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Enjoy our Cinque Terre Walking Tours

Take a boat excursion along the
coast of the Cinque Terre

The water's edge, Portofino

Portofino Bay from above

Piazza at Portofino

Welcome to Portofino
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 529 (2001)
Official site:

Portofino is an exclusive resort on Italy’s Ligurian coast. It has a glitzy reputation as a playground for the rich and famous and a first glance will certainly confirm this view. The brightly coloured buildings eventually yield to a harbour filled with oversized yachts and surrounded by fashionable restaurants and bars. Yet scratch the surface and you will find that underneath it all, there is still a charming little fishing village to be found.

Of course it has to be said that a trip to Portofino does not come cheap. The exclusive eateries and boutiques, which so often play host to wealthy movie stars, have prices that will make your eye pop-out in true cartoon style.  Yet if you can cope with the pressure on your wallet, Portofino’s tranquil setting will do its best to make sure you forget all about your bank account.

What isn’t in dispute is Portofino’s charm and there is plenty to admire, even for mere mortals without bulging wallets. The clear waters, the rugged cliffs that plunge into the waters below, and the little rocky inlets and beaches frame the town, and make it as easy on the eye as some of its more famous visitors.

With such pretty scenery in abundance the opportunity to give your credit card a time out and head off into the countryside should not be missed. There are some great walks around Portofino and a number of paths take you from the town and up into the surrounding hillside. Along the way you will stroll past olive groves and pine trees before reaching the top where, high about the town, you can discover excellent views of the coast.

All of this is likely to induce a thirst and a popular activity in Portofino is whiling away an hour or two over a drink in one of the cafes near the harbour. Many a contented afternoon can be passed watching the boats come and go with the sun on your back.

Portofino is very much a destination for a day trip due to its size and relatively high costs. It can be fully explored in a few hours and its cosy size breeds familiarity quickly.  Yet it is the town’s undeniable natural beauty that makes it a must see, just bear in mind that you might need to do some serious saving if you fancy a longer stay.


Article by Gill Clark, Dec 5/05

Liguria Region
Cinque Terre

44°18′N 9°12′E


By Car: Take the SP1 or A12 to Santa Margherita Ligure and follow signposts to Portofino. Be warned that cars can only park at the entrance to the village and car parking prices are extremely high. It may be advisable to park outside Portofino and either walk into the village or catch the bus.  By Rail: Take the train from Genoa to Santa Margherita Ligure. Trains run from Genoa to Santa Margherita Ligure on the Genoa-La Spezia line. Buses and ferries connect Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino.  By Air: Fly to Genoa and then connect by rail.



Chiesa San Giorgio, Portofino
Portofino's name derives from its original Roman name, "Portus Delphini", or port of the dolphins, so named because Dolphins used to frolic in the waters here.

Portofino has been recreated in detail at the Portofino Bay Resort at Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida.