Getting Around Cinque Terre by Boat

Experiencing the Cinque Terre by boat is magical. Choose from unforgettable private boat tours, paddling out in a sea kayak, or taking a ride on the Cinque Terre ferry boats.

Our guests receive my “Ruth’s Guide to Cinque Terre” which includes my recommendations for boat tours and renting kayaks.

Cinque Terre Ferry Boats:  Navigazione Golfo dei Poeti

The Cinque Terre Ferry boats run daily throughout the Cinque Terre, Levanto, Portovenere and La Spezia. 

This is a good way to see the entire coastline from the sea and explore the villages, hopping on and off. 

  • Purchase tickets near the ferry departure point in any town except Corniglia
  • NO need to book in advance
  • Boat tours and ferry boat trips are CANCELLED in rough seas
  • Operational from mid- to late April through October


One Daily Round Trip ticket for costs €35.  This ticket allows you to get on and get off wherever and whenever you want!  You can also purchase one way tickets.


Portovenere and its islands

It is worth visiting Portovenere, a very picturesque town located where the Cinque Terre coastline meets the Golfo dei Poeti.  The best way to get to Portovenere from the Cinque Terre is by ferry boat.  Portovenere does NOT have a train station.

If you go to Portovenere, climb up to the Church of San Pietro and look at the entire Cinque Terre coast from the portico to the right of the church.

We love hiking on the island of Palmaria, located in front of and across the canal from Portovenere. Palmaria is the largest island in Liguria and sparsely inhabited.  It has 2 restaurants and a beach club. Circumnavigating Palmaria by foot on the trails can take about 3 hours.  It is also a great place for a swim!

To reach Palmaria, you take the ferry to Portovenere and then a smaller ferry to Palmaria.

The Ferry Boat company also runs 45-minute panoramic tours of the three islands near Portovenere: Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto.  These three small islands are beautiful and can only be reached by private boat or the Ferry boat tour.


  1. Yes, you can take the ferry from La Spezia to Monterosso then hop on/off with the ferry OR take the train to the other villages of Cinque Terre. You can visit Corniglia ONLY by train (no ferry access). You will want to consider prices and schedules for the best solution for you. Buon viaggio!

  2. Hello,
    I’m coming from Florence and thinking perhaps I might like to just go on my own rather than a guided trip. Would you advise I travel from Florence taking the train into Riomaggiore and then just ferry hop to Manarala, Vernazza and Monterosso and hop back on the train to go back to Florence? The ferry seems so much more scenic than a guided tour with the train vs ferry. I would like to visit Cinque Terre late October.

    1. Hello Jennifer,
      A large group guided tour from Florence is the worst option, in my opinion. These day-tripping tourists spend a lot of time on the trains and together in crowds in the villages. A better option, if you want to do it yourself, is to come early from Florence, go to Levanto or Monterosso to start and then back track from there to Vernazza or Manarola, etc. on ferries or trains. You do NOT have to see all 5 villages. The BEST option would be to have a private tour with a guide to get off the beaten path.

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