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Cinque Terre: A Scenic Train Journey Through Five Enchanting Italian Villages

Cinque Terre: A Scenic Train Journey Through Five Enchanting Italian Villages
photo: Nicolas Grevet / Flickr/Cinque Terre life line
03 / 01 / 2024

Five captivating villages in Cinque Terre are linked by a single train line. Spanning only 20 kilometers, this route allows passengers to marvel at the splendor of all five towns. Similarly, Scotland boasts a picturesque route, known for the viaduct featured in the Harry Potter films.

Cinque Terre, situated on the eastern coast of Liguria between the seaside resort of Levanto and the port city of La Spezia, is renowned for its five charming villages. In 1997, this area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, catapulting it to fame among tourists. A national park was also established here to preserve the pristine natural environment.

The region, characterized by its rugged coastline on the Italian Riviera, is serviced by a local train that connects all five villages at 20-minute intervals. The train journey traverses the coastline, hugging steep cliffs and offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. Starting from the historic naval hub of La Spezia, the train proceeds through the picturesque towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso, before reaching Levanto.

Pholl000 / Flickr

This train service operates from March 16 to November 3, 2024. During winter, trains run once or twice an hour. The entire route covers 20 kilometers, presenting passengers with stunning vistas of towering cliffs, lush vineyards, and the Ligurian Sea. The route includes six stations, with brief stops at each. The trip from La Spezia to Riomaggiore takes roughly 10 minutes, while the journey between the five villages averages about 5 minutes. The train also passes through a historic tunnel constructed in 1870, emerging to reveal mesmerizing views of the Mediterranean Sea.

The West Highland Line in Scotland

Hans-Peter Hein / Flickr

Another notable route is Scotland's West Highland Line. Starting from Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, this line travels through the wild landscapes of Rannoch Moor, skirts the base of Ben Nevis—the UK's tallest mountain—and crosses the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, famously featured in the Harry Potter films. Along the way, travelers can admire Loch Lomond, the Arrochar Alps, Lora Falls, and Ben Nevis, making for a memorable journey through Scotland's natural beauty.

Durk Houtsma / Flickr