The eternal question: Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast?

Many people, travelling in Italy, very often have the same question: what to choose – Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast? I was asking that as well till I didn’t visit both of them. But do I have the answer now? I’m afraid that I’m still not sure that such answer exists. Let me explain, why.


Cinque Terre are five tiny towns, or so-called “five lands”, settled down in Ligurian Riviera: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Amalfi coast is a coastline, stretched in the Southern part of the Sorrentine Peninsula. Cinque Terre belongs to the Northern part of Italy, and Amalfi Coast – for the Southern one.

To Cinque Terre I’ve been twice and both in the Low Season – once in late spring and once in January. Amalfi Coast was my choice for July, so during the peak of the High Season. Despite the fact of different seasonality, the general charm of these places the whole year is pulsing either way, so easily can be felt.


First of all, one must consider that both sites are in two different parts of Italy. Travelling around Milan area? Then, choose Cinque Terre. Heading to Rome or Naples? So, go for Amalfi coast. Having more time? Then, visit both! But if anyway you must choose one – I’ll give you and idea about their similarities and differences. Maybe that will help.

So, both places are characteristic for their colourful houses, hilly landscape and amazing sea views. Both are really very picturesque: all you can see is like from postcards. However, as both places are very well known in the international arena, prices for everything there are always higher: be ready to pay more for accommodation and meals in the restaurants. But, at the same time, in both places, like everywhere in the world, there is a possibility to find cheaper solutions.

Both sites are overcrowded with tourists, what cannot guarantee you a really relaxing time. But, from the other hand, maybe these places are not meant for tranquil holidays? Maybe the main purpose is to come, to admire and then to let go?

Cinque Terre perfectly suits for long walks from one town to another by making some hiking paths. Would like to do the same in Amalfi Coast? Good, because you’ll find hiking paths there too!

Amalfi coast – brilliant for those, who are dreaming about “sun, sand & sea” time, because there is a number of beaches. However, they always tend to be overcrowded. But don’t forget that beach solutions are available in Cinque Terre too! The widest one is in Monterosso al Mare, because other towns have rocky shore or have only the small docks for the boats. But there is always a possibility between those “five lands” to find some small hidden sands too!

All the Amalfi Coast smells like lemons and the iconic Limoncello liquor, made from them. On every corner you’ll find the vendors selling huge lemons or lemon granita in the streets, offers to try locally made lemon liquor or even take a Limoncello tour, as well you’ll find a number of souvenir shops, dedicated to this citrus fruit.

Cinque Terre – is all about the waves, continuously beating rocky coast, about the tiny life in tiny “lands”, which get overcrowded in summer and tranquil in the rainy winter days, about the little streets in between colourful houses, which inspired authors to create stories for their novels…

For me Cinque Terre is more wild, and Amalfi coast – more polished, but with both you fall in love immediately! Both can give you inspiration to create, to enjoy and simply to be happy about your life!


If I’d be painting a picture of Amalfi Coast, that would be about a person, chilling in the shadow of the tree, having behind the lemon groves on the stepped hills, sipping Limoncello and admiring blue sea.

If that would be a canvas of Cinque Terre, I’d make it with a view from the sea: picturesque still life of houses, cliffs, sea waves, beating the rocks, and colourful fishing boats, waiting for their fishermen.


The best way to visit all Cinque Terre tows is by taking a train, what in this case definitely goes as a better solution than by car. Trains go very often and it takes just a few minutes to go from one “land” to another. In Amalfi Coast situation is a bit different. First of all, because there are no trains, going along the coastline. You can come by train to Salerno, but from there you must choose another type of transportation. The fastest way to reach Amalfi or Positano is by taking a small ferry. Another solution – choose a bus or rent a car. But one must be aware that the roads are very narrow on this coastline, very winding, always going up and down, what results in a really long journey…


One more important question is how much you can cover in a day? In Cinque Terre it is possible to visit all “five lands”, as did we. In Amalfi Coast in the same period of time we’ve made Amalfi and Positano by starting the trip in Salerno and at the end – coming back there again.


Lady Voyage Verdict. What to choose: Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre? Both! For a short visit they are really brilliant and it is barely possible to exclude just one. And, at the same time, it means that whatever you choose – you will get satisfied either way! However, both places are very touristic ones, so for longer holidays I wouldn’t be choosing any of them. And, it is not only about the fact of being exactly “on the beaten path”. Here, I am referring to small places, overcrowded with people, and really higher prices for everything.

By the way, both places would be suitable for romantic couples, but none – for the party lions.

by Gintarė Adamonytė


One thought on “The eternal question: Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast?

  1. Pingback: Fairylike Alberobello – a town, which is impossible not to fall in love with | ladyvoyage

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