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Ferry or train to visit Cinque Terre villages?

Ferry or train to visit Cinque Terre villages?

Nov 6th, 2014, 02:27 PM
  #1  
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Ferry or train to visit Cinque Terre villages?

Can't hike between villages due to old and bad knees. Any recommendations on taking train or ferry between villages or a combo of both. Staying in La Spezia.
John is offline  
Nov 6th, 2014, 03:23 PM
  #2  
 
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The train is faster and more convenient (runs frequently, literally only two or three minutes between towns) but the view as you approach by boat is amazing. It will depend on when you are there. If it's summer/good weather I would get the day boat pass that lets you essentially 'hop on hop off'. Don't miss Portovenere as well.
isabel is offline  
Nov 6th, 2014, 03:26 PM
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We stayed in La Spezia and stayed at this place:
http://translate.google.com/translat...n/&prev=search

If you look at the picture we stayed in the apartment with the bike outside the door. Very nice. We walked there from the train station. We took the ferry, bought a rt ticket for 25 euros BUT be very careful because the ferry times were horrible for the return trips. We had to take the train back after the hiking, last ferry had already left. There is a ferry that returns to La Spezia at 7 pm but not from the village where we were. We took the 9 am ferry and can be crowded if there is a cruise ship in port. It was also foggy so not super clear till the sun burnt it off. I would take the train if I were to do it again. I am 60 and we don't have the best knees but if you take it slow and easy you can do some of it.
flpab is offline  
Nov 6th, 2014, 04:17 PM
  #4  
kja
 
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If you aren't walking, then consider taking the ferry one way and the train the other, deciding on which based on schedules. Enjoy!
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Nov 6th, 2014, 06:23 PM
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I'm voting for the boat. Assuming it is running. Last year (Sept) it was "postponed" for 3 days due to rough seas. But once we got on it was great. And going both ways on the boat you get a different perspective each way. Bonne voyage.
330east is offline  
Nov 6th, 2014, 08:17 PM
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We've taken both and they both have their merits. The train is quick to hop between the villages but the views from the boat can't be beat. Stunning! The ferry will not run in inclement weather, and it can take awhile to disembark if the seas are even the least bit choppy.

Be sure you know all the train rules and regs as the police are VERY strict and will not hesitate to fine you on the spot for any infraction, intentional or not. We witnessed this twice during our four days in the CT.
michele_d is offline  
Nov 6th, 2014, 10:18 PM
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Depends if the ferry is running, we were there in May 2010 for 5 nights and the sea was too rough so the ferry was cancelled every day.
jamikins is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 01:13 AM
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I suppose you know that there is nothing to visit, to see or to do in the 5 villages. Just the view to them (from the hiking trails or from the sea) is amazing.
You don't need to stop and to go on land at any place.
The railway stations are usually a bit above the villages, with short, but steep descents to the tiny "centers".
neckervd is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 02:35 AM
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Depends on what you're looking for.

The train is the quickest utilitarian way to get from Point A to Point B. The boat is as much about the journey as about the destinations. Plus, you'll have to take the boat if you want to get to Portovenere, which I recommend.

My vote: If the weather's decent, boat wins by a landslide. Unless you're in a hurry. And if you are, you're probably going to the wrong place anyway.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 03:04 AM
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We used the trains, so am not knowledgable about the boats. Trains are easy and quick.

However, I second Isabel's recommendation not to miss Portovenere. The view from the hill is unbelievable. It was beautiful!
Cindywho is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 03:47 AM
  #11  
 
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You don't need to stop and to go on land at any place>


This is not true. I loved my time there more than any other place in Italy. The beaches are beautiful, the villages are quaint. Food is amazing. Best Pesto pasta ever there. I took so many pictures of laundry though! Love how they all hang it. You can walk a bit, trust me. I had a friend that just taped up her very bad knees and we did it. Walking through the vineyards and lemon groves looking down on the ocean was great. If you can't then take the ferry one way at least. But try walking Monterosso to Vernazza a little. Some walking sticks would also help. They sell them that fold. It is a beautiful spot.
flpab is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 09:09 AM
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May be you confound something: the 5Terre beaches are really nothing to write home about.
Mais les goûts sont différrents.
neckervd is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 09:40 AM
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I do recommend getting off an exploring the towns. I would not call the beaches beautiful.
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Nov 7th, 2014, 10:18 AM
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I wouldn't visit the Cinque Terre at all except to hike. In the high season, the villages are sinking under the weight of the tourists. In the low season, you risk rainy weather, and there's absolutely nothing to do indoors except buy souvenirs. There won't even be any laundry hanging out to photograph, if that prospect excites you.

Anyone who's thinking of hiking in the Cinque Terre should keep an eye on the trail conditions using the national park site:

http://www.parconazionale5terre.it/s...sp?id_lingue=2

At the moment the majority of the trails are closed, due to recent bad weather and the risk of landslides.
bvlenci is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 11:00 AM
  #15  
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BVIENCI: Thanks for your positive info !!!
John is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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I rather like the Cinque Terre. Was there a few weeks ago and had lovely weather. My Mom and I are not hikers, but for some reason we got it into our heads that we would walk from Monterosso to Vernazza. We made it, but barely and we paid for it in sore muscles. So yes, it's do-able, but there are lots of steps and I would not feel compelled to injure yourself over it with already bad knees.

As others have mentioned, the trains are easy and pretty quick. If weather permits, boat entry into a village is pretty spectacular (we took a little water taxi from Vernazza to Monterosso and it was really something). The trofie pesto is simply wonderful and we also had fabulous anchovies and shellfish.

It's a "wandering around, finding hidden gems and enjoying beautiful views" kind of place, so I can see that folks who like to "do" might feel that there is nothing to do outside of hiking, but it was a lovely entry into the country for us. I loved our time by the sea!
rosecity15 is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 12:38 PM
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I also loved our time in the CT. Spent three days in Vernazza and loved wandering the streets in all the villages. Did not hike between the villages, trained and took boat.
michele_d is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 01:16 PM
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Even if you don't want to (or can't) manage the hikes between the villages, it is worth while to walk a short ways in each direction from the center of the towns for the view back down to them. There is certainly some hill/steps in order to do this but I'm talking about 5-10 or so minutes.

Due to trails being closed I was not able to do any 'complete' walks between the towns. All the photos in this gallery are from no more than 15 minutes walk from the town centers. Or from the boat (I think those are obvious).

I do think that other towns in the region are at least as interesting - Camogli, Santa Margherita, Rapallo, Portovenere and Portofino. Of all of them I think Portofino was the least interesting. There is an amazing view from the castle but that is a good half hour or more uphill walk. The other towns are more or less flat. I have stayed Camogli and Rapallo on two separate trips and will do so again.

http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/ital...ligurian_coast
isabel is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 05:01 PM
  #19  
kja
 
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I, too, was glad to spend some time IN the Cinque Terre villages. Too each his/her own!
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Nov 7th, 2014, 05:03 PM
  #20  
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Many thanks for your suggestions and comments. Am in the early stages of planning this trip so I have lots to think about. Thanks again
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