Uncontaminated nature, sea landscapes, colorful villages: this is what to expect from a Cinque Terre day trip from Florence. Unlike what many think, the Cinque Terre national park is not in Tuscany, but in Liguria: a coastal region northwest of Tuscany. The Cinque Terre is a UNESCO listed site, because “The layout and disposition of the small towns and the shaping of the surrounding landscape, overcoming the disadvantages of a steep, uneven terrain, encapsulate the continuous history of human settlement in this region over the past millennium.”
The name Cinque Terre literally means “five lands”, and that’s because the area includes five fishing villages of Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso and Riomaggiore. The villages are connected by ancient paths in the national park which are a great for hiking. Taking a Cinque Terre day trip from Florence is for who loves nature and beautiful sea landscapes, but also food and wine: Liguria has its own culinary tradition, different from Tuscany, and the Cinque Terre villages offer many typical restaurants where you can taste something different.
Trips to Cinque Terre are among the most popular day trips from Florence. I wouldn’t book a Cinque Terre day trip from Florence much in advance. Having good weather is crucial to enjoy what this tour has to offer. I would wait until one week before the trip and check the weather forecast. If the weather is bad, much better to choose a day trip to Siena or Pisa.
Small group Cinque Terre day trip from Florence
A small group Cinque Terre day trip from Florence is definitely more expensive than the same trip in a large group. Large group trips are available, but then don’t come here moaning. You will be out all day, the drive to the Cinque Terre is quite long. You will be given time to explore each of the five villages, but in a large group someone will get lost at some point. The tour will be late and you will be rushed through the remaining villages. Please, follow my suggestion and join a group up to eight in central Florence, Piazza Della Repubblica, at 8:30 am. Hop on your private coach and travel to Corniglia, the first of the five villages. After taking wonderful pictures and walking through the village, you will be offered a glass of wine with bruschetta, a local snack. The second village you will visit is Vernazza, with his beautiful port and transparent water. Here you can decide to have lunch (at your expense) in one of the restaurants in front of the sea. After meeting with your group and tour escort again, you will travel to Riomaggiore, not on your private coach, but on the public ferry (only from April 1st to October 12th): a very picturesque excursion that will allow you to see the Cinque Terre from a different point of view. The final village, that you will reach with your coach, is Manarola, a “postcard” village filled with pastel houses. You should be back to Florence between 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm.
Pisa and Cinque Terre day trip from Florence
If you read my other posts about day trips from Florence to Siena, Pisa and Tuscany countryside, you know I’m not one who loves combo tours. This said, if you have a short time and can’t do differently, adding Pisa to your Cinque Terre day trip from Florence is much better than adding Pisa to any day trip to Tuscany. Pisa is in Tuscany, while the Cinque Terre area is not, but Pisa is along the way when you try to reach the Cinque Terre (or when you’re coming back to Florence), while it is far away from Siena and other popular Tuscan destinations. If this is what you want, and you are between 18 and 39 years old (as they won’t accept your booking otherwise), I selected a Cinque Terre day trip from Florence for you. Unfortunately, there is no small group tour including Pisa and Cinque Terre, but this means the tour is much less expensive than it would. You will meet your tour guide at Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence at 7 am, and hop on an air-conditioned train (this is what the tour description says, but bear in mind that sometimes air conditioning on regional trains doesn’t work). The first stop is Pisa (about 60 minutes later). Your guide will escort you to Piazza Dei Miracoli where the Leaning Tower, the Duomo and the Baptistery stand. Tickets to enter inside the monuments are not included. Back to the train station of Pisa, you will get another train to La Spezia, the gateway to the Cinque Terre National Park, that you will reach after about 90 minutes. In La Spezia you will hop on a local train to stop in Riomaggiore, then in Manarola and finally in Vernazza: that means you’re going to see three of the five fishing villages of the Cinque Terre. In each of them you will have free time to enjoy the landscape, take wonderful pictures and even stay on the beach and/or have a swim, if weather permits. At the end of the day, you will go back to Florence arriving around 8 pm. To see Pisa and Cinque Terre in the same day, choose this tour.
Hiking Cinque Terre day trip from Florence
This is the real way to enjoy a Cinque Terre day trip from Florence: trekking. The minimum age for this tour is 12, and the suggestion is to wear sneakers, assuming you don’t have trekking boots with you: don’t go on this hiking trip with open shoes or you’re setting yourself up for disaster. If weather is good, between June and September you probably want to have a swim, so bring your backpack with a towel and swimwear. The tour starts at 8 am (be there at least 15 minutes in advance). A private coach will get you to the Cinque Terre National Park, just above the village of Manarola. Here starts the first walk of the day, ending with 382 steps to reach Corniglia. Don’t worry, you will be refreshed by a nice lunch in a local restaurant, including pasta seasoned with pesto (the typical Ligurian sauce made with basil, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, pine nuts and Parmigiano cheese). After lunch, the walk continues to Vernazza, where you will be given free time to sit at a cafè or even have a swim. From Vernazza, a local train will get you to Monterosso after a short trip and here, if weather permits, you will hop on a public ferry to reach Riomaggiore, the last of the five villages of the Cinque Terre. From here you will walk back to Manarola, where you coach is waiting for you to get you back to Florence (you’ll be back around 8:30 pm). I think this Cinque Terre day trip from Florence is a great way to have a break from a holiday which is filled with art and history. Prepare to walk for about 5.5 Km (around 3.5 miles) along ancient pathways immersed into uncontaminated nature; remember you are in a group and not everybody can walk at the same pace, so be patient with your mates. This is a tour I recommend.
- Cinque Terre Day Trip with Transport from Florence
- Price: $89.89
- Cinque Terre Semi-Private Day Trip from Florence
- Price: $174.17
- Cinque Terre Hiking Day Trip from Florence
- Price: $101.13
What other suggestions can you find in this section?
- The best Florence tours and activities reviewed by a tour guide
- Walking tours
- Uffizi tours
- Florence in one day
- Duomo tours
- Vasari Corridor tours
- Inferno tours
- Skip-the-line David tours
- What to do on Mondays
- Tours of Florence from Rome or Venice
- Florence outdoor activities
- Florence food tours
- Wine tours in Tuscany
- Cooking classes
- Wine tours in Florence
- Day trips from Florence to Tuscany countryside
- Day trips from Florence to Pisa
- Day trips from Florence to Siena
- Day trips from Florence to Cinque Terre
- Day trips from Florence to Rome
- Day trips from Florence to Venice