This is perhaps the most famous of seaside villages on the Italian Riviera (actually the Tiguilio Gulf), it's secluded natural harbour has been made famous by its photogenic elegance, its outstanding location and of course the rich and famous who frequent its chic restaurants, bars and hotels.
The coastline is a sequence of much visited fashionable resorts with their landmark pastel-coloured buildings, leisure boat marinas and some world class water sports facilities. The atmosphere simply oozes "La Dolce Vita" and visitors will be taken by the sheer beauty of the seascapes, amongst the most celebrated of views in Italy.
Located on the most pronounced promontory point of the Ligurian coastline east of Genoa most of the large headland is protected state park with opportunities for rugged coastal walks, hilly panorama's and historic monuments. The most south eastern tip is the lighthouse of Portofino. Access to this ancient fishing village is by road or boat.
Road access is a by a narrow road that winds its way along the foot of towering cliffs, hugging the shoreline for the 5 mile trip from the much larger seaside resort of Santa Margherita. This drive offers some outstanding views and should not be missed, but travellers beware - this is a narrow road with no alternative, so all non board visitors arrive and leave on this road. At peak times the road becomes blocked as cars queue their way into Portofino and the multi storey car park that is the end of the road and the only place you may park (expensive).
Boat access is (in our opinion) the best way to arrive to Portofino. There are plenty of boat services from all the major towns both west and east of Portofino, the smaller boats will call at many of the smaller inlets and villages also, and allow you to hop on and off as you explore this exceptional coastline. Several companies offer service from Genoa (Port Antique) which allows the visitor a splendid view of Genoa and its surroundings on your way to Portofino.
From Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana Genoa is less than 1 hours drive, and it is possible to take advantage of the excellent parking facilities around the porto antiqua and aquarium complex (Europe's largest), and from there take the above mentioned boat trip to Portofino. Alternatively continue by car from Genoa allowing a further 30-60 minutes travel time (longer in peak season).
In Portofino there are many possible itineries, from relaxing in cafe and restaurant to exploring the back streets and chic shops, or a more energetic walk to the lighthouse and church with their commanding views. (If you make it to the lighthouse, their is usually a small refreshment kiosk with some of the best ice cream we have ever tasted!). Of course this is the place to be seen, so you never know who you might bump into or spy upon their lavish yachts and cruisers moored in the exclusive harbour.
see more pictures of the Italian Riviera & Portofino
Download our 2008 brochure about our Piedmont B&B and what to see and do in Piedmont in pdf format
we wish you very a pleasant stay in piedmont