Cinque Terre information for tourist about the Cinque Terre.
Find here useful tips, information and advises to fully enjoy the beauties of the region
How to get to the Cinque Terre
Information about the five villages.
Maps of the area.
Visit 5 Terre in one day.
Where to stay in the Cinque Terre.
Top 10 things to do in the 5 Terre.
How to get to the Cinque Terre
In this section, you find more information about how to arrive in the Cinque terre coming from all over Italy or from abroad and with different means of transport: by plane, by train, by car, or by private transfer travel to the 5 Terre.
Cinque Terre is not a single town, but a geographical area of the eastern coast of Liguria region that is situated in northern Italy.
In the 5 Terre area are located five villages, from West to East they are: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso.
There are other two villages in the Cinque Terre area named Volastra and San Bernardino. They are never listed in the 5 original towns but are included in the Cinque Terre National Park territory.
Cinque Terre are reachable by train, by car, by bus, by boat:
- Go the 5 Terre by train is the best because of stops in every village.
- If you want to get to Cinque Terre by car, consider that the road is narrow and winding and runs up high from the villages. Cars are not allowed to drive into the villages and parking for visitors are located outside the villages.
- Getting to 5 Terre by public bus now is possible there are small buses departing from La Spezia and arriving in Vernazza only.
- Going to 5 Terre by boat is certainly very scenic but takes too much time to get there. The boat stops in Portovenere, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso (Corniglia has no pier). From La Spezia to Monterosso, including the stops takes approx 2 hrs.
- For the calculation of the distances and duration of the transfers we keep La Spezia as a reference, this is the biggest town inland of Cinque Terre.
Staying in the Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre showed up on the tourist market quite recently, and for who wants to come is not so easy to collect information about the villages:
their precise location, the best way to reach them, some people believe that Cinque Terre is one town, or think that the villages are an island.
That’s why some of the most frequently asked questions are something like “which village is the best to stay for enjoying the area?”, “how long should I stay in the 5 Terre'”, “what’s the best place to find accommodation?”.
Frankly does not exist a precise answer to these questions, but if you consider certain factors it will be easier to take your decision.
Let’s start to say that Cinque Terre is not just something to photograph, not just a place to see, but an experience to prove. A new kind of vacation that makes people try something new, real, unique. Tourist comes to “live” the villages, they stay door to door with the locals, they shop where locals shop, they eat where locals eat……life flows slower that’s why everybody reduces the pace of living.
We organize a “slow pace” walking tour, have a look and ask for more info if interested.
So, it is this what you are looking for, stay in one of the villages: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso. In all of them, there are B&B, rooms to rent and hotels, outside the villages like in Volastra and San Bernardino you find also some other agriturismi and hotels.
Outside 5 Terre, take into consideration La Spezia and Levanto the two closest towns, and don’t forget that there are good accommodations even in Portovenere, Lerici and Gulf of Poets area. Further inland in Sarzana and the valleys behind 5 Terre.
Moving westwards, after Levanto there are lovely towns by the sea like Bonassola, Framura, Deiva Marina; further west starts the Italian Riviera with Sestri Levante, Lavagna, Santa Margherita, Rapallo and Portofino.
For doing the best choice consider also:
1) How many days you intend to stay. My personal opinion is that to start enjoying the slow pace of the villages you need at least 3 days or more. For shorter stays remember that places like Levanto and La Spezia (see places listed above) are located just outside 5 Terre (look at the map). They are easy to reach and offer a good variety of accommodations.
In alternative consider to stay in the Italian Riviera and dedicate one or more days to the exploration of Cinque Terre.
2) What kind of vacation you want to do. If you just want to come and stay in the Cinque Terre for hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing………stay in the villages.
But if you also want to do excursions in the neighborhood: Pisa, Lucca, Sarzana, the Gulf of Poets, Carrara and the marble quarries, Portofino and the Riviera, Parma perhaps it is more comfortable to move back and forth from Levanto, La Spezia and surroundings.
3) How fit you are. Remember that in all the villages there are steps to climb up and down, but in Riomaggiore and Manarola the main street is uphill, while in Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso is quite flat. The only two villages with an old and new part are Monterosso (the largest) and Riomaggiore. The other three ones have practically one main street and side streets. Remember that train stations in the 5 Terre have no elevators (for the moment), B&B and apartments are located mostly in ancient buildings, so charming, but without elevator.