Getting Around Cinque Terre
A large part of the appeal of Cinque Terre is the limited access for private vehicles. The towns are very walkable and there is basically no vehicular traffic, which means you really do feel like you stepped back in time.
Despite the limited access for vehicles, Cinque Terre is still very accessible for tourists. Most people arrive in Cinque Terre by train
. If you have a private car, it's best to park it in La Spezia or Levanto and take the train into the park. If you really want to drive, there are expensive parking lots available at the top of each village, but this is discouraged. Some hotels also have parking available. If you don't want to take the train, between March and October there's also a ferry boat
that connects Cinque Terre to La Spezia, Lerici, Levanto, and Portovenere.
Once you arrive in Cinque Terre, there are three ways to travel between the towns - the train, a ferry boat, or hiking.
The Cinque Terre Express
The Cinque Terre Express, operated by Trenitalia connects La Spezia Centrale to Levanto, stopping at all five of the towns en-route. The trip costs €4 during peak season and €1.80 between November and March. The trip between La Spezia Centrale and Levanto takes about half an hour and trains depart frequently (between every ten minutes and every 30 minutes). This is an easy way to travel between towns. Many hikers prefer to hike the trail in one direction and then hop on the train and head back to their starting town.
Ferry boats in Cinque Terre are operated by the Maritime Tourism Consortium 5 Terre
and the Gulf of Poets. There are 15 boats that run between La Spezia, Lerici, Portovenere, Cinque Terre and Levanto. During the summer months there are also connections between Viareggio, Forte dei Marmi, Marina di Massa and Marina di Carrara to Cinque Terre. Also, there are connections from Deiva Marina and Moneglia to Cinque Terre. The boats offer great views of the coastline and are a really enjoyable way to experience the park.
Full day tickets are available for €35 (€18 for children). There are also one way tickets available for a variety of prices.
If you want to avoid the crowded ferry boats, private boat trips are available from Manarola.
Fishing Boats in Riomaggiore (these are not the ferry boats)
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
There is now a relatively new Hop-on Hop-off style mini-bus service
available in Cinque Terre. The buses leave from Stazione Central La Spezia and travel as far as Vernazza and passengers enjoy air conditioning, impressive views, and an audio-guide. Tickets cost €18.50 and can be purchased online, on the bus, or at a Cinque Terre Infopoint.
Hiking is the cheapest, and for many the most rewarding way to get around Cinque Terre. The main hiking trail through the five villages is 592. It follows the coastline and is accessible with the Cinque Terre Card. There are also inland trails to enjoy, but these require a bit more energy and hiking experience.
Check out our Cinque Terre hiking guide
for more information on hiking in the area.