In this post, I will go over 11 most popular things to do in Cinque Terre Italy. This is the 3rd post from my Cinque Terre series, for summer travel inspiration. Discover the best of Cinque Terre and all the unmissable things to do in this special place in Italy.
Are you going to Cinque Terre this summer? Oh, you’re going to love it!
Hi girls, how are you today?
I’ve been to Cinque Terre 3x in my life and I am nowhere close to being done with it. It is such a fantastic summer destination and undoubtedly Italy’s second hidden gem (find what is the number one hidden gem here), with so many things to do and delicious food to eat. If you haven’t yet, it is time to include Cinque Terre s to your bucket list right away!!
The Best Things To Do in Cinque Terre Italy
I’ve written an entire post with everything you need to know about Cinque Terre here. For that reason, this post will focus more on some fundamental details about 11 things that I strongly believe that everyone who goes to Cinque Terre absolutely must do.
Keep reading if you want to have a complete list of the most popular things to do in Cinque Terre Italy.
1. GO FOR A HIKE
By now, it is no big news that Cinque Terre is well known for its hikes and trail paths with breathtaking views.
This basically means that you have the option to skip the trains and explore all of its villages by foot.
Some more challenging than others, the hikes are mostly all family-friendly and definitely a must when you are visiting. Be mindful that in summer it can get very hot during the afternoon, so best to wake up earlier for an early morning hike so that by the time the afternoon sun is out, you will have already arrived
Keep in mind that sometimes they close some hiking paths, even in summer, due to safety concerns and maintenance. The longest hike takes up to 1h30.
If you’re planning on doing hikes every day, best buy the Cinque Terre Trail Pass, that you can purchase at any of the train stations upon arrival.
Also, keep in mind to bring some hiking shoes, as flip flops have been officially banned, and they won’t allow you to hike without proper gear.
2. EAT GELATO
In case you don’t know, Italian gelato is the best ice cream that you will ever try in your life. It is sometimes even a shame to try
If you have not tried Italian gelato yet, it is denser and sweeter than ice cream, creating a more concentrated flavor that’s hard not to love. I used to only like chocolate ice cream (boring, I know), but with gelatos I can go for any flavors.
The fruit ones are especially delicious (such as strawberry – my ultimate favorite -, coconut, mango…).
Oh my gosh, my mouth literally just watered now.
3. INDULGE THE ITALIAN SEAFOOD DISHES
I bet you like Italian food!
You’d be crazy not to love it.
Those delicious carbs in every shape and format are always welcome at my dinner table (good thing I date a Roman, right?).
If you are also a seafood lover, than I am positive that indulging in delicious fish will be one of your favorites things to do in Cinque Terre Italy this summer.
Before going, I was surprised to read in many blogs how expensive or even overpriced eating out in Cinque Terre can be, and I was surprised to find exactly the opposite: the food was not onlt delicious, but the prices were extremely fair towrdas to what you’d expect from such an iconic touristic destination.
Turns out that I was going to the ‘’right’’ restaurants (meaning, not touristic) and that is most-probably why the prices were lower than the average.
How did I find these gems, you might be asking yourself.
I had the best experience at my hotel and the owners were a cute Italian couple that not only recommended me places that I hadn’t read about in any blog, but they would always so kindly make the dinner reservations for us.
(Moreover, it honestly felt like these people are a power-couple in Cinque Terre, as every place they booked for us we got the best tables in the house – great views – and extremely good and friendly service).
When I asked about a restaurant that I read about in a blog, they told me it was touristic and overpriced and gave me an alternative, which I LOVED.
Find all the top restaurants in Cinque Terre recommended by Stefano and Annalisa here.
I honestly can’t recommend their hotel enough. If you go to Cinque Terre, be sure to book a room at Rio Groppo, located in Manarola (and if you book it through my link, you get a 15 euros discount from Booking.com).
You can find more details about my thoughts regarding their hotel in this post here.
4. TRY ANYTHING WITH LEMON
Lemons, lemons everywhere!
One o the most popular things to do in Cinque Terre has to be trying everything on your way that tastes like lemon. Be it a
Why not having a bite of a lemon custard, or even a local lemon cake?
And have a Limoncino as a digestive after a meal, with its tasty flavor and unique texture.
If you would like to take home this authentic Mediterranean drink, you can buy it in any shop in the Cinque Terre. Of course, you can also make your own Limoncino.
PS – Do not confuse its name with Limoncello (made in the Amalfi Coast).
FIND THE LIMONCINO RECIPE BELOW:
- 5 big lemons
- 1 L 90% pure alcohol
- 1-1.5 L water
- 800 g sugar
Peel the lemon. Mix the yellow of the lemon zest with alcohol in a closed container and leave it to ferment for 4-5 days.
Dissolve sugar in water. Add less water if you would like a stronger liqueur. Add the water/sugar mixture to the container with lemon and let it ferment for another 5 days.
Fun Fact: Monterosso lemons are so deliciously sweet and juicy that they have a whole event every year in May (when the lemons are at the top of their ripening season) that is dedicated to tasting the very best of food and drinks creations made with this summery yellow fruit.
During that month, Monterosso almost literally transforms into yellow: Every store displays clothes, items, food and beverages all inspired by the yellow grapes.
5. GO FOR A SWIM
Swim away, my friend. Don’t hesitate to go swimming simply because there aren’t sand beaches in Cinque Terre (with the exception of Monterosso, of course). The water is amazing and floating all day was my top activity of things to do in Cinque Terre Italy.
Make your way up the rocks and find a spot where you are comfortable to jump from (don’t worry, you can find perfectly safe places to jump from, nothing like Cliff Diving – even though there are taller rocks where people do some pretty impressive jumps).
I guarantee that it won’t take you long to understand just how clean and refreshing the water in Cinque Terre is.
6. IMPROVISE A PICNIC
So I’ve already given you top restaurants to eat in Cinque Terre and have a nice meal at the end of a day, but don’t shy out on improvising your own snack by buying some local goodies.
By going into any local market, you will find a variety of Italian delicacies to feast
The sky is the limit when buying ingredients at Italian markets (I always go a bit crazy).
It is delicious to mix it all up and have a nice little picnic while sitting on a rock, instead of having to go out to a restaurant for a lunch. Pair it up with a bottle of local wine, and you got yourself a romantic sunset date.
PS – Please be mindful regarding your littering. When I was in Riomaggiore, I
Respect the destination by being a conscious visitor. DO NOT LITTER.
7. APPRECIATE THE SUNSET
Don’t miss out on the amazing sunsets that Cinque Terre has to offer.
8. TAKE A BOAT TOUR
If you enjoy a day on a boat, you’ll be happy to hear that there is also the option of seeing Cinque Terre from the ocean’s perspective.
I myself have not done it, but I heard that you can have a pretty good experience. There are bigger boats, to more private ones (and you probably guessed it that the prices will of course vary depending on how exclusive you want your experience to be).
I found a great article published by
You can check for more in-depth information on the boat tours here.
9. TRY A LOCAL WINE
In case you
This is a great way to not only support local crafts, but to taste truly original wine made with love by people who actually live in that region.
10. DO SOME SHOPPING
Be it food or condiments, you can’t leave cinque
However, is linen is your thing you will probably go as crazy as my mother and I did: we bought everything linen, in all colors and types. From blue linen dresses, to pink linen skirts, to
11. RELAX (YOU’RE ON VACATION, AFTER ALL)
The reason I stayed for 5 nights when I went with my mother was because we didn’t want to do anything in a rush. Granted that 5 nights in Cinque Terre you can do everything at snail’s pace, but nonetheless, sometimes even when we are on vacation we need to be reminded to take a step back and relax.
After a full day of hiking, swimming, going up and down hills, there really is nothing better than going back to the hotel (don’t forget to stop on the way back and enjoy an end-of-day gelato), then taking a long steamed showered, putting a face mask and relaxing in the AC until it is dinner time.
You can really feel all the muscles in your body calming down. Pair it up with a fresh glass of local wine and you’re set at your own personal Spa.
To me, this really is an amazing feeling!
FIND RELATED POSTS BELOW ABOUT CINQUE TERRE & ITALY
- Cinque Terre Complete Travel Guide
- 11 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Cinque Terre
- Where to Eat in Cinque Terre Italy
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