Best Cinque Terre Tour – Italy’s Most Famous Villages

view of cinque terre

When people close their eyes and picture their dream trip to Italy, one of the first images that will pop into their head is of the iconic Cinque Terre, an incredibly unique and beautiful collection of 5 small villages located in Liguria, a north-west region of Italy. Independent travel in Italy, especially if you’re a solo traveller, can be tricky, so here are some details about the best Cinque Terre tour leaving from Florence, to make your trip to this little pocket of paradise stress free!

What is The Cinque Terre?

The Cinque Terre is a collection of 5 small villages located in the north-west of Italy. The region is one of the most beautiful destinations in Italy and one of the most visiting outside of the main cities of Venice and Rome! The 5 villages of Monterosso, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia and Riomaggiore are suspended in a very precarious position between the earth and the sea, and the way of life, culture and architecture has been excellently preserved by residents. 

The authenticity if these small Italian villages has been maintained thank to their isolation from the rest of Italy and modernity and you will discover that art, wine, history and marine culture has persevered in this region for centuries, and remains strong even today.

The 5 villages are now a protected Unesco World Heritage Site and the Italian government has even put a yearly limit on the number of tourists allowed to visit the region to preserve local culture.

cinque terre tour at night

Where is The Cinque Terre?

The Cinque Terra is located in Liguria, in the north-west of Italy. It’s nest accessed from Bologna, Pisa or Florence and can take anywhere between 2 and 4 hours to reach their by car from these cities.

How to visit the The Cinque Terre?

The easiest and most stress free way to visit is to sign up for a Cinque Terre tour from one of the nearby cities. Ciao Florence offers day trips from Florence to The Cinque Terre throughout the high season, with tours leaving Florence every day from April to November.

These excellent Cinque Terre day trips leave early in the morning and last up to 12 hours. You’ll get to enjoy a 40 minute boat ride, spectacular views of all 5 villages, time to explore the Cinque Terre National Park and the villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola (the oldest of the 5!), Monterosso and Vernazza and even have a tip in the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean! 

 

Highlights of a Cinque Terre tour

I wanted to see what people who have taken this day trip thought about the experience, and to see what the highlights of visiting such a unique place were. It seems Cinque Terre is a serious bucket list item for most people, with some listing it in their top 5 experiences to have in Italy.

“It’s hard to say just one highlight. I have several: The amazing views, the warm weather, the beach and the fresh seafood. The villages where small but really typical fisherman villages. Riomaggiore was my favourite of all time. It had such amazing views and delicious foods. I didn’t wanted to leave. It is a place where you want to be become old.” – Roger Rutten

“Personally, the highlight was getting the chance to swim in the ocean and relax by the beach. I also enjoyed having the free time in the different towns to take pictures and wander around-this was a plus for me. Since we traveled by both ferry and train, we were able to have a unique view of the towns from the water, which was a great photo opportunity. Having the free time in each town to do whatever you wanted and not have to stick with the group was the perfect amount of freedom and guidance.” – Josey Parker

Swimming in Cinque Terre

shops in cinque terre

Things to know before taking a Cinque Terre Tour

  • At the moment the “Path of Love” is closed and the reopening depends on local authorities. If it still won’t be accessible during high season, a longer route in the boat will be offered and the given order of the visits may change. 
  • You will not have time to visit all 5 villages in one day trip – but you will be able to view them from the ocean and get some beautiful photos. To see and explore all 5 villages in more detail you’ll need to stay a few days in the area.
  • The government has limited the amount of tourists allowed to visit so be sure to book your trip ahead of time or try visit earlier in the year before peak high season (June – August) comes along.
  • Driving between the 5 towns can take over an hour but taking the train only takes a few minutes – train tickets / rides are included in the Ciao Florence day tour!
  • Research the best photo spots before you go – this article outlines the best angles to take your shots from all 5 villages.

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Best Cinque Terre Tour