Please sign in to post.

In Portofino area and Cinque Terre

We are now considering a train from Zürich to Milan staying in Milan several days and then instead of heading to Monterosso we thought about going to Santa Margherita Ligure and then taking the ferry to Vernazza and staying a few nights there. That way we could see Portofino and the rest of Cinque Terre. We will have five days so any thoughts from anyone who has done this would be highly appreciated! We thought we would hike from Vernazza to Monterosso as well.

Posted by
1697 posts

If you want to see and experience Cinque Terre, I think it is important to stay in one of the villages. I think of SML and Camogli as alternatives, as I much enjoyed hiking in Portofino park because it is so much less crowded than the CT trails (caveat, this is all based on pre-covid experiences). I don't think much of Portofino at all--it is just a pretty town with very expensive shops, etc.
If you don't mind splitting the stay into 2 and 3 nights, then I don't see any reason not to, but 5 nights in one place is pretty nice.

Posted by
6914 posts

We will have five days .....

Is that 5 days in Italy, or 5 days in the CT region?

Posted by
6092 posts

Santa Margherita Ligure is wonderful. You can go out to nearby Portofino for a few hours. I can’t imagine spending any more time. It is beautiful but totally geared to high end clients, lots of DIOR, Gucci, etc.
Make sure you visit Camogli near Santa Margherita Ligure but located on the north coast of the peninsula.
We spent three nights in Monterosso and hiked the whole path to Riomaggiore over two days. We have visited Santa Margherita three times
and prefer it to the CT.

Posted by
31173 posts


A few thoughts......

As indicated above, the Ferries from Santa Margherita Ligure to Monterosso don't run as often as the Ferries between the five towns of the CT. With a decrease in tourist traffic due to the pandemic, I suspect the frequency may be reduced further.

Santa Margherite Ligure is a beautiful town, but IMO Portofino is not worth more than a few hours. The town has a reputation of hosting famous movie stars, but these days there's not much to see except for a few high end shops, some yachts parked in the harbour and Castello Brown up on the hill above town.

The best way to "see" the Cinque Terre is to stay in one of the towns, so that you can experience the wonderful atmosphere in the evenings. If you stay in Vernazza, that will give you an opportunity to explore all five towns and do some hiking (if the trails are open).

Does the five day time frame include your time in Milan? Also, when will this trip be taking place?

Posted by
661 posts

I found Portofino a fine one day visit. I stayed in Rapallo and took the boat and back. I really liked Rapallo, it has great little shops and some very good restaurants and it is near Santa Margherita and a lot less expensive. Did the hike from Vernazza to Monterossa. Outstanding hike and magnificent views of the Med.