While hiking the Cinque Terre is iconic, in many opinions, the best way to see the Cinque Terre is from the water. I had heard this many times before this trip, but had never actually seen the towns from the water. So this trip, I decided it was a must! And I was absolutely right…
Since our friends were also in town, we wanted to rent a private boat (preferably with a captain…). We found a number of group boat tours, a few really small boat rentals in Monterosso that couldn’t leave the port and some luxury yachts at a cost of about $1,000 for a couple hours. None fit the bill. Luckily, just before leaving, we found Fish & Chill and were able to get a reservation for a sunset cruise for four people, including wine and snacks, at €90,00 a person. The tour started in Monterosso’s port, just in front of the Old Town. Here is the boat:
After departure at 5:30 p.m., Diego offered around homemade Cinque Terre white wine and Morretti beer.
Our fist “stop,” although we never got out of the boat, was Vernazza. Diego drove rght up to the port for us to get some great pictures. He was really good about taking as many pictures as we wanted.
After, we proceeded down by Corniglia, the only town not at sea level. Corniglia is particularly charming from the water!
And then to Manarola. From Corniglia to Manarola, you could really see the mudslides that have been devasting the area, and it made a lot more sense why some of the trails are closed!
We pulled up close for a view of Manarola!
And then Riomaggiore!
After viewing the five towns, we drove down the coast to Portovenere. The views are spectacular and it is so cool to see the tiny fishing houses dotting the coast.
Close to sunset, Diego stopped the boat and set out a delicious food spread!
And then we watched the sunset:
The evening ended in the Portovenere harbor, where Diego offered us homemade limoncino!
The Fish & Chill tour was really great and a beautiful way to see the Cinque Terre towns. From our read of the tour online, it seemed like it started and departed from Monterosso, but Diego seemed very flexible and willing to accommodate other schedules. True to its name, Diego is very “chill.”
Steal Our Trip
Fish & Chill – Via S. Martino, 6 – 19016 – Monterosso al mare (SP). T: +39 339 233 9297. 5TerreTourFishAndChill@gmail.com. Fish & Chill offers a morning tour, afternoon and sunset tours. The sunset tours usually don’t include food and drink, but we asked and he added it in at a cost of 20.00 a person. You can make reservations by email. Make them in advance, as they do book up.
On A Budget
You can see the Cinque Terre towns from the water without hiring a private boat by taking the ferries between the towns during the day