Where to Stay in the Cinque Terre: The Best Hotels and Towns

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Cinque Terre is one of the most popular destinations in Italy. And rightfully so: the park is absolutely stunning. In fact, UNESCO included it in its World Heritage Site due to its cultural and natural beauty. We couldn’t agree more. People and nature have created an area of unparallel beauty. The park is almost 15 square miles. Thus, where to stay in the Cinque Terre National Park, Italy, can be a bit tricky.

Most tourists visit the area just for the day, rushing to see it all. To us, that’s a big mistake. You won’t forget yourself for not spending at least one night. You have nothing to worry about. We are here to help. Cinque Terre has hotels for every taste and budget. Every little town in this gorgeous piece of heaven offers fantastic accommodation. Since we’ve been to Cinque Terre several times, we have selected the best hotel in each town.

Where to Stay in Cinque Terre

Where to Stay in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre National Park attracts all sorts of travelers. While some visit the park to walk and admire the architecture and nature, others visit to eat and drink the incredible local products. There are 5 medieval little towns within the park. Since the Apennine hills of Liguria reach the sea, the environment is unique and delicate. Some of the towns are perched on the top of the hills, while others are next to the sea.

Moving from town to town is easy and so much fun. You can walk for hours admiring the area or take the train. Therefore, we’ve selected the hotels where to stay in Cinque Terre without a car. Since the roads are narrow and steep, driving within the park is pretty difficult. You won’t be able to relax and enjoy the views while negotiating the steep terrain. Thus, if you have a car, drive to your hotel and leave it there.

Cinque Terre Best Hotels

Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso al Mare is the northernmost town within the park. The lovely town is on the coast, next to the sea. Since it’s mostly flat, it’s probably the best place to park your car and take the train. Monterroso has the best beaches in Cinque Terre, wider and longer than the rest. Thus, it gets crowded during the summer. However, the town is also famous for its wine and ecotourism.

To the north is the Statue of the Giant carved into the rocks. Walk to the south along Via Fegina. The longest beach is next to the train station, where the hills meet the sea. The Old Town is after the pier. Look out for the incredible Convent of the Capuchin Friars, perched on the hill. Every little street in the Old Town is lovely. Visit the St. John Baptist Church, a 14th century marble church.

Monterosso al Mare

The Best Hotels in Monterosso al Mare

Our favorite hotel in Monterroso and perhaps all of Cinque Terre is the Affittacamere La Terrazza sul Mare. We love it because it’s a grand historic mansion on the sea coast boulevard, near the train station. However, it’s quite peaceful and quiet. The villa is in front of the beach and offers the best views in town. The rooms are super comfortable and have all modern day conveniences, including a coffee maker. You can sunbathe in the top floor terrace!

Zia Letizia Bed and Wine is in the center of the Old Town. It’s a lovely traditional Italian building. The tastefully decorated rooms are super comfortable and offer views of the church. From the rooftop terrace you can see the entire town and the sea. Enjoy a homemade breakfast while admiring the views. This is a family hotel with impeccable service. Ask your hosts for local info; they will be more than happy to help you.

Monterosso al Mare

Vernazza

The next town south of Monterroso is Vernazza. Two paths link both places. However, the one closest to the sea was closed the last time we went, so you have to take the longer one above the hills. We took the train. Since it’s the only natural port, Vernazza is the best fishing town to stay in Cinque Terre. Besides, it’s got a tiny beach where you can bathe.

The Old Town is next to the coast. The gorgeous 14th century Church of St. Margaret of Antioch presides over the port. From there, walk to the Saint Francis Convent and keep going up until you get to a viewing platform. If you go further up, you will reach the cemetery, in the middle of the terraces. The terraces have been producing wine for centuries. The views from here will take your breath away.

Vernazza

The Best Hotels in Vernazza

There are no mega luxury hotels in Vernazza and Cinque Terre like in the rest of Italy. Thus, it’s the best town to stay in an apartment in Cinque Terre. Our favorite accommodation in Vernaza is MADA Charm Apartments Terrace&Carugio. It’s a beachfront property with modern-day conveniences. Book the apartment with a balcony for the best views in town. They also manage the MADA Charm Apartment with Jacuzzi, two streets up. You get unbelievable views and your own hot tub.

Cade Ventu is in the middle of the hills, some 5 kilometers from Vernazza. However, this gorgeous house offers endless views of the sea and the hills. If you are looking for comfort, privacy, peace, and personalized service, this is your hotel. Your hosts will arrange anything you want, including wine tours and transportation. Without a doubt, this is one of the best accommodation options in Cinque Terre. The hotel has parking.

Vernazza

Corniglia

Corniglia is just 2 miles from Vernazza. With a population of 150 people, this is the best village to stay in Cinque Terre. To get to Corniglia, you have to climb 382 steps. No need to rush, take your time and enjoy the views. However, take the bus if you are tired. You will see the bus stop as soon as you exit the train station. Buses depart every half an hour every day from 7:20 AM till 7:30 PM.

Book worms will know Corniglia from the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. That’s how old the little village is. However, there are no grand palaces or castles in Corniglia. The village is all about authentic houses, cute little plazas, and stunning views. You’ve got two churches to visit. The Saint Peter Church presides over a small plaza. To visit the Oratorio di Santa Catarina go down the streets. That’s all. Sit down and enjoy the authentic atmosphere of Corniglia.

Corniglia

The Best Hotels in Corniglia

Since Corniglia has few accommodation options, be sure to book in advance. Residenza Solferino is in the middle of the town, next to the church. However, thanks to its splendid patio, it’s very quiet. It’s a small property with a few rooms. Thus, the service is personalized and classy. Christina, your host, makes Solferino one of the best hotels in Cinque Terre if you are looking for authenticity and peace.

Il Timone is also on a pedestrian street in the middle of Corniglia. The property has three perfectly appointed units. Go up to the rooftop terrace to enjoy killer sunsets and fantastic nights. Book the deluxe King Room. It’s big, super comfortable, and has a balcony with furniture offering the best views in town. Their quadruple room with a private balcony and sea views is perfect for families and friends. The units come with a fridge, coffee, tea, and slippers.

Corniglia

Manarola

Manarola is the oldest town in the park. The village is perched on a rock some 70 m above the sea. Thus, to discover it, you have to go up and down its lovely little streets. Slightly bigger than Corniglia, it also feels more like a village. There is a small port between the rocks but no beach. You can bathe here and then lie over the rocks to dry. However, be careful and mind the rocks.

The town is sandwiched between terraces filled with vines. Up north from the rocks is an incredible viewing point. Further up is the cemetery. To the east inland is the town itself. Be sure to check the views as you ascend. At the end of the town, you will find the San Lorenzo Church. Dating back to 1338, it’s believed to be the oldest building in Cinque Terre. If you are looking for peace and views in Cinque Terre, Manarola is where to stay.

Manarola

The Best Hotels in Manarola

There are no big hotels in Manarola. Most accommodation options are rooms and apartments in some of the cutest buildings in Cinque Terre. Arpaiu has both rooms and apartments. Since it’s the closest hotel to the sea, it’s an easy way up to reach it. The rooms are big and comfortable. You can have wine and sunbathe on the terrace while listening to the sea. The view from the hotel’s terrace is one of the best in Manarola and in Italy.

The Hotel Marina Piccola is super close to the coast, on the pedestrian street. It’s an old traditional Italian building with modern rooms. During the day, you can see people come and go to the coast. At night, it’s an oasis of peace, and you can hear the waves. The homemade breakfast is complimentary and delicious. For us, Marina Piccola is the best bed and breakfast in Cinque Terre.

Manarola

Riomaggiore

For us, Riomaggiore is the best place to stay in Cinque Terre. Though still a small town, it’s bigger than Corniglia and Manarola. The town is next to the sea, in between massive rocks. Riomaggiore has the nicest port in Cinque Terre. The narrow port is buzzing with activity during the day. You can spend hours watching life unfold here and taking pictures. Though Riomaggiore is so pretty that it seems unreal, it is a real town inhabited by friendly locals.

From the port, go through a tunnel under Vignaioli plaza. The Town Hall is here. Via Colombo is the lifeline of Riomaggiore. Splendid buildings, coffee houses, restaurants, ice cream parlors, and villas line the pedestrian street. The Church of San Giovanni is on a plaza overlooking Via Colombo. You can take a lift there to go to Via De Gasperi to indulge in memorable views. Riomaggiore has a pebbled beach to the south, under the cliffs.

Riomaggiore

The Best Hotels in Riomaggiore

Sottocoperta is on Via Colombo, in the heart of Riomaggiore. Thus, it’s an easy walk to the port.  You can watch the local life unfold from your room. However, double-glazed windows guarantee a perfect night’s sleep. Set in a traditional old Italian building, the rooms are comfortable and have views of the town. Sottocoperta has one of the best apartments in Cinque Terre. It comes with a fantastic terrace and a well-equipped kitchen.

Ideally located on Via Telemaco Signorini, Camere e appartamenti Riomaggiore offers studios and apartments. Since it is just off the center, the hotel is very peaceful. Every unit comes with a seating area, fridge, kitchenette, coffee maker, and balcony to enjoy the views. It’s probably the best accommodation in Riomaggiore for families. The hotel’s staff is warm and friendly and will be more than happy to assist you in any way.

Riomaggiore

Where to Stay near Cinque Terre

Take note that there is no free parking inside the park. On average, expect to pay 15 eur per day. Therefore, it’s better to park in La Spezia and then take the train. Do not stay in La Spezia: it’s an uninteresting big city. Thus, Monterroso is where to stay in Cinque Terre with a car. The large parking next to the sea is the cheapest, and the town is mostly flat.

All of the five towns are lovely places to stay in Cinque Terre, Italy. However, Riomaggiore is our favorite due to its architecture, atmosphere, and views. Manarola and Corniglia are the best towns to stay in Cinque Terre if you are looking for peace. Though both can get crowded during the day, at night you’ll be mostly alone. Monterroso is the best town to stay in Cinque Terre if you are into beaches. Though Vernaza is the most crowded town, it’s a picture perfect destination.

How to Get to Cinque Terre

Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino

Staying in Cinque Terre is a must. However, if you can’t, we strongly recommend basing yourself in Santa Margherita. The lovely city is the nicest between Cinque Terre and Genoa. Santa Margherita packs superb architecture and a long beach. The train from Santa Margherita to Cinque Terre takes approximately 50 minutes. The journey is an attraction in itself, so be sure to grab a window seat. Besides, Portofino is next door.

You simply cannot skip Portofino. The fancy seaside town will blow your mind away. In fact, it is as impressive as Cinque Terre but fancier. The best way to go to Portofino is by walking from Santa Margherita. However, you can take a bus too. In between Santa Margherita and Portofino is tiny Paraggi Beach, one of our favorite beaches in Italy. Once in Portofino, all you have to do is admire the architecture, relax, and enjoy.

Portofino

The Best Hotels in Santa Margherita and Portofino

Without a doubt, the best hotel in Santa Margherita is the Grand Hotel Miramare. There isn’t a hotel like this one in the whole of Cinque Terre. We are talking about an old-world hotel, with loads of class, taste, and impeccable service. It’s a grand palace overlooking the gulf. The manicured gardens and big pool are fantastic. The Miramare is the best luxury hotel near Cinque Terre and one of the best in Italy.

Our favorite hotel in Portofino is Hotel Piccolo Portofino. The historic building is 400 meters from Portofino. Since it’s perched on the hillside, it offers epic views from its elegant terraces and gardens. Besides, lush green nature surrounds the property making it an oasis of privacy and peace. Everything is class and old charm in the Piccolo Portofino. Indulge, and book a room with sea views. We almost forgot: the Piccolo has a private rocky beach.

Santa Margherita

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