Glamorous harbours, rustic villages and rugged coastline
Set at the top of Italy’s ‘boot’, this striking north-east region borders France and offers one of Italy’s most beautiful stretches of coastline. Liguria has long been a playground for the rich and famous and its rolling hills give way to picturesque fishing villages and the chic Italian Riviera which adds a touch of glamour to the coast. Make the most of Liguria’s balmy climate and explore gorgeous countryside, rustic villages and rugged coastline.
Best time to visit Liguria
Liguria is one of the sunniest regions in Italy and the warmest months are from May to September. However for touring and sightseeing, the quieter periods of the year are best. From November to March, beaches and outdoor swimming pools are closed and not all hotels are open.
Liguria holiday highlights
The Ligurian Riviera is a glorious crescent-shaped region with 186 miles of stunning coast backed by dramatic mountains which are cloaked in olive groves and vineyards. Look out for the rich and famous as you admire the sleek yachts in some of Italy’s most exclusive harbours.
Stroll along pretty promenades and discover hidden coves and fantastic seafood restaurants or follow winding lanes through charming villages where pastel-coloured houses hug the coastline. Liguria offers a blend of traditional charm and stylish glamour complemented by natural beauty and rich history.
In Portofino, shoppers strolling along Via Roma can browse designer boutiques such as Hermès and Gucci, and mingle with Hollywood stars and millionaires who are attracted to this stunning part of the Italian Riviera.
Lying on the eastern side of the Lugurian Riviera, Rapallo has a bustling harbour, excellent restaurants and bars, and a 16th-Century castle.
Santa Margherita Ligure
The pretty seaside resort of Santa Margherita Ligure lies between Rapallo and Portofino and is just a ten minute drive away so it’s ideal for a day trip. Less crowded than its popular neighbours, this classic resort offers a taste of traditional Italy with its elegant façades, historic churches, quaint shops and charming cafés, bars and gelaterie.
Down by the harbour you’ll see numerous yachts as well as a small fishing fleet, while up in the hills you’ll come across historic villas and churches. There are a number of fantastic hiking trails and a hike to Portofino is a wonderful way to discover the natural beauty of the region. Make your way along the waterfront, passing fishing boats and yachts before walking through a pretty forest and reaching the harbour. The views along the way are spectacular and the walk can take between one and two hours.
Liguria’s capital is just an hour’s drive from Portofino and 45 minutes from Rapallo and it’s well worth a visit. Renowned for its maritime history and rich culture, this port city is home to a UNESCO-listed historic centre, Renaissance and Baroque palaces, museums and galleries, along with one of Europe’s largest aquariums and modern shops and restaurants. It’s also a popular spot for whale and dolphin-watching cruises.