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Cinque Terre tour without the hike?

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Sep 23rd, 2013, 01:06 PM
  #1
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Cinque Terre tour without the hike?

My wife wants to do the Cinque Terre Trek through Walk About Florence but I'm concerned and not thrilled about the 'challenging' hike. We are both in our early 50's but overweight. Is there really 300 steps uphill? Does anyone have any other guided tour suggestions of the area?
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 01:15 PM
  #2
 
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Do your own tour - take the train to La Spezia from Florence and then change to the milk trains that stops in each of the 5 old Lands (Corniglia however is about 300 steps above its seaside train station - a mini bus scoots you up there too.

Then take the train or in season boats between each of the 5 towns - I did just this on a day trip from Florence not long ago - trains run constantly between the 5 old villages - amble around each, have lunch or a picnic, etc at a fraction of the cost of a group tour.
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 01:16 PM
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www.cinqueterreonline.com might help. As far as I know there are trains that go to each town, you probably really can't do all 5 towns, so it is not all that daunting.

Find a Italy guidebook with a lot of info on CT as I did and it tells you about each town, the difficulty of getting to one from the other, etc. Depending on when you go there are also ferries that travel from one town to another.
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 01:22 PM
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Read up on it more to decide if you really want to go and also determine if ferries are running at the time of year you visit. I see no reason to visit other than to take advantage of the convenient hiking, as the towns were overcrowded and not entirely pleasant on a day trip.
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 02:03 PM
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Forget the hikes and the trains---see it from the ferry boats and stop in Vernazza and Portovenere.
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 02:12 PM
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Forget the hikes>

not if you are physically able in no way - I loved hiking the trails - each one segment was very different with the final one going one way being the famous Vialle d'Amour - a flat boardwalk the even baby prams can go over - runs right slong the sea - no I disagree with forget the hikes - only if unable - that said the 5 Lands can be very enjoyable just staying in the villages themselves but like jan47 says above in season those are often elbow to elbow zoos - most folks come here for hiking, don't miss it if physically able and willing.
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 04:08 PM
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We went in May and it was my favorite part of the trip to Italy. We hiked some and you can do it! Take a couple of bottles of water with you. A couple in their 70s kept passing us. We did not do the part with the 300 steps, that path was closed due to mudslides. Take the train, much cheaper than the boat. We ended up doing both because the boat schedule from where we hiked did not have a boat back after 3pm. We were in La Spezia. It was foggy in the morning and we didn't have very clear views but from the hike it was fab. Start walking a little before you go and do some steps and you will be ok. I am almost 60. It was not crowded during the week when we were there in May.
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 04:53 PM
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As already noted, you can easily take the local train between the towns. Each train ride is only 4 or 5 minutes, they run about every half hour so you actually could do all the towns in one day if you want. The walk from the train station to the town centers is relatively flat and five minutes or so with the exception of Cornigla - you can take the bus or just skip that town. The towns are all very small but there are a fair number of steps involved if you want to explore them much.

Many people go to the Cinque Terre and do not hike between the towns. You can do just parts of each walk to get the good views - but even that will involve some steps.

Here is my trip report from this July where I describe visiting the towns. Scroll down about halfway to get to the Cinque Terre part. There is also a link to my photos.
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 06:06 PM
  #9
 
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Hi oldsteve
I agree with PalenQ to do your own tour.I went to the CT last year for 4 days and the only hiking I did was back up to our room in Riomaggiore. We caught boats to Monterosso,Portovenere and Portofino and trains between the 5 towns. All very easy to plan. I'm planning to return next year for 7 days and don't intend to hike. I find plenty of things to do and yes there are plenty of steps!
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