From the very first moment of our landing at Genoa Airport Cristoforo Colombo another adventurous journey has begun! One more time in the classy neighbor of Greece, the stylish Italy is loading and we cant get more excited to explore more of this amazing country! This time we are not visiting Milan, Rome or Venice but a more traditional side of Italy since we choose to explore Pisa, Cinque Terre national park and Genoa with its incredible port!
A few words about Cinque Terre
The Villages of Cinque Terre, the five countries or, the five places belong to the Italian Riviera in the region of Liguria and the province of La Spezia. Since 1997 it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Airtickets to Genoa
For our trip to Genoa we flew with Volotea, a low cost company, with the most modern aesthetics and many interesting European destinations for you to choose. Tickets with Volotea especially in autumn start from only €9! Can you believe that? Last year we escaped unexpectedly t to Venice a year ago with the airtickets’ price being as low as 9 euro per person!
This trip to Cinque Terre as we said before was quite short so in a few lines it included:
- Pisa-La Spezia
- la Spezia-Cinque Terre
- La Spezia-Portovenere – Cinque Terre
- Cinque Terre – Genoa
All our transport was made by train!
Move by train
As you exit the Christoforo Airport you can get a bus that will cost you around €1.50 which then takes you to the nearby train station and from there to Genoa Principe Central train station depending of course on the tickets you already have in your hands or you are planning to book towards Pisa (or La Spezia, Or Cinque Terre etc.).
Always check the timetables at the train station so you don’t find yourself heading to the opposite direction!
After taking one bus and two trains you will arrive in about 2 to 3 hours in Pisa (for Intercity train you will need around 20-25 € while for a simple train 15-20 € but then the trip will be longer, 4 hours to arrive).
From Pisa to La Spezia we travelled by train and from La Spezia to the villages of Cinque Terre as well. We chose La Spezia as a base because of the most low budget accommodation, besides Cinque Terre is located only a few minutes away!
We recommend the visitors to the Cinque Terre to buy a Cinque Terre Card including several services such as shuttle buses and usage of the trekking trails.
At every Cinque Terre train station you can buy the Cinque Terre Card Trekking (7,50 euros) or Cinque Terre Card Train (4 euro per ride or 16euros for unlimited rides per day including the pass to the trekking trails), get maps and all other information needed (Tourist information points). From now on you can buy the Cinque Terre Card online too (external service provided from the Cinque Terre National Park) .
Generally the train has routes every 30 minutes so don’t be disappointed if you miss a ride. The villages are only 2-5 minutes away from each other so you are comfortable with seeing everything in only one day. We recommend two days to try all hiking trails too!
Extra Tip book your daily ticket online because the line for the tickets exceeds 100 meters especially in the morning hours!
Extra Tip we recommend to start your day from Rio Maggiore to Monterosso, unless you start with hikes so you will go the opposite direction (duo to sunny hours and difficulty of hiking the rocky scenery)!
More about Cinque Terre – These are the five villages
The first village (direction from the south to the north), is tiny, colourful and highly positioned inside a picturesque creek!
Hint: The panoramic view, from… Bottom Up! Extra Tip: Return to see the sunset from the rocks!
The second village with the most colorful houses which are perfectly located on a steep cliff! Lovely palette and perfect spot for some swimming!
Hint: The visit to Nessun Dorma, a touristic shop with unparalleled views of the village and affordable prices (20euros for 2 aperols and a platter).
The third village in the row is Corniglia with the wonderful peculiarity that it is built onto the mountain. Unique alleys, little shops and many, many steps that take you from the train station to the main village, make up the beautiful scenery of the it!
Hint: After cooling off with a gelato italiano start hiking to the next village! Be prepared… At least athletic shoes!
This village is more cosmopolitan and has a n incredible blue beach. Colourful landscape and one more hike up to the next village.
Hint: The panoramic view from above.. Those who hike will definitely pass through the spot!
Monterosso Al Mare
Unfortunately (for us) the last but not least, was not our thing there… The last of the five villages of the park left us… nothing actually. Classic touristic resort, (justifiably) crowded but not in harmony with the previous villages.
Hint: You can start from there to the next hiking village and not spend a much time there unless you live there of course.
The coastal area of Liguria, Portofino and Portovenere
More generally, the coastal area of Liguria has many other colourful villages worth visiting, e.g. the famous Portofino could easily be one of the villages of the Cinque Terre area. An alternative excursion you can have from La Spezia and you can easily go by bus that costs only €5 vice versa per person, is Portovenere (much more beautiful than Portofino). A colourful port with lovely alleys, a castle and an islet within only ten minutes by boat (you will find boats at the port) and ideal for a mini getaway. An excursion to Portovenere is highly recommended.