Fill your senses with the rugged scenery and vibrant colors of this isolated part of the Italian Riviera. Due to the difficulty to reach this area, it's one of the best-preserved regions of the Mediterranean, with centuries-old footpaths and mule tracks winding high above the sea, leading through olive groves, terraced vineyards, orchards and woods. Small sandy beaches among the rocks, high cliffs, caves and tiny bays characterize the very scenic coast. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hills are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of The Cinque Terre National Park. A drive north takes you to the Cinque Terre. Arriving in Manarola, you'll enjoy walking along the 'street of love,' a seaside path that leads to Rio Maggiore. Here, after free time to explore, you'll embark a motorboat for a scenic cruise (weather permitting) that will take you to the fishing village of Vernazza, where you'll enjoy time at leisure. No visit to the Cinque Terre can end without visiting Monterosso al Mare. After an introduction from your guide, you'll have free time to explore the tiny shops and have lunch on your own.
Note: Villages may be visited in reverse order. Motorboat transport depends on the weather and sea conditions between villages. Transport can be on choppy seas; the train will be used when weather conditions prohibit boat transfers. Your guide will meet you in La Spezia and will accompany you through the villages; however, you'll have an escort with you throughout the day. There is approximately 1 mile of walking through cobblestones, gravel, uneven and inclined terrains as well as numerous steps.
(11 Reviews) 11
Rating Snapshot(11 reviews)
11 of 11(100%)customers would recommend this to a friend.
If you are looking for something different than the crowds of Florence and a tower that is leaning… Cinque Terre is the place to be. The beauty of the Italian coastline is beyond description…. And you get to experience it from both the land and sea on this memorable excursion. The days starts off with a scenic drive through the Tuscan countryside into the hills around Cinque Terre. The terraced vineyards are mazing… thinking that the farmers have to climb the steep hillsides to plant and harvest the grapes. And the small one-person “monorails” used to move material and products up and around the hill side. We walked from the coach park down the hill into the small village of Monarola. Shops and small boats line the street as we descend to the waterfront. The “street of love” walk was closed due to a land slide, so after our ample time to wander and take picture, we took a scheduled water taxi ride to the next village. Getting on and off the boat was challenging in choppy water… but the ships’ crew are experts and safely loading multiple tour buses of passengers at each stop. While on the water taxi, you get a great view of the sea side villages from the sea. We visited the village of Vernazza followed by a short water taxi ride to the larger village of Monterosso al Mare. In Monterosso al Mare, after a short stop for complimentary wine and bread tasking, there was ample time to shop or dine. We opted for some take away food - in our case some deep fried calamari “on a stick” (well… the stick was provided, but the calamari was in a paper cone). After lunch, we took a short walk down the beach to the main train station where we caught a local train one stop down to the coach park. This was a wonderful, memorable day!!!!
We were really looking forward to this excursion and it did not disappoint at all. The scenery was amazing. The tour uses a combination of transport. First we went by coach to the top of the first village and then walked down. After spending some time there we moved from village to village, on foot, by ferry and finally we caught the train back to Spezia where our coach awaited to return us to the ship. Each village had individual characteristics. The guide was great, happy to answer many questions and keep us on track. This is a tour that HAS to run on schedule as the ferries and trains do not wait for shoppers and dawdlers. I would recommend this tour as a chance to see a bit of Italy that is totally unique.
I was traveling with my 3 kids and with lots of historical tours planned for Rome and Naples, I wanted something different for this stop. After reading all the great reviews we decided Cinque Terre fit the bill. It was fantastic! Breathtakingly beautiful and a wonderfully planned trip. Five villages make up the Cinque Terre and you'll visit four. We were dropped off at one village and then walked to a second where we caught a boat to a third. There we were given time to explore, eat, swim ,shop, whatever. We took a train to the fourth for a quick visit and then back to the ship. They probably could eliminate the fourth town and give us longer at the third, but overall it was a great excursion.
I booked this excursion in advace because of the beautiful picture and description of the tour. The tour guide explained that one of the fishing villages had flooded in October 2011 and that they are still trying to recover from the damage. They have made great progress. We really enjoyed this tour. I wanted to do something off the beaten path and no so "touristy". This was perfect. We had the best pizza and wine that we have ever had in our life! I highly recommend this tour.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Review 5 for The Cinque Terre
I traveled with:Family
Cruise Date Month:July
Favorite port:Barcelona, Spain - as a debark (Gem)
I want to go here next:Alaska
Date:July 20, 2012
Best Excusion on the trip
July 2012 This was on my favorite excursions. It was absolutely beautiful. You also get to see the leaning tower from the highway so you can snap a quick picture. (it's far away but nice to see regardless). We saw four of the five cities, they all were beautiful. The pace was great and we had the perfect amount of free time. I suggest getting some of their wine as a souvenior. We were able to take the bus into the first city, walk along a coastal path to the second, take a boat to the third which allows for amazing pictures and take a train to the last. It's definitaly worth the money and missing Pisa.
This shore excursion was truly wonderful in every way and it helped that the weather was quite perfect as well. It was such a great combination of walking, being on a boat, bus, train and then all the lovely towns. I had the most amazing pizza I've ever had in my life at a restaurant at the last stop - Monterosa. I think it was called Ella. What a charming town and a beautiful beach if only there had been time for a swim ( you could have a quick swim if you opted for a takeout lunch). I would love to go back there.
This was my husband and my favorite excursion of the whole cruise. We got to see 4/5 of the towns that compose Cinque Terre. We had our best meal of the entire trip at a little place called La Marina in Monterosso and it's not far off the harbor. The untouched beauty of these places was truly wonderful!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Review 8 for The Cinque Terre
Date:June 25, 2011
Having never been to Florence before, the thought of only have 7 to 9 hours there was not very appealing to me, so I choose to do the Cinque Terre instead. It was the highlight of my trip. Scenic, gorgeous, great food & shopping -- I highly recommend this excursion.
Where do i begin? THis being our first trip to Europe. it was hard to decide on an excursion for this port. After reading the reviews we picked Cinque Terre (pronounced 'chinka tera'). This was one of my top 2 favorite excursions. Our guide Free was so funny and cute and kept us entertained the whole time. The drive was about 1 1/2 hours but went buy quickly. I was completely captured by the beauty every where I looked. The water is crystal clear and as blue as the carribean. There is allot of walking and allot of free time to shop and eat and take pictures. You must taste the pesto as this area is known for it. So many people speak english and the friendliness was overwhelming. We took a boat from village to village, I suggest sitting on the 2nd level of the boat for great views. Bring your suit and a towel there is plenty of time to take a swim in the sea. I found sea glass along the shore. This was so worth every penny. I didn't want to leave.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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Review 11 for The Cinque Terre
I traveled with:Friends
Cruise Date Month:September
Cruise Date Year:2010
Favorite port:Barcelona, Spain - as a port of call (Jade)
I want to go here next:Alaska
Date:May 24, 2011
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View of the Sea
The tour to the five villages was extremely interesting and beautiful. We walked from one village to another, and also took a ferry from one village to another. The scenery was magnificent and we enjoyed walking through the villages and interacting with the local people. Our tour guides were so knowledgable - just being in the locations and living the life was incredibly enjoyable.