How to get there and where to eat in one of the most visited areas of Italy
We knew well that going to the Cinque Terre on Saturday and Sunday, the second week of July, would have been like this: crowded and hot. We had taken it into account, just as we had planned the cost of parking in Lerici, a town used as a starting point to reach Portovenere and the Cinque Terre.
So our weekend started Saturday morning, when we arrived, around 10:30 am in Lerici, a small town, overlooking the famous Gulf of Poets. We decided to start from there to reach Portovenere and the Cinque Terre by sea.
How do you reach the Cinque Terre?
Many tourists reach the Cinque Terre by train; others arrive by car. We, from Lerici, have chosen the most relaxing means of transport: the boats of the Maritime and Tourist Consortium of the Gulf of Poets. The service was pleasant and punctual, and if you fancy a coffee, onboard, they need a very good one, at the same price as the bar.
For this, I give 10 to the maritime company. To give all the info, it is possible to reach the Cinque Terre, by sea, also from La Spezia, Deiva Marina, and Moneglia and in summer even from Marina di Massa and Marina di Carrara, Forte Dei Marmi and Viareggio.
Where to park in Lerici
The first thing to consider if you decide to go by car is the parking fee. We left the car in the two paid parking lots of Lerici and spent an average of 15 euros a day. We report the presence of 3 large parking lots:
- La Vallata
- The Blue Venus
- Lerici Center
The first two record the license plate of the car automatically, and it is possible to pay with the EASY PARK app, while the “Lerici Centro” car park still has the old automatic cash machine system.
On Saturday we found a place at the “La Vallata” parking lot for the modest sum of 10 euros, while on Sunday we were less fortunate and we had to move to the “Lerici Centro” car park, just 500 meters from the port of Lerici, but more expensive. A day of parking (about 9 hours) 20 euros.
PARKING TIP: try to arrive early in the morning, no later than 9 am and try to park in “La Vallata” which is about 1.5km from the Lerici marina. The costs are more contained, but in a short time, there is the risk of finding no more space. On weekends, getting there early is mandatory.
How much does it cost to reach the Cinque Terre by sea?
We have chosen to do two different routes. We arrived on Saturday morning at around 11 am, and we did not consider it useful to take the day ticket. We made the first piece of the Lerici-Portovenere itinerary for 13 euros per person.
On Sunday we opted for the day ticket, the 35-euro-per-day card so that we could reach Riomaggiore, Vernazza, and Monterosso by day, making the famous “Via dell ‘Amore” between Riomaggiore-Manarola on foot. Unfortunately, it was not possible. The road was closed due to landslides. And at this point, we had to choose between:
- to go to Manarola with the boat, aware however of not being able to reach Monterosso;
- skip Manarola, going immediately to Vernazza and then to Monterosso;
What do you think we have chosen? We went quickly to Vernazza. We will see Manarola as soon as they re-open the “Via dell’Amore” again and we will combine the visit of Corniglia, which, having no moorings or ports, can only be reached by land.
But there is not only the sea. These beautiful areas can also be reached by train and car.