Last update: April 19, 2024.

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Visiting Cinque Terre in 2 Days (Sample Itinerary)

Cinque Terre Holiday: Tips on How to Spend Two Days in Cinque Terre.

One day is not enough for visiting Cinque Terre, two days are sufficient to explore the main attractions, and three days is ideal! On this page, we'll share our itinerary for exploring Cinque Terre in one and a half days.

Historic center of Monterosso, Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre
Historic center of Monterosso
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We arrived in Cinque Terre by car. However, because traveling by car is inconvenient and costly, we decided to leave it in a parking lot in La Spezia. Hotels in La Spezia are also much more affordable, so we rented an apartment near La Spezia train station for one night.

Main street of Manarola, Cinque Terre
Main street of Manarola

We were lucky; they allowed us to check in at 12 PM. So, after leaving our belongings at the hotel, we headed straight to the train station. Trains to Cinque Terre run every 20-30 minutes. Since we had a half day, buying the Cinque Terre Card wasn't cost-effective. We purchased a regular ticket to Riomaggiore for 5 euros, and within 7 minutes, we were already at the Riomaggiore station.

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First, we visited the harbor because at noon, it offers the best view, with the sun illuminating the beautiful colorful houses, making for picture-perfect photos!

Colorful houses and boats in the harbor, Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre
Colorful houses and boats in the harbor
View of the village from the terrace near the castle, Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre
View of the village from the terrace near the castle

After taking photos at the Riomaggiore harbor and strolling to the beach, we headed to the train station through the hilltop. We followed the recommendations described on the "Riomaggiore" page on this website. We weren't in a hurry, so we spent 4 hours in Riomaggiore, including lunch. Unfortunately, Via dell'Amore trail was closed (it's the most famous trail in the park), so we took the train to Manarola.

View of the village from the harbor, Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre
View of the village from the harbor
Panoramic terrace near the castle, Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre
Panoramic terrace near the castle
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Since we had half a day, we decided to explore only two villages, and we chose Manarola as the second one, as it's the perfect place to watch the sunset. There's a bar with a stunning panoramic view on the waterfront (marked on the map), and you'll find this view on almost every postcard of Cinque Terre. We strolled through the village using the map from the "Manarola" page.

Nessun Dorma Bar with best view of Manarola, Cinque Terre
Nessun Dorma Bar with best view of Manarola
The best view of Manarola (3 minutes walk to the little square on the hill, always open), Cinque Terre
The best view of Manarola (3 minutes walk to the little square on the hill, always open)
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After sunset, we returned to La Spezia. While trains run until midnight, there isn't much to do in the villages in the evening. However, La Spezia is bustling with people and has plenty to offer! The city center is right by the train station, where we had dinner and took a stroll along the waterfront. For more details, you can read on the "La Spezia - www.bestofcinqueterre.com" page.

Nearest big city with many accommodations, La Spezia, Cinque Terre
Nearest big city with many accommodations

The next morning, we checked out of our apartment early, left all our belongings in the car, and parked it in a free parking lot just 10 minutes from the train station. We wanted to save money and avoid leaving the car at the parking lot under La Spezia station. For more details about parking, you can visit the following website:
Visiting by car - www.bestofcinqueterre.com.

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On this day, we purchased the Cinque Terre Card for 18.20 euros at La Spezia train station as we planned to hike and visit 3 villages. After arriving at Corniglia train station in about 15 minutes, we decided to conserve our energy and take the bus to the village, which is included in the Cinque Terre Card (Corniglia is the only village in Cinque Terre that doesn't have its train station near the center). After exploring all the attractions described on the Corniglia page, we walked back to the train station. The walk wasn't too tiring, but we had to descend 382 steps. However, the breathtaking panoramic views made it worthwhile. At the train station, we boarded a train to Monterosso. We checked the train schedule using the Trenitalia app on our phone.

Central square of Corniglia, Cinque Terre
Central square of Corniglia
Main street of the village, Corniglia, Cinque Terre
Main street of the village

Using the restroom at the train station costs 1 euros, but with the Cinque Terre Card, it's free.

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In this village, we had lunch, took a short break by the sea, strolled around the center of Monterosso, and then decided to walk to Vernazza.

Church of St. John the Baptist and Mortis-et-Orationis Chapel, Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre
Church of St. John the Baptist and Mortis-et-Orationis Chapel
Statue of Neptune, Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre
Statue of Neptune

The Monterosso - Vernazza trail can be a bit challenging at the beginning as you have to climb some stairs, but we managed it, and within an hour of walking, we caught our first glimpse of Vernazza! Along the trail, you'll find numerous spots where you can take stunning photos of Vernazza, just like these. The trail is not free, but it's included with the Cinque Terre Card!

The view of Vernazza from the trail to Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre
The view of Vernazza from the trail to Monterosso al Mare
Blue Trail near Monterosso, Cinque Terre
Blue Trail near Monterosso
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Using the map from the "Vernazza" page, we explored many fascinating spots in this charming village. There were quite a few hidden gems to discover. To capture some beautiful photos, we decided to hike up the trail leading to Corniglia, which offered breathtaking panoramic views from the other side of the village!

After enjoying the sunset, we returned to La Spezia by train, concluding our wonderful journey through Cinque Terre.

View of the village from the Blue Path, Vernazza, Cinque Terre
View of the village from the Blue Path
View of the village from the Blue Path, Vernazza, Cinque Terre
View of the village from the Blue Path
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What We Didn't Have Time to Explore

Over the course of one and a half days, we managed to visit all 5 villages, but due to our limited time, we couldn't fully experience the local bars and restaurants or relax by the sea. Additionally, it would have been fascinating to hike along some of the hiking trails and explore Portovenere! You can easily reach Portovenere by boat in just 30 minutes! The perfect option is to explore Cinque Terre in 3 days!

Path of Love between Riomaggiore and Manarola, Blue Trail, Cinque Terre
Path of Love between Riomaggiore and Manarola
Church of San Pietro in Portovenere, Cinque Terre
Church of San Pietro in Portovenere

Text printed from www.cinqueterre.holiday website