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How To Spend One Perfect Day In Cinque Terre

looking at harbor and colorful buildings of Riomaggiore

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Cinque Terre is a beautiful region on the Italian Riviera and showcases a different side of the country. It’s quaint, colorful, and steeped in history.

Though there are actually five towns in Cinque Terre, you can easily see the region in one perfect day.


How is it possible to spend one day in Cinque Terre you ask? In this guide, we’ll show you how!

We visited Cinque Terre for two nights, staying outside in La Spezia. Even with catching the train in and out we saw and did a lot. We had one full day in Cinque Terre, and we feel we hit all the highlights.

But first…

Is One Day in Cinque Terre Enough?

colorful buildings of vernazza on harbor

You’re probably wondering whether you can see all of Cinque Terre in one day, and the answer is yes, as long as you don’t mind not seeing every town. 

Aside from Monterosso al Mare, which is the only town with a beach, the other villages offer similar vibes, so you don’t need to see every one of them to enjoy the best of Cinque Terre.

However, you do need a full day to explore Cinque Terre. In one day, we were able to see three of the five towns, skipping Corniglia, which is only accessible by a steep staircase or train, and Riomaggiore which was furthest away. 

We could have traveled to Riomaggiore after Manarola to experience the nightlife, but we were happy to call it a day after the sunset.

You’ll also want to get accommodation for the night before, and possibly the end of the day too, so you can really enjoy all the region has to offer.

hotel on cliff face
hotel on the cliff face

You can always see Corniglia and Riomaggiore in the morning of the second day, so if you want to see all five towns, set aside 1 full day and one-half day to see it all.

I recommend staying in Monterosso al Mare for two nights and using this as a base to get around. From here, it’s easy to visit the other four towns either by hiking, by boat, or by train.

If you are short on time and want to see all five towns in one day, your best bet is to book a guided boat tour from La Spezia, which will take you to all five towns – though you will miss the gorgeous hike to Vernazza!

One Day in Cinque Terre Itinerary

Now you know where to base yourself and how long to set aside, let’s get into how you can spend one perfect day in Cinque Terre…

Stop 1: Monterosso

rocky headland and crystal clear waters and white sand of Monterosso beach
So sparkly!

Begin in Monterosso al Mare and wake up bright and early…

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