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Finale Liguria to Cinque terre

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Hello

We will be staying in Finale Liguria for a week in July but also want to take the opportunity to see the Cinque Terre and Portofino.

We will have a car but the drive looks to be about an hour and a half. Does anyone know if there are boat trips from Finale Liguria or nearby?

Thank you

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    Realistically the drive from Finale Ligure to Portofino is much longer than 90 minutes, since you will hit nodes of traffic jams around Genova, and in summertime, the one narrow road going into Portofino can also get hung up. From the Portofino area it is at least another 2 hours to le Cinque Terre -- and again, driving out of Portofino and into le Cinque Terre (another narrow road with loads of sightseers and tour buses) can make that trip even longer.

    I very much doubt there is a boat trip, unless you get one in Genoa early in the morning -- and you would be on the boat for hours going just one way, and then need a tran back. I could be wrong, and you can ask on the Tripadvisor forum for Liguria.

    The places you are contemplating going along the coastline will be swamped with toruists in July. Personally, were it me, I would use the car to visit places like Albenga, Cervo, Apricale and Triora, Dolceacqua, the tiny hamlets like Cenova (near Pieve de Teco), or Zuccarello.... This are rather dramatic and remarkable antique hilltowns and settlements, only barely known to foreign tourists, often with cool breezes in July. If you don't already own David Downie's book about the Italian Riviera, it is worth purchasing. You can also find online information and pictures about the places I mentoned.

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    I meant to add that if you are determined to go to Portofino, what might be the most enjoyable way is to get a train to Santa Margherita Ligure or Camogli, then use the boats from there to go to Portofino (and out again), then take the train back. Otherwise you risk spending a huge amount of time looking for parking. If you decide to drive, it is probably better to go to Rapallo and find parking, and take a boat from Rapallo to Portofino. You can walk back from Portofino to Santa Margherita Ligure, and then take a bus or train from there to Rapallo.

    But in July, parking is next to impossible in the tiny coastal towns unless you get up at the crack of dawn on a weekday to beat the crowds -- and even then, good luck (since there are already plenty of tourists getting of cruise boats at 6 am and climbing into tour buses that cause traffic jams and people coming into the town markets to shop, grabbing the parking spaces).

    If you plan to drive the many hours to le Cinque Terre, you might do better to plan to park in Levanto and take the train or boat from there.

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