Thinking about visiting Cinque Terre in October? Here’s everything you need to know!
Cinque Terre is an incredible area along the Ligurian coastline in Italy. Sometimes called “the Amalfi Coast for backpackers,” the area is named for the five colorful seaside villages that are tucked into the cliff sides. Cinque Terre boasts incredible views of the Italian coastline, but is more budget-friendly.
The secret of Cinque Terre is out; travelers come from around the world to marvel at the small villages overlooking the sea. This means that it’s easy to get to and has plenty of infrastructure, but can be dizzyingly overcrowded at times.
October is a fabulous time to visit Cinque Terre. It’s warm enough for you to enjoy the Italian sunshine, but not too hot. While you’ll still see other visitors, you can explore without the enormous crowds that you’ll find in the summer months.
I visited Cinque Terre for the first time as part of an October birthday trip to Italy. I immediately fell in love – the hiking, the incredible weather, and the wonderful food all made for an unforgettable trip.
Cinque Terre in October: Is it a good time to visit?
October is a fabulous time to visit Cinque Terre. This incredible destination in Italy boasts wonderful hiking trails, tasty restaurants, incredible sunsets, and quaint hotels and rental apartments. Spend a day or two exploring Cinque Terre in the warm October sun and enjoy the sights without the mobs of tourists that frequent the area in the peak season.
The weather is starting to cool off, so you won’t experience the heat waves that can sometimes strike in Italy in the summer. While the days are generally warm and pleasant, it can get chilly at night. Be sure to bring a light to medium weight jacket to stay comfortable after the sun sets.
Because Cinque Terre sees fewer visitors from October to May, you can often score a deal on accommodations if you visit during the shoulder or off seasons. Hotels, apartment rentals, and B&Bs all tend to offer discounts to October travelers.
As a bonus, locals are a bit more relaxed during the shoulder and low seasons in Italy. This contributes to an overall calmer and more laid back atmosphere.
When I visited Cinque Terre in October, I was blown away by the nearly perfect weather. The average low temperature in Cinque Terre in October is 53° F (12° C) and the average highs are around 68° F (20° C). The weather felt warm but not hot during the day and cool at night, similar to Colorado in September.
During the day, I was comfortable in leggings and a t-shirt, with a light jacket to throw on if it got windy. Definitely bring a warm sweater or a jacket for the evenings, as it can get chilly after the sun sets. Covered shoes are a must if you’ll be taking the walking or hiking trails.
Does it rain in Cinque Terre in October?
Yes, Cinque Terre does experience rain during October. In fact, October is the rainiest month in Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre typically sees 6 inches of rain in October, compared to the 3 inches that fall on average in Dublin during the same month. Be prepared for autumn rain storms with waterproof shoes, rain jackets, and long pants.
The Blue Trail from Monterosso to Riomaggiore is subject to closures due to landslides. If it’s been extra rainy when you visit, you may not be able to take this trail because it is steep in places. I recommend that you check the status of the most popular Cinque Terre hiking trails online before you go.
I was lucky and didn’t experience any significant rain showers on my trip, but a drizzly day could make hiking a bit less fun. If you’re not able to hike due to the weather, you can still take the trains that connect the five towns and explore the area largely on foot.
Things To Do in Cinque Terre in October
Planning your visit to Liguria and trying to sketch out your itinerary? Here are some of the best things to do in Cinque Terre if you visit in October.
When I think of Cinque Terre, I think of the incredible hiking in the area. The five towns of Cinque Terre are connected by a hiking trail, so you can spend a full day hiking from one to the next. The trail between Riomaggiore and Monterosso is about 9.4 miles long and classified as “hard” by All Trails.
The stretch near Riomaggiore is the most challenging, so I’d recommend that you start in Riomaggiore and hike north towards Monterosso. That way you can do the most challenging climbs before your feet get tired from walking.
I wanted to take an alternate route, so I started in Portovenere and hiked to Riomaggiore. The trail was unforgettable, with views of the coastline and glittery ocean nearly the entire way. This trail is slightly shorter, about 8.4 miles, and also classified as “hard” by All Trails.
Visit the 5 Towns
Cinque Terre is named after five seaside towns on the Italian coastline. They are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The towns are known for being beautifully colorful and fun to visit.
You can try Ligurian wine and food when in Cinque Terre. Each of the five towns have adorable restaurants, bars, and shops to visit.
The towns of Cinque Terre are connected by both a hiking trail (subject to closures) and a train line. The train is easy to use and makes it possible to explore each town on your own schedule. You can also see each town if you hike, but the trail is long enough that you’ll need to keep moving if you want to complete it.
Tour Option: Visit the 5 towns of Cinque Terre by speedboat
Watch the Sunset
Cinque Terre has some of the best sunsets in the world. Luckily, the restaurants in the area are happy to showcase the sunsets and set up their patios so that you’ll have the best view. Grab a seat at a restaurant with a view and sip a glass of wine as the sun dips behind the water.
Tour Option: Take a sunset cruise with drinks and snacks
See Grape Harvesting Season
Grape harvesting season in Italy runs from September to October, so it can be an interesting time to visit the area if you’re interested in winemaking. When I visited in October, I didn’t see any actual harvesting but all of the equipment was outside. It was fascinating to see the little carts that scale the incredibly steep mountainsides.
Tour Option: Take a walking tour with wine tasting
Where to Stay in Cinque Terre in October
The best budget advice I got from my Italian friend before I visited Cinque Terre was to stay in La Spezia, a small nearby city. It is near enough to Cinque Terre to visit for a day, but has very few crowds and a more local feel. Food, accommodations, and activities are all cheaper in the local city of La Spezia than in any of the towns of Cinque Terre.
October is a great time to visit Cinque Terre because accommodation prices are lower due to decreased demand. I recommend that you start looking for your accommodation as early as possible to try to find the best discounts.
There aren’t many hotels to choose from in Cinque Terre. Instead, many visitors rent apartments or flats, similar to Airbnb but without the cleaning requirements or steep service charges. I’ve included a few of my top recommendations below:
My budget recommendation: Affittacamere Casa Dane’
This rental apartment is set right in the center of La Spezia (only steps from the train station!) and offers free bikes that you can use to explore the city. The space is clean and comfortable and includes a light breakfast at a nearby bar.
*You’ll need to take a 30 minute train to reach Cinque Terre
My mid range recommendation: Elegant Apartments 5 terre La Spezia
Elegant Apartments offers a few accommodations in central La Spezia, ideal for exploring the area and reaching Cinque Terre by train. As the name suggests, the decor is elegant and modern. There are also some useful amenities like a washing machine, desk, and kitchenette so that you can cook your own meals.
*You’ll need to take a 30 minute train to reach Cinque Terre
My luxury recommendation: The Sunset Line
Set in beautiful Riomaggiore, the southernmost of the five towns of Cinque Terre, The Sunset Line is a rental that is beloved by travelers. You can enjoy an incredible ocean view, a private patio and jacuzzi, and be only a short walk from the beach and center of town.
Note: this property is on top of a steep hill, so it might not be suitable for travelers with limited mobility.
*This property is in Riomaggiore, one of the five towns in Cinque Terre
FAQs: Cinque Terre in October
Considering visiting Cinque Terre in October and still have a few unanswered questions? Keep reading for some additional details while you plan your trip!
Is October a good time to visit Cinque Terre?
October is a wonderful time to visit Cinque Terre! The weather is beautiful, prices are a bit lower, and you won’t experience as many crowds of travelers as you would during the summer.
The only downside to visiting Cinque Terre in October is the potential for rain. Because October is the rainiest month in that region of Italy, I’d recommend that you bring a rain jacket and water resistant shoes so that you’re prepared in the event of an autumn shower.
How crowded is Cinque Terre in October?
Cinque Terre still experiences rushes of visitors in October, but they’re much smaller than the mob-like crowds you’ll see during the summer. Truthfully, the towns are not very large and it’s easy for them to start to feel crowded and full when visitors come on a day trip from nearby Florence. I was not overwhelmed with the number of travelers in October, but it definitely didn’t feel deserted or off the beaten path when I was visiting the five towns.
Many people visit Cinque Terre to walk and hike in the area. As a result, the hiking trails can be quite busy, not unlike what I’ve experienced in Denver and Boulder. If you’re looking for peace and solitude on the trails, Cinque Terre is probably not the best destination because it is very popular.
Is Cinque Terre warm in October?
Yes, Cinque Terre is warm in October. When I visited, the weather was warm enough to comfortably walk in a t-shirt and long pants most days, but rarely felt hot. Some rain is possible, so I’d recommend that you bring a rain jacket, water resistant shoes, and long pants when visiting Cinque Terre in October.
How many days in Cinque Terre is enough?
Two days is enough time in Cinque Terre. You can see all five of the towns in one day by hiking between them or taking the train, and you explore the surrounding area in a day or less. With more time, I’d recommend that you explore the areas north and south of Cinque Terre.
Are the nearby cities of Portovenere and La Spezia worth visiting?
Yes, Portovenere and La Spezia are definitely worth visiting! These areas near Cinque Terre have a lot of the same charms, but they’re less crowded and touristy than any of the five towns. Portovenere in particular has a beautiful old church, medieval shopping streets, and a number of waterfront restaurants.
If you want to experience Cinque Terre but have it feel a bit more local, I’d definitely recommend that you check out La Spezia and Portovenere.
Conclusion: Cinque Terre in October
October is a fabulous and unforgettable time to visit Cinque Terre. You can enjoy all of the best things about visiting Cinque Terre, like the views, the charming towns, and the incredible hiking. However, you’ll find lower prices, smaller crowds, and you won’t be constantly sweating in the sweltering heat.
If I were going to visit Cinque Terre again, I’d absolutely plan to go in September or October. The great part about visiting in October is that the weather is definitely cooler than September, so it’s a little easier to hike and explore the outdoors.
I also appreciated that the prices were lower in October than, say, July. I stayed in a rental flat that had a full kitchen and was able to cook my own meals – very helpful in Italy, where it can be hard to eat enough vegetables and healthy fare when frequenting restaurants.
For me, it was the perfect birthday trip and I can’t wait to go back!