La Dolce Vita: a life of indulgence or, more literally, “the sweet life”. This evocative term perfectly describes the experience you can have in the Portofino area.
From the town of Camogli all the way to the well known Santa Margherita Ligure, a boat is the perfect way to move along the coast and find beautiful hidden coves and raw cliffs.
Picture this: being surrounded by the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea, between small, wooden sailing boats with their nets and luxury yachts, feeling the gentle sea breeze, listening to the sound of the waves.
This is the Portofino area with its peculiar colours and mood, a destination found on top of many people’s wish-lists around the world, not without reason.
Portofino Natural Park
In the wonderful frame of the Portofino Natural Park are some exclusive and picturesque villages: Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, San Fruttuoso, and not far is the colourful fishing village of Camogli.
Each one deserves a visit and offers a different Dolce Vita experience.
So let us show you how to live a Dolce Vita day in the Portofino area!
Santa Margherita Ligure
The same way as looking at a sunset is impossible without dreaming, it is impossible to visit Santa Margherita Ligure without being fascinated by the colours of the facades, and by the houses themselves, all different from one another in color and style but perfect the way they are.
While looking at the beautiful facades you will notice unique decorations that highlight the architecture and create the illusion of something that is not really there – friezes, windows, ledges, skilfully painted on otherwise flat surfaces.
Just behind the typical houses on the coast you will find Villa Durazzo and its park with paths and statues – the perfect location for events and candlelight parties but also to enjoy some shade during the summer, getting lost taking photos and making memories.
Whether on a ferry or a private boat, enjoy the panoramic ride towards Portofino, notice the predominant colours of our landscape: blue, green, then blue again.
Lush vegetation dotted with fancy villas, crooked roads, and Mount Portofino above.
One of the reasons that make the Portofino area so unique is its mix of style and nature, a contrast that sounds impossible but finds its greatest expression here, where modernity and glamour coexist with unspoiled nature.
Welcome to Portofino.
You may have seen its harbour a million times on postcards and online but it’s not the same thing when you find yourself here in person, is it? For us, it’s always pure bliss.
Portofino and its harbour, the colours of the houses reflecting on the sea, an iconic location teeming with visitors from all over the world.
Walk on the Piazzetta and spot celebrities hiding behind sunglasses while they enjoy their vacation in this small fishing village that is now the center of international élite tourism.
By now you may want to swim, and Portofino doesn’t have a beach, but the perfect place is just around the corner, or better, just around the cliff!
In just a few minutes by boat you will reach San Fruttuoso, a secluded bay between Portofino and Camogli that can only be reached by boat or walking, with a 2-hours hike from Portofino or with other paths across the woods of the Natural Park – the only way to San Fruttuoso when the sea is rough.
The Bay of San Fruttuoso boasts a crystal clear water and is the perfect spot to dive in the sea.
Swimming just a few meters away from the coast you will see a statue of Jesus standing on the seabed, easy to spot from the surface and exciting to observe while scuba diving: the “Cristo degli Abissi” (Christ of the Abysses).
Just a few steps away from the beach is the millenary Abbey of San Fruttuoso, another reason not to miss this beautiful cove.
It’s time for another short boat ride: next stop is Punta Chiappa, a raw, rocky promontory that is often overlooked by tourists and must therefore be on your itinerary!
We can’t think of a better place to enjoy a plate of pasta with fresh seafood than the historical Trattoria Spadin, with simple wooden tables overlooking the blue of the ocean that stretches as far as the eye can see.
Punta Chiappa is another great place for a swim, but there is no beach here: you can jump right off the cliffs into the clear water of this little corner of Paradise.
Our next destination is Camogli: a multicoloured fishing village where the sea is the main character.
The pebbles beach is constantly washed by the waves, while people stroll down the sea promenade eating gelato.
Luckily, Camogli has ever been hit by mass tourism and this is just one of the reasons why it is a favourite of the locals. In Camogli the memories of hectic city life fade away.
There are no cars here – just the sound of the sea, voices, subtle background music coming from restaurants and bars.
We now invite you to have a seat at one of the little bars overlooking the sea, to sip a drink to the view of the setting sun right in front of you.
Let’s make a toast to the Dolce Vita day you just spent in the Portofino Area, that is now coming to an end while the sea glitters and the seagulls fly against the light.
More Tips and ideas?