Cinque Terre is one of those destinations where location can make or break your trip. Part of the charm of the “five lands” are that they are still relatively remote. However, this makes it a little more complicated to navigate where to stay in Cinque Terre.

I recently visited this UNESCO world heritage site this past fall, and at first felt completely overwhelmed with accommodation options. After extensive research, I found a couple of accommodation tips and tricks that made my travel planning way easier.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet agro-tourism stay, a romantic luxury villa, or a budget-friendly option, this guide will save you the hours of research in planning the perfect Cinque Terre trip!

Tips on Where to Stay in Cinque Terre

Monarola cinque terre train guide

Before deciding where to stay in Cinque Terre, there are a few important factors to consider. Chances are you’ve already booked your flights to Italy, and perhaps are looking to incorporate Cinque Terre into a Northern Italy itinerary.

First, I’d recommend spending a minimum of 1 day to 3 nights in the Cinque Terre region. It is doable to see all 5 villages, or pick a couple, within one day. This is only possible if you take the Cinque Terre train. If you’d like to stay for 2 or 3 days, you’ll be able to move at a leisurely pace and incorporate some hiking.

If you plan on coming in the summer months of June-August, you’ll definitely need to prepare yourself for more crowds. Many people take day trips from Florence to Cinque Terre and also cruise ships coming into La Spezia.

If you come in the shoulder season of March-May or September-November, you’ll still get sunshine without much of the crowds. You’ll also find better value accommodation options. I visited in late October, and it was absolutely perfect.

If you do come in the summer months, there are some accommodation options that are in the outskirts of the park in authentic Italian villages. These accommodation options are best as well if you plan on driving to the region.

READ MORE:   The Best Northern Italy Travel Itinerary (7 days)

La Spezia: Best Value Accommodation Options

Photo via Flickr

After doing a lot of research, we decided to stay in La Spezia, and I couldn’t recommend it more. Staying here was convenient, charming, and budget-friendly. You may have never heard of this small Italian town, but it is the closest major city to Cinque Terre National Park. On the map it looks further out, but in reality it’s only a 10 minute train ride to Cinque Terre!

This brings me to my next point. Don’t even think about renting a car to visit within the actual park. There’s no parking, and it’s very expensive. The train system connects La Spezia to all five villages, and you can get a 1-3 day pass to visit all of them. You can read about train travel in Cinque Terre here.

For this reason, it’s not necessary to stay in the actual park of Cinque Terre. You have better value accommodation and restaurants in La Spezia, so I would recommend basing yourself here if you’re on a budget. Plus, I do think this is the best option if you’re only planning on staying for 1-2 nights.

La Spezia accommodation suggestions

NamePrice per night FeaturesBest forBooking link
5 Terre Backpackers City Hostel40 EURNext to train stationBudget travelersBook here
5 Terre Sweet Dreams Rooms50 EURSpacious rooms, central locationCouplesBook here
La Suprema Luxury Rooms85 EURSpacious rooms, boutique styleCouples, luxuryBook here
The Lighthouse 2 Bedroom Apartment90 EURBreakfast includedFamilies, groupBook here
Albergo Venezia Hotel93 EUR3 stars, next to train stationFamilies, couplesBook here
CDH Hotel109 EUR4 stars, breakfast buffetCouples, luxuryBook here

Cinque Terre Villages: Best Luxury and Romantic Accommodation Options

View of Vernazza, one of the towns connected by the Cinque Terre train

I don’t blame you for wanting to stay within the actual villages of Cinque Terre. Without a doubt, this is the most romantic place to base yourself, with seaside views and vibrant hues for days.

READ MORE:   The Ultimate Cinque Terre Train Travel Guide

The only downside is that lugging suitcases onto the train and through the narrow cobblestoned streets can be a huge pain. And in the heat of summer with tons of people? Forget it.

If you’re planning on staying in the either of the five villages, you’re better off coming in the shoulder or off season for a minimum of 2 nights. Otherwise, it’s really not worth the hassle for less than 24 hours.

The five villages of Cinque Terre are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso Al Mare. The most picturesque destinations are Riomaggiore, Manarola, and Vernazza, while Monterosso Al Mare is best if you want to be right near the beach.

For the dramatic cliffs and colorful houses, my pick would be to stay somewhere in Manarola, my favorite of the five villages.

Cinque Terre accommodation options

NamePrice per night FeaturesBest for Booking link
Riomaggiore terrace apartments125 EURTerrace with viewCouplesBook here
Riomaggiore Luxury Villa474 EURHoneymoon suites and penthouse optionLuxury, couples or groupBook here
Manarola Hotel Marina150 EUR3 star, close to beachCouplesBook here
Vernazza luxury apartment275 EURJacuzzi, central locationLuxury, couplesBook here
Monterosso Hotel Marina150 Eur3 stars, luxury roomsLuxury, couplesBook here
Monterosso Terrazza Sea Rooms150 EURDirectly on the beach, terraceLuxury, couplesBook Here

Agriturismo in Cinque Terre: Most Authentic Accommodation Options

(Photo via Flickr)

If you really want to escape all of the crowds and get lost in the Italian countryside, there are a number of smaller Italian villages where you can base yourself. These charming regions are an oasis for what is known as “agriturismo in Cinque Terre”, which is basically farm stays and b&bs that also offer homegrown food and wine. Sounds ideal, right?

The first village is Corniglia, one of the five villages within Cinque Terre. This is definitely the quietest and least commercial of all five villages. You can definitely still feel authentic village life when surrounded by vineyards and farmland.

READ MORE:   The Best of Cinque Terre Agriturismo

If you’re interested in hiking or trekking through the entire park, you may want to consider staying in Biassa. This village is right in the middle of La Spezia and the first village of Riomaggiore. If you did have a car, you can book accommodation with parking and explore Cinque Terre by foot or train (or both).

Agro-tourism accommodation options

NamePrice per nightFeaturesBest forBooking link
Corniglia Sea Guesthouse127 EURSeaview, breakfast includedCouples, slow travelersBook here
Biassa Guesthouse85 EURFree parking and breakfastCouples, familiesBook here
Agro Luxury farmstay85 EURPet-friendly, free parking and breakfastCouples, familiesBook here
2 BR Country Villa House215 EURModern, jacuzzi, free parkingFamilies, groupBook here
  • Consider booking accommodation from locally-owned apartment or hotel owners.
  • Consider traveling in the shoulder and off-season to help better preserve the Cinque Terre Park from over-tourism.
  • Taking the Cinque Terre train card support this sustainable form of public transportation (including the eco buses!)
  • Make sure to stay on the path when hiking. They are there for a reason. 
  • Consider staying outside of the park itself to help preserve its authenticity. 
  • Bring a reusable water bottle with you, and recycle all waste in the bins. 
  • Read more about responsible travel here.

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