Portofino holiday highlights

A long-time favourite of silver-screen stars including Clark Gable and Grace Kelly, Portofino harbour remains as glamorous and exclusive as it has been since the 1960s. This is the place to come to get a glimpse of super yachts mooring in the harbour, get a taste of some of the most exclusive restaurants in Italy and to swim in the tranquil waters of Paraggi Bay. There’s a spellbinding dinner at Belmond Hotel Splendido’s Chuflay restaurant, a pretty stroll to the Romanesque Chiesa di San Giorgio and a delightful wander through the cobblestoned backstreets and designer boutiques on Via Roma. Portofino is home to historic landmarks such as Castello Brown – a 15th-Century hilltop castle, and the 14th-Century Abbazia della Cervara, once home to Benedictine and French Trappist monks. You can take magical boat trips to the rainbow-coloured villages of Cinque Terre or the medieval town of Portovenere, dive 50 feet below the sea to the Christ of the Abyss statue and grab a glass of wine at Portofino lighthouse. It’s also a pleasure to hike here – venture up into the hillside for working olive mills, cheese producers and wine makers, sampling home-made pesto and pastas along the way. 

Where is Portofino?

In north-west Italy on the Ligurian coast, the super exclusive fishing village of Portofino overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.

Getting around

It’s all walking, hiking or hopping on a boat to nearby villages and beaches. Taxis will take you everywhere you need to go or you can just take a stroll to the shops and restaurants around the harbour, or an amble up into the hills.

Shopping

Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, Falconeri cashmere and the glittering store fronts of high-end boutiques including Missoni, Louis Vuitton and Hermes… shopping in Portofino is expensive, glitzy and glamorous. The main streets for high-end shopping are Molo Umberto 1, Via Roma and Calata Marconi but you can also expect to find hidden hems such as traditional cobblers, artisanal jewellery, lace and art workshops and gourmet food stores.

Food & drink

Expect a smattering of exclusive restaurants and bars that stay open until the early hours. You’ll want drinks on the terrace at Portofino lighthouse, lunch at super luxurious Chuflay and dinner at Puny or on the candle-lit open-air terrace of Le Terrazza at Belmond Hotel Splendido. Try regional speciality pesto all Genovese, tuck into fresh seafood and mouth-watering melon and prosciutto and find that perfect harbour eatery for antipasto and a Bellini.  

Portofino key facts

Time difference

GMT +1 hour

Currency

Euro

Flying time to destination

Genoa 2 hours

Language

Italian