Founded in 1999, the Cinque Terre national park is a unique park located in Liguria, northern Italy, that includes five seaside villages linked by walking trails. Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza e Monterosso al Mare are five picturesque villages that once were accessible just by boat or by rail and now are part of the park along with the surrounding hills and the coastline. One of the best way to discover these little gems is with a boat rental in Liguria. Every year this area attracts thousands of visitors, including nature lovers, trekkers, professional and amateurs. Do not miss the opportunity to go an cruise and experience a holiday of nature, culture and relax. Terraced vineyards, olive trees, turquoise water and seaside promontories will greet you when coming from the sea to visit this fragile and delicate land.
Why visiting Cinque Terre national park by boat?
Renting a boat will allow you to explore this protected territory included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and will give you a different perspective of this area. In fact, the five villages look completely different if you look at them by the sea, whether it is a catamaran, a sailboat or a motorboat. Due to the nature of the area, the colourful villages were built on the surrounding hills, on the rocks and on coastal cliffs. Located in the province of La Spezia, Cinque Terre is the smallest national park in the country but thanks to its uniqueness and its beauty is appreaciated worldwide. In this area the mountains of Appennino Ligure come straight to the sea leaving a small space for buildings. Yet, its inhabitants managed during the centuries to create an intricate geometry of alleys, churches, walls, narrow streets and small squares. Welcome to the paradise of traffic-free areas! Most of the visitors come by train, by boat and even by walk, contribuiting to create and empower sustainable tourism.
Get lost in the alleys of the five villages
Each of the five villages deserve a special visit, because they are all different even though they have some features in common and they will give you a real taste of Italy.
You can start your holiday on boat in Riomaggiore, located in the southern part of the park and popular for its bell towers and its castle. Take the chance to admire it from the sea and then get lost in its small streets, stop by a cafè and enjoy the sunshine.
Sailing north you will find Manarola, the second smallest village of Cinque Terre that lies suspended on a large rock. Its view is particularly impressive when coming by the sea. Do not miss the opportunity to explore its underwater rocks and caves and visit every hidden corner and medieval relics of this village founded in the 12th century.
The origin of Corniglia dates back to the Roman Age. It is the only Cinque Terre village with no direct access to the sea and it is the smallest one. Being the most isolated village of the area, it will allow you to immerse yourself in tranquility.
Going north you will find Vernazza, a small marina surrounded by colourful and picturesque buildings. Do not forget to visit Doria Castle and Belforte tower and have a look at the vineyards that surround the village.
Least, but not last, Monterosso al Mare is the departure point for many trekkers who decide to go hiking on its trail. It is the only town in the Cinque Terre park with a sandy beach and it is the most accessible village by car and for this reason it can also be considered the "busiest" one. Consisting in two parts, the old town and the new town, Monterosso is also popular for its lemon and olive trees.