Last update : 20/08/2023
Manarola was our real coup de coeur at Cinque Terre! Facing the sea, perched on a grey stone cliff, this village is full of charm. We loved its softly colored facades, with a cameo of pink. Although it’s one of the least populated villages (count some 250… manaroliens? 😂), we found that it’s one of the villages you can enjoy the most. In fact, if you follow a small footpath, you’ll soon discover a breathtaking view of Manarola, enough for some great shots!
In this article, you’ll find our good addresses to sleep in Manarola, things to do and see as well as an excellent address to eat or have an aperitif in Manarola.
Visiting Manarola, where to sleep?
La Terrazza di Peun
The apartment is furnished with great care, very well equipped, clean and very comfortable (with a good mattress, air conditioning, a well-appointed bathroom…). It’s on the fourth floor, so it’s advisable to travel light, but it’s worth it: the terrace is spacious and offers a magnificent view of the sea, the village and above all the sunset…. If you’re looking for an unforgettable stay in Manarola, in the Cinque Terre this is the address for you!
What to do in Manarola
1. Manarola town center
Manarola is one of our favorite Cinque Terre villages for its incredible views. Despite this, you’ll (very) quickly get the hang of it, as these villages are tiny. Although the town center is small, the main street is very pleasant to explore. You’ll find a few restaurants and bars, as well as a few boutiques, which are quite rare in Cinque Terre. It’s the perfect place to shop for souvenirs or sit on a terrace and write postcards to send to your loved ones 😎.
2. The Port of Manarola
We were surprised, in all the Cinque Terre ports including Manarola, by all the people who spontaneously bathe! Bathers take to the concrete or stone slopes leading down to the sea to take a dip and cool off. In any case, the little port is very charming, with its colorful little boats. On the other hand, the slightly frustrating thing about the ports of the Cinque Terre is the huge tourist boats that continually pour into the villages!
3. The Manarola crib
We didn’t see it with our own eyes, because you have to come in December to admire Manarola’s nativity scene. Since 1963, the village has celebrated Candlemas every December 8 with an incredible Christmas crib. The Manarola crib consists of 300 figures illuminated by thousands of bulbs. It was created by a local resident, who adds new creations every year. Since 2007, the crib has even entered the record books. The best time to admire it would be at dusk, when the lights come up and the fireworks start… ✨
4. Parc Naturel des Cinq Terre
The Parc des Cinq Terres is a protected area where you could apparently see rare animals! We didn’t see anything 😂
On the other hand, it’s an opportunity to enjoy magnificent vegetation, in very good condition, facing the sea … The sea is also a protected area, by the way, so you won’t see any fishermen on the horizon. If you’re lucky, you may see dolphins, or we’ve even read that you could see… whales. 🤭 Well, that’s yet to be proven, but if you see any, we want pictures! In any case, we found it very soothing to see nature well protected and respected, especially in Italy, a country renowned for not being very “clean”.
5. Cinque Terre vineyards
The Cinque Terre are, on their heights, covered with grape varieties. This is particularly evident when you follow one of the Cinque Terre hiking trails. They produce several wines, particularly dry white wines. You can sample some of them on the terrace of the Nessum Dorma in Manarola, as mentioned above, or in the village’s few restaurants. 🍷
Visiting Manarola, where to eat?
Nessun Dorma Cinque Terre
Here really is our favorite address in Manarola! The real plus of this restaurant is its terrace with panoramic views over the village of Manarola. The decor is simple, with wooden furniture and a few flowers. This address is ideal for a little “cool” break: misters run all day long, so you can cool off, especially in summer with the Italian heat.
The restaurant offers rather simple dishes, such as salads, cheese and/or charcuterie boards, or bruschettas. All cooked with a maximum of local produce. Nessun Dorma is also renowned for its cocktail and wine list, which includes several white wines produced in the Cinque Terre wine-growing area. Prices are fair for the region, averaging €20 per person.
Last reason for you to go for lunch or dinner at Nessun Dorma: there’s great music and the service is top 🔥
On the other hand, go early enough to avoid the long lines and get one of the best tables: the ones on the view side 😍 We went at 6:45pm and only waited 5 minutes.
Visiting Manarola, how to organize your trip well?
How to get to Manarola
To find the best mode of transport to your destination, we recommend you always look on the OMIO comparator. This will give you an overview of all available modes of transport. You’ll be able to compare prices very easily.Learn more
How to find the best hotels to visit Manarola and the Cinque Terre
In order to find the best hotels and benefit from the best conditions (security, cancellation…) we go almost exclusively through Booking.com for our trips. We recommend that you take a look at the available hotels before you leave. You can filter them according to their ratings. The customer reviews are very numerous and recent, which means you can avoid unpleasant surprises when traveling!Learn more
How to find ideas for activities to do on your holiday
If you want to get ideas for activities to do on your vacation and want to book in advance, we also recommend taking a look at the GetYourGuide site. This will give you an overview of the activities on offer in your destination, so you don’t have to wait until you get there to book your places.Learn more
Visit the other Cinque Terre villages
Thank you for reading
We hope the tips and good addresses on our travel blog will help you visit Manarola.
You can also follow our daily adventures on Instagram 🙂
Clem & Alex