Reaching the Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre are reachable, from the sea, from the hinterland, from the air - thanks to the numerous airports in the surrounding towns

How to get by plane to a place that has no airport

The Cinque Terre can be reached by plane, but not directly. However, they are within a reasonable distance of many international airports.
There is the airport in Genoa, in the same region. Then there are also those in Pisa and Florence, in Tuscany. Milan, in Lombardy - with every airport located near large cities (Malpensa, Linate, and Milan Bergamo Airport/Bergamo-Orio al Serio).

Each of these airports has international connections reaching other European countries such as Portugal, Spain, France, Norway, Sweden, and Germany, Asia, India, China, Japan, and Korea; and the Americas, the United States and Canada; Oceania, Australia, and New Zealand.
Genoa, Pisa, Florence and Milan are fairly well served by rail and have places of artistic, cultural and architectural interest that deserve to be visited.

Places to visit before reaching the Cinque Terre

The most famous are: in Genoa: the magnificent Aquarium and the Biosphere and the Old Port, the Galata Museum of the Sea and the characteristic “caruggi” (alleyways), the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata of the Vastato and the Cathedral of Saint Lawrence, the Lanterna, and the Rolli - the ancient residences of the Genoese nobles; in Pisa: Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of the Miracles) and the Leaning Tower, the Royal Palace and the Arno riversides, Piazza dei Cavalieri and the "Tuttomondo" mural by Keith Haring. In Florence: the Uffizi and Santa Maria Novella. In Milan: the Cathedral, the Museum of the 1900s, Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery, Sforza Castle, the "Quadrilateral of Fashion" and the Navigli (Canals).

There are numerous places to visit along the way from the airport to La Spezia and/or the Cinque Terre, most of which have a train station. For those coming from Genoa, we recommend Portofino, Chiavari and Sestri Levante; for those who landed in Milan there are Pavia, Piacenza, Parma and Genoa itself; those coming from Tuscany (Pisa and Florence) could visit Carrara, the town of marble, Livorno, and Versilia.

How to reach La Spezia and the Cinque Terre from the airport

To reach La Spezia and the Cinque Terre from each of these airports, the best choice is to use the train, at least to get to the place where you are staying.

However, in the major airports, it is possible to rent a car, a vehicle that would be useful if you want to explore the hinterland and the enchanting wooded places that are located behind the Cinque Terre, such as the Val di Vara, Pontremoli, the Lunigiana, and even the Garfagnana - mountainous and wild areas, rich in clear streams and deep gorges where you can find a refreshing climate, ruins of ancient fortresses where myth and history intertwine, and finally forests where it is possible to take long excursions in the shade of secular beech and chestnut groves.

The airports closest to La Spezia and the Cinque Terre

If you want to land in the immediate vicinity, the airports we would suggest are Genoa and Pisa. Genoa is approx. 100km from La Spezia and Pisa is only 78, Milan Malpensa 280km and Florence airport, 170.
Therefore, Genoa and Pisa are the airports that offer the possibility of reaching La Spezia and the Cinque Terre with about an hour's journey by train or car. Furthermore, in the areas adjacent to La Spezia Central Station, there are numerous hotels and B&Bs - choosing the historic center of this seaside town has numerous advantages: for example, it is just a few minutes by train from Riomaggiore (setting off from La Spezia) and there are also numerous places where you can have an aperitif or where you can enjoy traditional cuisine.

If you choose to stay in La Spezia, there are mainly 2 solutions available for exploring the Cinque Terre: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. If you choose the train and navigation services, in the latter case you can even reach Palmaria Island, Portovenere and, on the opposite side, Levanto, Deiva Marina, and Moneglia. You can use the numerous boats to fully enjoy the landscape of Eastern Liguria.

Airport, bonus option…

The last option, for a very limited number of tourists. In the Province of La Spezia, in Sarzana, there is the San Lazzaro airport which can accommodate a very small number of charter flights every year.

In addition, How to get to the Cinque Terre from La Spezia, Portovenere, Levanto, Deiva Marina, Moneglia, Lerici, Versilia, and from the hinterland

The entire coastline, from the Apuan Riviera to that of the Levante Ligure, that is, that stretch of sea which includes Viareggio, Marina di Massa and Marina di Carrara in Tuscany; then, in Liguria: Tellaro, Lerici, San Terenzo, La Spezia and all the localities of the Gulf of Poets, Palmaria Island and Portovenere; therefore, the Cinque Terre, Levanto, Deiva and Moneglia are served by numerous boats that offer more comfortable and faster transportation than other means such as cars and buses.
Also, the cost of boat ride, on many routes, in particular those that join the municipalities of the Gulf of La Spezia and San Terenzo, Lerici and Tellaro, is competitive with the public transportation service and the car (these places have no railway service).
Moreover, boating in these areas ensures a unique experience, that of enjoying the sight of a spectacularly beautiful landscape which has inspired writers and painters of all times; it is a relaxing way to travel which prevents the passenger from being stuck in crowds, as often occurs on the buses of the busiest lines, as well as the stress of finding a parking place, a real challenge if you are in any of the tourist locations (the availability of parking places is very low due to the very characteristics of the area) and having to pay several euros to park your vehicle.

From the hinterland… Lunigiana and Pontremoli

Those who have decided to stay in inland areas, for example, Lunigiana, can use various means of transportation to reach La Spezia and the Cinque Terre.
If, for example, you are in the Pontremoli area, or even if you have decided to stay in Parma, there is a direct railway line that leads to the Ligurian capital (La Spezia), called the "pontremolese" line.
From La Spezia Central train station, it is possible to change and take one of the numerous regional trains that serve the Cinque Terre.
Or visit the city and, after reaching the beautiful Morin Promenade, embark.
From the Central train station of La Spezia, proceed straight ahead until you reach the seafront. It takes about 20 minutes on foot, with no difference in altitude except for the short descent that leads from the railway tracks to Via del Prione - following this pedestrian street you go through the historic town center and reach the 19th-century gardens and, therefore, the azure-colored sea and the ticket office for the ferries.

From the hinterland… Val di Vara

In this case, you would more likely travel by car. Do not fear. You get to Moneglia, Deiva Marina, or Levanto and, once you find a parking space, you have two options. The railway or the ferry service. Each of these locations has a ticket office and the boat timetables can be consulted online.


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