Cinque Terre refers to the five small villages on the west coast of Italy in the Liguria region. They have become incredibly popular of late because of their colorful buildings, glittering blue waters and plethora of gorgeous hiking trails. It’s hard to take a bad photo here but let’s face it, you want that perfect shot. Since I’m your best friend, I have done the research and will share what I’ve learned! Here’s how to find some of the best photo spots in Cinque Terre.
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Riomaggiore is the southernmost village. One of the best views is from the rocks in the harbor. Keep in mind the sun in the morning will be east and therefore behind the village, causing it to be backlit (photographic kryptonite). This shot is better in the afternoon. I set up my Samsung S6 on a teeny twisty tripod and managed to get the cover shot. Another popular spot is up the steps and sitting on the wall that you see to the right. This spot gets very crowded and I wasn’t feeling patient enough to wait! (Patience isn’t something I’m known for).
The other great view of Riomaggiore is from the ferry. One day take the ferry from Monterosso al Mare (the northernmost village) to Riomaggiore and enjoy views of all of the villages from the water. This costs about 1o euro.
Heading northward to village #2, this is one of the most photographed of all the villages. This can be decently photographed in the morning because the best views don’t face east. The walk to Corniglia has great views when you look back at Manarola. Note, the easy coastal walk known as the Via Dell’Amore is currently closed because of landslide. I did the harder walk that takes you up into the hills and through vineyards.
My post about hiking Cinque Terre should be up within the week so stay tuned! Hint: If you haven’t yet subscribed please do so now so you don’t miss my posts! If you ignored the pop-up (I totally understand btw…go to the “My Story” page).
There is a cemetery just south of the village and there are great views from here. Another popular spot is from the restaurants on the hill just south of the village. In case you’re wondering, I took this with a GoPro Hero 5 and a GoPro stick with tripod. So handy!
Corniglia is the middle village, and is the smallest and least visited. It isn’t accessible by boat and the train station involves about 200 steps just to reach the village. I can understand why it isn’t the most popular! There isn’t a definitive best way to photograph this, that I’m aware of. I saw it both coming and going from up in the hills during my various hikes, and then again from the ferry. From the ferry may be the best view.
This view is on the hike from Manarola:
Vernazza is my favorite village. I think it is incredibly photogenic. In addition I have a funny travel tale that makes me very fond of this village. I send these funny stories to subscribers by the way. Hint, hint! Man I’m being pushy, huh?
The walk from Corniglia to Vernazza (costs 7.5 euro) gives you really fabulous views as you approach Vernazza. If you aren’t in the hiking mood, you could start in Vernazza and walk uphill towards Corniglia about 15 minutes to get this view.
Another classic view is on the walk towards Monterosso (costs 7.5 euro to do the entire walk). You only have to walk about ten minutes up to get great views Just past the booth where you have to pay is even better (I don’t have this one). Grrr (clearly I was being cheap and didn’t do it). This perspective works in the morning, by the way.
On the left side of the harbor is a walkway leading to the boats. The rocks there are easy to get to and give you a good perspective. This perspective is better in afternoon, because in the morning the village is backlit.
Another great view is from the rocks in the harbor but these can be challenging to get to and may require swimming and a waterproof camera. Be warned, this can get a little cray. I have a funny story about my attempt to get a photo this way.
Read More: Epic Instagram Photo Fail
Monterosso al Mare is known for having a proper beach (as opposed to the rocks in the other villages) and is considered the least photogenic. That’s not saying much, it’s still gorgeous. These other villages just set the bar really high! I’m not sure what the famous view here is, but personally, I liked this perspective of the colorful beach and the pastel buildings behind.
All the colorful umbrellas are also pretty.
What’s that? You want to see more pretty beach umbrellas? Oh, OK.
I don’t know what these people are talking about. I think this village is incredibly photogenic. The pastel buildings in the city are lovely and I had perhaps my favorite meal of the entire trip here. More about food in my hiking post because you gotta eat after you hike!
Have you been here? Where was your favorite photo spot?