Best Views in Cinque Terre: 13 Spots for the Perfect Photos

April 8, 2024

Cinque Terre is a stunning Italian destination made up of five small villages along the coast of the Ligurian Sea. Its colorful houses, the picturesque Mediterranean Sea and its dramatic cliffs are just some of the things that make Cinque Terre one of the most beautiful places in Italy.

The five scenic coastal villages – Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare – are probably among the most iconic places in the world and one of the most desirable photographic destinations for those who want to capture stunning views.

The Cinque Terre, located on the northern coast of Italy, harmoniously blends the beauty of nature and human creation. The waves of the sea crash against the shores, while the painted houses line the mountain slopes in gentle arcs. The extraordinarily beautiful landscape, historical ambiance, and friendly locals create a special atmosphere that serves as inspiration for any photographer.

So whether you are a professional photographer or a casual traveler, Cinque Terre has no lack of beautiful views and photo locations that are sure to take your breath away.

In this article we take a look at the best photo spots and the great views of the Cinque Terre, discovering the most amazing places in these villages, which often look like a painting.

We will present the most beautiful photo spots and viewpoints village by village in the five villages of Cinque Terre, sequentially. You can read a brief introduction for each location, along with photography tips, and find descriptions of their locations.

If you need exact coordinates, we will also provide them for the photo locations one by one.

In addition, here at the beginning, we have also included a Google Maps map of the best places for photographers in the Cinque Terre.

Map of the best viewpoints in Cinque Terre

So, let’s see the list of the best views and photo spots in the five villages:

Best views in Riomaggiore

Viewpoint 1: Via San Giacomo 1

Coordinates: 44.098168, 9.737611

Our first viewpoint is an exceptionally captivating spot, providing one of the best opportunities to capture an iconic photo of Cinque Terre. This location is on Via San Giacomo in Riomaggiore, in a small square on the mountainside.

This is the best photographic spot in Riomaggiore and also offers good opportunities for model photography.

In old photos, there were no railings, but a few years ago, high metal railings were placed for tourists, so it’s no longer possible to sit or lean on the brick wall.

Pro tip: There is also a bar with a similar panoramic view, called La Conchiglia, next to the lookout.

Viewpoint 2: Via San Giacomo 2

Coordinates: 44.097871, 9.737809

For the second viewpoint on our list, you only have to walk a little way along the mountainside on Via San Giacomo, continuing towards Riomaggiore Beach. Here you will find steps leading down from the mountainside to the sea. From these you will have fantastic sea views, sometimes with beautiful plants. A recommended spot for nature photographers.

Pro tip: Next to the lookout is the boat dock, from where also the Cinque Terre boat tours depart.

Viewpoint 3: Piazza Vignaioli

Coordinates: 44.099088, 9.738137

If you are walking from Riomaggiore train station towards Via San Giacomo, stop for a few photos in this square called Piazza Vignaioli. Here you can also take pictures of beautiful colorful houses. It is a lesser known photographic spot in the Cinque Terre, but we are happy with the photos we have taken here too.

Best views in Manarola

Viewpoint 1: Manarola Overlook Viewpoint

Coordinates: 44.107424, 9.725809

If you take Manarola’s main street towards the Nessun Dorma restaurant, you will find the Manarola Overlook Viewpoint up a walkway. This is one of the most Instagrammable photo spots, a must-see viewpoint in the Cinque Terre. It is especially recommended to take photos here at sunset.

Pro tip: When in Manarola, don’t miss a visit to the popular restaurant Nessun Dorma. From there, while enjoying a similarly breathtaking view, you can taste authentic Italian cuisine.

Viewpoint 2: Via Renato Birolli, Manarola

Coordinates: 44.106799, 9.728364

The next photo spot is in Manarola, on the road between the coast and the train station. It is a small square covered with colorful paving stones and offers a picturesque view of the surrounding colorful houses.

Viewpoint 3: Via Antonio Discovolo, Manarola

Coordinates: 44.107086, 9.728836

A little further up the main street in Manarola, on Via Antonio Discovolo, there is an interesting photo spot that few people take advantage of. Stopping roughly in front of the local clothing store Salsedine or the shop selling handmade products Burasca, you can easily take photos similar to ours.

Viewpoint 4: Trail 6p, Manarola-Volastra

Coordinates: 44.107750, 9.728771

The Trail 6p between Manarola and Volastra also offers fantastic views. And for a photo like ours, all you need to do is hike up just the first section of the trail.

However, be prepared for the trail to be steep, steep and narrow, so it’s a good idea to wear comfortable shoes.

Pro tip: You don’t need a Cinque Terre Trekking Card here, this trail is free to use.

Best view in Corniglia

Viewpoint: Via Stazione, Corniglia

Coordinates: 44.121037, 9.708192

Corniglia is a less popular village in the Cinque Terre than its neighbors, but we found a photo point worth visiting Corniglia for.

Simply look for the point we have marked on the west side of the Via Stazione road. From here, you can get a wonderful view of Corniglia’s colorful houses.

Pro tip: This is one of the few photo spots in the Cinque Terre that you can reach quickly by car too.

Best views in Vernazza

Viewpoint 1: Sentiero Monterosso-Vernazza

Coordinates: 44.136562, 9.681409

This lookout point is one of the most famous and most Instagrammable places in the whole Cinque Terre. It is located near Vernazza, along the Monterosso-Vernazza hiking trail.

Unfortunately, you need a Cinque Terre Trekking Card to enter here during the hiking season – although we should mention that nobody asked us for one in April, even though it was already the hiking season.

The situation is a bit funny when thinking about this lookout, because to get the absolute best photos it is necessary to climb over things (like fences). If you are lucky, you will find a small open gate next to the stairs leading up the mountainside to sneak in.

We don’t really know how legal this is, but the best photos of Vernazza are taken here and this way.

Viewpoint 2: Port of Vernazza

Coordinates: 44.135171, 9.681700

You can also get an ideal view of Vernazza by walking on Via Visconti next to the port.

From here, the view of Vernazza is worth capturing from different angles, with or without boats. The blue water, the Church of St. Margaret of Antioch and the colorful buildings make for a captivating sight.

Pro tip: If you have time for a boat trip to explore Cinque Terre from the sea, check out these Cinque Terre boat trips.

Viewpoint 3: Via Roma, Vernazza

Coordinates: 44.134721, 9.684292

The narrow streets of Vernazza are full of photo opportunities. One of these is the Via Roma leading to the train station. We took the best photo in front of the Fritto e pizza da Sandro restaurant.

Viewpoint 4: Sentiero Azzuro, Vernazza

Coordinates: 44.134264, 9.684692

On the hiking trail between Vernazza and Corniglia, you can find another of the best photography locations of Vernazza.

Up the stairs towards Corniglia you will find this great spot with breathtaking views of Vernazza and the sea.

Be prepared for some strenuous stairs for this view, but it is worth it!

Best view in Monterosso al Mare

Viewpoint: Beach view in Monterosso

Coordinates: 44.145479, 9.651961

Monterosso al Mare is not so much famous for its charming views as for its beaches and the best infrastructure among the villages of the Cinque Terre.

However, if you walk along the coast, you can find excellent photo opportunities. Such is this beach view along the Via Fegina.

Other things to know

How to prepare for a photo shoot in Cinque Terre

  • Comfortable shoes: Best to wear comfortable shoes when exploring the viewpoints of the Cinque Terre, due to the amount of walking and sometimes slippery stairs.
  • Raincoat: As the weather in Cinque Terre is quite changeable, you can expect rain at any time. Even if the weather forecast predicts sunny weather all day. Always bring a raincoat!
  • Snacks: The Cinque Terre is full of wonderful restaurants, bars and shops, but if you just want a quick bite to eat, have some snacks on you.
  • Wide-angle camera: for Cinque Terre photography, bring a camera with a wide-angle lens, as there are a few places where this can be useful.
  • Tripod: You might be able to use it in some places, but carrying it through a long walk is strenuous and we think unnecessary. Plus, you won’t want to bother with your tripod in the usually huge crowds anyway.
  • Drone: As the Cinque Terre is located in a national park, drone flights are not allowed.

Where to stay in Cinque Terre

In the Cinque Terre villages, we recommend the following accommodation:

Alternatively, if you travel by car or simply prefer to stay in a city, we recommend La Spezia, where there are a lot of good hotels. Among these we recommend:

Best time to visit Cinque Terre

We recommend spring or autumn as the best time to explore the Cinque Terre, to avoid the huge crowd during the summer high season.

If you want to go to the beach, summer is the only option, but even then avoid school holidays and weekends.

Our photos were taken in spring, when we think we have the best light – for almost all European landscape photography.

So that was our list of the best spots for photography in Cinque Terre, and some other things to know if you plan to visit this wonderful place.

Wherever your Cinque Terre photography tour may lead, you are sure to find plenty of opportunities to capture breathtaking photos. From stunning panoramas to unique perspectives, the villages of Cinque Terre offer numerous scenic views and photographic opportunities that guarantee outstanding pictures.

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