The Ligurian towns near Portofino are an exciting mix of glamour and wealth, and down-to-earth, rustic charm; from the ‘dolce vita’ of Portofino itself, to Rapallo, popular with holidaying Italian families. Walking in the Portofino National Park reminds you that there's still a lot of rural land around these picture-perfect towns, just a stone's throw from the coast. Exploring on foot is a great way to get to know the real Liguria, where farmers still work on the land and old farm houses stand strong in the middle of the countryside.
One of our favourite parts of walking in the Portofino area is looking down on the 'C' shaped harbours that are so characteristic of the area. The bright white yachts lining the harbour always look smart bobbing about on the water. From above, the multi-coloured buildings stand out against the lapis lazuli sea. See if you can spot any fisherman bringing in their catch.
The easy going walk from Rapallo to Santa Margherita Ligure (that can be extended out to Portofino for the full 8km route) is popular with everyone, from families to joggers, thanks to its flat pathway and great views. Called ‘The Red Carpet’ walk, after a Hollywood PR stunt, the route travels along beautiful coastline, sandy beaches and past huge villas.
Fantastic public transport network
Trains run up and down the coast linking the towns with the city of Genoa and the beautiful Cinque Terre, which is a bit further down the coast. From Rapallo it's easy to hop on the train to other nearby towns, all of which have gorgeous sea views and tucked away beaches. From Santa Margherita you can easily hop over into Portofino on the bus, the journey takes about 30 minutes and you can buy your tickets in the local tabaccheria.
Buzzing cafés and restaurants
While Portofino became the stamping ground of the rich and famous in the 1950s, there's a more local side to the Italian Riviera waiting for you to discover it. There's a really communal feel in towns like Rapallo and Santa Margherita. Rapallo in particular is full of restaurants and delis where you can sit on plastic chairs and grab a quick pasta salad for lunch. We love the down to earth restaurants, where you'll find Italian families eating together and enjoying themselves late into the evening. It really is buzzing!
In and around Portofino
Take a day trip to Portofino and stroll through alleyways between pastel-painted houses, window shop in designer boutiques and check out the fishing boats in La Piazzetta. There’s also plenty to discover just outside of the old fishing village so make sure you make the most of it! Head over to Castello Brown, the 15th-century castle on a nearby peninsula, for the best views of Portofino; rent a kayak and explore the coastline; or take a boat to Abbey San Fruttuoso, only accessible by water or on foot, and discover the sunken statue of christ.
Why book a summer holiday in the Portofino area with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of the Portofino area's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to the Portofino area include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.