Accommodation can be the make or break of the trip, especially in Cinque Terre.
In July, August and September everything is booked solid, reserve rooms as far ahead as possible for these months, or don’t go in the high season. My favorite villages are Riomaggiore and Vernazza, I also like to stay in Manarola. Levanto, the next town north of Cinque Terre is a possibility, if everything in the 5 Cinque Terre villages as taken. Read these warnings and tips before contacting places to stay! It will help you understand how things work in Cinque Terre.
- There are small hotels and Bed & Breakfasts in all the villages, see the list below.
- Some have web pages with online booking, follow the links.
- Most small hotels, restaurants and B&Bs do not take credit cards. It is expensive for small businesses to work with credit card companies. Some places will request a deposit in cash or check This is normal, I have not heard of any abuse of the check.
- I myself do not run a booking service for accommodation in Cinque Terre. Email or call the places listed and follow up the links.
- Unless otherwise stated I have not stayed in these hotels or B&Bs. I am interested in your comments about them.
- To call somewhere in Cinque Terre from the United States, dial 011-39, then the local number. Unlike for other European countries, when calling Italy from another country you must dial the zero after the country code and before the area code.
- There are ATM’s in all the villages and a bank in Monterosso.
“There is no Holiday Inn in Cinque Terre.” This means that the standard of the accommodation is not North American. Rooms are smaller, with no TV, rugs, A/C or screens. Breakfast is different.
More on this subject with tips and insights.
There are small hotels in all the villages.
Requests for reservations are sometimes ignored by the hotels, as they can almost always get custom without reservations. If a hotel ignores your faxes or emails, it means that they are either full, or are not taking reservations at the moment or are closed for the winter.
Somebody lately reported to me that he was “bumped” for a larger party. ( at the Pension Sorriso in Vernazza).
If you have a reservation, call a day ahead to reconfirm. The hotel season is very short in Cinque Terre and the hotels need a full house every night to make a profit. If they think you will not show up they will give your room to somebody else.
More on this subject with tips and insights.
Make sure you understand what the price of the hotel includes before you decide to stay. Is the price for the duration of your stay or just for one night? Some hotels only offer half board, I. e. breakfast and dinner are included in the price and must be taken at the hotel. Sometimes dinner is not what you would have chosen on the menu.
Nigel & Kate Roberts (July 2002)
Bed & Breakfast’s
It’s usually bed without the breakfast. But I would stay in “room” over a hotel any day!
The villages are honey combed with rentable private rooms and apartments down little back streets, “affite camere” in Italian. Some are like hotels, some are one room in somebody’s house, you share the bathroom with the residents.
A few places have little notices posted. Some are lovely, with great views. Usually they can not be booked ahead. Call a day in advance or get there early in the day and ask at the bars and restaurants.
There are few hostels in Cinque Terre:
The nearest camps site are in Levanto, on stop on the train from Monterosso.
I enjoy staying in the youth hostel in Manarola or in private rooms in Manarola or Vernazza. In my experience the only reliable bookings are done by the youth hostel and “Da Baranin” B&B in Manarola.
And now the listing of all accomodations sorted from South to North.
This B&B is 10 km from Cinque Terre, the other side of La Spezia, but might be worth looking into if Cinque Terre is booked solid: Da Fiorina B&B Vezzano Ligure.
This is an example of a typical email I often receive:
Can you give me advice on accommodation. I am planning to visit in September 2000. (…) We have all traveled extensively and would like to rent a comfortable house. We don’t want a “Hilton Hotel”, but something clean and comfortable. We love the beach. Can you tell me who to contact to look for accommodation?
This may not work in the high season, but…
I always find my rented room accommodation by asking around in the villages. It may seem strange, but just go into the cafes and shops and ask if they have a room. The first few won’t have, but at the third place somebody’s sister will and before you know it you will be following a little old lady up countless flights of stairs and alleyways to a beautiful little room, sometimes with a view. These places cannot be booked in advance. I have stayed in a few but could not tell you the address or the contact person. Just try and trust to luck, its fun!
This may not work in the high season!