Thanks for putting so much work into a top site. It was incredibly useful for us when we went to Cinque Terre last weekend.
Aside from all your useful info for everyone, can I recommend a few things:
Catch the train to San Margherita and then the bus to Portofino. Both are amazing, very wealthy and great for seeing how the other half live! Unless you have cash to spare take your own lunch – there’s no bargains to be had. If you do have cash I highly recommend Bar Colombo on the waterfront at San Margherita for a coffee or snack – the owner there was overwhelmingly friendly. The bus ride to Portofino is 1700L and is a great ride – gorgeous scenery as you drive around some hairy corners. Catch a ferry back from Portofino to San Margherita, Rapallo or Monterosso (6000L to San Margherita) – the towns look even more stunning from the water.
Your time frames for the 8 mile walk were really accurate. Walkers, if it’s a hot day take a hand towel. There are a couple of small pools between Corniglia and Monterosso that are great for dipping your feet in when you stop for a drink.
The hostel at Manarola is great – I booked on the Net and a prompt email came back to confirm my booking – too easy. I also recommend the restaurant Marina Piccola at Manarola if you are looking for a step up from pizza and pasta – a bit pricey for backpackers but if you have a little more cash it’s fantastic. US$20 a head got us a breads, a cheese board entree, mixed grilled seafood – prawns, crayfish, fish, baby octopus (superb), wine and desserts.
Can’t wait to go again!!
Ariane de Rooy