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 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 earliest runs don't 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.
• There are also one-day tickets which allow you unlimited trips - either one-way or round trip - to all of the villages served. But because trains are more frequent and run earlier/later in the day, they are a better option for sightseers who only have 1 day.
• The website is not functional in the off season
- National/State Park
The train station
The train station of Riomaggiore is situated around the cliff from the actual village. The view that you'll meet when you get off the train is amazing! From here you can take the train to the four other villages in Cinque Terre, as well as down south to La Spezia. Regional trains up to Genova and Turin are also passing here.
Outside the station there is a small information center where one can buy walking- and train cards for Cinque Terre, as well as information about the different places. Here one can also buy a internet card that works for 24 hours, however only right next to the information spot… 5 euro it cost, if someone would like to spend the next 24 hours at an information spot.
The train tickets can also be bought inside the station.
The platforms for the trains north (to the other villages) can be very crowded, as there are thousands of tourists coming here every day. The trains comes quite often, but considering the amount of people on the train I would say they don't come often enough.
A day card for unlimited walking and train rides cost 10 euro per persons. It's well worth it if you're planning to go forth and back between the different villages.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Historical Travel
The train is running pretty fast and therefore passengers are suggested to take a seat. The interiors is clean, as much as its possible for the composition which has so many passengers during a day. Most of the tracks is covered by the tunnels so that little can be seen from the train. Each station has displays indicating arrivings and departings which are punctual. The train stop shortly on each of the stations but no need to be worry if late coz soon will come another composition.
Cinque Terre point
My base was at Fonte dei Marmi, which is 30 minutes far from La Spezia, if travelling by the bus. The train station at La Spezia is small but very busy and very crowded. It is starting point for all those who are visiting Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre. We took daily pass which cost 10 euros and after registration it is valid for unlimited rides during a day. First stop was Vernazza and it takes about 20 minutes to get there.
The train which runs along the Cinque Terre coast is extremely useful, and very good value.
If you buy a Cinque Terre pass (which you must have to walk the coastal footpaths) train travel is free. Otherwise it's remarkably cheap from a UK point of view: 1.10 euro from one village to the next.
It's not a particularly scenic ride, as most of the journey is in tunnels. But you do get glimpses of turquoise sea and rocky outcrops, and the frequency of the trains is excellent.
If you don't want to walk between villages, or can't, or don't have time, the train will let you see many or all of them in a day. It just requires a bit of forward planning using the train timetable provided by the Tourist Information office on Platform 1 of La Spezia station (and all the stations along the line).
Using the train, I was able to make a daytrip from Pisa, see a bit of La Spezia and still have time to wander round 3 Cinque Terre villages (and could have seen more, had i not wanted to visit a museum in La Sp before it closed).
- National/State Park
Cinque Terre is connected with a train line that starts from La Spezia and goes to Geneva and everywhere else. All the trains pass from the five villages. BUT not all trains stop. We left our car in Riomaggiore and walk to Manarola. Then we took the train to Corniglia and from there we walked to Vernazza. From Vernazza we took the train to the last village Monterosso. From Monterosso we took an intercity which due to local info would stop to Riomaggiore. But it didn't. So we ended in La Spezia 22:00. We asked for the next train to go to Riomaggiore and the pointed a train that was leaving that moment. Unfortunatelly we got in. Neither that train stopped in Riomaggiore so we ended ,,,, to Genoa. Ok just make sure that the trains are stopping to the villages. The place is perfect and all we had was a small adventure.
Take a Hike
The best way to get around Riomaggiore and the Cinque Terre is by foot.
Walking along the cliffs between villages is a fantastic experience and the views are spectacular.
You don't need proper hiking shoes, but sturdy foot wear is a must. Leave the stilettos at home!!
We saw lots of people walking with poles, which may have made some of the steeper climbs a little easier - harder to juggle the camera though!!
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Train between the Cinque Terre Villages
To travel to Riomaggiore, and between the five villages of the Cinque Terre you can catch the train that runs between La Spezia and Genoa. Besides hiking, it is the easiest and quickest way to travel from village to village, but not very scenic - most of the time you are in tunnels through the mountains, with only an occasional glimpse of the ocean.
The train is pretty slow, and not that frequent. There is usually 1-3 trains per hour in summer, and less as the weather gets colder. Some trains don't stop at all the villages, so make sure you check the timetable in advance.
A one ride ticket costs around 1.50 euro and there is a day pass that you can buy too. Tickets are available at each of the towns stations, and make sure you pick up a timetable as well.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Train is the best way to get there
Train is the best way to get to Riomaggiore, I suppose. There is a stop (railway station) in each of 5 villages of Cinque Terre (line Genova - La Spezia).
Check pages with european timetables:
page of German Railways (Deutche Bundesbahn) in English,
page of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) in English
www.cvut.cz/home/railway.htm - index of European railway resources (hundreds georgeus links although some of them are not updated).
HAVE GREAT TRAIN TRIPS :-))))
Cinque Terre Card (Train)
You can easily travel around Cinque Terre by purchasing the Cinque Terre Pass with Train. The day pass with train costs about 8 to 9 euros and gives you access to the trails as well as the use of trains between La Spezia and Levanto.
I've uploaded a copy of the train schedule (on 4/4/2010) we got with our day pass here. I don't know if the trains run on different schedules on different days of the week. The trains weren't very on time though, so you might have to wait 10-20 minutes for your train. Not all trains stop in all 5 villages. (Picture 1 - Levanto to La Spezia. Picture 2 - La Spezia to Levanto)
* The train station at Corniglia is actually kind of far from town. There is a shuttle bus that runs between the 2 locations and I've posted the bus schedule (Picture 3). That said, the schedule is more like a guideline. It seems that the buses (or bus, singular) runs when it is full, or whenever the bus driver decides to leave.
Riomaggiore by boat
The boats are operated by the “Consorzio Marittimo Turistico 5 Terre-Golfo dei Poeti”.
You can gets this boats from Levanto, Portivenere, Lerici and La Spezia. From this points you will connect with Cinque Terre.(except Corniglia)
The price of tickets varies according to the chosen route and the period of the year.
PRICES from Riomaggiore.(for 2010)
1 day ticket is 15 EURO
Afternoon ticket is 12,50 EURO
Riomaggiore to Manarola round trip is 3 EURO
Riomaggiore to Monteross round trip cost 11,50 EURO
Riomaggiore to Vernazza round trip cost 10,50 EURO
Riomaggiore to Vernazza one way is 6,5 EURO
- Sailing and Boating
TRAVEL BY PLANE
If you want to travel by plane the nearest airport is Pisa It is about 85 km
The second nearest airport is Genoa.(113 km)
From Milano airport you have about 222 km to Cinque Terre.
From Nice airport you have 312 km
- Road Trip
CARS AND PARKING
If you come from Milano take the A7 Milano-Genova. Take the interchange to the A12 Genova – Rosignano, direction Livorno, continue on the A15 Parma – La Spezia direction La Spezia and then exit in La Spezia. From La Spezia exit follow the signs to Cinque terre, Riomaggiore. (Do not take the road to Lerici)Cross the city along the harbor, take the road on the left direction Riomaggiore and Portovenere. After 5 km, follow the signs only to Riomaggiore. This road continues to all villages in Cinque Terre.
The parking in Riomaggiore is not free and it is not easy to find a place. 300 meters before the village there is a free car park, but also here it is not easy to park. In the center of Riomaggiore 1 hour costs 4 EUR.
- Road Trip
TRAVEL BY TRAIN
The best way to reach Riomaggiore is by train. I have traveled from Genoa by “regionale “ train. The distance is about 75 km.We drove about two hours and enjoy the view of Liguria sea which is great. You can found some faster “easy star train” to Riomaggiore which is more expensive.
When you come for Genoa, the train will stop only in 3 villages (Riomaggiore, Vernazza and Monteroso) For another two village you must take local train. Tickets between 5 villages are 1,3 EUR and ride takes 3 – 5 minutes and they are mostly tunnels.
If you come from the south you reach La Spezia from where with a regionale train you can easily reach Riomaggiore. The journey from La Spezia – Ruimaggiore lasts about 10 minutes and cost 1,7 EUR.
The site of italian railway is very good and correct.
And if the hills get too much for you ...
... you could always take the bus. One of these little green buses to be precise – green in both senses of the word, as they are powered by diesel and especially designed not to damage the ecology of the national park. Use of them is included in your Cinque Terre card, and although we never took one, they would be a real help for anyone less able to climb, or perhaps if you’re carrying heavy luggage too or from your hotel. They don’t run between the villages, but you can catch one, for instance, as an alternative to climbing the many steps to hill-top Corniglia from its station down by the sea, or to reach the pretty church and piazza perched above Manarola, as well as (as here) to climb the steep hill that is Via Colombo, Riomaggiore’s main street.
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