Experiencias en Cinque Terre

Experiences to be had in the Cinque Terre - kayaking, diving, hiking, terraced landscapes, wine, history, and socializing

In the Cinque Terre, Portovenere and Palmaria there are many experiences that can truly make your trip better. Experiences that respond to every taste; for those who are looking for relaxation, want to immerse themselves in the landscape or discover the very rich artistic and cultural heritage or want something adventurous; for those who want to do sports or are looking for the unique flavors of this territory divided between the sea and the mountains.

Outdoors, at the seaside, in the mountains, and underwater!

The best way to go through these places is by being outdoors, for example by combining hiking, bicycling, and sailing, thanks to the motorboat service that serves the entire Riviera.


The Cinque Terre has a dense network of trails, some of which you have to pay for, in the summer period, others that are free to access. Whichever route you decide to take, suitable equipment is required; in fact, in the Cinque Terre Park there are penalties for those who do not have the right equipment: "on the trails, it is mandatory to wear closed shoes, with sculpted and non-slip soles, preferably waterproof and above-the-ankle." (www.parconazionale5terre.it).

The network of trails, which is subject to constant maintenance work, can have several steep elevation changes and areas exposed to direct sunlight, so it is important to carefully consider which stages to reach, at which times of the day and taking into account one's abilities. Tip: Always have a water bottle with you; almost every hamlet has a fountain where you can fill it with fresh water.

Diving, freediving, snorkeling, and scuba diving

In the Cinque Terre and surrounding areas, it is possible to go freediving or scuba diving. If you want to practise these sports, it is a good idea to contact one of the many instructors or diving clubs so that an outing can be arranged or, if you do not have a license, you can take specific lessons.

Considering that this is a Protected Marine Area you will have to keep in mind that in some areas solo diving is not possible and there is a ban on deep-sea fishing (which in Italy is only allowed in free-diving even where there are no special restrictions) as well as on removing any object from the seabed.

There are shoals, caves and shipwrecks to explore with appropriate supervision, places where you will see corals and sponges, as well as innumerable fish and crustaceans.

Canoeing and kayaking

Another way to enjoy the coast from Palmaria Island to Cinque Terre and Levanto, via Portovenere, is to go by kayak – there are tour operators who organize trips that will make it possible for you to explore the Riviera (sea conditions permitting) or who rent out canoes and pedal boats to tourists. By kayak it is possible to reach infrequently-visited coves and sandy shores where you can dive into the waters of those places, which are accessible only by boat or via long hikes.

Cinque Terre, heroic and "triple A” wines, and unique cuisine

In the Cinque Terre there are numerous wine producers, people who – with heroism – take care of one of the most complex landscapes in the world.
Cultivated belts cover the ridges of the hills supported by drystone walls that require constant maintenance. Vines such as Bosco, Albarola and Vermentino are grown along these grassy plains, and the world-famous Sciacchetrà, a passito wine, is produced. Paying great attention to the land and its authentic flavors can be seen around the many farms that are devoted to the organic, to the biodynamic and that adhere in this way to the "Triple A" method. Besides DOC wines, the Cinque Terre reveals itself in its numerous other products. The cultivation of citrus fruits, especially lemons (as early as the 17th century), honey, and oil. As well as vegetables and fruit. Another aspect that should not be underestimated is the millennial relationship that people of the Cinque Terre have with the sea, hence the fish, such as the anchovies of Monterosso, preserved in salt.
In addition to this, it is important to mention two more products: green oysters from Portovenere and muscles (you might recognize them by the name "cozze") from La Spezia. The muscles, in the La Spezia area, are the protagonists of numerous recipes of the culinary tradition: we invite you to try them in any way but especially the marinara way and filled.

Where to swim?

It's not always easy to swim in the Cinque Terre; in some places the space to spread out a towel is very limited and to make sure you have some space, it is a good idea to arrive early in the morning.
There are stretches of the coast that are accessible according to the season and according to the way the sea has moved the sand and stones, or the sea conditions.
The spots where larger bathing areas are available are, coming from La Spezia, in Riomaggiore. Here, there is a wide beach full of stones and where the water is emerald green – it is a public beach and is not patrolled.
In Vernazza there is a small portion of beach in the marina but, it is possible to spread out your beach towel along the breakwater. In Manarola it is possible to swim in the charming little port, a stone inlet of rare beauty dominated by a rock outcropping from which the local inhabitants dive - or, walking towards Corniglia, the Palaedo port.
In Corniglia, it is possible to swim in the marina as well as near the railway station. The marina can be reached by some stairs located in the center of the village, in front of the oratory of Saint Catherine in Largo Taragio – both places are not easy to get to and it is advisable to be very careful, also because of the fairly great distance of the town from the sea. Also, in Corniglia, there is the well-known Guvano beach which, at the moment, can only be reached by sea.
In Monterosso there is a very extensive coastline full of beach resorts – it is possible to rent a sunbed, and umbrellas – as well as pedal boats and canoes. Among all the Cinque Terre, it is, without a doubt, the one where you can get to the sea and where even people with reduced mobility can swim, if they are adequately supported.

Cultural and historical heritage

The Cinque Terre are full of picturesque churches and historic buildings; here is a list of the five most famous places, starting from Riomaggiore.
Riomaggiore: Parish church of Saint John the Baptist which Telemaco Signorini portrayed in many of his paintings.
Manarola: the fourteenth-century church of Saint Lawrence and an example of Ligurian Gothic.
Corniglia: the ancient church of Saint Peter, probably built before the year 1200.
Vernazza: Saint Margaret of Antioch, a very picturesque place of worship that rises up on the top of a cliff.
Monterosso al Mare: the marvelous 17th-century Capuchin Convent which dominates the scenery and from which it is possible to enjoy an enchanting view of the sea of the Cinque Terre; and there is also the statue of the Giant.
Bonus: Portovenere - with the magnificent church of Saint Peter and Byron’s Cave which, for those wishing to reach the Cinque Terre, is served by the same boat route.

Alone, with your family or as a couple

The Cinque Terre and the surrounding areas offer a very rich series of experiences and, at any time of the year, can be the perfect answer to a desire to spend a unique holiday.

The experiences we have described in this guide can be adapted to any need. For those who wish to socialize, there are numerous places, both in the Cinque Terre and in La Spezia, where it is possible to meet people from all over the world as well as participate in activities that bring together enthusiasts of various disciplines, such as organized diving to discover the treasures of the sea, canoe trips to explore the coast, excursions - accompanied by special guides - to discover trails, woods and visit wineries or discover other local products, thus getting to know the heroic agriculture of the area. If you are a family, you might consider visiting museums or choosing places where the beaches are equipped and easily accessible, such as Monterosso and Levanto. Or exploring hamlets such as Riomaggiore, Manarola and Vernazza following in the footsteps of Luca, the famous Disney cartoon character. Reaching these places by ferry, if you're lucky, you can catch a glimpse of dolphins playing among the waves. If you are a couple, you could opt for an aperitif in one of the numerous places from where it is possible to admire the sea at sunset, sipping a cocktail accompanied by the delicacies of the local cuisine, such as farinata (baked chickpea meal porridge), fried anchovies, cold cuts from the hinterland, croutons with pesto or 0 km tomatoes.


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