This is one of the most frequent questions that is made to me: Is it possible to visit Cinque Terre in one day?
The answer is: YES.
Of course, it won’t be very scrutinized, you have to watch train/ferry schedules, but it is possible. No doubt in 2/3 days you would see them better. Below I list options of 1-day visit of Cinque Terre.
– it is the fastest way to move between the villages,
– it is quite cheap – a day pass Cinque Terre Card costs 16 €/person. The card allows cardholder to travel without limits between the Cinque Terre villages,
– trains run from 6.00 am to 11.00 pm,
– they are quite frequent – a train every 20 minutes,
– children under 4 years old don’t pay; under 12 years old 50% of discount.
– in high season the trains are very crowded,
– numerous tourists need time to get in and get off on railway stations of Cinque Terre … that’s why the trains are very often delayed,
– because of the crowds in Vernazza often you have to stay in a queue even to EXIT from its railway station!
– no views – trains pass through many tunnels.
It is the most popular way to move between the villages… and also the fastest. That’s why the trains are always crowded. However, it is the most practical way to see Cinque Terre in a one day.
– very picturesque, you can admire the Ligurian shore,
– during a cruise, there is always a staff guy that tells a story of villages of Cinque Terre (in Italian and English),
– ferries from La Spezia stops in Portovenere, so you can visit it as well,
– they run from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (one every hour).
– you can’t reach Corniglia because it doesn’t have a harbour,
– a ticket costs about 35€/person,
– in high season they are crowded as well as the trains and you stay always in a queue to get in and off the ferry,
– if the sea is rough, the ferries don’t cruise.
This is the second, most popular way to move between Cinque Terre. It offers stunning views and a possibility to sunbathing. You can’t reach Corniglia, but you can go there from Vernazza by train or by foot through Seniero Azzurro.
– you decide a speed of your visit, you don’t have to watch the schedules
– you see better the villages
– you see the Ligurian shore from a mountains trail 😉
– Sentiero Azzurro (that is a quite easy trail) is closed from Corniglia to Riomaggiore. You should choose Crinale trail to visit them. This trail is more difficult and you need more time to visit them all.
– entrance to Sentiero Azzurro costs 7,50€/person; the Crinale trail is free of charge
– you have to be good in hiking if you want to visit all five villages in one day
This way of visiting was much easier when Sentiero Azzurro was connecting all five villages. Now the part Corniglia-Manarola-Riomaggiore is closed due to a rockslide of 2011. Tha’s why this option is a 1-day option for well-prepared hikers and a 2 day long for those who are not prepared so well.
And that’s all … you can try to use a car but the road between the villages is often interrupted by rockslides. There are many detours. What is more, all parking places in Cinque Terre cost much and they are quite difficult to be find. In any case, visiting Cinque Terre by car is really exhausting.
You can also rent a kayak (the way of visiting Cinque Terre that I prefer) … however, visit all five lands in one day in a kayak … it is really impossible 🙂
In any case: have fun 🙂