I don’t think I ever told you, but I’ve been dreaming of Portofino since I first created my Instagram. I saw photos of this splendid hotel with the most amazing infinity pool with the most serene harbor views. Actually, the word most could never appreciate this place enough and most possibly there isn’t one in existence to even begin to describe it.
As it was true for the Lake Como and most of the other Italian cities, the same goes for Portofino. Roads are extremely narrow and drive can be somewhat nerve-wracking. We’d prefer a scooter (Vespa) ride here, but this is also just our most common choice. Anyways, you can totally do it by foot as the total area of Portofino is just a little over a 1 mile – so Portofino is nicknamed the most beautiful Piazzetta (small square) in the world.
Belmond Hotel Splendido – Life is splendid in Portofino, particularly when one is afforded the opportunity to spend a night at Hotel Splendido. It boasts an unrivaled location overlooking Portofino harbor with enchanting Ligurian sea views from coveted La Terrazza restaurant as well as the hotel’s heated saltwater infinity pool.
First things first, arriving here we popped a champagne, dived into some delicious food (pool afterwards, and it was more sink than swim, but we’re fine with that anyway), smelled roses – the hotel is showing off with lush blooming flower gardens and more so, they’ve even surprised us with an orchid as a welcome present – something I could never forget. Our balcony was by far the most favorite part of our splendid room – we ordered in breakfast twice, put on matching bathrobes and had a pajama party for two. Gazing down to the coast, sipping our espresso while basking in the golden ways and admiring the rugged hills, embracing all that’s best about Ligurian Riviera… Well yes, every detail took our breath away and it is no surprise to us the hotel has been voted “Best Hotel in the World” for years!
La Terrazza restaurant – the finest restaurant in Riviera, and maybe the whole world, for a 4-course dinner. Authentic food, dominated by sea creatures, flavored with natural Ligurian herbs and spices, specialty pasta are heavily pesto (my personal fav) and of course exquisite views of the seaside and hills – be sure to arrive here before dark.
Chiesa di San Martino
Climb to the top to enjoy the views over the former fishing village.
There are hiking trails all around the town, one of the bests by far is El Faro, a rad lighthouse on the cliff at the scenic tip, prepare for some amazing views. There’s a small bar with great limoncello and snacks.
The main square
There’s plenty of cute cafes to sit around, enjoy, people-watch and splurge on a 9 EUR Aperol Spritz to enjoy free snacks. While there, don’t miss out on San Giorgio church – picturesque.
Stop off to lust after villas along the way – you’ll find those below on the way coming into Portofino.
Experience nature, wellbeing & gastronomy in the Park of Portofino. We’ve been taken first to see the methods used to produce honey with the full outfits, continued with special honey and craft beer tastings with a view in their beautiful terrains. Amazing culinary experience!
ONE DAY TRIPS
Cinque Terre – most colorful, magical and out-of-a-fairytale villages, set amid some of the most dramatic coastal scenery on the planet. Although we definitely recommend taking MORE than just one day in Cinque Terre, it is totally see-able in a day as it’s a short ride from Portofino, either with a car or a boat.
San Fruttuoso – has a well-marked path coming from Portofino as it’s only accessible by boat or foot; it’s a pretty long walk to get there, so you might want to reserve a whole day if you decide on the second option.
Santa Margherita – we passed it by when we drove to Portofino; it’s super colorful, lively and definitely worth at least a short stop!
WHEN TO GO
Best in spring when it’s in full bloom and you can enjoy the lush gardens. Makes it really romantic and the temperatures are pleasant to walk uphill’s. It’s also much less crowded (pretty intense in summer), especially if you’re staying in Portofino overnight, you’ll see how the streets empty out.
HOW MANY DAYS
Portofino is super tiny, so 2 nights is enough.
WHAT TO BRING
- Swimsuits and sunglasses – walk and watch is a must in Portofino, behind good shades you’ll be able to stare at all the crystal blue waters with glamorous yachts, the glam life around you and not to mention, international playboys, Hollywood bigwigs, socialites, and billionaires. It is a place to see and be seen.
- Your silk scarf. Portofino will make you feel like stepping back in time to the 50’s or 60’s. That is when it became popular with jet setting celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra and on and on.
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What trip have you been dreaming of taking for ages?