Are you conflicted between the train or the car to visit Cinque Terre? Let me help you analyze every possible choice to decide what kind of transport is suited for you.
Cinque Terre Transport Tip: Why The Car Is Not Your Allied…
If you were thinking about a camper tour or coming with your car let me stop you right away: the only reason you could use it is if you have kids or elderly relatives with you…or you are coming in winter. But, if those are not your case believe me: forget it. Parking spots are available in restricted numbers in each town. Plus, if you are lucky enough to find a place, it’s really expensive!
Cinque Terre Transport Tip: How About a Boat Tour?
One of the best ways to do a daily tour of Cinque Terre is surely the ferryboat. You can choose to buy a single ticket or a daily one. I personally suggest you the daily ticket for a super panoramic tour! It’s true, it costs a little more than the train, but if you are looking for a relaxed trip it’s just what you need.
A daily ticket with the Consorzio Marittimo 5 Terre it’s 35 euros (adults) and 20 (kids 6-11). You can use it to stop in every village including Porto Venere. You can of course stop in one village and then re-use the ticket to go to the next one.
• Pros: Beautiful panoramic tour along all the coast form La Spezia to Levanto. It includes Porto Venere, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza and Monterosso.
• Cons: it’s more expensive than the train and it does not include Corniglia. It is the third village and it’s located upon the hill, consequently, it doesn’t have a harbor.
Train: Best Choice Ever
The train is certainly the best kind of transport due to the Cinque Terre. There is a card called “Cinque Terre Trekking Card MS” that includes train (daily/2 days/3 days), buses, access to trekking trails, museums in La Spezia, Wi-Fi, guided tours, and labs. You can buy it at info points or in La Spezia Railway Station. Here I explain to you why it’s convenient and how to use it.
• Pros: the most distant village from La Spezia is just 20 mins away. Between every village, the length of the journey is around 5 mins. It’s the cheapest transport and there is one ride every 15 mins during high season and about every 30 mins in low season. The price can vary if you are a group, a single person, or have kids.
• Cons: it is crowded during summer, especially in August due to the presence of cruise groups. If you have walking difficulties in some of the villages (mostly Manarola and Riomaggiore) the distance between the train and the platform is a bit high.
What About Buses?
You can take the bus buying the Cinque Terre Trekking Card and you’ll find a ride more or less once an hour.
• Pros: it takes you also to the sanctuaries located above the five villages and to Volastra, a small village near Manarola. It is perfect for those interested in panoramic and alternative trekking trails and walks in the woods.
• Cons: time schedule and few places to sit on the bus.
Tips by a local:
• I suggest you the train if your visit will be brief! Buy your tickets online and Pay attention to pickpockets.
• If you are going to use the boat, take a hat with you, sun in summer can hit hard!