Ultimate Guide to Visiting Levanto Beach in Cinque Terre, Italy

Levanto Beach

Is it worth visiting Levanto and Levanto Beach?

Yes, absolutely. Unlike the beaches in a lot of the other main villages of Cinque Terre, Levanto Beach and in fact Levanto itself are more secluded and less frequented by tourists. It has a more local vibe and is slightly quieter.

Levanto is nestled between the Ligurian Sea and the hills of the Cinque Terre National Park. The picturesque coastline starting from Levanto beach with its clear shimmering blue waters, and lush landscapes is ideal for hiking and cycling aas well as relaxing at the beach.

Levanto town just by Levanto beach, also serves as an excellent base for exploring the famous Cinque Terre villages. It’s less crowded and more affordable than the villages themselves, but offers easy access to them by train, boat, or hiking trails. This is exactly why I chose to based in Levanto while visiting Cinque Terre. We were able to easily commute to all the other villages for exploring, then come back to a serene and beautiful place in Levanto when we wanted to relax, without the larger tourists crowds. 

Is Levanto Beach sandy?

It is a mostly a sandy beach, with some rocks in certain parts. For the most part it has beautiful golden hue sands, typical of this part of the italian coast. I found that the inner part of the beach is sandier, and comfortable for lounging if you have towels, while the areas closer to the water are more pebbly.. 

Levanto Beach Cinque Terre

Is the beach in Levanto free?

Is the beach in Levanto free? Yes, there is a free area where you can bring your own towels and relax, though some parts require payment to sit. Is it worth visiting Levanto? Yes, it feels more secluded and less frequented by tourists than other Cinque Terre villages. With a local vibe, picturesque coastline, clear waters, and lush landscapes, it’s ideal for hiking and cycling.

What is the Levanto beach front like?

Levanto Beach front

Levanto’s beachfront has a scenic promenade, with some cafes and some small shops selling souvenirs and refreshments and local delicacies. I was particularly fascinated with one shop that literally had the most vast variety of limoncello. We opted for a bottle recommended to us by the local shopowner. Although I originally planned to save this and bring it back to London, we ended up opening and having most of this on our trip!

Limoncello shop

Can you swim in Levanto Beach?

Yes, Levanto is a swimmable beach. May – October is generally the best time of year to visit Levanto if you’re looking to jump in the waters for a swim or snorkel. Although I didn’t snorkel in Levanto, Cinque Terre itself is well known for having excellent waters for snorkling.

levanto hotel

Levanto Beach Hotels – Where to Stay near Levanto Beach

There are plenty of hotels to stay at around Levanto, we stayed at one further in from the beach, about a 5-10 min walk away. There are plenty of options closer to the beach, but by the time we booked a lot of these options were booked out or far more expensive. We opted for an apartment style accommodation Affittacamere II Veliero, although slightly further away, we had lots of space a spacious balcony with a beautiful view which was perfect to relax in teh morning over breakfast and coffee before we headed into Cinque Terre to explore.

Levanto Beach Club 

The beach club offers at Levanto Beach offers comfortable sunbeds and umbrellas for rent. This provides a relaxing and convenient way to enjoy a day at the beach without having to bring your own equipment. The beach club also provides access to showers and changing Rooms which are generally clean and well-maintained, as well as restrooms. However if you’re heading there peak tourist season, go early as the sunbeds can be taken by lunchtime, with some wait required at peak times. When I visited Levanto in May, Levanto beach was not so busy, with plenty of sunbeds available, so fringe seasons to summer are ideal if you want a quieter time at the beach.

How to get to Levanto By Train

The train network in italy is generally good and I found most cities are well connected, even the smaller ones, although with less frequent trains running. As such, its easy enough to get from other Italian cities into Levanto/ Cinque Terre generally. 

Train in Cinque Terre

Getting to Levanto from Genoa

  • Trains from Genoa to Levanto run many times during the day. The journey takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Trains leave either Genova Piazza Principe or Genova Brignole stations.
  • Tickets costs €7–15 on Regional or Intercity trains. 

Getting to Levanto from Pisa

  • Take a train from Pisa Centrale to La Spezia Centrale (approximately 1 hour), then change to a regional train to Levanto (another 30 minutes).
  • Tickets cost is approximately €15 to €25.

Getting to Levanto from Florence

  • Train from Florence Santa Maria Novella to Pisa Centrale (~1hr), then on to Levanto. 
  • Tickets: It takes 2.5–3 hours and the price is between €20 and €35.

Getting to Levanto from Milan

  • There are a few direct trains from Milano Centrale to Levanto, taking about 3 to 3.5 hours. Alternatively, take a train from Milan to Genoa and transfer to a train bound for Levanto. 
  • Tickets prices range from €20 to €40 depending on the type of train.

Tips for Train Travel in Italy

Booking Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at train stations, online through Trenitalia or Italo websites, or via mobile apps. 

Regional vs. Intercity: Regional trains are slower but cheaper, while Intercity and Frecciabianca trains are faster and more comfortable, but also a bit more expensive.

Remember to validate your ticket at the yellow machines in the station before boarding regional trains! Its not always obvious to do this, but sometime the validation of the tickets is checked by the train conductors once inside the trains.

How to get around Levanto and Cinque Terre via Train

  • Cinque Terre Express: The Cinque Terre Express is the train service for Cinque Terre which connects all the villages. It runs frequently between Levanto and the five Cinque Terre villages (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore). 
  • Travel Time: Each journey between Levanto and any of the Cinque Terre villages takes between 5 to 10 minutes on the train.

Cinque Terre Train Schedule

  • Frequency: Trains run approximately every 15-30 minutes during the peak tourist season (April to October) and less frequently during the off-season.
  • First and Last Trains: The first train usually departs around 5:00 AM and the last train around 11:00 PM, but it’s best to check the current schedule on the Trenitalia website or at the station and also check for the appropriate time of year. I noted there was a difference between the summer and other times of year. 

Cinque Terre Train Tickets

  • Cinque Terre Card: I would highly recommend iupurchasing the Cinque Terre Card, which offers unlimited train travel between Levanto and La Spezia (including all five Cinque Terre villages) for a day. It also includes access to hiking trails and Wi-Fi at train stations.
    • Prices: Approximately €18.20 for one day, €33.00 for two days. Single/ per journey tickets can also be purchased.

Levanto By Ferry

From Cinque Terre Villages

  • Cinque Terre Ferry: Levanto is part of the Cinque Terre ferry network, which connects the five Cinque Terre villages and Levanto.
  • Routes and Schedule: Ferries operate from April to October, with varying frequency depending on the season. Common routes include:
    • Monterosso al Mare to Levanto: About 15 minutes.
    • Vernazza to Levanto: About 25 minutes.
    • Manarola to Levanto: About 35 minutes.
    • Riomaggiore to Levanto: About 45 minutes.
  • Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at the ferry docks or online. Prices vary based on the route and season but typically range from €7 to €15 per trip.

Levanto from La Spezia

  • During the high season, there are direct ferries from La Spezia to Levanto. The journey takes around 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Tickets: Prices for direct ferries from La Spezia to Levanto are around €20 to €30. This is a good alternative option to taking the Cinque Terre train, if you prefer a more scenic journey to Levanto on the water.

Levanto beach parking

I recommend taking the train connecting all the Cinque Terre villages, including Levanto. However if you are driving, there is parking available at Levanto beach by the Levanto Train station which is about a 10-12 minute walk. The latest updates and parking and parking charges are available on the Cinque Terre transport here.

Things to do in Levanto Italy

Explore Levanto Beach

  • Levanto Beach: As mentioned above, this place is perfect for  swimming, relaxing or people watching with a book in hand. If you opt for the paid sunbeds, there are access to facilities included toilets and changing rooms.
  • Bonassola Beach: Just a short walk or bike ride away, this smaller beach offers a quieter atmosphere and crystal-clear waters. I personally thought this was the better beach of the two, a quieter more relaxed vibe.

Hiking

Hikes from Levanto
  • Levanto to Monterosso Trail: This scenic 7-kilometer trail takes you through lush landscapes and offers breathtaking views of the Ligurian coast. It’s part of the larger network of trails in the Cinque Terre National Park. The hike is beautiful with beautiful coastal views throughout, although the view as you approach Monterosse from Levanto was probably the highlight for me! 
  • Pro tip: If you are doing this hike between May to July, I would highly recommend starting the hike early morning/ post breakfast with an aim to finishing up in Monterosso before noon or lunchtime, to avoid the midday heat! The route is breezy and pleasant, but is not exactly covered for the most part. 

Cycling

  • Cycling in and around Levanto is a fantastic way to explore the stunning Ligurian coastline and discover nearby beaches. Here are some popular cycling routes and nearby beaches you can reach:

1. Levanto to Bonassola

  • Route Description: This is a short, scenic route along a former railway line converted into a bike path. The path is mostly flat, making it suitable for cyclists of all levels.
  • Distance: Approximately 3 kilometers (1.9 miles).
  • Beach: Bonassola Beach is a beautiful pebble beach with clear waters, perfect for swimming and relaxing. The village of Bonassola also has charming cafes and restaurants.
Levanto beach to  Bonassola beach cycle

We hired our bikes at Cicli Lapucci, located centrally in Levanto, a fews mins walk from Levanto beach. After having explored Levanto Beach on the earlier day, we and opted to cycle over to Bonassola Beach. Despite the route itself being short, we found ourselves, stopping frequently for photos. The crystal blue waters were the perfect backdrop for a leisurely bike ride in a less busier part of Cinque Terre. Although Levanto beach is the more famous beach versus Bonassola beach, I personally preferred Bonassola beach over Levanto beach for its crystle cler waters and quieter, more relaxed atmosphere.

 Bonassola beach

2. Bonassola to Framura

  • Route Description: Continue on the same bike path from Bonassola to Framura. This path includes tunnels and breathtaking views of the coastline.
  • Distance: Approximately 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from Bonassola to Framura.
  • Beach: Framura has several small, secluded beaches accessible by bike, including the picturesque Porto Pidocchio Beach, known for its clear water and scenic surroundings.

Although we only had time to cover Levanto to Bonassola, this route is perfect as an extension if you have more time to cover a longer route from Levanto.

Visit the Church of Sant’Andrea

  • Located in Piazza della Loggia, the historic center of Levanto is this striking black-and-white striped marble façade. The church features classic Ligurian Gothic architecture. Inside, you’ll find beautiful frescoes to admire. Also great if you want brief respite from the hot sun on a steaming day!

Sample the many different flavours of Focaccia

In Levanto we had what I consider the best focaccia in all of Cinque Terre, a region that is known for this italian bread. There are quite a few stores selling Focaccia enroute the beach, by far my favourite one was Forneria, a hole in the wall takeaway shop. It was really the smell of freshly baked bread that drew me into this place. They have a nice changing variety of different focaccia to choose from. These are in fact perfect if you want to grab some quick lunch and sit on Levanto beach to enjoy. 

Focaccia

Visit the Castello di Levanto

  • Historical Site: Visit this medieval castle, originally built for defensive purposes. Its now a private residence, but you can explore the castle grounds and see panoramic views over Levanto and the sea. I personally don’t think this was a must-see. There are better views to be enjoyed from many of the other coastal viewing areas or hiking paths around Levanto.

Do a Levanto Boat Tour and see the rest of Cinque Terre

  • Cinque Terre Boat Tours: Join a boat tour to explore the iconic villages of the Cinque Terre from the sea. Some tours often include stops for swimming and snorkeling in selected areas. I hiked most of the time between Levanto and the other villages in Cinque Terre. Howwever, I would recommend doing at least one ferry ride between Levanto and another town for the experience and view of the coast from afar. 
  • Sunset Cruises: Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Ligurian coast. These cruises are more expensive than the standard ferry tours but often including drinks and snacks on board. I didn’t opt for a sunset cruise, but honestly speaking there are so many amazing spots for sunsets in Levanto, Levanto beach and the other Cinque Terre villages that you don’t really need a sunset cruise specifically to take in the beauty of the landscape over a sunset. 

Are you heading to Cinque Terre? Make sure to check out our guide on how many days to spend in Cinque Terre here.