As I get many questions regarding Cinque Terre accommodation and the best place to stay in Cinque Terre, I have created this page to provide some useful information. I think it's worth reading before you start looking for the perfect hotel, B&B, private room, apartment, villa or luxury villa for your holiday. And of course, once you have decided which Cinque Terre town is best for you and what kind of accommodation you are looking for, I will be more than happy to help you with your booking.
My first piece of advice is: stay in one place! From time to time I get requests for 5 nights in 5 different villages. People want to experience a different village every day. Or they want to hike carrying all their stuff and stay at another village each night. Believe me, hiking will be tiring enough even without your big backpacks.
Even if you stay in one place, you can enjoy a different village every day, as they are very close to each other, only a few minutes by train. Trains are running until late, so you can even enjoy your dinner and a drink in Vernazza, then take the train back to your Manarola apartment. Or the other way around.
If you stay in one place, you will save lot of time, as you won't have to pack and unpack, check in and check out every single day. Not to mention carrying your luggage up and down those steps. By the way, pack as light as possible! The Cinque Terre villages and the houses are full of steps and there are no elevators.
Don't look for big international hotel chains here. Of course you can find some hotels in the Cinque Terre villages, mainly in Monterosso, but the number of rooms is limited. There is no space for new constructions or big buildings, which is good because the villages have already too many visitors. I am currently working on a list of recommended hotels in the Cinque Terre towns and in some other areas of the Italian Riviera as well. So if you like the hotel atmosphere, breakfast, a 24-hour reception or daily cleaning, I help you choose the best hotels in Cinque Terre for you.
Otherwise, I suggest staying in one of the privately rented rooms, apartments or villas. This way you can live like a local in the heart of the village or in the countryside with that cute Italian lady right next door. In addition, by renting a room, apartment or villa you can support a small local family business.
Most apartments have a well equipped kitchen, and all apartments and rooms have a private bathroom. Many of them have a terrace, rooftop terrace or balcony, so you can sit outside with a glass of Cinque Terre wine and enjoy the view of the sea, the green hills or the colourful houses. Villas have gardens and many of them have a swimming pool as well.
There is no 5 star hotel in the Cinque Terre and no luxury resorts. If you are looking for a high quality accommodation, choose one of the luxury apartments in the Cinque Terre or rent a villa or luxury villa in the area. Otherwise, you can stay in one of the 5 star hotels outside the Cinque Terre National Park, in Portovenere, Rapallo or Portofino.
Also, there are hardly any pools in the Cinque Terre villages. The Ligurian sea is wonderful, really no need for a pool here. But if you can't imagine your holiday without a swimming pool right by your house, there are a couple of hotels in Monterosso, and there are also some apartments and villas with pool available in the area, for example in La Spezia, Portovenere, Lerici, Sarzana or Portofino.
Cinque Terre hotels offer breakfast and some of them also serve half board. No breakfast or dinner is offerred in the apartments, but I think going to the local bar for your morning coffee and trying a different trattoria every evening is part of the fun.
I have been helping travellers to find the best possible accommodation for 15 years now. I have worked with different local rental agencies, apartments, hotels and villa owners, and by now I know I have found the best and most reliable partners.
The people I work with reply quickly, remember, in Italy that's a big thing! They keep their rooms, apartments and villas clean, they are helpful when you check-in, they don't overbook, they make sure you're enjoying your stay.
These things seem basic, yes they are, but believe me, it took me a few years to find the right people to work with.
Prices include the cost of the room or apartment for one night, overhead expenses, linen and towels, unless otherwise mentioned. Prices depend on the number of people, the season when you are travelling and the length of your stay, so once I have all this information I will check prices and send you the exact costs. In case of the villas and luxury villas prices are for weekly rental, but you can also stay for less nights outside the main season.
By the way, length of stay. Unfortunately I cannot arrange bookings for 1 night only. Owners aks for at least 2 nights, but in most cases the minimum is actually 3 nights. There is so much to do and see in the Cinque Terre that you can easily spend 3 days here, but even weeks. Look at my website, look at all the places to see on the first page and all the things to do in the Cinque Terre, and you will realise that even 2 weeks are not enough to see all that beauty.
Most places have European standard size double beds. Very few twin beds. So if you are looking for a place with twin beds, please let me know if you insist on twins, or if a double bed could also work. You will have a much wider selection with doubles.
If 4 of you are travelling together, you could have an apartment with a double bedroom and a living room with a double sofa bed. That's the cheaper option. There are apartments available with two seperate bedrooms, but those are more expensive of course. For bigger families and groups of friends a large apartment or villa could be the ideal solution.
How to choose the best Cinque Terre town for your stay? First of all, people often ask me about the Cinque Terre towns, but I prefer to call them villages because of their small size. These are charming fishing villages, but they have all the services a traveller might be looking for, I mean shops, restaurants, bars and plenty of accommodation and tours to choose from, so we can call them small towns as well. Anyway, below I will give you a short list of advantages and disadvantages for every village, so you can decide which one suits you best for your overnight stay, depending on your budget, travel style and needs. If, after reading all this, you are still confused, don't hesitate to drop me a line with your questions and I will help you choose the most suitable Cinque Terre accommodation.
I mainly recommend staying in Riomaggiore if you are young, love to go out at night, don't mind noise at night and you're visiting Cinque Terre with a limited budget. The village has numerous bars and restaurants, from fine dining to cheap seafood and focaccia street food options. The main street is busy all day long and the bars fill up with backpackers at night. I loved staying in Riomaggiore when I was in my thirties, having one too many limoncinos at Bar Centrale. It was fun to meet young local people and other travellers from all over the world. By now these local friends have a couple of kids and I much prefer quiet nights, but Riomaggiore still has a busy nightlife. However, also this village has some quieter parts, away from the main street, higher up, or down in the marina. The main street is quite steep, and you surely will have to climb many steps if you book a room in the higher part of the village.
Manarola is one of my personal favourites for staying in the Cinque Terre. It's the most beautiful village along the Ligurian coast, so it's a great choice if you are into photography. It's more quiet at night, but there are some excellent restaurants and bars where you can go in the evening, so it's a good place for foodies. However, around 11 Manarola gets quiet, and there is only one wine bar with live music if you are looking for some entertainment. If you can swim, the marina is a fantastic place for swimming, snorkeling and rock jumping. You can find some high quality luxury apartments in Manarola, and many apartments have a balcony or terrace with spectacular views over the village and the sea. I would pick Manarola for a romantic stay or a honeymoon. For me, Manarola is perfect, the only disadvantage is that there are not many budget accommodation options here, so you should have a medium or high budget to stay in Manarola.
I simply love Corniglia. It's a village where I feel at home and surrounded by friends. The family renting the apartments, the people working at my favourite bars and the lady in the small grocery store welcome me with warm smiles and hugs whenever I am around. Corniglia has the kind of local vibe no other village has. It's less busy, less visited, partly because the ferry boat does not stop here, and also because of the long staircase you have to climb to get up to the village center from the train station. (There is a small bus, but only during the day.) So I recommend Corniglia with all my heart if you are looking for the smallest and quietest village with a real local feel. Of course during the day you will meet other travellers, but mornings and evenings are beautifully quiet with local people sitting on the piazza, so after a few days you will also feel like you know everyone in the village.
Corniglia is the perfect place for a romantic getaway or a relaxed honeymoon, but a good starting point for different hikes as well. Although it's located 100 meters above sea level, you can swim in the hidden marina if you walk down the steps from the village center, following the marina sign. Choose Corniglia if you prefer off the beaten track destinations, and it also has some great value for money accommodation options if your budget is limited. For those travelling in a wheelchair, I can offer a very nice B&B which is accessible by wheelchair, and you can park right in front of the house.
Vernazza is stunning and very popular, so this means it's also busy. It's a small, picture-perfect village with limited accommodation options, so if your dream is to stay here make sure you book well in advance. You need a medium or high budget to stay in this village. If you arrive by car it is better to stay in another village or park your car somewhere else, as parking is very limited in Vernazza. There are some really nice apartments near the main piazza which is the heart of the village. It's a great option if you want to be close to bars, restaurants and the sea, but it also means you'll hear the sounds of Italian life in your apartment. Vernazza is also loved by photographers of course. The central part of Vernazza is relatively flat, so once you are there it's easy to walk around. The railway station is located right in the middle of the main street, and within a few minutes you can reach the sea and many bars, restaurants and shops. You have to see Vernazza, but don't stay here if you don't like the crowds.
Monterosso is the biggest Cinque Terre town with a wide range of services. In my opinion it is not as photogenic and charming as the other four villages, but it's very popular as most of the village is flat, so it's easy to get around. You can drive all the way to the sea and leave your car in the large parking area of Fegina, the new part of Monterosso, but there is also another parking place close to the old town. The train station is located by the promenade, just a few steps from the beach. While all the villages have wonderful rocky bays for swimming, Monterosso is the only one with a "proper" long beach, with parasols, sunbeds and some sand, so it's popular with families with smaller children. So Monterosso is a good option if you'd like to spend more time relaxing on the beach and then hop on the train to discover other villages.
It's also a good choice if you are looking for a hotel with breakfast or half board. There are more hotel options in Monterosso compared to the other villages. The 4 star hotels of the Cinque Terre can also be found in Monterosso, but you will mainly find 3 star hotels. Hotels are expensive, so you need to have a high budget if you would like to stay in a Monterosso hotel. If you are travelling with small kids and would like to walk around with a pram, stay in Monterosso, but make sure you bring a folding pram or a baby carrier for visiting the area. You should also choose Monterosso if you have mobility issues or if you are travelling in a wheelchair. For a really unique experience, check out the private villas in Monterosso.
Of course, you don't have to stay in the Cinque Terre to visit the Cinque Terre, there are plenty of pretty villages and towns around. The towns around the Bay of Poets like Portovenere, San Terenzo, Lerici or Tellaro are all ideal places for a relaxing stay. La Spezia is a great base if you prefer staying in a city full of shops and restaurants, and accommodation prices are also more affordable. The coastline between the Cinque Terre and Portofino is also full of quiet towns with small family-run hotels, not to mention the luxury villas around Portofino. Choices are still limited, so you should book your accommodation as early as possible. You would not believe the amount of e-mails I received last August from people searching for accommodation last minute and there was absolutely nothing available. Cinque Terre fully booked. So if you are travelling in the busiest months, I suggest booking your Cinque Terre accommodation 6 months in advance.
Unfortunately it's not possible to camp in the Cinque Terre. You won't find any campsites in the five villages and free camping is strictly forbidden in the Cinque Terre National Park. However, don't get disappointed, as there are several great campsites close to the Cinque Terre, along the Ligurian coast, only a short train ride away. Levanto, for example, is only 5 minutes away by train from Monterosso al Mare, and you can find more campsites there. Here are a few tips: Camping degli Ulivi or Valdeiva in Deiva Marina, Villaggio Smeraldo in Moneglia, Camping Albero d'Oro, Camping 5 Terre or Acqua Dolce in Levanto, Mare Monti in Sestri Levante. If you are planning to camp here during the busy summer months, make sure you book well in advance as these campsites often fill up quickly.
Do you prefer a central location close to the bars? Do you prefer a quiet room? Would you like to be close to the station? You don't mind climbing many steps to enjoy the greatest view? Your kids are small so you want to be close to the beach? You'd prefer a private villa hidden in the countryside?
Please give me as much information as possible so that I can recommend what I think could be suitable for you. I will send you a detailed description and photos of the rooms, villas and apartments available for your chosen dates.
What will happen if you like an accommodation and you would like to book it? Once I confirm it with the rental agency or the accommodation owner, I will send you a booking form to fill in.
Some owners are very flexible and don't ask for a deposit, but in most cases you have to pay them a prepayment or give credit card guarantee. Cancellation policies also vary.
Once you have booked your accommodation, time to plan your activities as well. I truly believe that taking a sustainable and authentic local tour or renting a boat will be a highlight of your stay.
For many travellers the Cinque Terre is one stop of an Italian grand tour. Where are you going before and after the Cinque Terre? Let me know, and I am happy to help you with your travel planning and bookings in other areas of Italy as well. I can offer you beautiful apartments, farmhouses and villas in other parts of the Italian Riviera like Portofino, in Tuscany, Umbria, Procida, Puglia, Sicily or Sardinia, but basically anywhere around the country.