Best Time to Visit Cinque Terre (& Italian Riviera)

The best times of the year to travel to Cinque Terre (and the rest of the Italian Riviera) are the shoulder seasons of spring and early fall. Of these times, you’ll want to focus on late-March through May and September through October, depending on what you’re looking to get out of your trip.

These months offer pleasant temperatures ranging from the 60s°F and 70s°F while avoiding the busy summer crowds that the peak summer travel season always brings along. The weather is perfect for hiking the region and exploring each of the five towns during these months, making them the ideal choice.

Best time to visit Cinque Terre, Italian Riviera

Weather in Cinque Terre

If you’re looking for the best weather, then you’ll want to visit Cinque Terre (as well as the rest of the Italian Riviera) from late-April through early-June and mid-September through October. These spring and fall months will provide pleasant temperatures, typically reaching from the upper-60s to the upper-70s. As September and October are approaching, the rainy season comes. So visiting during May might be your best bet.

If you go to Cinque Terre during the winter to save some money, you can expect temperatures to hover around the low 50s during the day and many the days of your trip to be rainy. Visiting during the summer will lead to hot temperatures reaching into the low to mid-80s on average, but the days will stay dry. 

Average monthly temperature in Cinque Terre
Average Monthly Precipitation in Cinque Terre

Best Time for Outdoor Activities: Late-April through Early-June and mid-September through October

The best times of year to visit Cinque Terre to enjoy the various outdoor activities that the region offers are late-April through early-June and mid-September through October. These months provide comfortable temperatures, little rain, and smaller crowds than other times of the year.

Cinque Terre is made for outdoor activities. Made up of five small towns connected to each other by an incredible hiking trail (more on that later) or public transportation, you’ll likely spend most of your time outside walking around, exploring the area.

And to do that, you’ll want the temperatures to be right in that sweet spot between being too hot and being too cold. During these months, you can expect daytime temperatures to get up to somewhere in the neighborhood of 65°F and 75°F, which is perfect for being outside with the sun beating down on you.

Just as your Italian Riviera trip is focused on being outside, so is just about everyone else in the area’s trip as well. So you’ll also want there to be smaller crowds than you would typically face during peak travel season, and that’s what the shoulder seasons suggested here will provide! 

While you’ll certainly have more crowds to deal with than you would if you braved it out and made the trip during the winter, the peak summer travel season will have either not started yet or already be finished if you travel during these months. So the crowds will be far more bearable, right along with the temperatures. It’s the perfect time to visit for anything outdoors.

Best Time for Honeymooners: April through early-June and September through October

A honeymoon to the Italian Riviera sounds like something straight out of a movie, but more and more people are making their honeymoons special like this every year. But when should you plan your honeymoon for? The best times for honeymooners to visit Cinque Terre are April through early-June and September through October. 

These times are similar to the shoulder seasons mentioned above when discussing outdoor activities but a little more forgiving. That’s because on a honeymoon, couples will usually be apt to spend more time inside, cooking meals for each other and enjoying the company of their new spouse, so going a little bit earlier in April and September won’t be as big of a deal.

But honeymooners do still want many of the same things out of their trip, especially the great weather and smaller crowds. Nobody wants to spend the honeymoon of their dreams fighting through droves of tourists and visitors while withering under the hot sun. 

Best Time for Budget Travelers: December and January

The best time of year to travel to Cinque Terre for anyone on a budget is undoubtedly during December and January, except for the holiday season. Due to the cold temperatures and poor weather, few people make the decision to visit during this time, so prices and crowds are at their lowest points of the year. 

Travel during this time will be cheaper since lodging facilities, stores, and shops in the region need to reduce their prices to draw more visitors into the area, something they don’t have to do during the more popular travel seasons of spring and summer.  

Keep in mind that temperatures in Cinque Terre during the winter go down well into the 30s°F during the night and only up to around 50°F during the day on warmer days, so you’ll need to bring warm clothes and be ready to spend some time inside warming up.

Best Time for Hiking the Blue Trail (Cinque Terre Trail): April through May

As one of the Cinque Terre region’s major attractions, hiking the Blue Trail (also known as the Cinque Terre Trail) is best done in the spring, especially between April and May. The temperatures are starting to get pleasant and comfortable, while spring’s full bloom is coming in, making the hike even more incredible. 

Through April and May, the average daytime temperatures reach up between 65°F and 75°F, which is the perfect weather for hiking. Warm enough to be able to wear hiking shorts and a t-shirt, but not too hot where you’ll be drained after one leg of the trip.

The springtime blooming of all the trees and flowers along the trail will be coming into full blossom in April and May as well, making the beauty of the walk breathtaking as you are just overcome with picturesque views everywhere you look.

The full trail is about seven miles long and will take you from town to town, through all five towns that make up Cinque Terre. Our favorite way to walk it is to end up at Monterosso in the late spring heat so that we can head to the beach and jump right in to cool off and relax. 

FAQ About Visiting Cinque Terre & the Italian Riviera

How many days do you need in Cinque Terre?

We recommend you set aside about 2-3 days to experience Cinque Terre. Most of the five small towns can be completely explored in just an hour or two, and this gives you the flexibility to spend more time at the places you truly want to enjoy. 

What is the rainiest month in Cinque Terre?

The rainy season in Cinque Terre starts to kick into full swing in late fall, with October and November averaging about the same amount of rainfall as each other, upwards of 5”-7” each.

When should I not visit Cinque Terre?

While there really is no bad time to visit Cinque Terre, we’d advise against visiting in July and August because of the sweltering heat and uncomfortable weather, combined with the biggest crowds and highest prices.

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