Safety precautions are provided by the tour operator and are not checked by Viator for accuracy
Experience the UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre in one day with a guided tour through the five idyllic fishing villages of old-world Italy. Following the walking trails along the cliffs of the national park, you will see glorious views of this unspoiled stretch of the Italian Riviera. Check out the highlights and learn about the area as you complete a 3.4-mile (5.5-km) route with your guide. If you choose the tour option without hiking, the train will be used instead to move between villages.
Guided trip to Cinque Terre from Florence
Spectacular coastal views along the Cinque Terre
Soak up the old-world atmosphere as you explore Cinque Terre villages on foot
Visit areas inaccessible by car with a guide
Why Travelers Choose This Tour
Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, this active tour lets you explore unspoiled Italian Riviera landscapes by foot.
Your journey from Florence to the Cinque Terre starts by coach, where you can relax as your guide shares stories about the area. You'll hear tales about the Tuscan city of Lucca and its famous resident Puccini, before learning about the Cinque Terre and its five fishing villages—Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Monterosso and Riomaggiore—that form the national park.
After a short, two-hour drive, you'll begin your hike through the Cinque Terre on the hills above Manarola. With your guide to help lead you, you'll follow a scenic trail to Corniglia, which culminates in a steep climb of some 382 steps. Note: This charming region is natural and untouched, so there are no hand rails or safety rails, and paths often cut close to the cliff's edge. (if you choose the tour option without hiking, the train will be used instead to move between villages).
Once in Corniglia, you'll enjoy some free time where you can relax and refuel with these spectacular views, before continuing your journey with a hike to Vernazza, where you'll pass terraces of olive groves and colorful bars and cafes. Take a dip in the bay before heading to Monterosso by train, where you'll have free time to explore the beaches, wine shops and artisan goods famous to the village.
The final portion of your journey will include a boat ride (or train ride, depending on weather) to Riomaggiore, a village known for its candy-colored houses, as well as a final hike back to Manarola. Your day trip from Florence to the Cinque Terre ends with a coach ride back to the city.
Built in the valley of the torrente Groppo, until 1950 the stream which runs through the town was completely uncovered and 11 stone bridges allowed the people to cross from one side to the other. Over the next thirty years the stream was gradually covered over.
The ancient village was destroyed by Saracen pirates (in 849) and the surviving people fled in land to live. When the seas were made safe again in the 11th century, people came back to settle here under the protection of the Republic of Genova.
By the 1200's cultivation of vines was not only established but the wine they produced was sought after. The church of San Lorenzo was begun in 1338. The patron saint is celebrated on the 10th of August with a procession through the streets carrying a statue of him.
The castle which protected the town from pirates is now a private home, you can see the garden from the panoramic walk, it is on the rock immediately above the port.
Manarola is now famous for its Christmas nativity scene which is the biggest in the world. Figures outlined in thousands of lights cover the hillside. Also an Easter scene is made.
The middle town of the five, Corniglia is the smallest town and sits at 90 metres above sea level.
The name derives from the huge spur of rock on which the village sits. Population of about only 200.
San Pietro church from the fourteenth century on the site of an eleventh century chapel. San Pietro's day is 29th June and as part of the celebrations, there is a procession through the streets. A special savoury tart is prepared with rice, eggs and cheese and is shared among the people who take part in the procession.
These ancient trails are rough but manageable. Be prepared for the hiking – although the path is open to everyone, remember that the ground can be slippery, uneven, and in places steep and narrow. The charm of the area is that it is natural and unspoiled, do not expect hand rails or safety rails when steps are steep or when the path is close to the cliff edge. Because of the nature of the hike, we are unable to accept small children or anyone with walking difficulties.
Vernazza is unique in the Cinque Terre because of the small port that was built allowing ships to land in the protected bay. It was already a fortified village and efficient maritime base in the earliest records available from the eleventh century. Today there are traces of the military defences built by the Genovese in the thirteenth century such as traces of the old walls, ramparts and the look out tower.
There was a castle here before 1200 and some ruins of it can still be seen. The community of Monterosso was founded in 1214.
The church of San Giovanni Battista, built-in 1220 has a bell tower built in 1400 as a lookout tower.
The church of San Antonio di Mesco was built in 1335.
The new town is called Fegina and is linked to the old part of Monterosso by a pedestrian tunnel. Statue of Neptune built into the rock, but made of concrete so badly deteriorated, was built by an architect in the 1920's.
The sandy shelf provides the ideal habitat for seagrass which acts as a lung for the waters of the Cinque Terre and provides a beautiful beach for us. The whole area is a marine protected area, like the sea version of a national park.
2007 Forbes magazine called Monterosso the sexiest beach in the world....whatever that may mean.
At Riomaggiore, centuries ago, the distinctive tall, colourful houses known as Genovese tower houses arranged in rows connected by alleys, arches and steps provided a defense against pirates.
House colours are regulated by the comune. You can't just paint them any colour you like!
Houses have two entrances, one at the front and one at the rear on the higher road, so that when they were attacked by pirates, the people could escape.
At the end of the eighteen hundreds the railway came along the coast and Riomaggiore, along with the other towns of the cinque terrre came out of their historic isolation, even though a road wouldn't reach them until the 1970's.
Language, lingua ligure, the villages were so cut off even from each other that they spoke different dialects of the same language.
From start to finish, this was by far my favorite trip. Getting there by bus was super easy, as the tour guides gave us the history of every town we drove through along the way. Once we got to Cinque Terre, Cristian was my tour guide. He was the best! He knew all the best food spots in each of the five towns, knew the best way to use your time in each town, and was extremely helpful in general. The hike during this trip had breathtaking views, and my favorite (alcoholic slushees made from freshly squeezed oranges and lemons at the halfway point). Each of the five towns had its own charm, and thanks to Cristian I feel like I got to see the most of each one. I would highly recommend this trip and Cristian!
Our tour guide Christian did an amazing job of keeping everything on schedule so we could not only visit all five towns in one day, but also make a beautiful (and tiring!) inter-village hike. If you can handle the steep walking, I'd highly recommend this tour that gave us a taste of all the stops, and a unique opportunity to take pictures from the hike that looked like they came off a postcard. Thanks to Christian specifically, who was highly energetic and well organized.
We really enjoyed our day hike with Alessandro. He did an excellent job showing us all the sights and answering any and all questions we had and his English was great so nothing seemed to be lost in translation.
The tour was well organized and we definitely got in a lot of walking (~10 miles). I'd say the hike portion was less of a hike and more a 3 mile walk along a 3ft wide gravel trail. About 1/2 is uphill and the other 1/2 downhill. It was raining on/off that day, so parts were slippery (especially some stairs), but there wasn't any exposure so we weren't concerned. If you happen to be a trail runner/extreme athlete, I'm sure you can still enjoy this tour and maybe you're guide can point you to the trail that goes to the town on the top of the mountain instead :)
I'd highly recommend the tour! The views along the trail were spectacular and it really gave you a great feel for the different towns and how they interacted before the train was put in. It was fascinating to see all the houses built right into the hillside and all the terraces for the farming. Each town was slightly different from the others with unique character and style.
Cris was a great guide. We learned a little about each city before we were able to roam freely for a short time before embarking to the next town. Between 2 of the towns, we ate lunch, order the one they offer on the tour, it was delicious! The town of Vernaza (I believe) is very small, so not a lot of restaurants to choose from, but the one the tour teams with was fabulous! From there we hiked approximately 1 hour up and down the hills and rocky paths to the next town. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes. Bring rain gear (jacket or umbrella) if there is any chance of rain as it gets quite wet. The towns were great, the tour guides excellent! Definitely recommend.
Alberto the guide is brilliant! A lovely guy, full of local knowledge and enthusiastic. If you’re sick of churches, want to get outside, see some amazing scenery and eat some great food and wine, then this is for you.
The driver Rodericko is a great bloke also!
Go for the sightseeing! It's so beautiful! Getting through it wasn't hard at the end as you mostly go on a train in between the Terres. The actual intense hiking was approximately an hour at one of the Terre and they would give you two hours for those that aren't as athletic. They also have the option for you to take the train if you don't believe in yourself but I would totally recommend the hike!