Portofino Italy Travel Guide

Portofino Italy has been a popular vacation destination for the rich and famous for over 200 years. Travel to the Italian Riviera, a region in Italy nestled between the Ligurian Sea and the Maritime Alps for over-the-top glamour as well as its local, and laid-back charm.

In Portofino you’ll find pastel-colored houses, high-end boutiques and seafood restaurants fringe its Piazzetta, and a small cobbled square overlooking the harbor which is lined with super-yachts. Don’t miss the Piazzetta to Castello Brown, a 16th-century fortress and museum with art exhibitions and panoramic views of the town and the Ligurian Sea.

Portofino Weather – When to Visit

The region is known for its mild climate, so make you can make your plans at your leisure. Keep in mind that while the temperatures are rarely uncomfortably hot or cold, autumn tends to be relatively rainy. And because summer is the region’s tourist season, prices will be at their highest, so if you are traveling on a budget, it is best to visit Portofino during the spring (average temps in 80s) or winter (average temps in 60s).

Best Portofino Beaches

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Paraggi Beach

Paraggi is an enchanting little bay with an emerald color sea and an astonishing landscape. This is a perfect place for those searching for relax, sunny days, beautiful sea. Paraggi stretch of sand is mostly known for its romantic atmosphere and it is ideal for couples, more than families.

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Niasca Beach

Between Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino, there’s the beautiful narrow beach of Niasca which is surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation. It’s a little, secluded beach, perfect for a morning swim as it is east-facing. Paraggi and Niasca beaches are also the jumping off point for diving trips and kayak excursions.

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San Fruttuoso Beach

Not to be missed while in Portofino is a trip to the stunning San Fruttuoso di Camogli bay. This beach can be reached just by foot along hiking paths or by boat. Here the crystalline water has a beautiful emerald color.

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Camogli Beach

A few miles from Portofino harbor is the beach of Camogli. This pebbly, colored fishing village has a long seaside with clean water. The beach does get very crowded in July and August.

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Sestri Levante Beach, Portofino Italy, Portofino Italy Travel Guide, best beaches of Portofino, best restaurants in Portofino, best bars in Portofino, things to do in Portofino, Portofino Tours & Activities

Sestri Levante Beach

About 30 minutes from Portofino is Sestri Levante. You can easily reach Setri Levante by train. This is a wonderful quiet romantic beach (except July & August) where you can find gozzo boats on the shore after a fishing night.

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Best Portofino Tours & Activities

Portofino Kayak Tour

Glide along the beautiful coastline of Portofino’s Marine Protected Area on this kayaking tour. Paddle through secret creeks and admire picturesque caves. Enjoy a break from the kayak to go snorkeling. Cap off your day with a lunch of locally-grown organic food and wine at a scenic viewpoint. Learn more about the Portofino Kayak Tour.

Private Day Trip to Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure

Explore the Italian Riviera while in port in Genoa with this full-day excursion to Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino. Escorted by a private driver, travel first to the seaside town of Portofino to explore the Church of St George, Castello Brown and other top sights at your leisure. Then head to the village of Santa Margherita Ligure for views of the Ligurian coast and quaint streets lined with fishermen’s houses. Your private driver will return you back to port at the end of the day. Learn more about the Portofino Santa Margherita Ligure Day Trip.

Best of Portofino: Boat and Walking Tour, Pesto Cooking and Lunch

Spend a delightful morning getting to know Portofino on a three-our walking and boat tour with round-trip ferry tickets from Santa Margherita Ligure included. Climb to the Church of Saint Giorgio for panoramic views of the charming village, and then reward yourself with a focaccia tasting in the local bakery. Next, participate in a pesto making class, and then enjoy a typical Ligurian lunch over looking the water. Finally have some free time to explore on your own before catching your return ferry. Learn more about the Boat and Walking Tour.

Genoa and Portofino Day Trip from Milan

Get out of Milan for the day and explore the Italian Riviera, seeing the seaside port town of Genoa and prettied-up Portofino on this action-packed guided tour. Learn about the history of both towns, as you take a guided walking tour of Genoa and then take some free time to discover Portofino on your own. Learn more about the Portofino Day Trip from Milan.

Test Drive in Maranello Ferrari Portofino

Make your wish come true! Drive one of our legendary cars! like Mclaren Ferrari or a Lamborghini. You will drive with a professional instructor along the highways, where the myth was born, in a fantastic atmosphere! where millions of fans come to celebrate their passion every day. Learn more about the Test Drive in Maranello Ferrari Portofino.

Best Portofino Restaurants

A Due Passi dal Mare $11 – 30

The restaurant (formerly named La Bitta nella Pergola) has Genoa’s only Michelin star. Order the roasted branzino, thickly sliced and served skin-up with diced potatoes, small olives, and fresh dill. Telephone: 39 339 50 22 813 Web: A Due Passi dal Mare

Osteria di Vico Palla $11 – 30

Wooden tables are set haphazardly under a low ceiling, and a small chalkboard is propped on each to serve as the menu. The food is as simple but full of vibrant flavors. The wild sea bass trossiette is a standout among the Ligurian seafood dishes. Telephone: 39 010 246 6575 Web: Osteria di Vico Palla

Ristorante Puny $31 – 60

You may have to compete with celebertys for one of the 15 outdoor tables on Puny’s patio, but fortunately, there are another 14 tables inside. The simple dishes like handmade pappardelle pasta with tomato and pesto taste as good indoors as al fresco. Reservations essential. Telephone: 39 0185 269037 Web: Ristorante Puny

Taverna del Marinaio $11 – 30

This restaurant has been in business for over 25 years. More affordably priced than the many other restaurants in Portofino, and the quality is not lacking. Travelers and locals alike rave about the antipasti, fresh seafood, and desserts. Telephone: 39 0185 269103 Web: Taverna del Marinaio

Chuflay Restaurant $31 – 60

Showcasing fine regional wines and delicious local produce, we boast some of Portofino’s best-known venues. Dine alfresco on local delights, like deep-fried scampi and black olive dumplings, on the vine-covered balcony of La Terrazza restaurant. Or breeze by one of our glitzy bars for an ambient cocktail with friends. Telephone: 39 0185 267801 Web: Chuflay Restaurant

Best Portofino Bars

Bar Mariuccia

This bar’s location makes it possible to see both the boats docked at the bay and the bustling main square of the town from their veranda, all while sipping on a glass of Aperol or prosecco. Telephone: 39 0185 269080 Web: Bar Mariuccia

Winterose Bar

Located away from the more crowded alleys, Winterose is a bar in which you can enjoy a glass of wine accompanied by appetisers made with Parma ham and Valtellina cheese, all while enjoying a front row view of the bay. Telephone: 39 0185 269500 Web: Winterrose Bar

Al Faro di Portofino

Just below the lighthouse, on a terrace with a view of the sea, you can find the Al Faro Restaurant. After a walk up the stairway “Salita San Giorgio” treat yourself with one of their cocktails or a glass of wine: either way, they’re always accompanied by complementary snacks. Telephone: 39 3203 087036 Web: Al Faro di Portofino

Covo Di Nord-Est

Covo Di Nord-Est is the Riviera’s most famous nightclub, and features both indoor and outdoor sections: the bar is located in the former, while the dance floor and the sofas, arranged differently every night, can be found in the latter. Their main DJ console hosts local artists as well as more well known names in the music industry. Telephone: 39 0185 286558 Web: Covo Di Nord-Est

Chuflay Bar

At Chuflay you’ll bee right at the city’s main square, thanks to their open terrace. Serving dishes made with the day’s fished seafood along with signature drinks, the bar features live piano music and singing, from 8pm to midnight. Telephone: 39 0185 267802 Web: Chuflay Bar

Best Portofino Hotels

Belmond Hotel Splendido

Set on the verdant hillside overlooking Portofino bay, Belmond Hotel Splendido offers 70 beautifully furnished rooms and suites, many with private terraces. At the Hotel, a former Benedictine monastery, Guests can swim and sunbathe by the pool, be pampered at the Spa or indulge in gourmet cuisine at La Terrazza Restaurant.

Belmond Splendido Mare

Down by the harbor, in the famous Villaggio, sister hotel Belmond Splendido Mare offers 16 delightful rooms and suites, most with a balcony or terrace. Chuflay Restaurant is the ultimate spot in Portofino where to soak up local life and experience delicious Ligurian cuisine. Belmond Splendido Mare shares all facilities with Belmond Hotel Splendido: a complimentary shuttle service is offered between the two properties.

Hotel Piccolo Portofino

Set right on the seafront in Portofino, Hotel Piccolo Portofino offers a private rocky beach with a bar. It is a historic villa that now features stylish designer interiors.

Imperiale Palace Hotel

An elegant, 19th-century villa, lush gardens, a private beach, and a spectacular view across the bay, these are just some of the reasons to choose Imperiale Palace Hotel.

Excelsior Palace Hotel

Featuring panoramic views of Portofino Bay, Excelsior Palace is a luxury 5-star hotel offering 2 restaurants, sun terraces and spacious rooms, many with sea views.

28 Comments

  1. Mark

    Another great review. This place looks great I love the Old fashioned buildings with there pastel colours and water front views. I would love to spend time just sitting and soaking up the atmosphere. It certainly looks like an area that is soaked in culture and style. Of course you review has also left me with an excellent idea of where to eat and drink. The spring time temperatures sound more to my liking as I am not really a hot sun type of person as I would prefer to visit the museums and the 16th century fort that you mention.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Mark!  I think you would really enjoy a visit to Portofina Italy,. which really does have something to offer everyone.  Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  2. Travis

    I was just talking to my wife about going to Italy next summer! Portofino sounds amazing, thank you so much for the review! We typically go on vacation in July, but we may scout that up and go in June instead, from your review it may be slightly less crowded then. We would go in December, I’m sure it would cost less, but what’s the fun going to the beach if the temperature is only in the 60s right? I’m really looking forward to getting the Michelin star restaurant while we are there, I’m sure it’s amazing! Thank you again for this review, time to start planning now! 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Travis!  And I do agree, going to a beach destination when it is only 60 (that’s freezing to me LOL) is just not right 🙂  Thanks for your visit to my Portofino Italy Travel Guide.

      Reply
  3. bella

    Great post you have up here and I must surely say that this portofino in italy is surely a great place to spend special moments. especially the next summer is what I am eyeing because of the beaches here and that is cool to me. Thumbs up for sharing this post with us. cheers

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Bella!  I am glad you enjoyed.

      Reply
  4. Andy

    Wow, it looks beautiful, I love seeing the different pastel-coloured houses they give so much vibrancy to an area. The kayaking through secret creeks and caves sounds fascinating! I also love the fact there are churches to explore, I really enjoy doing this whenever I am on holiday.

    I appreciate the list of restaurants and hotels in the area, it is always nice when travelling to a foreign country to have some recommended places already in mind and saves people scouring the internet.

    Thank you for the info, Italy is a beautiful country and Portofino is a place I will keep in mind for future holidays.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Andy for visiting my Portofino Italy Travel Guide.  I am glad you enjoyed your visit and I hope you can vacation to Portofino soon!  

      Reply
  5. DreaJay

    Italy is a country with so many destinations where you can visit for holidays. Portofino is a very nice place to be, this article has explained a lot about it, beaches are my favorite features in any destination because I love relaxations at the beach and I always take advantage of any free moments I have to just chill off. Portofino also has a lot of activities that can be done during stay. Thanks for sharing this information, it’ll be of great help. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome.  It is a great place to vacation to, with so much more than just the beaches and beauty.  I think you could stay very busy on a Portofino vacation, or just chill the whole time 🙂

      Reply
  6. John

    I have today that this is a very good post. I have not heard of Portofino before but from checking your pictures here, it is very obvious that Italy will be a very good country to visit with this beautiful city. Seeing the beautiful beaches is really great and I think I need to add this to my want to attend places for vacation. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Ok John 🙂  I am glad you enjoyed your digital visit to Portofino and that you have a new bucket list item!  Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  7. Rodarrick

    To be honest, Italy is simply the home for exploration of beauty and so much more. I really love everything you have highlighted here on portofino Italy. It looks like a haven of beauty on earth. How on earth would everything look so sleek and awesome from the beach to all the other things provided here to make one’s stay here worth while. Wow! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Rodarrick.  I am glad I could “open your eyes” to this beautiful place!  It truly is and would make a great vacation to remember for sure.  Thanks for your visit.

      Reply
  8. Henderson

    This is a very beautiful place and I think that I really need to be at Portofino in Italy. Ihave seen a couple of people talk about the beautiful beaches in the city but I didn’t bother to check out the pictures. With all the beautiful places around here, going to this place will be so much fun. I can see that there are so nice hotels around. Will make fora good getaway for me. Thank you for this.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Henderson.  Yes, I agree that it would make a great getaway 🙂  I hope you can soon!  Thanks for your visit to beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  9. Jack Stephens

    I love your travelogues. The descriptions are very vivid, the accompanying videos are great, the coverage and information about where to eat and where to stay have just the right amount of information. Portofino sounds like a great travel destination. Anyone planning a trip there should see this page. Great job!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Jack for your compliments.  I am glad you enjoyed and I hope you are adding this to your list of must do vacations 🙂

      Reply
  10. Louise

    Hello,

    I really enjoyed reading this as it took me back to when I visited this area. Italy is a beautiful country and Portofino is a favourite of mine, I can certainly agree that Paraggi beach is very pretty. I love that area. The food, location and the local people are great. There is so much to do, the boat trips that you mention and the other lovely beaches are all worth a visit.

     Thank you 

    Lousie

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Louisie for taking the time to leave me comments and confirm my recommendations 🙂  I would have to agree with you!  Glad you enjoyed your visit to beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  11. Russ Green

    I think I would challenge anyone to come here, take a look at your website and not to find your recommended holiday destinations irresistible, you are so good at what you do, in fact I have come here not even thinking about going away anywhere, but after seeing your recommended go to places I have so dearly wanted to visit, I have never been to Italy, however, when I eventually do get round to booking, I will definitely be going to Portofina, it looks absolutely incredible, thank you and keep up the good work. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Russ, and thank you so much for the compliment 🙂  I hope to see you return when you are ready to book your vacation.  I would love to help.

      Reply
  12. Mike Viray

    This looks wonderful. I’m from the Philippines and while we have a lot of beaches here at home, I’d still like to be able to visit and tour the rest of the world’s beaches. Also, this is a pretty thorough write-up you have here, much appreciated!

    Thanks and more power to you and your site.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Mike, and yes you do have a lot of beautiful beaches at your disposal in the Philippines.  I am a bit envious 🙂  Thanks for your visit to beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  13. Katja

    I am so happy I stumbled upon this article. I am planning a vacation to Italy. It is close to us; I am from Slovenia. And Portofino looks perfect. I have never heard of it before. The beaches are amazing, and the town seems so attractive. I can see myself walking there already. Thank you for sharing all the things I can do there and the best time for the visit. Portofino Italy, see you in the spring!

    You have a lovely site; I will read more from you.

    Have a nice day.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Katja.  I am glad you enjoyed your visit to beach travel destinations.  And that you have found a new vacation destination that you learned about .  Being close for you, sounds like a vacation to Portofino is in order soon 🙂

      Reply
  14. Benson

    Going on travel vacation happens to be one of the best traveling experience one will experience, and going to a cool beach with the sun out and birds around would make much sense. Italy has some really ally beautiful beaches from the suggestion you have given, and helping with the time to visit and what to expect in ones travel is a really nice of you. I haven’t really had a great time at a beach because of my phobia for water, but I’ll love to visit some of the beach at Portofino.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Benson, yes I do believe that a vacation to Portofino would be an experience that would last a lifetime.  I hope you can get to experience Portofino soon.  Thanks for your visit to beach travel destination.

      Reply

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