The Cinque Terre with its precipitous cliffs and very deep bottoms, are seaside towns with very few beaches, squeezed in a grip between the sea and the railway, with little sand, many pebbles, always exposed to the fury of storm surges driven by the Libeccio wind.
The only real beach on the coastline of the Cinque Terre National Park is that one of Fegina, a few hundred meters of fine sand that extends into the new part of Monterosso, supervised by the statue of the Giant, a masterpiece dating back to 1910 which represents Neptune, the god of the sea, holding up the mountain.
The beach is interrupted at its eastern end by the splendid black rock of Malpasso.
Like all the beaches of the Cinque Terre, that of one of Monterosso was also created following the construction of the new Tyrrhenian railway line which poured tons of rocky material, taken from the mountains, into the sea to create kilometers of new tunnels and allow the doubling of the railway line. The stones and dirt of the excavations have been shredded by the wave motion creating stretches of sand where previously there were only rocks and vertical cliffs.
In this way the beach of Corniglia and the smaller one of Guvano were born.
The beach that stretches for about one kilometer between the villages of Manarola and Corniglia, in between the 70s and 90s attracted a huge number of tourists, thanks to its enormous size and the presence of a touristic village with bungalows, obtained on the track of the old railway line, below the village of Corniglia. Now of that beach only pebbles of various sizes remain, exposed without any protection to the impetuous storms of the winter months.
While the Guvano beach, is a wild and isolated stretch of coast without facilities and equipment, located in the stretch of coast between Corniglia and Vernazza, below the Sanctuary of San Bernardino. For years it has been a favorite destination of naturist tourism, now reachable only with inaccessible paths, given the closure of the old railway tunnel that connected it with the Corniglia train station.
In Vernazza, in front of the splendid church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia, there is the very small sandy beach of the port, while in Riomaggiore is situated the completely rocky one of the Fossola.
In the Cinque Terre, the lack of comfortable beaches is however compensated by the presence of splendid rocky coves, reachable by sea or by land with beautiful paths, where you can sunbathe on the rocks and snorkel exploring the splendid seabed of the Protected Marine Area.