Getting Around the Cinque Terre

Getting Around Cinque Terre is relatively easy:

Trenitalia Cinque Terre tickets Follow Me on Pinterest

Trenitalia Cinque Terre tickets

By Train:

The regional train that serves the five villages runs between La Spezia Centrale and Sestri Levanti or Genoa.  Fares are cheap at Euro 1.80 one-way, and the difference between a 5 km trip and a 10 km trip is only Euro 20 cents. The tickets are valid for 6 hours in each direction.  So if you’re at Riomaggiore and heading north, you can stop at all the other four villages within a 6-hour time-frame.  Your return trip requires a separate ticket.

When you purchase your ticket, make sure that you validate it at the yellow machine on the platform.  Train conductors do come around checking for tickets and if you’re caught without a validated ticket, the on-the-spot fine is Euro 25.  It’s hardly worth this risk given that the fares are only between Euro 1.80 and Euro 2.00.

If you’re staying for a few days and plan on doing some of the walks, you’ll probably be making a few trips back and forth between the five villages every day.  It may be worth buying the Cinque Terre Treno card which includes unlimited train travel for the duration of your card.  A 3-day Cinque Terre card costs Euro 10 and with unlimited train rides included, the cost is Euro 19.  This saves you the hassle of buying tickets for each time you wish to hop on the train or ensures that you already have a ticket if a train happens to be on the platform. It also gives you the freedom to go to different villages for dinner if choose to do so.

Handy Tips:

Train timetables are posted at the station but it’s useful having a copy with you at all times when you’re out and about during the day or night so that you’ll know when you need to head for the station.  The ticket office has wallet size photocopies of these.  Another good reason for having these with you is that trains are sometimes late.  Jumping on the incorrect train could land you in the wrong destination as we all found out one day.  A train arrived at the station and everyone piled on board only to find that it’s the  non-stop train to Monterosso.

Always listen to the train announcements which are given in Italian and English as well.  You’ll very quickly get used to the many announcements in regard to the high-speed transit trains that don’t stop and other announcements as to which ‘binare’ or platform your train will be arriving at.

Shuttle Buses:

These run within the respective towns only.   Corniglia is the only Cinque Terre village that is not by the coast and requires a shuttle bus trip from the station if you don’t wish to hike uphill to the village – it is quite a hike!  The green National Park bus service meets each train arrival at Corniglia and with the Cinque Terre Card, the trip is free.  Otherwise, you’ll pay Euro 1.50 for the trip.

Boats:

The Consorzio Marittimo Turistico run boat services between Riomaggiore and Monterosso and othere destinations during the day.  It’s much more expensive than the trains, but it’s worthwhile doing at least one trip from Riomggiore to Monterosso or vice versa to enjoy  the sea journey, as well as the water views of the villages.  One-way fare in either direction was Euro 8.00 in 2010.  For the latest schedule and rates see the Consorzio Marittimo turistico website.

Walking:

The Cinque Terre offers lots of scenic walks between the five villages and other off the beaten track trails.  Walking the coastal route between the villages or the other trails is very much part of the enjoyment of being in the Cinque Terre.

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Comments

  1. avatar says

    Thank you for such detailed, useful articles. In August we shall spend one day, from Genoa, exploring the Cinque Terre by train and boat. An example of a one day trip from Genoa or La Spezia to the Cinque Terre villages including boat ride to or from Riomaggiore to Monterosso would have helped a great deal to figure out what tickets are needed and then where and how to buy them. Without the example:

    Here is what remains unclear:

    1) You mention “The regional train that serves the five villages runs between La Spezia Centrale and ……. Genoa. Fares are cheap at Euro 1.40 one-way.” This seems wrong.
    The fare from Genoa to Manarola shows at 16 euros. The trip from Genoa is 1 ½ hours.
    You seem to be quoting a fare for the local villages but mention the staring point (where we happen to be starting from) as Genoa or La Spezia?? Which raises the question of how many tickets must we buy? One from Genoa to Monterosso and then the regional 1.40 ticket for the villages?

    2) After reading both articles I still do not know what tickets, a la carte train from Genoa and to the villages, via dell amore trail fee (whatever that fee is) and boat from Riomiaggore to Monterosso VERSUS buying a Cinque Terre Train/Boat Card plus any other needed train ticket back to Genoa is the best/cheapest way to go. Nor where to specifically buy the Cinque Terre Cards.

    3) No mention, unless I missed it, of the cost of various cards.

  2. avatar says

    Forgot this one:

    You mention tickets are good for 6 hours after validation and refer to one starting point as Genoa. Takes 1 1/2 hours from Genoa to Monterosso. Does that leave 4 1/2 hours for the villages?

  3. avatarMariovich says

    This was very helpful and CONCISE information. I appreciate that it was TO THE POINT and not flowery and full of “wonderfulness.” Thank you. I’ve looked all over the place for info on Cinque Terre and all I ever got was oh you have to really love walking because you have to walk to the villages, no mention of a shuttle, the trains, or the Cinque Terre pass.

    • avatar says

      Thanks for your feedback. It’s been a couple of years since we stayed in the Cinque Terre. If any of the above information has changed, I’d appreciate it if you could drop me a line.

      Thanks and kind regards,
      Helen

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