The Liguria coast is a must-do when it comes to Italy. You cannot get bored of the wonderful landscapes, the breath-taking views the villages’ vibe and of course the delicious food. Depending on your budget, you can find different options from 5 star hotels and Michelin restaurants to more low key experiences. Let me take you there…
Reaching Italian Riviera is simple as it has excellent connections by plane with the airports of Nice and Genoa, but also with trains and cars both from Italy and from France.
- Nice Airport
Perfect for the Riviera di Ponente, the airport of Nice, it is only 20 minutes from Ventimiglia.
- Genoa Airport
Ideal for the Riviera di Levante, the airport of Genoa, is in the heart of Liguria.
- Railway line
The line that runs along Italian Riviera is great both from the main Italian cities and from France.
- A10 motorway
The A10 motorway allows you to easily reach every city in Liguria.
The Genoa airport is the closer one from the Liguria coast. Once there, driving is the best way to go from one village to another.
Weather and climate – the best time to visit
With a mild climate and many sunny days, the Italian Riviera is a perfect destination all year round.
It rains around 60 days a year only but the ideal months to visit the coast if from April to the end of June before the tourist rush starts and from the beginning of September when they’re gone.
Many adventures to expect
Villages near the sea, medieval villages, villas and garden, breath-taking views, delicious food, hiking trails…
Create memories with to a private boat tour
If you want to see the most of the coast and live an unforgettable experience, The Green Boat Liguria
Is highly recommended. I had a private tour with Brian, the owner and it really made my day. During the entire afternoon, I was back to the glamorous atmosphere of the 50’s on board of his wooden boat, which is very special as it is one of the lasts in Portofino. Brian was a wonderful guide, giving tips about the history of Portofino, telling who are / were the beautiful villas’ owners and even opening a bottle of bubbly accompanied by focaccia. It remains one of my best memories.
Look for the local spots. They look a bit less extravagant but they actually have better food. The fancier the restaurant looks, the more expensive it will be.
Villages to visit
Camogli, Rapallo, Santa Margherita, Portofino.
If you can take your time, extend your visit to the Cinque Terre.
1/ Half a day / a day in Camogli
Camogli is a very cute village with a stage-set perfect seafront rimmed with beautiful colored palazzi and houses. Colored facades, a beautiful seaside and an old-town vibe, which is very well maintained. Camogli has certainly been my favourite village from the Liguria villages’ tour I took.
- Places to visit: the port, Cenobio dei dogi beach, Xodo and Da Paolo, La Camogliese restaurants, Gelato & Dintorni ice cream shop, Dai Muagetti cocktail bar.
- Hike from Camogli to San Fruttuoso or from Camogli to Portofino.
*Experience the coast of Liguria with a glamorous boat trip with The Green Boat Liguria
2/ Escape for two/three hours to Rapallo
Rapallo is a stunning seaside town with narrow streets a promenade, pastel coloured houses and villas and hiking opportunities. It has less tourists than the other villages. Rapallo is nice to explore the historic centre, and going to the beach. You can also visit Visit the Sanctuary of Montallegro, which is not far from the village.
- Places to visit: Le Coupole restaurant, Parlacomemangi, Eldolz food shops and Exploit cocktail bar.
3/ Base yourself in Santa Margherita
Staying in Santa Margherita to visit all the Liguria is a great option. There are many cafe’s, restaurants and bars all very close to the centre/port area.
Il Leccio Luxury Resort is definitely the best hotel to stay in Santa Margherita. Brand new, located in the reserve of the Portofino park, this property will be paradise to the ones in love with intimate atmospheres, breathtaking views, comfort (the beds are so comfortable!), cleanliness and elegance.
The breakfasts are made of excellent homemade and local products, fresh orange juice and again, a stunning view.
If you want to go to Cinque Terre, you would nonetheless need to find a hotel there.
- Places to visit: Villa Durazzo, Chiesa di Santa Margherita d’Antiochia, L’insolita zuppa, l’Altro Eden restaurants
Going to Portofino from Il Leccio hotel would take 15 minutes drive.
Crown jewel of the Liguria coast, Portofino lies between two gulfs creating a picturesque hamlet embedded in a Natural Reserve, a protected area that houses Mediterranean flora and fauna. Myriad of pastel colours tint the houses that overlook the Ligurian Sea, in a scenic view of nature’s blessings. The port bustles with yachts and little boats in a display of luxury, so no wonder that the once fishing village of Portofino has become a favourite among VIPs.
Be careful when you seat somewhere to nice. Prices can be very expensive for food which really does not worth the price. A great option is the Trattoria: Panifico Canale.
If you want to live the fancy life without having to sell a kidney, my recommendation is to have a cocktail at The Belmond Splendido Hotel, which history and view really worth the visit.
- Places to visit: La Piazzetta di Portofino, Castle brown, Portofino’s lighthouse (and the cool bar called La Portofinese), Abbazzia San Fruttuoso, Chiesa di San Giorgio, Paraggi beach, Panifico Canale trattoria, Eight restaurant, Morena bar.