CT by sea
From approximately the beginning of April to the end of October, ferries are an alternate way of reaching most of the Cinque Terre villages and many others along the Ligurian coast including Portofino, Levanto and La Spezia. They’re not as fast or as inexpensive as the local train but are a nice way to get a different perspective of the cliffs, steeply terraced vineyards and tiny hilltop towns than you can see from land. Tickets may be purchased at the marinas of any of the ports the ferries serve, and are priced by distance: ours from Riomaggiore to Monterosso were €8 one way with shorter/longer point-to-points priced accordingly.
The website is multi-lingual (English, Italian, German, French and Spanish), provides maps and schedules, and allows you to figure ticket prices based on desired departure/destination points. Do note that:
• Ferries do not stop at Corniglia
• Service may be cancelled at any time due to rough seas
• They aren’t covered under any Cinque Terre park or park/rail passes: any info on the net stating otherwise is incorrect (previous passes that included ferries were discontinued)
• There are around 7-8 departures from CT villages every day but the earlist runs do not go to every village so check schedules carefully. Last runs are fairly early in the evening, and service to more distant locations isn’t as frequent as between the four Cinque Terre ports.
• The website is not functional during the off season
- National/State Park
Getting to the Cinque Terre (Italy) without a car
The Cinque Terre is my favorite place anywhere ... you'll find it a vacation from your busy vacation. It is connected by main line rail from at the the Monterosso station, and some locals stop at the other towns, enroute to/from La Spezia. It is on the main line south from Genova (Genoa), and has some direct trains to Milano Centrale as well. Piza comes up in the schedules as another connecting point for trains from Florence.
There is no need (or place) for a car once you are in the 5 towns. Hotels in Monterosso, B&B's and apartments in the other towns. Restaurants abound, with all kinds of fish available and recommended. The towns are all connected by a foot trail through what is now a national park (i.e. admission charge now). Some parts are rugged and steep. You can go part way until you drop, and take a train back to where you are staying in the 5 towns.
Another option is to get to/stay in Portovenere and take the water bus around the point and north to the C.T. towns on the water (not Corniglia .. 263 steps up from the train station). Grand Hotel in Portovenere is lovely, and right by the pier. Last time, we stayed at "Hotel 5 Terre" in Monterosso at a good rate. Not all rooms have A/C, so be specific. They let us come right back at the same rate when we were marooned due to the 1 day train strike. (Oh, darn...another day in paradise.)
I'm envious...I want to go back!
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Getting around Cinque Terre by car
OK so getting around Cinque Terre by car isn't as quick or as practical as by train BUT it is far more enjoyable.
I arrived in Monterosso al Mare from Genoa (took about an hour or so) and parked in the main car park. Due to my limited time in Cinque Terre (I had to drive to Pisa in the afternoon), I only had time to visit Monterosso & Corniglia in the morning. I spent about an hour in Monterosso and then drove to Corniglia. This took about an hour and I stopped to admire the view (see photo). The roads are very small and twisty (you have to beep your horn to warn oncoming drivers that you're coming) but the drive is delightful. You don't get the full splendore of the landscape if you travel by train.
Parking in Monterosso al Mare
There is a huge parking lot in a new part of Monterosso al Mare, the street name is Via Fegina. Coming from Lavento follow the turn FEGINA and right at the seaside you will see the parking lot.
Parking is guarded.
The prices per car are:
1,50 Euro per hour upto 8 hours
12 Euro per day
Special weekly rate: 65 Euro
It's better to park there and do not worry about your car during the time you will spend in Cinque Terre. From town to town it's more convenient to take a train, a ferry or hike than drive.
Street parking is also paid 1,50 Euro per hour from 8AM to 8PM
- Road Trip
From Monterosso to Venice: by car or by train?
Monterosso is very small so I think there aren't any car rentals there.
Anyway take a look on
and consider to travel by TRAIN from Monterosso to Venice.
I think it's more convenient than hiring a car (in terms of money, safety and comfort).
If you wish to go to Venice only by car let me know, I should try to help you!
Welcome in my Country!
- Road Trip
The Commuter Train
There are commuter trains that run between all five villages. They run about every 15 minutes during the day but they do not always stop at every village. Be sure to consult the train schedule which clearly states what trains stop at all the villages and which ones do not. You will find that almost every train stops at Riomaggiore or Monterosso.
Everyone seems to take the trains then hike into the area. Try taking the ferry service between a few towns, the views are amazing!
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