We are booked for a Best of Italy in 17 days tour this next year (May 2022) and on day 10 we have a full “on our own” day in the Cinque Terre area to enjoy. And we are thrilled. What would be your recommended full-day itinerary for either A (using the ferry to go from town to town) and/or B (picking a hike which is not too daunting or sheer)? Please include any stops for eating, learning, sightseeing or just plain basking. 🙂
Info for taking the trails, some of which are closed due to washout several years ago.
When we were there in July we chose to get an all day boat pass and venture from village to village. I think from the water you get a better view. Also it was so hot walking was unappealing. Heat in May should be less of an issue
Your guide should have good suggestions for when you are there.
I am not sure what sections of the trail are open now. We spent two days hiking it all and a lot of it was sheer drop offs, other parts were just walking through vineyards. The hardest parts I remember were Monterosso to Vernazza and Corniglia to Vernazza. When I finally arrived in Vernazza the first time a man told me I had a very red face (in Italian.)
We also took a ferry to Portovenere ,south of the Cinque Terre. for the day. Nice, much larger town than those on the CT.
Hi jon, I hiked from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza in March and was over heated. The hike from Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare is even steeper giving you a better work out. However, you have to climb 382 steps to get up to Corniglia. People like the scenic boat ride vs. getting around by train.
The ferry offers nice scenic views of the 5 lands. On the village italy tour we took the boat up from Portovenere to Monterosso. On a sunny afternoon the towns are quite pretty. Picture perfect. Snag a seat on the right hand side northbound.
I tried to take the boat from Monterosso to Vernazza on my last trip a few years ago. Got on the wrong boat and ended up in La Spezia. No problem, just had to walk from ferry dock to the train station for a train back to Monterosso. Embarrassing, but another story to add to my travels.
We used the ferry system and thoroughly enjoyed our day. You will have the opportunity to do hill climbs at each stop, meeting locals tending their vines or offering you a spot of shade, a bite to eat and a local refreshment. Don’t miss the raspberry liqueur! We wished we had more time in this fantastic, unbelievably charming area & are planning a return next summer. Enjoy!
If you’re a hiker, you could easily take the train to the first town, and hike back through all the rest in a day, with tennis shoes, a little backpack and water, stopping to visit all the towns briefly and making it back for dinner. Great hike, beautiful. There were some sections we had to go way up the hills for because of trail issues, but I’m not sure how the route is now.
On our BoE21 day tour in 2015 we stayed in Monterosso with our tour group. Hubby and I (aged 50+ at the time) were by no means athletes but we managed the hike from Monterosso to Vernazza. I won’t say it was an easy hike but it was very memorable and we are very happy to have done it. Bring your own water bottles and stay hydrated! There were some places during the hike that got pretty crazy if you have a problem with heights. Also, it is a two way hike so a few sections of the trail were fairly narrow and passing hikers going the opposite direction a little claustrophobic! That being said, the view coming into Vernazza was something I will never forget! We did purchase the transportation (ferry+train) pass and did a combination of the two for the remaining villages. Also, in order to hike you do need the trail pass. I believe we purchased that in the train station?
When we did Best of Italy we opted for the ferry pass. We took it first thing in the morning down to Porto Venere which is a lovely town, spent a couple hours exploring and having drinks and snacks next to the water. Then we ferried to Vernazza for a long lunch. By then the heat was getting to us so we got off in Monterosso and found some shade. It was a lovely day.
We did the Best of Europe in 21 days in 2014. By the time we got to Cinque Terre, we were pretty tired and done with crowds. We stayed on the boat/ferry and traveled from town to town totally enjoying the scenery, the weather, & the boat ride. For us, it was a perfect day.