Beautiful Portofino is often considered to be the northern gateway to the Cinque Terre towns and Cinque Terre National Park's mountain villages. Because Portofino is situated on a promontory and road access to the Cinque Terre is limited, getting from Portofino to Manarola requires some patience, regardless of which transportation mode you choose.

Keep in mind that weather conditions, flood damage from previous years, and other natural events can affect travel from Portofino to Manarola and other Cinque Terre destinations. Be prepared to adjust your plans as weather and road conditions dictate. Consider adding Pisa to your Cinque Terre vacation; this 8-day itinerary takes you along Cinque Terre trails and up the Leaning Tower.

By Train

Duration: 1 hour plus transit time to the train station

Portofino does not have a train station, so you will need to take Bus 82, a taxi, or a ferry (in tourist season, April through October) from Portofino to Santa Margherita Ligure train station. You can also walk from Portofino to the station; the walk is on a level path and takes about an hour. The coastal train line connects Santa Margherita Ligure with all five Cinque Terre towns, including Manarola. Consider buying a Cinque Terre Card that includes daily train travel as well as access to the park's minibuses and famous trails.

Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes if you plan to walk from the train station to your hotel. Taxis are available, but each Cinque Terre town has only a few taxicabs.

Taking the train is the easiest, most direct way to get from Portofino to Manarola. Trains can be crowded during tourist season, especially in August. Watch out for pickpockets and enjoy the ride.

By Car, Taxi, or Private Driver

Duration: One and one-half hours or longer, depending on traffic

If you don't mind steep, winding roads, driving from Portofino to Manarola via the A12/E80 toll highway might be a good option. You'll get to see a different side of Cinque Terre National Park, and you can explore two mountain villages, Volastra and Groppo. However, once you get to Manarola, you must pay to park your car in the visitor parking lot outside of town and take an electric-powered shuttle bus into town. No cars are allowed in the centers of Cinque Terre's famous towns.

If you do not enjoy mountain driving, hiring a private driver might be a good transportation option for you.

By Train and Ferry

Duration: 1 hour plus transit time to the train station

Although there is no direct ferry line from Portofino to Manarola, you can see the Cinque Terre from the water by taking a train from Santa Margherita Ligure to Monterosso al Mare and traveling to Manarola via a Consortio Marittimo Turistico 5 Terre ferry. Consortio Marittimo Turistico 5 Terre offers several daily departures, especially during the summer. Ferry service begins in late March and ends during the last week of October.

Taking the ferry to Manarola will give you a lovely view of the Cinque Terre coast. The ferry also stops at Vernazza and Riomaggiore; both towns are great places to explore, shop, and have lunch. (Corniglia does not have a ferry port.) Ferries run frequently during the day, but there is no ferry service at night.



Map of How to Get from Portofino to Manarola
Map of How to Get from Portofino to Manarola