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The Ultimate Guide to best Beaches in Cinque Terre, Italy

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A detailed guide to the best beaches in Cinque Terre Italy.

With its iconic colorful villages and cliffs plunging into the sea, Cinque Terre serves up plenty of places to dive into sparkling Mediterranean waters.


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Though long sandy beaches are rare in the villages themselves, the entire area offers spectacular swimming and sunbathing if you know where to go.

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The Ultimate Guide to best Beaches in Cinque Terre, Italy

This in-depth guide covers it all: the sandy beaches emerging at each town, the secret local gems, and the best stretches of sand in neighboring Riviera towns. With insider tips on accessing hard-to-reach spots, information on facilities, and packing checklists, you’ll be beach-trip ready.

are there beaches in cinque terre

of beaches and swimming options in each of the five villages:

Riomaggiore – A rocky beach east of the village center, accessed via a staircase down to the water. Also options to take boat tours to more remote beaches along the coast.

Manarola – Swimming and sunbathing along the rocky harbor, which has ladders and ropes to access the water. There’s also a small “back beach” around the cliffside path.

Corniglia – A small, hidden marina beach at the bottom of long stairs leading down from the village. More secluded options like Guvano Beach are reachable along very rugged, steep trails.

Italy Cinque Terra How To visit
Manarola, Cinque Terre

Vernazza – A harbor beach with small sandy section and concrete swim pier. Also a rocky “tunnel beach” reached through a coastal cave just east of main street.

Monterosso beaches- The most resort-style beach of Cinque Terre with paid chair/umbrella rentals along the long sandy stretch of Fegina Beach. Another old town swimming cove has some sand and free rocky areas.

So while long sandy beaches are rare in the Cinque Terre villages themselves, there are certainly plenty of spots to swim and soak up the summer sun!

You just have to be prepared for rocky coastlines more so than expansive sandy ones Plus beaches near cinque terre like Levanto and Bonassola have traditional beaches just a short train ride away.

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can you swim in Cinque Terre?

While long sandy beaches are uncommon along this rugged stretch of the Italian coastline, each of the five villages does have designated swimming areas and docks that allow you to experience the turquoise Ligurian Sea firsthand.

In Monterosso, Vernazza, and Corniglia you’ll find pockets of beach with small sections of sand as well as flat rocks perfect for sunbathing by the water.

Riomaggiore and Manarola lack sand, but have ladders, platforms, and piers for easy access to some delightful swimming holes tucked into the coastal crevices.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Popular swim spots include:

  • Monterosso’s Fegina Beach with its resort-style amenities
  • Manarola’s picturesque main harbor
  • Vernazza’s small sandy beach and concrete swim pier
  • Corniglia’s hidden marina beach and coves below the cliffs
  • Riomaggiore’s rocky public beach to the east of the village

You can also sign up for boat tours from several of the villages to discover more secluded coves and caves only accessible from the water.

Wherever you choose to take a dip, do come prepared with proper footwear, sun protection, and respect for the power of the waves.

But with a little common sense, the crystalline waters await your plunge on a quintessential Cinque Terre swimming adventure

Related: 4 Not To Miss Cinque Terra Boat Tours

Best Cinque Terre beaches

Beaches and Swimming in Riomaggiore beach 

Riomaggiore Rocky Beach This public beach east of the village has large boulders and crystal clear water perfect for swimming.

best beaches in cinque terre florence to cinque terre

With no services, be sure to wear water shoes and bring snacks/water. It’s never crowded, especially alluring for introverts or families seeking space for games like bocce ball.

Insider Tip: Continue past the beach along the cliffs towards Manarola and you’ll discover peaceful nooks to truly escape from tourists. This area is also excellent for avid hikers.

How to Access riomaggiore beach: From the train station, walk through the tunnel following signs for the “marina.” Head left down the stairs which wrap around to the ferry dock. Continue past the dock to reach the rocky beach area.

hidden beaches in cinque terre Italy 

Secluded Tramonti Coast Beaches in Cinque Terre Italy

For even more privacy, charter a small boat or book a boat tour from Manarola to access remote beaches like Canneto and Fossola along Riomaggiore’s Tramonti Coast.

Without crowds or amenities, this is where you can live out your shipwrecked island fantasies with little coves surrounded by dramatic seaside cliffs and forests.

Insider Tip: Pack a picnic lunch and plenty of wine when heading to these hidden gems so you can make a day of enjoying the solitude.

Beaches and Swimming in Manarola beach Cinque Terre Italy

Manarola Rocky Harbor and Marina Manarola’s main harbor is one of the area’s best swimming spots thanks to its brilliant blue waters. Descend towards the water from the train station to find:

  • Concrete beach area for sunbathing
  • Ladder entry and roped-off swimming section
  • Small tunnel and cave to explore underwater
  • Cliff jumps for daring swimmers

After your swim, relax seaside at one of the harbor restaurants with patio seating – there’s no better place to soak up Manarola’s charm.

Insider Tip: Continue walking along the cliffside path beyond the marina to discover the smaller, quieter harbor around the bend that locals love.

Beaches and Swimming in Corniglia Cinque Terre, Italy

The Corniglia Marina Since Corniglia is perched high on the cliffs, many visitors don’t realize a gem of a swimming spot lies tucked below the village. From the train station, take the brick steps to the left towards the sea.

Here you’ll find the Marina, a hidden cove with deep blue waters perfect for confident swimmers. There are also small beach areas where you can lay out towels on the rocks.

Breathtaking seascape with amazing coastal village on cliff

After your swim, enjoy a drink at the small cafe and snack bar nestled right against the shoreline just below the marina. Their pesto focaccia and cold beer pair perfectly with the beach vibes.

Insider Tip: For even more adventure, continue past the marina down the rugged cliffside trail leading towards Guvano Beach.

Expect breathtaking nature in exchange for navigating extremely steep, unstable paths. Approach with caution or opt for boat access instead.

Guvano Beach cinque terre Italy 

The jewel of Guvano Beach 9Spiaggia di Guvano) remains elusive to many visitors given the challenging hike required to access it.

Situated between Corniglia and Vernazza, this tucked-away gem was once a nude beach and hideaway for free-spirited travelers and locals.

While the old train tunnel route there is currently closed due to landslides, experienced hikers can attempt to access it from the high trails above.

Otherwise, charter a boat from Vernazza to enjoy the beauty and seclusion without the strain.

Just don’t expect amenities – bring everything you need for a day of remote relaxation.

Insider Tip: If making the trek by land, wear shoes with an aggressive grip and use caution in loose sections prone to rock slides. Consider hiring an experienced local guide for the safest descent.

Beaches and Swimming in Vernazza beach 

The Harbor Beach and Swimming Pier Vernazza’s postcard-famous harbor has a small sandy beach area along with flat rocks ideal for sun tanning beside boats bobbing in the marina.

Protected by surrounding cliffs, the water here stays calm and shallow, creating one of Cinque Terre’s best beaches for families.

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For deeper water swimming, head east to the concrete pier with ladders for easy access. Confident divers can leap from its edge into the sea below. After swimming, towel off on the nearby rocks.

Insider Tip: If crowds accumulate, venture through the rocky tunnel beach on the eastern edge of Vernazza’s main street. Situated beneath the train tracks, it makes for a unique and peaceful spot to spread out towels.

best Beach in Cinque Terre Italy: Monterosso Beach Cinque Terre Italy 

best beaches cinque terre offers is Monterosso’s Fegina Beach Of Cinque Terre’s five villages, only Monterosso offers an expansive sandy beach lined by colorful umbrellas.

best beaches in cinque terre italy

Stretching from the Fegina neighborhood to Punta Mesco, the family-friendly shore has both public and private areas.

best beaches in cinque terre italy The beach and the blue water are surrounded by trees Monterosso

Insider Tip #1: For the ultimate beach scene atmosphere, secure chairs and umbrellas at a lido club like Bagni La Pia or Bagni Eden. Expect to pay a rental fee during high season.

Insider Tip #2: Escape crowds by continuing west down the coastal path past the giant Neptune statue to discover smaller gravel beaches tucked into coves along the walk to Levanto.

monterosso beach reservation

tips for making beach reservations in Monterosso al Mare:

  • Many parts of Monterosso’s main Fegina Beach are divided into paid beach clubs and lidos where you can reserve lounge chairs, umbrellas, and cabanas. Popular options include Bagni la Pia and Bagni Eden.
  • Especially in peak summer, you’ll want to book beach club reservations well in advance. Many have websites or partner sites like Monterosso Beach where you can see images of the clubs and available packages.
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prices for monteresso beach reservation

  • Prices vary depending on the amenities, location, and time of year, but expect to spend around 25-30+ Euro per day for two lounge chairs and an umbrella during high season. Cabanas are more.
  • There are also free public beach areas if you just want to throw down a towel. However, keep in mind the free spaces fill up fast, especially closest to the good restaurants and cafes.
  • You don’t need a reservation for public areas of the main beach. But arriving early is key to claim a spot in the summer.
  • There are a few beaches in Monterosso with generally fewer crowds if you don’t mind walking a bit. The Giant Statue Beach out near the western edge of Fegina is a great option.
  • Consider staying at a hotel with private beach facilities if you want guaranteed access. Some accommodations include beach clubs in their rates.
Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

Old Town Swimming Cove by Monterosso Al mare beach

In addition to Fegina Beach, a second swimming area lies nestled beneath Monterosso’s historic district.

This tranquil spot has both paid lidos and free rocky areas to throw down towels along its shoreline.

To access it, exit the Monterosso train station and walk left through the pedestrian tunnel, following signs for the “Antico Borgo”. Descend the stairway on the right to reach the cove and small beach.

Cinque Terre best beaches Nearby : Sandy Beaches in Cinque Terra

While Cinque Terre’s villages emphasize swimming over sunbathing, the surrounding coastal region has no shortage of classic sandy beaches. Just minutes away by train, Levanto and Bonassola have several options:

Levanto Beach With vibrant beach clubs and water sports rentals available, Levanto offers an upscale take on the classic Italian beach day. The spacious, peaceful shoreline has both public and private areas.

Bonassola Beach One of the area’s most extensive and stunning beaches, Bonassola has something for everyone with its beach clubs, free public areas, and crystal blue waters perfect for snorkeling.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran

What to Pack and what to bring to beach cinque terre 

  • Water shoes – Essential for comfort on rocky beaches
  • High SPF sunscreen
  • Mask and snorkel
  • Quick-dry microfiber travel towel
  • Portable beach umbrella – Vital for finding shade
  • Waterproof phone pouch
  • Insulated lunch bag with cold packs – For perishable picnic items

Tips for the best Beach in Cinque Terre visit 

  • Reserve rented chairs/umbrellas early, especially in peak summer season
  • Consider boat or kayak tours to reach the most isolated coves
  • Check sunlight hours at your chosen beach to know when shade will move in
  • End the afternoon watching the sunset from a harbor restaurant patio

The beaches of Cinque Terre deliver turquoise waters, adventure, and charm around every corner. By discovering the sandy gems in each village and venturing off the beaten path to more isolated nature spots, you’re guaranteed to create lifelong memories ashore on your Italian Riviera escape.

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