Best Photo Spots in Cinque Terre, Italy

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.


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).

Best Photo Spots in Cinque Terre

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.

Best Photo Spots in Cinque Terre


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).

Best Photo Spots in Cinque Terre

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!

Best Photo Spots of Cinque Terre


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.

Best Photo Spots in Cinque Terre

This view is on the hike from Manarola:

hiking Cinque Terre


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.

Hiking Cinque Terre

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. 
Best Photo Spots of Cinque Terre

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.

Best Photo Spots in Cinque Terre

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.

Instagram Photo Fail

      Read More: Epic Instagram Photo Fail

Monterosso Al Mare

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.

Best Photo Spots in Cinque Terre

All the colorful umbrellas are also pretty.

Best Photo Spots of Cinque Terre

What’s that? You want to see more pretty beach umbrellas? Oh, OK.

Best Photo Spots Cinque Terre

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!

Best Photo Spots in Cinque Terre

Have you been here? Where was your favorite photo spot?

Pin it!

Best Photo Spots in Cinque Terre

About The Author

Cherene Saradar

Cherene is a travel expert with 30 years of experience in over 100 countries and 7 continents. She has traveled solo to over 50 countries. She is also a nurse anesthesiologist with over 20 years of healthcare experience. Her passions include wildlife travel and visiting wine regions of the world.


  1. Marilyn | 31st Jul 17

    Cherene, I absolutely love all your photos and comments about Cinque Terre. Having visited there once, it was so nice to see a few of the places that were familiar as well as the fabulous photos of places I had not had the opportunity to see. You are certainly committed to doing whatever it takes to capture the essence of the villages. Kudos!
    Aunt Marilyn

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      It’s crazy how long it took me to finally go back after that first time. It’s so different now!

  2. Danielle | 30th Jul 17

    You definitely sussed out the best photo spots – all of these photos are gorgeous!

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      Thanks so much. I wanted to do the villages justice. They are so darn pretty!

  3. Patricia Steffy (@PLSteffy) | 29th Jul 17

    I’m so envious! Cinque Terre is at the very top of my travel wish list. Each of the villages looks so charming in their own unique way. I can see why Vernazza is your favorite. As for Monterosso al Mare, I’m pretty sure one of the most popular photos is of all the beach umbrellas — and I totally understand why! They are so colorful and fun. The whole area seems like stepping into a different world, and I’m bookmarking this so I have the right gear and the right spots on our itinerary when we finally get there. Thanks for sharing! Pinned!

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      Thank you Patricia! It is a pleasure photographing this place but finding those ultimate spots always a challenge. You really can’t go wrong though, it’s all so gorgeous!

  4. Kathi | 29th Jul 17

    This is such a handy post! I gave my mum a trip to Cinque Terre for her 60th amd researched everything for her and my dad – sadly I didn’t get to join 🙁 Need to go back for a photo holiday!!

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      You are an awesome daughter, wow! Yes, you need a turn now too:)

  5. Flo | 29th Jul 17

    Gorgeous photos, Cher! I loved reading about your photo fail (BAHAHA) but glad you managed to get a whole bunch of other shots!

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      Thanks Flo! Haha luckily all my photography attempts were not so dramatic!

  6. Sara White | 29th Jul 17

    The towns of the Cinque Terre are so incredibly photogenic! The views hiking into Vernazza are definitely my favourite, but I never realized that there was a cemetery near Manarola that would give such an awesome view of the town. Next time I head there I’ll have to check it out…

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      I literally found out about the cemetery from a tip someone sent me via snapchat when they saw I was there! Isn’t that cool??

  7. Ticket to Adventures | 29th Jul 17

    Love your photos from all perspectives! Especially the one from the sea. Cinque Terre looks so beautiful, I hope to visit soon.

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      Haha the ones from the sea are awesome although challenging to get (unless you’re on the ferry). Thanks for reading!!

  8. Lisa | 29th Jul 17

    Great tips for such a beautiful area.

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      Thanks Lisa:)

  9. vibrantlifesite | 29th Jul 17

    Awesome place, I haven’t heard of it 😀 But when I do an Italy trip I will definitely remember it!

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      It has become crazy popular lately. I honestly wish I had went in the off season but it’s definitely beautiful anytime!

  10. Ella | 29th Jul 17

    These photos are amazing! I can definitely see why people are in love with Cinque Terre. I’d love to just pick a village each time and wander through every nook and cranny 🙂

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      That’s a great idea. I had been here many years ago for only a day and half and realized I needed more time. This time I had 5 days and it was glorious to be able to wander like you said.

  11. Penny | 29th Jul 17

    Wow! These photographs are really so inspiring. Must have been a relaxing time except for the Instagram fail episode 😉

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      Yes most of the time it was amazing. I did quite a bit of hiking and relaxed after. Writing about that eventually:)

  12. Epic Instagram Photo Fail - WanderingRedHead | 28th Jul 17

    […] Read More: Best Photo Spots in Cinque Terre […]

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