photogenic views of the villages from the water, access to tiny hidden beaches, and stops to swim in the waters off the Cinque Terre National Park. Active travelers can opt for a kayaking experience along the coast, or you can hire a deck chair and umbrella and while away the afternoon on one of the Cinque Terre’s many pretty beaches.

Night: Sunset on the Coast
Even if you are only visiting the Cinque Terre for a day, stay into the evening hours so that you can experience this enchanting stretch of coastline without the relentless crowds. As the sun begins to wane, the villages empty of tourists and become quiet and charming. Take a peaceful walk through the pedestrian-only village centers or along the deserted footpaths, stop for an aperitivo and a slice of traditional focaccia in a tiny local bar, or take in the view from the water on a sunset sail along the coast.  
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Cinque Terre Tours & Activities (7)
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Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence with optional HikingDay Trips

Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence with optional Hiking

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Experience the UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre in one day with a guided tour through the five idyllic fishing villages of old-world Italy. Following the walking trails along the cliffs of the national park, you will see glorious views of this unspoiled stretch of the Italian Riviera. Check out the highlights and learn about the area as you complete a 3.4-mile (5.5-km) route with your guide. If you choose the tour option without hiking, the train will be used instead to move between villages.
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$66.08 
From  
$66.08 
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Cinque Terre from La SpeziaDay Trips

Private Tour: Cinque Terre from La Spezia

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Explore Cinque Terre on a private tour with a guide. Travel by boat and train from La Spezia Port and visit three charming towns. Don’t worry about train schedules, or navigating, just relax and settle in to the Ligurian lifestyle while your guide takes care of the logistics. Have time to explore on your own and choose a spot for lunch (own expense) and learn about the region’s history and culture on the guided portions of the tour.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$323.43 
Price varies by group size
From  
$323.43 
Price varies by group size
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cinque Terre Half Day Kayak Trip from MonterossoHalf-day Tours

Cinque Terre Half Day Kayak Trip from Monterosso

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Explore the waters of the Italian Riviera on this 3-hour kayaking trip along the Cinque Terre coastline. Departing from Monterosso, paddle alongside an expert guide, passing hidden coves, rugged cliffs and the bright, pastel hues of the five villages. Pause to stretch out on the beach or cool off with a swim before continuing on your journey. For an evening adventure, choose the sunset option with a stop in a cove for wine and snacks. Numbers are limited to twelve, with all skill levels welcome.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$104.53 
From  
$104.53 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cinque Terre sunset boat tour with aperitivo in VernazzaDay Cruises

Cinque Terre sunset boat tour with aperitivo in Vernazza

Explore the UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre National Park by boat—and enjoy a rare perspective on the sights, when you time your visit for sunset. Meet in Monterosso, climb aboard your vessel, and enjoy a welcome drink: with just a small group for company, you’re guaranteed a personal sightseeing experience. Venture all the way along the Cinque Terre coast, pause to swim or snorkel in the turquoise waters, and enjoy traditional aperitif nibbles on board.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$174.22 
From  
$174.22 
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures

La Spezia Cinque Terre Food Tour - Do Eat Better ExperienceHalf-day Tours

La Spezia Cinque Terre Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience

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Embark on a savory gastronomic journey through the historic port city of La Spezia, led by a friendly foodie guide. Sample tasty regional specialties at 5 different food stops, pre-selected to bring you the best of local cuisine. Taste briny fried anchovies, or a delicate chickpea pancake. Menus are seasonal, guaranteeing the freshest ingredients, and small groups are capped to ensure a personalized tasting adventure.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$91.34 
From  
$91.34 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Private Full-Day Cinque Terre Five Villages Train Tour from La SpeziaPrivate Sightseeing Tours

Private Full-Day Cinque Terre Five Villages Train Tour from La Spezia

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The Cinque Terre is the star attraction of the Italian Riviera, but exploring the UNESCO-listed landscapes by car can be tricky. Instead, maximize your time on this private full-day tour by train from La Spezia and visit all of the five Cinque Terre villages in one day.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$607.66 
per group
From  
$607.66 
per group
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Sunset Boat Tour Along the Cinque Terre Romantic Tours

Private Sunset Boat Tour Along the Cinque Terre

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Book a private Cinque Terre boat cruise, and see the region’s coastline in the soft, early evening light. As a skipper navigates the boat, you’ll sit back and admire sights of the Cinque Terre’s fishing villages on a 2-hour route from Riomaggiore. Sip on wine, enjoy olives and focaccia, and watch the sun slip into the sea. Food and drinks are at your own expense. 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$443.35 
per group
From  
$443.35 
per group
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures