Your chauffeur/guide from DGT will welcome you at La Spezia pier after disembarking your cruise ship by tender, he will welcome you at the parking lot holding a sign with your name on. La Spezia is a tendered port and the start time of your tour is subject to your arrival at the tender pier.
The Cinque Terre are five coastal villages in the province of La Spezia in the Liguria region of Italy. They have come to be among the most popular areas of Italy among tourists. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all encapsulated in a national park of the same name. The Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The five villages are, from west to east (i.e., from Genoa towards La Spezia) are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola & Riomaggiore. Each village of the Cinque Terre has its own sanctuary to which the local people are tied by a deep devotion. The sanctuaries are joined together by the Via dei Santuari (Path to the Sanctuaries), which winds along the mounts behind the villages on the sea and testifies the very ancient religious roots of these places in which the people were farmers before being sailors.
At Riomaggiore, the first of the five villages (south) your driver/guide will leave you but before dropping you off he will give you all the necessary information you will need in order to visit the towns, including help with tickets, timetables, and maps. Unfortunately The “Via dell’Amore”, the walking path that connects Riomaggiore to Manarola, is temporarily closed for repairs so to reach Manarola we suggest using the train.
There are well-laid out walking trails connecting each village to its neighbors.
The path from Riomaggiore to Manarola is called the Via Dell’Amore (Lovers Walk). This picturesque trail winds along the shore, varying in nature and difficulty from an easy stroll to a rough and physically challenging hike.
The stretch from Manarola to Corniglia is also easy to hike, although the main trail into Corniglia finishes with a climb of 368 stairs. The trail from Corniglia to Vernazza is steep at certain places.
The trail from Vernazza to Monterosso is by far the steepest. It winds through olive orchards and vineyards and is rough in places, but offers the best view of the bay and the spectacular approaches to both Vernazza and Monterosso. There are nominal fees to use the more popular walking trails, but the less frequently travelled (and most arduous) are free of charge.
At the end of the day your driver will be waiting for you at the pre-arranged meeting point (usually Monterosso, the last village furthest north) to drive you back to your cruise ship. Keep in mind that your driver will always remain at your complete disposal in the area should you need assistance or wish to make any changes with your meeting point or time. If you like and time permitting, a stop can be arranged in Portovenere before arriving at the Cinque Terre.