Visiting the Cinque Terre in one day
If you want to venture out on a lightning excursion to the Cinque Terre, you will inevitably have to miss out on something. For example, rather than taking time to eat at a restaurant, grab something on the go, or give up the idea of walking one of the trails (at most you could do a couple of sections of the Blue trail); or eliminate one of the five villages (perhaps Corniglia, the one less visited by tourists).
Firstly, you should obtain the train schedules for all stations (you can find them in the tourist offices). Because of the limited time available, it will be best to use the fastest means of transport in the Cinque Terre, the train. You can visit each of the villages in approximately half an hour, but it would be better to dedicate at least an hour to each one, and even two hours in Vernazza and Manarola. Study the timetables well so you’re not wasting time waiting for trains. It’s better to spend as much time as possible visiting the various locations.
Excursion from a cruise ship
If you are arriving by ship in La Spezia or Livorno, you will have little time available. The first thing to do is to go to the local train station on the special Cruise Buses which will be waiting on shore. As you depart, the time of the last train to return in time will be announced. For excursions from a cruise ship we suggest you visit Vernazza and Manarola and a third village of your choice. Perhaps you could go to Monterosso or Riomaggiore (especially if the Path of Love is open at the time). We suggest you skip Corniglia.
Which of the Cinque Terre villages to visit in one day
The tourist mecca of the Cinque Terre is Vernazza. It is the village most visited by tourists and quite often people leave their luggage in deposit there as they visit other places. Manarola is next (it’s better to go there after lunch, so you’re not taking photographs against the light). Both have very beautiful and easy-to-reach seaside promenades where you can sit and enjoy the view of the colorful little houses built on the rocks.
If the Path of Love is open, walk it from Manarola to Riomaggiore, otherwise include Monterosso al Mare in the list of places to visit (you can reach it on foot from Vernazza and you can take beautiful photos along the way from the hill tops).
The quickest way to get around is by train, although we suggest you use the ferry between two of the villages at least, for example Vernazza and Manarola, which are the most beautiful.
Corniglia is the smallest village and quite often it is left out due to lack of time, since it is located on the top of a cliff, higher than all the others. But it is worthy of attention just the same. Therefore, if you are not keen on rushed trips and want to fully enjoy the charm of these small Italian villages, you should dedicate more time to visiting the Cinque Terre. It is impossible to properly visit the Cinque Terre in one day.
Some advice for a one-day visit to the Cinque Terre
Are you finding it difficult to organize your day in the Cinque Terre? Study our site and if you still have questions, please contact us via Facebook and tell us about your program or what you would like to know: we will try to help you and advise you on the best way to spend this day!
It is worth buying the Cinque Terre Card for the train?
The cost of a train trip between the villages is 4 euro (one-way ticket).
The cost of the “Cinque Terre Card with Train” in 2017 is 16 euro (and it also includes access to the Blue Trail, which otherwise would cost you 7.50 euro).
So if you want to visit the Cinque Terre in one day with more than three train trips, it will be easier and less expensive with the “Cinque Terre Card + Train” (Cinque Terre Card treno).