How to get around in the Cinque Terre
The only way to really experience the Cinque Terre and breathe the atmosphere of this corner of the Riviera is to visit all the villages there. Below is some information on the various ways to move around between the villages.
By train in the Cinque Terre
You can get to any of the Cinque Terre villages quickly and easily by train. The stations in the villages are often located right in the center. Corniglia is the only place where the station is located outside the village, so those people wanting to visit this little village will need to take the bus that leaves from the station every 10 minutes. Or you can walk there in about twenty minutes. But since this village is located 100 m above sea level you will have to climb 400 steps.
The trains run non-stop with a break only between one o’clock in the morning and 4.00-5.00 am. During the peak tourist season (in 2017: from April 1 to November 1), because of the large number of visitors to the Cinque Terre, extra runs are added for the "Cinque Terre Express" between La Spezia and Levanto. Thus, trains to the Cinque Terre depart approximately every half hour, and at peak times even more often.
You can view train timetables on the trenitalia.com website. If you check the times more than a month before your arrival in the Cinque Terre, remember that very probably not all trains will be listed on the site!
The ticket costs 4 euro, regardless of the distance traveled within the boundary of the park. It’s free if you purchase the Cinque Terre Card + Train.
Do the Cinque Terre trains run on time?
Unfortunately, due to the large number of tourists, trains sometimes do not comply with the timetables; for this reason it can be very useful to check the timetable with the Trenitalia APP. Important: If the train is late, the platform number may change. So you should always check the information on the board and listen to the announcements.
If you don’t intend to move between the villages by boat, but prefer to use the walking trails and the train a couple of times, consider purchasing the ticket called “Cinque Terre Card + Train”. which will save you some money. In fact, it gives you the possibility to make an unlimited number of trips by train and access the trails for a whole day.
We recommend that you take a printout of the train timetables with you. It is available at the tourist center in the station for free. Or download the Trenitalia APP on your cell phone to check on trains.
How to save (weekly tickets)
Once it was possible to buy the economical weekly ticket, but from summer 2016 the rules have changed and now this ticket is only available for local residents. So it’s best to buy the “Cinque Terre Card + Train”.
By boat in the Cinque Terre
Although not the easiest way to move between villages, the view from the sea is simply fantastic. All the Cinque Terre villages have ports (except Corniglia). You can also reach Portovenere by ferry. The runs start in mid-March and continue until the end of October, but the greater the number of tourists, the greater the number of boats in service. As a result, schedules can change each month. The new schedules are published only a week before they come into effect and are immediately published on our site. You can view the archive of the timetables of past years to understand how often the ferries operate during the month of interest to you.
Current times of departure and arrival for the ferries (from April 15 to October 1, 2017): see the photo. The new schedule will be available on our website about a week before the expiry of the current one.
The cost tickets in 2017:
Unlimited for 1 day in the Cinque Terre, Portovenere, La Spezia: 33 euro.
Unlimited for 1 day in the Cinque Terre only: 25 euro.
La Spezia - Portovenere: 8 euro one way, 12 euro return trip.
Excursion around the three islands from Portovenere: 12 euro (5 euro if you buy the unlimited ticket).
One trip between the villages of the Cinque Terre: from 5 (for the villages closest together) up to 12 euro (Monterosso al Mare - Riomaggiore).
From any village of the Cinque Terre to Portovenere (single ticket): 16 euro.
Children up to 6 years: free; children up to 11 years: 40% discount.
The boats travel only when the sea is calm; if it’s rough, communications by sea between the villages are temporarily suspended; therefore tickets are sold only for the current day. On average the ferries operate 95% of the scheduled days each year.
In Vernazza, in addition to the ferries scheduled in the timetables, there are also many boats or canoes for rent and you can take a trip along the coast of the Cinque Terre by yourself. More information: Nordest website.
Buses in the Cinque Terre
There are bus connections between the villages of the Cinque Terre, but in each village there is a local bus that leaves from the center and goes to:
Riomaggiore: as far as the cemetery, sometimes up to Biassa, Colle del Telegrafo.
Manarola: as far as the car park and the hamlet of Volastra.
Corniglia: to the station.
Vernazza: to the neighboring localities of San Bernardino and the shrine of the Black Madonna.
Monterosso al Mare: through the village and occasionally up to the ancient sanctuary of Our Lady of Soviore.
The buses run from 7 am till 8 pm approximately.
Don’t rely on the timetables posted at the bus stop. The bus usually leaves as soon as it’s full of passengers.
Cost of ticket: 1.50 euro on condition that the ticket is bought at the station or 2.50 euro if purchased from the driver. Or you can purchase the Cinque Terre Card which includes bus trips for the whole day.
By car in the Cinque Terre
The landscape of Liguria makes it unsuitable for travel by car. The roads in the Cinque Terre are narrow and in most villages there is no access to tourists traveling by car; furthermore parking is hard to find. La Spezia is really the only place you can leave the car. There is more information on traveling by car to Cinque Terre on the page “Visiting by car”.
Walking in the Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is the ideal place for touring on foot! In this part of Liguria there are countless hiking trails and all the villages are connected by a minimum of two trails. The short routes usually run along the coast (but are often closed because of landslides), while the longer ones cross over the tops of the hills (and are almost always open). Most tourists will not miss the chance to stroll the trails of the Cinque Terre, in particular the Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail).
More information on all trails on the page “Walking routes”.