The Apennine mountains provide relief from Italy's north winds, turning the climate of the Liguria coast to the mild side. When the north winds do blow in Summer, they tend to clear the humidity from the air, and wanderers of the Cinque Terre will be treated to great views, sometimes all the way to Corsica. July and August provide the highest temperatures in the Cinque Terre.
The rainfall data below is from nearby Genoa, so it may be slightly different from Le Cinque Terre. Visitors to the Cinque Terre should expect frequent rains of short duration in the Spring and Fall, especially in October. The dryness of the summer months concentrates the flavor of the grapes that grow in the terraced hillsides that hikers traverse between the five villages.
The closest weather data available comes from Porto Venere, just south along the coast and a very nice place to visit (see a La Spezia Province Map).
Summers are hot and the trails are clogged with tourists. While there are frequent rain storms in spring and fall, the views and the relaxed nature of hiking make a better experience. That said, heavy rains can wipe out sections of trail, a common occurrence these days.. Day trippers should make sure they know the weather in advance. I've had perfect hiking weather in November, while the olives were just being readied for the harvest, and the day was beautiful.
That said, September in the Fall would be my pick for the best time to go, followed by April or May.
If you are taking a day trip coming from the south, you'll change trains in La Spezia. Be sure to check the current weather below; the disadvantage to a Cinque Terre trip in the off season is the possibility of rain, which makes the trails a bit slippery.
To see a map of the hiking trails of the Cinque Terre, see our Cinque Terre Hiking Trails Map.
During the season, the top hotels are packed. You should reserve a place as soon as you know the dates you're visiting the Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre Hostels - and inexpensive family lodging.
If you wish to compare prices on hotels through various booking sites our partner Hotels Combined will allow you to find the best price: Hotels in Cinque Terre
If you have a family or are traveling with a group, it might be better to experience the Cinque Terre like Italians, to rent a vacation house or apartment in the area. HomeAway offers almost 100 Vacation Rentals in the Cinque Terre.
La Spezia Province Map - Showing the Cinque Terre and other interesting eastern Liguria travel Destinations.
Map of Liguria - with information on the for provinces of Liguria and travel planning suggestions.
Food plays an important part of life along the Italian Riviera. The olive oil is good, and the Pesto Genovese is the iconic dish that brings Ligurian cuisine all together. You can get Pesto in almost any restaurant, but have you ever thought of going to the home of a "home chef" and having a classic meal? Try BonAppetour Liguria.