Manarola is one of the five beautiful villages in Cinque Terre, Italy. Among the five villages, Manarola is one of the most popular to visit.
Here you have beautiful views, delicious food, and several things to both see and do. Down below you can read more about Manarola and my best tips for a memorable stay:
Things to do in Manarola
Manarola is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and offers many attractions and experiences. There are everything from beautiful photo spots and places to go swimming to pesto cooking classes and wine tasting.
See Manarola from the sea
If you feel like going out on the sea one of your days in Manarola, there are several boat trips you can take from Riomaggiore. It’s a new and exciting experience to see all the beautiful villages from the sea.
Riomaggiore is located next to Manarola and can be reached by train or hiking. It’s definitely worth it as the view of Manarola is so beautiful from the sea.
You will find various boat trips on AirBnB experiences, so just find a boat tour that sounds interesting and book it!
Watch the sunset from Punta Bonfiglio
Punta Bonfiglio is a famous viewpoint in Manarola where you see the village surrounded by nature and the blue water. It’s one of the best things to do in Manarola.
To reach Punta Bonfiglio you have to go all the way down to the harbor and follow the road up to the viewpoint.
It’s one of the most popular places in the city to watch the sunset and to take photos. However, this is not only a great place to visit during sunset but also during sunrise and any other time during the day.
Eat Italian gelato
One of the best things to do in Manarola is to eat delicious Italian ice cream and just stroll around town. In Manarola there are plenty of ice cream parlours where you can choose between several yummy flavors.
Learn how to make pesto
One of the most popular things to do in Manarola is to learn how to make pesto at Nessun Dorma.
Nessun Dorma is one of the most popular restaurants in Manarola. They serve delicious food, refreshing drinks and offers one of the best views of Manarola.
Not only do they serve good food and drinks with a beautiful view, but they also have reasonable prices, nice staff and a pesto cooking class. The experience is called “Pesto experience at Nessun Dorma” and can be booked via AirBnB.
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Go wine tasting
If you like going hiking and drinking wine, this experience is perfect for you. From Manarola you can go on a small hike with beautiful views through the vines.
After an hour’s walk you have reached your destination where you’re going to taste local wines while enjoying the view of the sea.
The experience is called “Climb the stairway to wine heaven” and can be booked through AirBnB.
Go swimming in the harbor
If you visit Manarola during summer, it can be nice to take a dip in the sea. In the harbor of Manarola it’s popular to swim in the crystal clear waters of the cliffs.
On a calm and sunny day it’s very nice to go swimming in this harbor.
Explore in the morning
It’s no secret that Manarola is one of the most visited places in Italy. All year round it’s full of tourists who all want to see this beautiful and colorful village.
When you visit Manarola, my best tips is to get up early in the morning and explore (preferably during sunrise). It’s something magical about strolling around in a place that’s usually packed with people when it is empty and quiet.
It’s almost like going back in time, before all tourists started traveling to Manarola.
Visit Church of San Lorenzo
A little further up in Manarola you’ll find the Church of San Lorenzo from the 1300s.
This place is known for the old tower that stands on the square outside the church, as well as the window with a rose design above the entrance.
It’s a beautiful church and a must to visit when you’re in Manarola.
Hiking to and from Manarola
One of the most popular things to do in Cinque Terre is hiking. Between all five villages there are hiking trails that offer beautiful views of the villages and sea.
From Manarola you can go hiking to both Corniglia and Riomaggiore. It’s a wonderful day trip to make during your stay in the village.
If you do not have the energy to go back after reaching one of the villages, you can always hop on the train back to Manarola. The train stop at all the villages in Cinque Terre.
- Trattoria dal Billy – Fish and seafood restaurant with a nice view of the village and ocean
- Cappun Magru – Delicious coffee and sandwiches for breakfast
- Nessun Dorma – Lovely lunch with the best view in Manarola
Travel to Manarola
Traveling to this beautiful little village may seem complicated, but it’s actually quite easy. There are no direct flights to Cinque Terre, but you can fly to either Genoa, Rome or Pisa. From these cities there are direct trains to Cinque Terre.
You can also fly to Milan but then you have to change train in Genoa. The same goes for Florence where you have to change train in Pisa.
If you travel by train through Europe down to Cinque Terre, then you should travel to one of the cities mentioned above and then take the train on to Cinque Terre.
You can also drive to Italy by car, since the highways through Europe are very good. If you drive by car, it’s easiest to use a GPS to find the best and fastest way to Cinque Terre.
NOTE: It’s not always that parking spots are available in Manarola due to the small parking spaces and the numbers of tourists visiting. The same goes for the other villages in Cinque Terre, and therefore train is a better option.
Best time to visit Manarola
The best time to visit is between September and October when it’s still warm and less tourists.
June, July, and August are the months that most tourists visit, and therefore I can recommend avoiding these months.
During winter (November to February) is’s pretty cold in Cinque Terre and most shops and restaurants are closed. It’s during winter the least people visit.
We have visited Cinque Terre during both spring and in the end of September, and I must say that I preferred visiting in September since it was much warmer and better weather. Below you can see pictures of what it looked like in September and during spring when it was both windy, chilly and rainy.
- The First Il Sogno di Manarola – The most beautiful hotel in Manarola
- Olimpo Affittacamere
- Da Baranin
There are also several nice apartments with beautiful views that you can book through AirBnB. Via the link below you get 40 euro in discount on your first booking.
More about Manarola in Cinque Terre
Manarola is said to be the oldest of the five villages in Cinque Terre with its church dating back to the 1300s. Manarola is well known for its dessert wine Sciacchetrà, as well as being one of the most beautiful and photogenic villages in Cinque Terre.
It’s one of my favorite villages in Cinque Terre since it offers many beautiful places, crystal clear water, friendly locals, and the amazing restaurant Nessun Dorma. At this restaurant you can expect delicious food, a nice atmosphere and one of the most beautiful views you have ever seen.
How to get around
In the village it’s not allowed to drive a car or any other vehicle, so you have to get around by foot.
If you drive to Manarola there are some parking spaces at the top of the village, but they are usually full since it’s such a popular place to visit. The best is to take the train to Manarola.
Map of Manarola
Below you have a map of Manarola. In this map you can see some of the most popular attractions like Nessun Dorma, the viewpoints, and Church of San Lorenzo.
Do you have more questions about Manarola in Cinque Terre? Leave a comment below!