10 Spots With The Best Views of Cinque Terre (w/Google Maps)

Cinque Terre is northern Italy’s most scenic coastline, a famous National Park visited by 2.5 million tourists a year. Home to picturesque villages perched on dramatic landscapes, each connected by breathtaking hiking trails, it is a place to bless your eyes with scenic coastline wonder. 

There are five centuries-old seaside villages in Cinque Terre, each with a unique beauty and stunning scenery to see. From north to south, the villages in Cinque Terre are called Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

In this blog post, I share with you the locations (Google Maps) of the scenic spots in Cinque Terre that reveal the true beauty of the national park. I added sample photos as well to serve as your inspiration. You can verify the view using Google Maps Streetview near the map coordinates in this post.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I recommend products and services to help you make a successful and memorable trip. I may receive a tiny commission if you purchase them at no additional cost. These will support me in maintaining, creating more articles, and fulfilling the mission of this blog.

Some of the scenic spots in Cinque Terre in this post are located away from the villages. Others are located along the hiking trails. Sometimes, there are renovations and repairs taking place. Better to check for announcements and news from the official website of Cinque Terre before going.

Also, some of the scenic spots on the list are in the two most famous trails of Cinque Terre, the Monterosso – Vernazza & Vernazza – Corniglia. Unless it is the months of November until Easter, you will need to buy Cinque Terre Card to access these hiking trails. All other hiking trails are free of charge.

So let’s start!

10 Scenic Spots in Cinque Terre

One of the reasons I am so obsessed with visiting scenic places is “awe.” I love getting the feeling of awe – it’s a blissful feeling. It helps me stay mentally healthy and humble, most importantly, happy. If you’re looking too for such a feeling on a trip to Cinque Terre, the list of places below will let you have it:

  1. Monterosso Punta Mesco
  2. Vernazza Lookout
  3. Vernazza Sentiero Azzurro
  4. View of Corniglia in Hamlet of Prevo
  5. Corniglia Sentiero Azzurro
  6. Manarola Scenic Viewpoint 
  7. Via dell Amore
  8. Riomaggiore Via San Giacomo
  9. Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero
  10. Chiesa di San Pietro

These 10 scenic spots in Cinque Terre are arranged from north to south. Let’s discuss each one by one below:

Scenic Spot 1: Monterosso Punta Mesco

Map Coordinates: 44.138794, 9.635143

Let’s kick off the list of the 10 scenic spots in Cinque Terre with Punta Mesco, which you can visit from Monterosso, the northernmost village in Cinque Terre.

Punta Mesco and the hiking trails leading to it are the only areas where you can observe the entire coastline of Cinque Terre national park all in one view.

At Punta Mesco, you can literally spot the five villages in Cinque Terre, especially during clear weather. The view extends up to Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto Islands, located in the southernmost portion of the national park.

Punta Mesco, the northernmost scenic spot in Cinque Terre, Italy

Elevated at 280 meters (918 feet) above sea level, Punta Mesco has breathtaking views that can’t be compared to the ones which can see from the boats.

The scenery may not be so spectacular compared to the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, but still, it can be so dramatic, especially during sunset or misty morning.

If you plan to see Punta Mesco from Monterosso, I recommend that you allocate at least 2 hours to 3 hours of your day to visit the scenic spot. That includes round-trip hiking, sightseeing, and rest along the way.

Ideally, you can reach Punta Mesco from Monterosso in an hour.

The hiking trail can be difficult for beginners, though. More than 50 percent of it has an inclination with more than 20%.

I suggest bringing a trekking pole or knee support during your hike. You will be hiking on stairs for almost the entire ascent to the highest point of the cape.

Hiking to Punta Mesco can be hot during summer as the path is not covered with trees.

However, there is an old military observatory on the top of the cape to get some shade while enjoying the view of Cinque Terre. You can also find the ruins of Sant’Antonio del Mesco near the viewpoint, which makes the Punta Mesco a bit unique compared to others on the list, I think.

The path to Punta Mesco is pretty straightforward, and there are no forks in the track that leads to other places. Besides, the hiking trail is well signposted, and the probability of getting lost is almost impossible.

Starting from Monterosso, just follow the direction of the cape west of the village, and you should arrive at the viewpoint in an hour.

Though Monterosso has the most beautiful beach in Cinque Terre, I did not find any other scenic spot in it aside from Punta Mesco. So, let’s now proceed to Vernazza, the town south of Monterosso.

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Scenic Spot 2: Vernazza Lookout

Map Coordinates: 44.136523, 9.681431

Vernazza, compared to Monterosso, has a tiny beach.

However, the town of Vernazza itself is a scenic spot; you don’t have to hike for an hour just to see its captivating views. Its pastel-colored houses near the shore and the absence of car traffic make it a so-charming fishing village not to be missed in Cinque Terre.

Among the villages in Cinque Terre, Vernazza is the only village with a natural port. The appearance of its lagoon, surrounded by colorful houses, in my perception, is one of the scenic spots you need to see in Cinque Terre.

Not to mention the Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia and Doria Castle – they cause the view of Vernazza’s bay to look even more fairytale-ish. 

Vernazza Lookout, a scenic spot in Cinque Terre Italy

So, where can you find the most picturesque spot view of Vernazza’s port?

The answer lies in the hiking trail along the vineyards opposite the tiny peninsula where the colorful houses in Vernazza are. It is behind the tower of the Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia when you’re at the beach or Piazza Guglielmo Marconi.

You can check the exact location by clicking the coordinates indicated at the start of this section.

The scenic or picture spot of Vernazza can be accessed right away from the village center or beach through the path beside the Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia. The way is made up of stairs (mostly) but isn’t lengthy.

Walking at a moderate speed, you can be at the vantage point within 10 minutes.

This path can be swamped by tourists during the peak season since it is located along the Monterosso – Vernazza hiking trail. Set your expectations low so you won’t be disappointed that you can’t enjoy the view with utmost peace alone. 

If you’re looking for a vantage point with a perfect angle to photograph Vernazza’s colorful houses and port, this scenic spot is just where to be.

However, there is another scenic spot you would want to visit in Vernazza, and it is located above the beach and overlooking the entire village (see the next scenic spot).

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Scenic Spot 3: Vernazza Sentiero Azzurro

Map coordinates: 44.134240, 9.684691

The next scenic spot in Cinque Terre lies on a small cliff above the beach of Vernazza.

It is effortless to reach, similar to the previously mentioned scenic spot of the same village. You can find it along the head trail of the Vernazza Sentiero Azzurro trail located south of the town, beside the old watchtower.

I find the view on the Vernazza Sentiero Azzurro trail more scenic than the one you can see from the scenic spot in the vineyards of Vernazza since it is situated a bit higher. You see more parts of Cinque Terre’s breathtaking seascape from that spot, and it’s absolutely gorgeous, particularly during sunset! 

View of Vernazza from Sentiero Azzurro going to Corniglia, Cinque Terre Scenic Spot

The view from the Vernazza Sentiero Azzurro trail scenic spot starts from its beach to the vast Ligurian Sea, from the headland where a third of the village was built to the cape where the Punta Mesco is.

The view also includes the cliffs one behind another, fading with the mist, up until the beach of Monterosso.

The tower of Castello Doria is very noticeable from this scenic spot.

We can see it on the top of the Vernazza promontory, reminding us that Vernazza was a fortified town with a history dating back to the late 11th century. It’s a link to the past; it made me imagine the pirates and the Italian royal navy clashing in the nearby waters. 

It will only take 5 minutes to reach Vernazza Sentiero Azzurro trail scenic spot from the beach. From the beach, head towards, and walk in the direction of the train station.

Watch out for the small alley to the right with a small sign telling it’s the way to Corniglia (“Path to Corniglia”). Proceed to this narrow alley.

You will find small signages in the alley/stairway that will tell you which is the way to Corniglia. It is also the way to the scenic spot in Vernazza Sentiero Azzurro. By the time you spot the old watchtower, it means you’re almost there – a few steps away.

Sentiero Azzurro, by the way, is the hiking trail that connects Corniglia and Vernazza. It’s one of the scenic hiking trails in Cinque Terre, where you can see the breathtaking view of Corniglia perched on a high cliff overlooking the sea.

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Scenic Spot 4:View of Corniglia in Hamlet of Prevo

Map coordinates: 44.129411, 9.699229

Sentiero Azzurro between Corniglia and Vernazza is one of the most scenic hiking trails in Cinque Terre. It spans 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) in length, and you can finish hiking it within an hour. But, with the beautiful views, I bet it will be much longer.

In the middle of Sentiero Azzurro, also at its highest point, we find the Hamlet of Prevo – a tiny settlement situated 208 meters (682 feet) above sea level.

It has several homes, vineyards, hostels, and a breathtaking view of Cinque Terre’s cliffy coast to the south. 

Breathtaking view of Corniglia from the hamlet of Prevo, a scenic spot in Cinque Terre, Italy

You can rent a room in one of the hostels in the Hamlet of Prevo to get better views, but the scenery along the Sentiero Azzurro will “wow” you already.

But what is it you can actually see in The Hamlet of Prevo?

Well, it is just the village of Corniglia that is dramatically perched on top of a cliff in Cinque Terre. It may sound simple, but the entirety of the scenery will fill you with awe, especially when there’s a thin mist shrouding the cliffs. The cliffs fade with the distance. 

The view from Prevo extends from Guvano Beach down below to Maranola, Riomaggiore, and beyond during a clear sunny day. Not only that! The islands of Capraia, Gorgona, Isola d’Elba, and even France’s Capo Corso island can be seen from Prevo, as well.

Actually, Cinque Terre has another scenic spot in Sentiero Azzurro, aside from Vernazza and Prevo. So, that’s three!

You’ll encounter the third scenic spot right after Prevo; suppose you’re coming from Vernazza. It lies near Corniglia, and we’ll discuss it next.

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Scenic Spot 5: Corniglia Sentiero Azzurro

Map coordinates: 44.125773, 9.705484

Corniglia is the third and middle village in the Cinque Terre. Among them, Corniglia is the most unique because of its location. It is situated 100 meters (328 feet) above sea level and not directly adjacent to the sea. 

The village of Corniglia has colorful houses too.

But, I think it’s much better seen/photographed from afar together with the breathtaking headland where it is built and the nearby cliffs rather than close up with just vineyards and terraces on the view. 

View of Corniglia in Sentiero Azzurro, one of the most scenic spots in Cinque Terre Italy

Though you can have that view of Corniglia from Prevo already, the scenic spot in Sentiero Azzurro near Corniglia will let you see Corniglia much closer yet breathtaking still. At this point, you can already see the colors of the houses in Corniglia more vividly compared to the view from Prevo. 

So, where exactly is the scenic spot in Sentiero Azzurro to see this breathtaking view?

It is located midway between Prevo and Cornigliaabove the southern end of Guvano beach. The vantage point is literally on the edge of the cliff, and no trees block the view.

Corniglia’s viewpoint on Sentiero Azzurro is a kilometer (0.6 miles) away from Prevo and Corniglia. Hiking from either one of the two villages will take 15 to 20 minutes to reach the spot. If you are planning to watch the sunset in Corniglia, absolutely, this is the place to be.

Afraid of heights?

The scenic spot lies at the edge of the cliff. But don’t you worry! Sentiero Azzurro has wooden railings (with a net) – you will be safe when peeking at the view. Just don’t lean too much.

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Scenic Spot 6: Manarola Viewpoint

Map Coordinates: 44.107448, 9.725579

Going further south, we find Manarola, the fourth village in Cinque Terre, which is also considered by most visitors as the national park’s most charming village. But, if you’ll ask me which is more scenic?

It’s Vernazza or Riomaggiore.

Manarola, like Vernazza, has beautiful multicolored houses and a harbor so compelling to photograph.

The blue water (sometimes turquoise) in its bay balances the warm and bright colors of the houses in the village’s promontory. Overall, a lovely coastal fairytale village.

Manarola Viewpoint, a scenic spot in Cinque Terre Italy

Manarola sits in a valley surrounded by terraces and vineyards.

You can climb or go to some parts of the vineyards overlooking the village to get some view. The ridge on top of the vineyards located north of Manarola’s village center (Trail 6P) can be hiked and should let you see a nice view of Cinque Terre’s coastline.

If you want to see a scenic view of Manarola similar to the panorama of Corniglia from Sentiero Azzurro above Guvano beach, I suggest that you come to VolastraVolastra is another village in Cinque Terre, situated north of Manarola. It has an overlooking view of Manarola’s headland – sure a scenic spot in Cinque Terre too!

However, the best and most scenic point in Manarola lies very close to the village.

You do not have to go far or hike for hours or drive. This scenic spot in Cinque Terre is just in the small cape where the cemetery of Manarola is located. It’s the most famous and photographed view, I believe!

Not all parts of this small headland of Manarola are a cemetery.

The cemetery is just a third of it. Two-thirds of the cape is like a park, which, yes, is really intended for viewing the most photogenic part of the village.

To the north, you can see Corniglia up to Punta Mesco, near Monterosso. 

The colorful houses perched on a several-meter high rock overlooking the blue harbor look will look very pretty, especially during the late afternoon. During that time, the sunlight pops the warm colors of the houses, turning them into a spectacular eye magnet!

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Scenic Spot 7: Via dell Amore (44.102906, 9.732156)

Map Coordinates: 44.102906, 9.732156

Years ago, visitors and locals could walk their way to the Riomaggiore, the 5th and last main village of Cinque Terre, from Manarola and vice versa.

This pedestrian path is called Via dell Amore (the Way of Love), a 1-kilometer (0.6 miles) long scenic walkway that runs along the coast of Cinque Terre.

Via dell Amore is actually a part of Sentiero Azzurro. It was the private meeting place of many lovers from both villages, hence its name. Authorities closed the pedestrian path for repairs after a rockslide incident in 2012. The renovations of Via dell Amore are expected to be finished in 2023

sunset in Via dell Amore, a scenic spot in Cinque Terre, Italy

Though Via dell Amore is closed at the time of this writing, I learned from my observations and research on Google Maps that it’s a remarkably scenic spot in Cinque Terre.

You can also check the Streetview from the link I provided, how beautiful the view in Via dell Amore can be. For your convenience:

The rocky coastline and the cliffs rolling down into the sea can appear unquestionably scenic. That is, especially at a similar time of the day the Streetview above was captured. Then, near both ends of the tunnel, the view of rugged Cinque Terre’s coastline awaits at the tip of a bay. 

I must not forget to mention the fascinating rock formations near the entrance of the Via dell Amore at Riomaggiore’s side. The appearance of the tidal-eroded rocks is uncommonly impressive!

They have line patterns, and it will make you wonder how creative nature is. 

I hope that the renovation doesn’t remove the tunnel in Via dell Amore. It contains several graffiti art, though.

Most importantly, the view inside can be so Instagrammable. The tunnel has windows forming an array where hard light from the sun can enter. It makes a scene that seems to share a story, don’t you agree?

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Scenic Spot 8: Riomaggiore Via San Giacomo

Map Coordinates: 44.098126, 9.737553

Riomaggiore is The fifth main village in Cinque Terre, the southernmost town, and the nearest to the city of La Spezia.

Like Manarola, Riomaggiore is situated in a valley. It also has a small bay where visitors see the peak of its charm.

Going to where the boats are parked isn’t exactly the best view of the Riomaggiore can be observed. But you can visit the breakwater (be careful of your steps on the massive rocks) to see the breathtaking cliffs and coastline of Cinque Terre

Near the tip of the sea wall of Riomaggiore, you can find the vantage point that lets you see the center of the village from the sea.

It’s a unique picture spot, though. But, if there are enormous waves, and the rocks are wet, don’t mind even mind going! Nevertheless, the scene should be beautiful, especially during the afternoon until night when the village’s lights are turned on.

View of Riomaggiore from Via San Giacomo, Scenic spot in Cinque Terre, Italy

For me, the most scenic spot of Riomaggiore, also the most Instagrammable view, is located in Via San Giacomo at the open space corner overlooking the harbor. The view from there starts from the colorful houses of Riomaggiore to the rock formations on the coast, and the cliffs of Cinque Terre, ending into the vast sea.

You can easily find this scenic spot from the port as it’s commonly packed with people taking photographs.

Like any other village in Cinque Terre, it’s best to visit the viewpoint of Riomaggiore from Via San Giacomo during the Golden hour until the sun is down. The red house in the view is really eye-catching, though.

The viewpoint of Riomaggiore in Via San Giacomo is effortless to reach. If you’re coming from the train station, it will only take you five minutes to arrive at the place

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Scenic Spot 9: Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero

Map Coordinates: 44.096064, 9.745169

Another scenic spot in Cinque Terre lies within Riomaggiore.

However, compared to the viewpoint in Via San Giacomo, this one will require effort to reach. It is located around the church Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero, perched on a 335-meter (1099-feet) ridge south of the Riomaggiore village.

Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero (or Shrine of Our Lady of Montenero) is a valuable place of worship for the people of Riomaggiore that dates back as early as the 14th century.

It is connected to the village of Riomaggiore with a hiking trail called 593V (ex 3a), which stretches for around 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles).

Among the scenic spots in Cinque Terre, the Shrine of Our Lady of Montenero is the most elevated, thus, also the most breathtaking. On a sunny day, the views from the shrine extend beyond the cape where Punta Mesco is to the north.

Looking south, it’s the Palmira, Tino, and Tinetto Islands.

You can also spot different villages of Cinque Terre from the Shrine of Our Lady of Montenero. This scenic spot in Cinque Terre overlooks Riomaggiore. Afar is the villages of Volastra, Corniglia and Monterosso al Mare you can see as well.

To get to the Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero, start from Piazza Vignaioli (village square). Proceed to the stairs (Via Antonio Gramsci) on your right when facing the sea. Continue walking and climbing the stairs until you reach the cemetery of the Riomaggiore.

Do not turn when you see a road (Via di Loca) – just keep moving up.

You shall pass by terraces and vineyards. There is another stairway beyond the cemetery. Proceed to it. The scenery from this portion will be scenic already!

It will seem like an endless climb, but the views shall motivate you.

When you reach the end of the stairway (Bivio Riomaggiore bus stop), continue straight under the bridge, and you will see a bar called “Bar Il Sole a 180 Gradi.” Proceed in its direction and continue walking until you see a small stairway to your left. Climb the stairs, and within minutes you shall arrive at Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero.

Most parts of the hiking trail are inclining.

It will be tiring, but the best view comes after the “hardest” climb! Don’t forget to bring water, proper shoes, and trekking poles if you think you need support for your legs and knees.

If you need a shortcut, you can ride the bus from the village of Riomaggiore to its cemetery and start hiking from there. Also, Some buses stop at the top of the stairway from the Riomaggiore’s cemetery (at the Bivio Riomaggiore bus stop).

It will be the quickest shortcut you can have. 

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Scenic Spot 10: Chiesa di San Pietro

Map Coordinates: 44.048228, 9.832417

The last scenic spot on this list isn’t actually in Cinque Terre. However, it’s one of the best places you can easily visit to observe Cinque Terre’s coastline from the south.

This scenic spot is called Chiesa di San Pietro or the Church of Saint Peter.

The Church of Saint Peter is a Roman Catholic church in Porte Venere built on a narrow headland that sees the entire coast of Cinque Terre. This church, designed with stripes, dates back to the 5th century when it replaced the pagan temple that used to stand on its site.

The arcades in the church of Saint Peter, Porto Venere, Viewing Cinque Terre, Italy

From the Church of Saint Peter, you get a sweeping view of the entire Ligurian Sea, from Palmira Island on the south and Cinque Terre north. The views of the towering steep cliffs of mainland Italy in Porto Venere and the rolling headlands in Cinque Terre will be yours to behold!

On a clear day, you can also spot the tiny islet of Scoglio Ferale. 

You can climb the church up to its roof deck to see the best views. However, if you want a shot really sharable on social media, move down from the roof deck and get to the covered area where the arcades are. The arcades will act as a frame for the breathtaking views outside. 

If you’re in Riomaggiore, you can quickly come to Porto Venere to visit the Church of Saint Peter via ferry.

Not prefer the ferries? You can try returning to La Spezia via train and head to Porto Venere via bus. 

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Map of the Breathtaking Places in Cinque Terre

I plotted the scenic spots in Cinque Terre on this Map for your convenience:

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Is Cinque Terre Worth Visiting?

When it comes to scenic views, Cinque Terre is absolutely worth visiting! Cinque Terre’s colorful villages on its breathtaking coast are so gorgeous not to be missed when visiting Italy. However, it is a popular destination, so you must also expect countless tourists to come, especially during peak season.  

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Cinque Terre Tours and Guides

Need help in visiting/hiking in Cinque Terre? Check these out:

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Where To Go After Cinque Terre?

Cinque Terre’s scenic coastline and picturesque small villages are one of the reasons why I think people should have a trip to northern Italy (10 Reasons Why Must Visit Northern Italy). 

If you haven’t decided where to go next after Cinque Terre, here are the closest place I recommend you can visit next:

  1. Milan 3 hours direct train from Monterosso
  2. Florence 2.5 hours (2 train rides: Corniglia to Sarzana and Sarzana to Florence)

You can learn more about Milan (10 Reasons + 21 Best Things To Do In Milan) and Florence (10 Beautiful Places To Visit in Florence) from these links.

Do you also like destinations with historical sites, stunning architectural marvels, breathtaking views, lakes, and mountains? in northern Italy, you can find many! 

See my articles about lakes:

  1. Lake Garda—The largest lake in Italy. It has picturesque towns, scenic views, a castle on the lake, and more!
  2. Lake Como—A heaven-touched lake where the most Instagrammable villas with scenery are found.

Discover the cities in the Italian Alps/Dolomite mountains:

  1. Trento—An lovely place surrounded by castles, lakes, and mountains.
  2. Bolzano—It’s the gateway to the Dolomites. You can start visiting the Dolomites here.
  3. Cortina d’Ampezzo—The town in the middle of the most beautiful places in the Dolomites. Literally, it is in the middle!

Here are the cities where fascinating history and UNESCO sites await:

  1. Rome—In this article, I will show you the beautiful landmarks in Rome.
  2. Verona—You must discover Verona, a romantic city and home of Romeo and Juliet.
  3. Venice—Are you an architecture enthusiast? I have the 10 most beautiful buildings in Venice in this article.
  4. Bergamo—It’s a city both scenic and medieval.

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Discover more places!

Hello, before you go, I just want you to know that I have articles that can help you discover and visit different places worldwide. Mostly, they are about historical cities and scenic attractions. You may click the images below to find your next fantastic destination!

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Most Scenic Spots Cinque Terre, Italy
Most Scenic Spots Cinque Terre, Italy

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