Both Cinque Terre and Portofino fit into the description of fantasy lands. Even for seasoned travelers, Cinque Terre and Portofino conjure up feelings and emotions of an idyllic, fairy world—where the iridescent glow of the setting sun is ever on the fading horizon. Both places are postcard versions of spectacular scenes tinged with a rustic look, a lush of green, and an endearing laid-back feel. However, with no direct routes to both Cinque Terre and Portofino, finding one’s way may appear difficult and intimidating.


Still, despite the forbidding terrain that mirrors the remote and isolated— here’s how to get there.

Here’s How To Get To Portofino And Cinque Terre By Road

As a heads up, it’s not advisable to travel from Cinque Terre to Portofino by car. Inside the Piazzetta, as the central business district is known, cars are not allowed. Even in areas where cars are allowed, getting a parking space is a nightmare. There are only two parking areas in Portofino and the cheapest of these—charges $5.5 per hour. Unfortunately, Cinque Terre is also just as car unfriendly. One exception is if there’s parking space in the hotel where one is staying. But even this may not really help when one is touring a different town. This is because she’ll still need to park the car somewhere. However, if one has the parking aspect sorted, and he or she is traveling from Cinque Terre, one of Italy's most stunning regions, he’ll have to get on the A12 motorway at Carrodano and continue on it up to Rapallo, where he or she will take the left turn on SP 227 for one of the planet's best coastal drives. This is a distance of 45.3 miles and will take about an hour and a half.

Instead of using a car, travelers can consider renting a motorcycle. Touring either spot on the back of a roaring scooter provides a more thrilling exposure to the jawdropping landscape— and the blue, calming seascape below. However, the roads linking the two places are sharp, narrow, and winding. Meandering these high cliffs and sharp bends will be as thrilling and as blood-curdling—almost to the same degree.

  • What Is The Cost Of Hiring A Scooter In Portofino/Cinque Terre? The cost of hiring a scooter in Portofino or the Cinque Terre area is about €40 to €60 per day. In some cases, they’ll be additional delivery and pick-up charges as well. These will range from €20 to €30, spending on where one is staying. Some agencies lend for as little as €8 per day but with a minimum 2-month rental duration.

A good advantage of using scooters and motorcycles in Portofino or Cinque Terre—or anywhere else in the Italian Riviera—is the convenience of not worrying about missing the last ferry on the way back or being a second late for the train ride.

Related: Portofino Is Worth Visiting, But You Don't Need To Stay There.

Here’s How To Get To Portofino And Cinque Terre By Train

For someone traveling from Cinque Terre, the nearest train station is at Monterosso. Monterosso, being only 1.3 kilometers from Cinque Terre—is just a 16-minute stroll away. From the train station, the next stop will be at Santa Margherita Ligure. The train will take about an hour, depending on the train company. The train ticket for a standard seat is about $9-$10. However, for a first-class ticket, travelers will pay a dollar or two more. As many as 46 trains ply this route every day. So travelers shouldn't worry about not finding a train. In fact, after every 7-10 minutes, a train will be departing from Monterosso. Since there’s no train station at Portofino, travelers will disembark at Santa Margherita Ligure, which is about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from Portofino.

From Santa Margherita Ligure, there are three options for covering the remaining 5 kilometers. Of course, the first option is to walk. The trip will take about an hour. While this may look like an eternity, the breathtaking scenes, the curvy roads, and the cool Rivieran air will more than make up for the effort. The second option is to jump onto a bus (camera in hand)— and take the 10-minute ride to Portofino. The bus ride will be about $2. Getting the bus is not difficult. The bus pick-up point is near the train station, to the immediate right of it, and just by the waterfront. The last option is to board a ferry. The outside look of clinging villas, the rugged terrain, and the rippling sea will make the ride thoroughly enjoyable, especially if one finds a seat on the foredeck. Then, of course, one can also take a cab from Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino for $12-$15.

  • How Much Is The Ferry Charges From Santa Margherita Ligure To Portofino? The ferry charges from Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino ranges from $6-$9 per person.

Related: Cinque Terre: How To Explore One Of Italy's Oldest Seaside Villages.

Here’s How To Get To Portofino And Cinque Terre By Boat

Every Monday and Friday until the 11th of September, a ferry departs from Riomaggiore to Portofino and back—setting aside at least a 2-hour layover at Portofino. 12-year-olds, teenagers, and adults pay €27 for this thrilling trip. On the other side, children aged between 6 and 11 will pay €18. Children below six years do not pay a nickel.

If the Italian Riviera is Italy’s most beautiful region, Portofino—the resort of the rich and famous— and Cinque Terre, are its crown jewels. And even if there are no direct routes between the two, the detours and the connections make the coastline trip even more scenic.