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BoE 2024- Cinque Terre

Hi! I'm traveling on my first RS tour this summer (Best of Europe Tour end of July to mid August). I want to see all five of the cinque terre villages and was looking for tips and tricks to do just that. Thanks! Happy Travels

Posted by
920 posts

I assume you're taking the BoE 21 day tour. Day 15 is your free day in the Cinque Terre. When you arrive in Monterosso al Mare on day 14 afternoon, your guide will explain your transportation options for visiting the towns. There is day-ticket by ferry to go four of the towns (Corniglia is on a hill so no ferry). If you want to go to Corniglia, you have to take the train.

Posted by
14250 posts

Yes, I agree with Mary. That is exactly what my 21 day Best of Europe guide did. In other times I was there on an RS tour I took the ferry from Monterosso (where you will likely be staying) to Riomaggiore which is the town furthest south, then work your way back to Monterosso on the train stopping at all the other villages.

Your guide will also check to see if there is a cruise ship in the day you are there and will give you strategies for avoiding cruise ship crowds. The train going from town to town can be very crowded and is a fertile ground for pickpockets so make sure you are pickpocket proof on this day (money belt and/or things left in the hotel room). My 21 day guide also told me he did not worry about leaving stuff in his tour hotel room because he felt the hotels wanted continued RS business and were scrupulously honest.

Posted by
674 posts

Many years ago before the horrific landslide one was able to walk between each of the towns. Now the options include ferry and train as discussed above. Unless things have changed getting to Corniglia may include a tedious but doable walk up stairs for some. Beware of the pickpocketing when using the train. Otherwise enjoy!

Posted by
7719 posts

I like Pam's suggestion, take the ferry to Riomaggiore, then work your way back to Monterosso.

You actually might be in luck, the trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola (the next town); the Via dell'Amore, has been closed since 2012, it promises to open in July. If so, take the trail to Manarola, it is relatively short and an easy walk, then train to Corniglia, and then train to Vernazza, and train to Monterosso.

If the ferry works out for any of those legs, great, but the ferry is not that frequent, so not sure if waiting for the ferry at each town works logistically, the train is easy and frequent.

Posted by
131 posts

The best gelato I ever had was in Vernazza on the harbor at Porticciolo Gelateria.

Most pistachio ice cream (and gelato) has the flavor of almond extract, but this was just ripe fresh pistachio. Amazing.

Regardless of whether you get to try it, you have an amazing adventure ahead!

Posted by
11 posts

My husband and I were in Cinque Terre last September during our Best of Europe tour. We purchased the day train pass (although we didn't set a goal to visit all 5 villages). There are walking trails between villages. Most were free, but a couple required a fee to enter. There is a day train pass that includes the trail entrance fees so we had complete freedom to explore as we wanted.

We also took a sunset boat cruise that allowed us to see all 5 villages from the water as the sun set.

Posted by
11 posts

Just got back from the BOE tour...Day 15 is your free day, we caught the ferry to Riomaggiore & hopped by train all the other villages except for Corniglia as we couldnt get on the shuttle bus due to crowds.

Posted by
2 posts

We did the My Way Italy last Aug-Sept and we just bought the day train pass that also has a permit for hikes along the trails. The 5 towns are about 4 mins by train. If you plan to hike from town to town, start early as it will be hot. You will have great time. Don't the Amphora Belvedere if you like seafood. It was amazing.

Posted by
1 posts

You can definitely do all 5 towns by train in a day. On last year’s Village Italy we were staying in Levanto, the first town north of Cinque Terre. It poured rain all morning, but we patiently waited until noon, when it was supposed to clear. Headed to the southern-most town and worked our way back, making sure we had time to catch the last train back to Levanto. Even including the long walk up to Corniglia, and a nice snack break at one of those cliff-side restaurants, we managed walk through each town.