This was a good tour but I think my expectations of Cinque Terre were too high. Also, the pickpockets on the train are very, very good at what they do, so beware. That said, I enjoyed the tour and it was very scenic. We had a very good ... Read More
This was a good tour but I think my expectations of Cinque Terre were too high. Also, the pickpockets on the train are very, very good at what they do, so beware. That said, I enjoyed the tour and it was very scenic. We had a very good guide, who took everyone’s name and cabin number and then took attendance before we left each place. We drove 2.5 hours with a comfort stop to get to the first town.
It was a scenic drive, so it was quite nice. We went to Portovenere first, where we had a short walking tour and some free time (about 70 min total). Then we had a 1 hour ferry ride to Monterosso. You don’t need to be on the top deck for the best views but you should be on starboard side. The villages are quite small, so while they are very photogenic, for most of the boat ride you are just looking at green hills. In Monterosso, we had a short walking tour followed by free time (about 1 hour 45 min total). The advertised snack was a wine tasting with a few tiny pieces of bruschetta,, so don’t expect to make lunch out of it. Then we took a 10 min train ride to the bus. Two pretty young female pickpockets intentionally created a bottleneck to make it hard to get on the train. By the time we got into the train and got seats, everyone around us had had their bags opened, although nobody seemed to be missing anything. Carrying your bag in front of you isn’t enough – keep a hand on the zipper too and try not to be distracted by the chaos around you. It was a 2 hour bus ride back to the ship, with a comfort stop. All in all, if Cinque Terr is on your bucket list, then this is a nice tour. The villages are pleasant and picturesque, but don't expect the whole boat ride to be colorful. Read Less