Cinque Terre,  Travel Tips

The Italian Riviera: Cinque Terre

How should you plan your visit to Cinque Terre? Here there are some hints about the peculiar structure of the Ligurian Riviera.

So let me explain how transports work and give you some tips to enjoy your trip even more!

Structure and Transports

Starting from La Spezia, the Cinque Terre villages are the following:

  1. Riomaggiore
  2. Manarola
  3. Corniglia
  4. Vernazza
  5. Monterosso

Each village is about 5 minutes away from the next one if you visit them by train.

If you choose the ferryboat, sailing from La Spezia you will reach Riomaggiore in 1 hour and 15 mins. If you instead go by bus it takes 30 minutes to get to the first village.

Villages are pedestrian and the only way to explore them is to go up and down the famous steep steps from which this blog takes its name.

Every village has direct sea access except for Corniglia, the third of the villages, which has not a harbor. You can however go for a swim even there. But you will have to walk a bit more than in the others, in which you will find direct access to the beach…

Hiking trails

If you are not an expert, I suggest you to do one trail per day or just some sections. People often think they have time to do more than one trail in a day, but The shortest trail CURRENTLY open is from Corniglia to Vernazza and it takes about 110 minutes. Unfortunately, due to a great flood that happened in 2011 some of the briefest trails as “Lovers’ lane” and the one from Corniglia to Manarola are temporarily closed. Check out which trails are open!

Tips by a Local:

  • In summer I suggest you to visit two villages per day and enjoy our beautiful sea.
  • Hiking: take water with you.
  • If you are coming for just 1 or 2 days use the train and visit at least 2 villages per day.

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