If you are looking for a relaxing summer destination to visit during a trip to Italy, then you can consider the Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coast of Italy.
Known for its famous clusters of colorful houses by the sea, the beaches of the Cinque Terre are worth a visit.
Cinque Terre beaches are full of coves, slippery cliffs and ancient stone harbors — which may not look good at first glance, but are very suitable for sunbathing and swimming. Other activities you can expect in the area include a national park and various hiking trails in the Mediterranean.
If you are looking for beaches in the Cinque Terre that may be off the beaten path but still offer an unforgettable vacation by the sea, look no further! There are stunning Cinque Terre beaches in each of the five villages: Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore and Monterosso al Mare. Here are our favorite beaches in the Cinque Terre.
See also Best Places to Visit in Northern Italy.
The best beaches in the Cinque Terre
Vernazza is known for being a famous fishing village and the only natural port in the Cinque Terre. This historic town is also known for its olive oil, as the village is surrounded by steep olive groves that produce some of the most beautiful olive oil in Italy.
In the port of Vernazza you will find two Cinque Terre beaches. The first Vernazza beach is a sandy beach, small beach that offers flat cliffs that are perfect for sunbathing. You can expect to find calm water and local fishing boats here. It is located along the main street, about 2 minutes from the train station.
The second Vernazza beach is on the east side of the village and is very rocky. However, this is a more private and secluded beach that visitors can find by walking through the cave on the left side of the village’s main street.
Corniglia is a village in Vernazza in the Cinque Terre, Italy. This ancient Roman village is one of the only places in the Cinque Terre without direct access to the sea.
If you are looking for a secluded Corniglia beach, look no further than this Guvano. This pristine beach is located on the hiking trail between Vernazza and Corniglia, so it is not strictly in Corniglia.
Look for the sign that says ‘Spiaggia Libera’ or ‘Public Beach’. Guvano is also known as one of unofficial nudist beaches in the Cinque Terre, so be warned when you visit that you may see some skin – but it is relatively quiet and peaceful.
Monterosso is one of the largest villages forming the Cinque Terre in Italy. Its prosperous hills produce olive oil, lemons and vines like no other.
If you are looking for Cinque Terre beaches here, you are in luck because Monterosso has two main beaches to visit.
If you are looking for a traditional Monterosso beach, go to the long sandy beach in the ‘new’ part of the village called Fegina. You will find sand, parasols, beach chairs and a promenade full of restaurants, bars and ice cream shops. This Cinque Terre beach is located right in train station in Monterosso.
If you prefer to visit the old part of the village, also known as Aurora, you will enjoy the Monterosso beach on the Vernazza path. It is a very sandy beach near the boat rental center and offers both private and public areas. It is a 10-minute walk from the train station on the left.
If you want to explore something extra in Monterosso, you can find ancient castle ruins, narrow medieval streets and multicolored townhouses in the village.
Riomaggiore is the southernmost region of the Cinque Terre in Italy. It is a small village in the province of La Spezia in the Liguria region. This historic village is said to have originated as early as the 8th century.
Riomaggiore beach is a public beach just east of the village itself. It offers crystal clear water, a harbor, a ferry port and rocky surroundings.
You will also find many boulders on the Riomaggiore beach, but this does not hinder the experience and is very typical of the Cinque Terre beaches.
Riomaggiore is also known for its Via dell’Amore or ‘Lover’s Lane’, a romantic path that offers stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline. This walk takes about 20 minutes to complete and takes you to Manarola.
Manarola is a small town in Riomaggiore in northern Italy. It is second largest of the villages Cinque Terre and sits 70 meters above sea level on a high rock.
Although there is no official Manarola beach, you will find here a beautiful harbor that is perfect for deep sea swimming. Manarola is one of the smallest regions in the Cinque Terre, so you can expect a lot of privacy when you visit, especially if you visit during the tourist season outside the high season.
For those with an adventurous spirit, take the ladder and be rewarded! There is also an outdoor shower for refreshment. To get here you have to walk about 3 minutes from the train station.
Alternative Cinque Terre beaches
If you’re in the area looking for more Cinque Terre beaches then you might want to consider Levanto Beach. Levanto is not one of the main Cinque Terre beaches, but is only a 3-minute train ride from Monterosso (book your train tickets here).
Levanto beach is long and beautiful, blessed with a sandy beach perfect for all kinds of summer activities. It includes both private and public departments and offers many facilities such as a bar, outdoor pool, beach chairs, umbrellas and outdoor showers.
In addition, there are many types of water sports equipment that you can rent, such as canoes, water boats, surfboards and motorboats.
Ready to hit the beach in Italy?
Whichever of the Cinque Terre beaches you choose to visit, you will have a beautiful vacation! While the beaches of the Cinque Terre may be mistaken for the rocky side, that does not mean that they can not fulfill your dream of having a relaxing holiday in the Mediterranean!
Remember to consider the Cinque Terre region of Liguria, Italy when planning your next fantastic holiday.
Are you looking for more Italian beaches to explore? Check out these posts:
Accommodation in Sardinia, Italy
Best beaches in Sardinia, Italy
Best places to visit on the Amalfi Coast in Italy