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.
GMT +1 hour
2 hours to Genoa
Lying on the eastern side of the Lugurian Riviera and boasting a thriving marina, Rapallo is set amidst luxuriant flora and orange groves. A variety of excellent restaurants and bars may be found along its palm-lined promenades. This distinguished resort is internationally popular especially with yachting crews and also enjoys plenty of golf and tennis facilities, including one of Italy's oldest and most prestigious golf courses. Rapallo is guarded by a 16th-Century castle that juts out from the harbour and once protected the city from pirate invasions; today is houses art and cultural exhibitions. Ride a cable car up to Santuario Basilica di Montallegro, a pretty church built on the spot of a rumoured sighting of the Virgin Mary in the 16th Century. From the top you can enjoy breathtaking views over the town to Portofino and the sparkling sea beyond.
The glamorous fishing village of Portofino is home to one of Italy's most exclusive harbours which is lined with beautiful yachts. Explore pedstrianised cobbled lanes filled with designer shops, romantic waterside restaurants and cafés by the water.