Don your swimsuits and get ready to paddle – here’s what you need to know before kayaking in Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre is a stunning stretch of coastline in Italy that is known for its colourful villages, steep cliffs, and crystal-clear waters, so it’s no wonder that kayaking is so popular. 

Heading out on a kayak allows you to explore the coastline at your own pace and get up close and personal with the stunning scenery. You can paddle between the villages, explore the hidden beaches of Cinque Terre, and even go snorkelling in the clear waters.

Not sure where to start? We’ve curated this bumper guide to tell you exactly where to rent a kayak, when to go, and the best tours for your trip. You’re welcome.

Best Time of Year for Kayaking in Cinque Terre

Colourful houses on cliff, cinque-terre

The best time to kayak in Cinque Terre is from May to October, coinciding with the warmer months and calmer sea conditions. During this time, you’ll find that most tour companies operate and offer kayaking experiences.

It’s important to note that local tour operators prioritise safety above all else, which means kayak outings are generally scheduled on days with serene and placid sea conditions. This not only guarantees an enjoyable adventure but also ensures that you can fully appreciate Cinque Terre’s rugged coastline without any reason to stress.

Top Spots for Kayaking in Cinque Terre

Kayaker on the blue waters near Cinque Terre

Monteresso al Mare Bay is one of the top places to rent a kayak in Cinque Terre. This gorgeous village makes the perfect starting point for your aquatic adventure – you’ll get to marvel at the colourful houses that line the coast along the way.

Another place we highly recommend to kayak is near Vernazza Cove. This tranquil spot boasts incredible Italian architecture and crystal clear waters that make kayaking in Cinque Terre a dream.

Riomaggiore is a Cinque Terre location filled with marine treasures. Set out from Riomaggiore and navigate your kayak along the coastline, uncovering hidden caves, rocky formations, and some of the marine life that call this area home. This is a kayaker’s haven for those seeking a mix of exploration and natural wonders.

If you’re looking to get off the beaten track and find somewhere a little more secluded, head to Manarola’s hidden coves. Here you can paddle without the hordes of tourists – it’s great for beginners looking to get to grips with kayaking.

Where to Rent a Kayak

Kayak on the beach, Cinque Terre

Don’t fancy heading out on a tour? With a range of rental options, from single to tandem kayaks, beginners and experienced paddlers alike can explore the crystal-clear waters and hidden coves at their own pace.

When it comes to renting kayaks in Cinque Terre, both Cinque Terre Adventure and Cinque Terre dal Mare offer a range of options for you to choose from. Happy paddling!

Read Next: Where to Hike in Cinque Terre

The Best Cinque Terre Kayaking Tours

Morning Kayaking Tour

Magnificent Tuscany’s morning kayaking tour is a three-hour adventure to see the national park in all its glory. You start from Monterosso and paddle alongside your friendly guide to the likes of Vernazza and Corniglia, where you can hop off your vessel and explore these gorgeous towns as they’re bathed in morning light.

Sunset Kayaking Tour

Kayakers on the sea at sunset, Cinque Terre

If you would rather sleep in, Ciao Florence offers an incredible sunset kayaking tour that allows you to take in the beauty of Cinque Terre as the sun sets. Set off from Monterosso and paddle through Cinque Terre’s Marine Protected area, before hitting up a secret cave only accessible by kayak for an aperitif as the ocean glows.

Seven Day Italian Riviera Kayaking Tour

Want to take kayaking in Cinque Terre to the next level? This seven-day tour allows you to marvel at parts of the Italian Riviera not accessible by foot. You’ll begin your tour at the  Best Western Porto Antico in Genoa, where you will be whisked away to Recco, where the adventure begins.

Throughout the week, you’ll get to see the likes of Portofino, Sestri Levante, and, of course, the magical Cinque Terre. You’ll spend two full days paddling through the region before you make your way to Portovenere.

Kayaking and Snorkelling

Snorkelling, Cinque Terre

What’s better than kayaking around the Cinque Terre coastline? How about adding in some snorkelling, too? We thought so. This tour offers the best of both worlds, allowing you to head out around Monterosso in a kayak before diving below the surface to admire the colourful marine life.

Shark Cave Tour

Cinque Terre Adventure’s Shark Cave tour is another of our favourite options. Set off on kayak (or paddleboard if you prefer) from Riomaggiore and head to the Shark Cave, a mysterious cavern near Manarola that has plenty of legend surrounding it. Over the course of two hours, you’ll get to spend time snorkelling and paddling in one of the most mystical spots in Cinque Terre.

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