Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast: Which is The Best Coastline to Visit in Italy

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Cinque Terre vs Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre? Both are the most popular coastal destinations in Italy, so it’s very hard to choose between the two: The Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre. Both Places offer beautiful scenery, colorful villages perched along cliffs and admire brilliant azure waters, as well as testy delightful seafood, sip on delicious wines, and stunning hikes.

Here, we’ve put together a guide to help you make the right choice between The Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre.

For Easy Accessibility – The Cinque Terre Wins

Location and access to get to Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast
Location and access to get to Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast

Cinque Terre is strategically located in northern Italy and is perfectly connected by train to some of the largest cities in the region. Milan is a great landing option. The train journey is very easier and cheaper from Milan via Genoa to Cinque Terre takes about 3 hours, the same as Bologna, while the journey from Florence takes about 2 hours.

You can get to Amalfi from Rome, Naples, Sorrento, or Salerno. The Southern part of Italy is not as well linked when it comes to train transportation, so getting to the Amalfi Coast is bit more challenging. In addition, driving along the Amalfi is a major difficulty as all the winding roads are too narrow for buses and cars to pass and it is also very difficult to find a parking space.

For Architecture – The Cinque Terre Wins

The colourful buildings in Cinque Terre, Italy
The seaside view of colourful buildings in Cinque Terre

Both the Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast have many impressive architectural feats on the winding steps and teetering terraces that outline the coast.

Each of the five towns and villages in Cinque Terre are iconic and has a similar pastel color palette and steep streets and paths wherever you go. It looks incredibly beautiful and full of charming houses.

On the other hand, the architecture on the Amalfi Coast is more diverse, with similarly bright colored buildings, but also more historic structures. You can visit the remains of Roman villas and temples in some of the towns or the medieval Castle Areci in Salerno to admire the archaeological ruins.

If you are looking for photogenic architecture then Cinque Terre will be the right choice, whereas if you want to see different historical styles and different building designs, the Amalfi Coast offers a wider variety of architectural wonders that are perfect for your viewing.

For Beaches – The Amalfi Coast Wins

Beach chairs along the water in Positano, The Amalfi Coast
Beach chairs along the water in Positano, The Amalfi Coast

Both destinations do have beaches to enjoy. But if you are just looking for a beach, don’t head to Cinque Terre. Monterosso al Mare is the only town with beautiful beaches. The beach in Manarola, which is actually not a beach, consists mostly of rocks and crystal blue water.

There are some incredible beaches on the Amalfi Coast! The location and enjoyment of the beach in Positano is just the best. There are beach chairs along the water in Positano, which are a little pricey but worth chilling out in the middle of it all. There are also some amazing lesser-known beaches which you can find at Vietri sul Mare, Erichie, Furore, and Maiori.

For Sightseeing – The Amalfi Coast Wins

infinity terrace, ravallo at amalfi coast
Infinity Terrace for Amazing Sightseeing, Ravallo at Amalfi coast

Both locations will offer lots of options to fill your days with spectacular and seaside views. In the Cinque Terre, you can explore La Spezia, Porto Venere, spend time on the beach in Monterosso a Mare. You can also take a day trip to Florence, or even take the train and explore the famous and picturesque Portofino.

But when we are talking about the specific culture or historic sights, The Amalfi Coast has something more such as gardens and villas of Ravello, the historic cathedrals of Amalfi Town and Salerno, the ceramics museum in Vietri sul Mare, paper museum in Amalfi, and Roman villa museum in Minori.

Additionally, The Amalfi Coast is very well-positioned and connected to other major sights for an exciting day trip such as Capri Island, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Paestum, and Naples.

Also read: 10 best things to see in The Amalfi Coast, Italy

For Accommodations (Hotels & Resorts) – The Amalfi Coast Wins

Le Sirenuse, Positano, Amalfi Coast
Le Sirenuse, Positano, Amalfi Coast. Source: booking.com

The Cinque Terre has developed as a tourist destination in more recent years, so you will find a very lesser number of luxurious hotels to stay. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t find good hotels to stay in. You can stay in Le Ville Relais with an infinity pool at La Spezia, or the lovely Porto Venere, just a few minutes away by train or ferry.

And the other hand, The Amalfi Coast has been popular among the newlywed to celebrate special occasions such as honeymoons, because there are many upper scale villas and hotels, especially Positano. Le Sirenuse, Buca di Bacco, or Villa Boheme are good options with amazing services, stunning views, and dreamy Italian design.

So, for luxury accommodation, Amalfi Coast wins and for affordable and more low-key, the Cinque Terre wins!

For Drives – The Amalfi Coast Wins

Gorgeous views from the Amalfi Coast Road
Gorgeous views of The Amalfi Coast Road

There is no driving required in Cinque Terre, as the villages are best explored via a combination of hiking and the incredibly efficient train systems that runs between all five villages.

The Amalfi Coast road are equally famous for its gorgeous views and spine-tingling drives. The road is recommended only for confident drivers.

For Food – The Amalfi Coast Wins

Enjoy delightful dishes with the limoncello
Enjoy delightful dishes with the limoncello

When it comes to food, no region in Italy is a slouch. Countless delicious seafood dishes you can find in Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast! In Cinque Terre, don’t miss to taste the local pesto. You can also try misto fritto – the daily catch deep-fried.

The Amalfi Coast is famous for its lemons. All the delightful dishes created with the limoncello.

You can find very high-quality cuisine in both locations, but the Amalfi Coast has more established restaurants and chefs than Cinque Terre and is the best choice for those who take their food seriously.

For Warm Weather – The Amalfi Coast Wins

The Amalfi Coast is a luxurious beach destination settled in southern Italy for those who want a relaxing Italian holiday by the sea. On the other hand, Cinque Terre is a more rural destination settled at Northern Riviera Coast.

If you are traveling in the Spring or Fall season and hoping for warm weather, The Amalfi Coast is the safer bet. Cinque Terre has a much more casual, down-to-earth atmosphere as compared to the glitz of the Amalfi Coast.

For Hiking – The Cinque Terre Wins

The Blue Trail (Sentiero Azzurro)
The Blue Trail (Sentiero Azzurro), Cinque Terre, Italy

The Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei) is one of the most popular hikes passes along the side of the Lattari Mountains, with easy difficulty, incredible views of the Sorrentine Peninsula, the Li Galli Archipelago, the island of Capri, and less than 8km in total. Riserva Statale Valle Delle Ferriere and Bay of leranto are also popular hikes in the Amalfi Coast.

The Cinque Terre will offer a bit more. The Blue Trail (Sentiero Azzurro) is the most popular trail connects all five coastal towns from Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare. It is the main reason for travelers to visit Cinque Terre.

Conclusion

We are very happy to present this article. The selection is very difficult because each destination has its own charm and characteristics. In short, In Cinque Terre you will experience a more authentic Italy, whereas in the Amalfi Coast you’ll feel like you are in heaven.