The Best Day Trips from Cinque Terre

Portofino, Genoa, and Pisa

The Best Day Trips from Cinque Terre


Portovenere is a beautiful fishing village that is surrounded by natural beauty. The town is famous for its colored houses and old harbor, as well as the medieval church of St. Peter that looks out on Poet's Gulf. Explore nearby Palmaria Island if you want to enjoy some hiking or swimming. You could also take a boat trip to the nearby villages of Lerici and Telaro.

The most dramatic way to get to Portovenere is by boat. This offers visitors the best view as they arrive. Alternatively you could take the train to La Spezia and then catch the bus on to Portovenere. You'll have to walk for about 15 minutes between the train station and the bus stop. Head left out of the train station and walk to Piazza Garibaldi. Turn right and walk down Viale Garibaldi until you reach the bus stop next to the Arsenale. You could also drive between Cinque Terre and Portovenere, but you'd have to park near the harbor and parking spaces are very limited, particularly during peak season.

The most adventurous way to get to Portovenere is to hike from Riomaggiore. Take either trail 3 or 3a until the telegrafo then take trail 1 the rest of the way to Portovenere. The views are impressive and you'll get to escape the crowds. It's almost a nine mile/14 kilometer hike.

Sestri Levante and Chiavari

The two villages of Sestri Levante and Chiavari make a great day trip from Cinque Terre. Sestri Levante has beautiful colored houses that line an isthmus between to bays. There are sandy beaches and impressive palaces that make for a wonderful and fun place to explore.

Sestri Levante
Chiavari is an ancient coastal town. It's medieval center has many traditional shops and a great Friday market. Pick up some local street food and enjoy exploring the old world charm. Make sure you check out the artisan shops where craftsmen still make wooden furniture or other works in the traditional way.

Sestri Levante is about a half hour train ride from Cinque Terre and Chiavari is another ten minutes. Trains are frequent.


Portofino is one of the most famous villages in the area. It's known for its luxurious atmosphere and posh visitors, but the area has several nearby places also worth exploring. Head to Portofino National Park and enjoy getting a bit away from the crowds. Also head to Camogli to see a more traditional Ligurian fishing village.


Make sure you dine in style while you're in Portofino, sampling some of the local specialties. Enjoy dishes flavored with local herbs and sample an aperitivo in a terraced garden.

To reach Portofino from Cinque Terre, take a train to Santa Margherita Ligure and then pick up a boat on to Portofino. There are both public and private boats available in the harbor.


If you want to explore a larger city, head to the art and cultural center of Genoa. This city has one of the largest medieval centers in Europe and it is filled with a vibe of authenticity that may be missing from the tourist filled streets of Cinque Terre. Explore Genoa's many medieval churches, palaces, and old world shops while dining on authentic and delicious cuisine. It's about an hour and a half by train between Genoa and Cinque Terre.


Pisa and Lucca

Pisa and the less famous Lucca make a great day trip from Cinque Terre. Head to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Piazza dei Miracoli, but don't leave before see what else this city has to offer. Wander the streets to see what there are in the undiscovered areas.

Lucca has a beautiful historical center with impressive churches. There are ancient walls surrounding it that you explore by bike. This area can be reached from Cinque Terre in about an hour by train.

The famous leaning tower of Pisa

If you have a limited amount of time for your journey, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Cinque Terre?, Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Cinque Terre?, Should I spend 1 or 2 weeks in Cinque Terre? and Is Cinque Terre Worth Visiting?

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The Best Day Trips From Cinque Terre: Portofino, Genoa, and Pisa | Budget Your Trip

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