The birthplace of pesto and inspiration behind the Pixar film Luca, the Cinque Terre is arguable the most beautifully preserved area in all of the Ligurian coastline. Consisting of five centuries-old seaside villages nestled impossibly high up on the cliffs and hills of Liguria, these villages are known for their jaw-dropping beauty. A listed UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Park and Protected Marine area since 1997, the colourful houses and terraces that make up the villages seemingly tumble right into the harbours and fishing boats. The villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Manarola, Corniglia and Riomaggiore are chiselled into the dramatic coast and bisected by rich gardens, groves and fields. A region that is not easy to explore, as there is no coastal road, the ideal way to explore Cinque Terre is via water. More specifically, the best way to see the area is via a Cinque Terre yacht charter. Although there is a local train, which operates via an oddly complex timetable and a famous walking route, there is nothing quite like the feeling of being out on the open water onboard a private yacht.

Here we share three reasons why you should see Cinque Terra via yacht charter.

The most spectacular views

The villages of Cinque Terre are ridiculously stunning, but the best way to truly admire their extraordinary beauty is from the open waters. Take in the 360-degree views of the pastel buildings, the vibrant colours of the flora, the blue skies and rocky cliff sides as you cruise past each village. At times the colourful houses and terraces look like they’ve been photoshopped into the green hillsides. By Riomaggiore in particular, the tall Genoese-style townhouses built on the sleep so[[s seem to sprout out the rock magically. Every turn of the yacht is sure to offer another angle and an even more stunning photo opt. Seeing the villages from the sea, with a spectacular mountain backdrop, is a completely different experience from viewing them from a mountain hiking trail. If you truly want to appreciate the allure of the villages from afar, a yacht charter is the only way to go.

Freedom to cruise as you see fit

Having your own private charter yacht while visiting Cinque Terre ensures you the freedom to come and go as you please. If the crowds by Vernazza, perhaps the most romantic and charming of the five villages and thereby the most popular, become too overwhelming, simply return to your tender and head off to another village or return to your yacht charter to relax in utter seclusion.

Waters like the Maldives

The waters around Cinque Terre are so pristine, so clear, so blue you may mistakenly think you are somewhere in the tropics. A draw for many visitors, Cinque Terre is also the perfect destination for snorkelers and divers, enjoy swimming in the warm, salty sea among the wide variety of fish. You can also take the tender and explore the many small rocky coves along the coastline, which are also only accessible via water.