The Portofino promontory is part of the Ligurian Appennines. It is situated between the small towns of Camogli and Santa Margherita Ligure and is home to the Portofino Regional Nature Park, one of the most beautiful parks in the Ligurian region.Established in 1935, the nature park hosts an amazing variety of Mediterranean flora and wildlife: boars and wild goats, and many other species such as stone martens, foxes, dormice, weasels, bats, and birds which include green woodpeckers, nightingales, kestrels, owls and barn owls. In 1999 the park was further extended following the creation of a protected marine reserve, part of which is classified as an integral marine reserve and is an off-limits boating zone (Cala dell’Oro).
From Agriturismo Terre Rosse Portofino you can reach the loveliest spots on the promontory, either along the splendid coastal paths or via the many marked paths that run across the park towards Portofino Vetta (610 mt.), Santa Margherita and Camogli. The itineraries are clearly marked - some are easy, whereas others require more hiking experience and present various levels of difficulty.
Click on the following link to download the map of the park paths with detailed descriptions of the itineraries.
Maps of the paths and further information is also available at our Agriturismo.
The main seaside resorts on the promontory (Portofino, San Fruttuoso, Santa Margherita Ligure, Camogli) can also be reached by ferryboat, offering wonderful views of the cliffs and coastline: a pleasant alternative we advise you to consider (Ferryboat Timetable).
Portofino is considered one of the most beautiful and picturesque seaside villages in the world, with its colorful houses overlooking the small natural harbor, bustling and cosmopolitan in the summer, quiet and sleepy in the winter. Stroll along the charming narrow streets leading to the square and the pier, visit the Fortress of San Giorgio (Castello Brown) and St. George’s church which offers a beautiful view of the village from the churchyard. And don’t miss the walk to the lighthouse up to the steep cliff overlooking the sea.
The Agriturismo Terre Rosse can be reached from Portofino via two different paths (both approx. a 40-minutes’ walk) which both command beautiful views over the Tigullio Gulf and Portofino Bay.
Neither of the paths present any technical difficulties but require a little training for the first part of the path (which presents a difference in height of approx.150 mts), but then runs almost on the flat for the last stretch from San Sebastiano Church to the Agriturismo.
Setting off from Piazza della Libertà in Portofino, cross the carpark leaving the centre behind you, and take the little winding lane leading up towards the mountain. Keep on going up the steps until you get to a signpost indicating the footpath to San Sebastiano; from this point onwards the walk will be easier. When you get San Sebastiano church, turn left up the narrow path and keep on going along the little paved road. Once you have passed the tennis court, you will find the entrance to the Agriturismo 500 mts ahead on your left.
Leaving Portofino in the direction of Paraggi, a few metres after San Martino church, you will find steps on the left-hand side of the road leading to a paved road which rises steeply for the first part of the walk amid villas and olive groves (with some lovely views over the bay). The second part of the route is a gentler walk towards San Sebastiano church. From there, turn left up the narrow path alongside the church, go past the tennis court and 500 meters further on you will find the entrance to the Agriturismo.
The beautiful bay of San Fruttuoso di Camogli with its thousand-year-old Abbey at Capodimonte ranks among the most impressive localities of the promontory, and can be reached both by land or by sea.
San Fruttuoso Bay can be reached directly from our Agriturismo and constitutes a pleasant walk along a marked path offering breathtaking views of the southern side of the promontory (time taken downhill approx. 1 hour – difference in height approx. 240 mts.); the route is not technically difficult, but strong walking shoes or sneakers are recommended (especially for the final part of the path where there are a few short, steep stretches).
San Fruttuoso can also be reached by boat: a ferryboat service connects it to Portofino and to other resorts along the Riviera (Ferryboat Timetable).
The Abbey is well worth visiting, and was donated to FAI (the non-profit Italian Foundation for the Environment) by Frank and Orietta Pogson Doria Pamphilj. Open to the public from mid-April to mid-October, it has a beautiful cloister housing the funeral monuments in white marble of some members of the Doria family, while the Doria Tower dominates the whole of the Bay.
There are two delightful small pebble beaches, both equipped in the tourist season with beach umbrellas, and bars and restaurants provide food and drinks.
15 mts down in the depths of the bay, lies the famous bronze statue of the Christ of the Abyss, one of the most popular destinations for divers (guided tours can be arranged through the many different diving centers in Portofino and Santa Margherita).
SANTA MARGHERITA LIGURE
This renowned seaside resort with a large marina and several sandy and pebble beaches, extends inwards from the sea towards the hillsides covered in lush Mediterranean vegetation, and dotted with villas and gardens boasting views over the “Dolphin Coast” which stretches from Santa Margherita to Portofino. The district of Santa Margherita includes the three villages of Nozarego, San Lorenzo della Costa and Paraggi (with its beautiful sandy beach).
Santa Margherita is a very lively little town, and is well worth a visit to admire the Old Town with its beautiful old buildings with their colorful, decorated facades, Villa Durazzo and the park, the Castle and the promenade which runs along the coast for 5 kms as far as Portofino. Large stretches of the promenade have a wooden walkway running right next to the sea which is very popular with both joggers and walkers.
Santa Margherita can also be reached from our Agriturismo either on foot via a mountain route (an easy walk taking approx. one hour) going in the direction of Nozarego, and which offers one of the most beautiful panoramas of Santa Margherita. Alternatively, there is a bus service connecting Portofino to the main beaches of Santa Margherita (lines 81-82 - link to timetable and bus network information).
Santa Margherita Ligure offers railway connections, bus and ferryboat services towards the main resorts of the Eastern Riviera, or Riviera di Levante (Portofino, Camogli, Sestri Levante, the Cinque Terre), and also to Genova (a 30-minute journey by train).
This lovely little seaside town overlooking the Paradise Gulf is well worth a visit. The local district includes the villages of Ruta, San Fruttuoso, San Rocco as well as a large part of the Portofino Regional Nature Park.
Camogli is well-known for its colorful buildings overlooking the beach. The colors and lighter horizontal lines (known as “marcapiano”) were designed to help local sailors spot their homes from out at sea (traditionally, Camogli was a village of fishermen and sailors, where wives and mothers spent long periods of the year alone looking after their children and waiting for the return of their husbands and sons - hence the name “Ca’ mogli”, i.e. Home of the wives). Most buildings in the old part of town were built onto, modified and enlarged throughout the centuries, sometimes by simply adding on rooms (following the birth of a child) or as a form of investment of men's earnings after a long period at sea.
Wonderful views of Camogli are offered both by taking the mountain path from Portofino, or arriving by sea on the ferryboat connecting Camogli to San Fruttuoso, Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure and other seaside resorts.
We advise you to combine both the hiking and ferryboat options, which allow you to admire Camogli from different but equally beautiful perspectives
LE CINQUE TERRE (an absolute must!!)
The Cinque Terre, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, cover a rugged coastal area of the Eastern Riviera between Punta Mesco and Punta di Montenero. There are five small seaside villages in the area, which became a National Park in 1999, and in ancient times these were known as “terre” (lands): Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The Cinque Terre constitute one of the main tourist attractions in Liguria.
The area consists of a narrow strip of land between the coast and the mountain ridge separating it from the Vara Valley. The mountain range runs parallel to the coast, with only moderate changes in altitude (from the 815 meter high Mount Malpertuso to the 486 meter high Mount Vè), but slopes steeply down to the coast, in a series of “fasce”, the typical cultivated terraces for which the Cinque Terre are renowned.
The steep, rocky coast spans out in a series of coves, headlands and promontories down as far as Portovenere, rising up almost vertically from the sea in several points.
The few beaches gained from the sea are mainly small, sandy or pebbly, and are in Monterosso (which has the largest beaches, Fegina and Monterosso Vecchio), near Corniglia (the Guvano and Corniglia beaches) and in Riomaggiore.
There are two main footpaths linking up and running through the Cinque Terre:
Path No. 2 (Blue Path): this is the coast path linking Levanto to Portovenere passing through all the Cinque Terre villages. Walking the whole stretch requires a good level of fitness, with the exception of the best-known part of the path running between Riomaggiore and Manarola (known as Via dell’Amore), which presents no difficulties but is unfortunately presently closed, having been seriously damages by the floods of October 2011.
N.B.: to access Path No. 2 a daily entrance ticket must be paid (the cost ranges between 5 and 8 Euro, depending on the length of the itinerary – reductions can be obtained by purchasing a Cinque Terre Card at the railway station, which combines train ticket and path entrance ticket).
Path No. 1 (Alta via delle Cinque Terre): this is an ancient mule track running along the ridge separating the Cinque Terre coast from the Vara Valley. The villages of the Cinque Terre can be reached via the diagonal paths leading down towards the sea.
THE SEA AND THE BEACHES
The beaches nearest to Portofino are small and very often crowded, especially in summer. The closest beach is in Paraggi and can be reached in a 40-minute walk.
The bus service from Portofino will take you to the beaches in Santa Margherita Ligure.
A wide variety of outdoor and sporting activities is available – the following are just some of the possible options:
- Portofino Divers
- San Fruttuoso Diving Centre
- DWS Diving Centre
CANOE – KAYAK (either rental or guided tours):
Outdoor Portofino: www.outdoorportofino.com
Guided sea tours: www.portofinoamp.it – www.argus1910.it
Available in Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure and Rapallo
Outdoor tennis court (Decoturf) at 5 minutes' walk from the house (reservation possible upon request)
Scooter/moped rental can be arranged upon request.
Regional Nature Park of Portofino
Region Liguria Bus Transport – Timetable
Portofino Ferries – Timetable
Gulf of Paradiso Ferries – Timetable
Tourism in Liguria
Aquarius of Genoa
Santa Margherita Ligure