Getting Around Cinque Terre
The best way to get around Cinque Terre is by foot. Not only is trekking the chief attraction of this Italian coastal region, but it's also the best way to experience the charms of the small towns and the beauty of the sea. Still, there are trains and ferries that can get you from point A to point B if your legs grow weary. Driving tends to be more frustrating than helpful.
Travelers often come to Cinque Terre after several days in another Italian destination, such as Florence, Milan or Genoa among others, and a train is usually the best option to traverse the distance between destinations. There are train stations in each of the villages that comprise Cinque Terre. The nearest airports are: Florence Airport (FLR), about 110 miles southeast; Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP), around 180 miles north; and Genoa Airport (GOA), approximately 60 miles northwest.
The best way to see Cinque Terre is by trekking the trails that cut paths through its quaint villages and breathtaking countryside. Remember to pack comfortable shoes and perhaps even a walking stick for extra support, and take note that some trails will cost a small fee to hike. You can save yourself the hassle of having to stop by purchasing a Cinque Terre Card ahead of time.
If you need a break from walking, taking a Trenitalia regional or express train to travel between Cinque Terre's five towns is a great alternative. Not only is the train convenient (there are train stations in each small town), at just a few euros per ticket, it's also an affordable way to travel among the various villages. You can check out timetables and train fares on Trenitalia's website.
Although renting a car and driving during a Cinque Terre trip is a possibility, it's not recommended. Parking tends to be difficult and expensive, especially during the summertime high season. Plus, many of Cinque Terre's streets are narrow and might be difficult to maneuver behind the wheel. Still, you can rent cars at the airports in neighboring Italian cities or in nearby La Spezia or Pisa.
For a different vantage point of the Ligurian coastline, travelers can take a ferry. Ferries make daily trips to and from Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore – not Corniglia – but round-trip ferry tickets, at around 33 euros (about $39) are much more expensive than train tickets. Still, a ferry offers travelers a different perspective, which can be nice. Keep in mind that the boats tend to run from April to November.
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