Best Beaches in Cinque Terre, Italy

In honor of National Beach Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to give you a brief description of the beaches of Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is a collection of five villages on the north west shore of Italy along the Ligurian Riviera.  It is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and a perfect place to unwind and enjoy a swim in the salty water.

The five villages of Cinque Terre date back to the Middle Ages and are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each village has its unique waterfront and swimming options.  In this blog, are the details of each village’s “beach.”

*Quick Tip: It’s pronounced (Cheen Kwah Terra) and literally translates to Five Lands.


Orange and green striped umbrellas symmetrically line the beach near Monterosso in Cinque Terre, Italy

Monterosso is the northern-most village of Cinque Terre and is perfect for the traditional, relaxing beach day.  You can rent an umbrella/chair combination at one of the cabanas and spend the day laying along the shore, swimming, and enjoying snacks and beverages at the café. 

The water is not very deep and there are rocks about 20 yards from the shore.  So, if you swim out a bit, be careful where you step.

*Quick tip: Arrive early.  The private beaches, which are the nicer ones with the most amenities, open at 8:30 and the umbrellas and chairs usually sell out by 10:00 each day during the peak season of June-August.


The beautiful cove of Vernazza in Cinque Terre, Italy.

Vernazza is a beauty. There are two swimming options in this charming village.  The first is the protected cove encircled by historic seaside architecture, which is great for children.  Adults interested in wading in and relaxing might enjoy this option as well. 

The other option is on the opposite side of the rocks protecting the cove.  More confident swimmers can jump off the rocks into the open sea.  The rocks also provide a great spot for sunbathing or relaxing with a book. 

*Quick tip: Do not be surprised if you encounter women sunbathing topless from the rocks. Welcome to Europe!


Corniglia is a charming clifftop village with narrow alleyways and some of the best gelato I have ever eaten. It is not easily accessible, but worth the trek to explore. No real beach option for the average visitor.


Swimming lagoons and cliff jumps in Manarola in Cinque Terre, Italy.

Manarola boasts beautiful and colorful architecture. Its main attraction for the adventure seeker is the cliff jumping opportunities for all skill levels and swimming in picturesque lagoons.  This “beach” is atypical, and is not the best for relaxing, but it is exciting and offers thrill seekers a great opportunity for an adrenaline rush. 

It is still a great spot for children because they can jump off some of the smaller rocks into the lagoon fairly safely and grow their confidence.


Riomaggiore is the southern-most village of Cinque Terre and offers great swimming for adults. It is not an area I recommend taking your children to swim, but if your party only consists of adults, then there are some opportunities to swim from rock outcroppings.

I hope this blog inspires you to visit the beaches of Cinque Terre and or spend some time at your own favorite beach. If you want to know more about Cinque Terre, Italy visit my website.

Happy National Beach Day!

In the comments below, tell me about your favorite beach.

Published by Lex

Hi, I'm Lex! I moved to Europe in July 2019 and my goal is to seize every opportunity to explore this beautiful continent. I hope you will join me on this crazy adventure. Quick facts about me: I'm a mother of one and a wife. In addition to my husband and daughter, I also love coffee, wine, kickboxing, history, architecture, photography and reading.

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