10 Must-Do Activities In Portofino, Italy

best things to do in portofino italy

Nestled on the Italian Riviera, Portofino is a charming fishing village surrounded by pristine beaches, stunning cliffs, and picturesque coves. Known for its vibrant waterfront, colorful buildings, and luxurious yachts, Portofino has been a popular destination for celebrities and jet setters for decades. Whether you're seeking a romantic escape or an adventurous holiday, this Italian gem offers endless possibilities. Here are ten must-do activities that will make your visit to Portofino an unforgettable experience.


Hike to Castello Brown

Source: TripAdvisor

One of the best things to do in Portofino, Italy is to hike to Castello Brown. Castello Brown is a beautiful historic castle that offers stunning views of the Ligurian coastline and the Mediterranean Sea. This hike is a must-see for anyone visiting Portofino.

To reach Castello Brown, the best starting point is from the main square called Piazzetta. From there, follow the signs to the trailhead. The trail is approximately 1.5 kilometers long and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on your pace.

The hike is relatively easy and suitable for all skill levels, with the path leading through beautiful gardens, olive groves, and quaint pathways. The walk to the castle is part of the enjoyment of the hike. You'll be walking alongside stunning mansions and villas that line the hillside.

Once you reach Castello Brown, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. The castle has been beautifully restored and offers insight into the history of the Portofino region. The castle walls are lined with beautiful artwork and serve as a magnificent showcase of local artistry.

One of the best parts of the hike is the stunning views Castello Brown provides. You'll be treated to a panoramic view of the Ligurian coastline, with colorful buildings dotting the landscape and reflecting off crystal-clear waters.

In conclusion, if you're looking for the best things to do in Portofino, hiking to Castello Brown is an activity that you cannot miss. It's a scenic and easy hike that offers stunning views of one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes and a camera to capture the memories and beautiful views during your visit.

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Visit the Abbey of San Fruttuoso

Source: Wikipedia
Characteristic Description
NameAbbaye San Fruttuoso de Capodimonte
TypeMuseum in San Fruttuoso, Italy
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.6 / 4,074
AddressVia S. Fruttuoso, 13, 16032 Camogli GE, Italy
Phone+39 0185 772703
HoursTuesday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 5:45 PM
Wednesday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 5:45 PM
Thursday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 5:45 PM
Friday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 4:45 PM
Saturday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 5:45 PM
Sunday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 5:45 PM
Monday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 5:45 PM

If you're planning a trip to Portofino, Italy, you won't want to miss out on visiting the stunning Abbey of San Fruttuoso. This ancient monastery dates back to the 10th century and has played an important role in the region's history ever since. Here's everything you need to know about visiting the Abbey of San Fruttuoso.

Located on the Ligurian coast, the Abbey of San Fruttuoso can only be reached by boat or via a long hike through the mountains. This seclusion has helped to preserve the abbey and its surrounding natural beauty to this day. Visitors can take a boat from Portofino or Camogli to access the abbey, allowing them to take in the scenic views along the way.

Once you arrive at the abbey, you'll be struck by its ancient beauty. The complex includes a church, a cloister, and several other buildings that are nestled among the lush green foliage of the surrounding hills. The architecture of the abbey reflects the different periods of its history, with Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance elements all present.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso is the chance to see the remains of the ancient abbey's founder, a monk named Fruttuoso. His tomb can be found inside the church, where visitors can pay their respects and learn more about the history of the abbey.

Another must-see attraction at the Abbey of San Fruttuoso is the underwater statue of Christ that can be found in the bay in front of the abbey. This serene and haunting statue is a popular spot for scuba-divers to explore.

The area around the abbey is also home to some excellent hiking trails, allowing visitors to explore the surrounding hills and coastline. One popular trail leads from San Fruttuoso to Portofino, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean sea along the way.

In conclusion, the Abbey of San Fruttuoso is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Portofino, Italy. This ancient monastery offers a glimpse into the region's rich history and culture, and its stunning natural setting is truly unforgettable. Don't miss the chance to experience this unique attraction for yourself.


Take a boat tour of the coastline

Source: Italy with Class

Located on the Ligurian coast, the town of Portofino is an Italian gem that shines brightly among the many picturesque destinations in Italy. A must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Italian coastline, Portofino is a place that offers a breath-taking view of the Mediterranean sea, a rich cultural history, and an ambiance that oozes sophistication and style. While there are plenty of things to do in Portofino, one of the best ways to experience the town’s beauty is by taking a boat tour of the coastline.

The town of Portofino has been famous for its picturesque harbor, and what better way to view it than from a boat? The stunning views of the colorful buildings and the small fishing village, set against the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea, are breathtaking. You can hire a private boat or jump on a tour boat to experience the beauty of the town and its surroundings from the sea.

As you make your way along the coast, you'll pass the stunning Castello di Paraggi. This formidable castle has a long history of defending Portofino from pirates and hostile armies, and it's worth a look from the boat. The area around this castle is particularly beautiful, with tall cliffs tumbling down to the sea and crystal-clear water that contrasts with the lush greenery.

The boat tour also takes you to some of the most beautiful resorts and attractions along the coast. You can visit the tiny, colorful village of San Fruttuoso. This village is only accessible by boat and is home to the stunning Abbey of San Fruttuoso, built in the 10th century. Alternatively, you can visit Santa Margherita, another beautiful town with many villas, gardens, and churches to explore.

If you're looking for a unique way to explore the coast of Portofino, then a boat tour is the perfect way to do this. The stunning views, the luxury of the sea breeze, and the experience of the rhythm of the waves provide an unforgettable experience.

In conclusion, if you plan to visit Portofino, make sure to include a boat tour of the coastline on your itinerary. It is the most romantic, inspiring and breathtaking way to experience the town's stunning beauty. With a boat tour, you can explore the surrounding areas and see the town from a whole new perspective, which can make for a truly unforgettable holiday experience.

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Enjoy a seafood lunch in Piazzetta

Source: Testaccina

Portofino, a picturesque fishing village nestled along the Ligurian coast of Italy, is one of the most sought-after destinations for travelers looking to experience the beauty of the Italian Riviera. And while there are plenty of reasons to visit this charming town, one of the best things to do in Portofino is to enjoy a seafood lunch in Piazzetta.

Piazzetta is the main square in Portofino, and it's home to some of the best restaurants in town. Here, visitors can indulge in a variety of seafood dishes that are as fresh as they come, thanks to the town's bustling fishing industry. From traditional dishes like spaghetti alle vongole or fish stew to more modern takes on classic Italian cuisine, there's something to suit every palate.

One of the standout restaurants in Piazzetta is La Taverna del Marinaio, which roughly translates to "The Sailor's Tavern." This cozy spot is located just off the main square, and it's known for its fresh seafood and friendly service. Be sure to try the linguine with clams, a classic dish that's a staple in many Italian coastal towns.

For a more upscale dining experience, head to La Terrazza, which is perched on the hillside overlooking the harbor. This Michelin-starred restaurant offers panoramic views of the sea and a creative menu that focuses on Mediterranean cuisine with a modern twist. Some standout dishes include the grilled octopus with potato cream and the marinated sardines with fennel and orange.

Of course, no meal in Piazzetta would be complete without a glass of local wine to go with it. The Ligurian region is known for its crisp, refreshing white wines, so be sure to sample some of the local varieties like Vermentino or Pigato. And if you're in the mood for something bubbly, try a glass of Prosecco or Franciacorta.

In addition to the delicious food and drink, Piazzetta is also a great place to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere of Portofino. The square is always busy with locals and tourists, and it's a prime spot for watching the boats come and go from the harbor. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some celebrities, as Portofino is a popular vacation spot for the rich and famous.

In conclusion, if you're looking for the best of Portofino, head to Piazzetta for a seafood lunch you won't soon forget. With its stunning setting, delicious cuisine, and lively atmosphere, it's the perfect place to experience the charm of this Italian gem.

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Stroll through the picturesque streets

Source: Pinterest

Portofino in Italy is a much-loved destination amongst tourists seeking picturesque landscapes and rich culture. Known for its colorful harbor, high-end boutiques, and charming narrow streets, this small fishing village in Liguria is one of Italy's most charming destinations.

One of the best ways to soak in Portofino's beauty is by taking a delightful stroll through its picturesque streets. The town's small size ensures that you can explore it entirely on foot, with every turn revealing something new and captivating.

As you begin your stroll through Portofino's streets, you'll be struck by the explosion of color that surrounds you. The houses are painted in shades of yellow, pink, and peach, while the doors and shutters are a mix of vibrant blue and green hues. These colors can be especially captivating when the sun shines and the colors come alive.

The town is set on a hillside, and the narrow, winding streets are lined with small shops and boutiques selling fashion, jewelry, and home decor items. Many of these stores specialize in handmade goods and souvenirs, so make sure to stop for a browse and pick up something unique to take back home.

Along with its charming streets, Portofino is famous for its gastronomy. While strolling through the town, be sure to stop at one of its many restaurants and cafes to sample some authentic Ligurian cuisine. Fresh seafood, pesto, and traditional pasta dishes are staples of the local cuisine, and they're all delicious.

As you continue your walk, it's impossible not to be captivated by the magnificent harbor. The crystal-clear waters of the Ligurian Sea are home to upscale yachts, small fishing boats, and ferries that whisk visitors to nearby destinations.

Portofino's harbor is surrounded by verdant hills dotted with luxurious villas and magnificent gardens. The Faro di Portofino lighthouse, sitting atop the highest hill, is a popular spot to observe both the stunning view of the surrounding area and the gorgeous sunset panorama.

In conclusion, strolling through Portofino's picturesque streets is a must-do activity when visiting the town. The beauty and charm of this small village are breathtaking, and taking your time to explore its narrow ways, relaxing at a cozy café, or dining in one of its incredible restaurants, ensure that you'll create unforgettable memories. So plan your trip today, and don't forget to pack your walking shoes!


Rent a kayak or paddleboard

Source: Outdoor Portofino

When you think of the picturesque city of Portofino, Italy, images of brightly colored houses along the harbor, indulgent seafood dishes, and dreamy coastal views may come to mind. But did you know that you can also rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the stunning coastline on your own?

Portofino is infamous for its stunning cliffs, coves, and rock formations jutting out of the pristine blue waters, making it an ideal location for water sports enthusiasts. Here are a few top places where you can rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the best of Portofino's coastline:

  • San Fruttuoso Bay - This hidden bay is only accessible by boat, and renting a kayak or paddleboard is an excellent way to explore it. Nestled among the cliffs and surrounded by crystal-clear waters, you'll feel like you've discovered a secret paradise.
  • Portofino Marine Reserve - The marine reserve is a protected area of exceptional natural beauty, and its waters are home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins and whales. Renting a kayak or paddleboard here is a more adventurous way to see the sights, while also protecting the environment.
  • Paraggi Bay - The beach at Paraggi Bay is one of the most popular in Portofino, with its clear, turquoise waters. Renting a kayak or paddleboard is an excellent way to escape the crowds and explore the rocky coastline and crystalline waters on your own.

No matter where you decide to rent a kayak or paddleboard, make sure to check the weather forecast and ocean conditions beforehand. Always wear a life jacket, and be aware of the currents and tides. If you're new to kayaking or paddleboarding, consider taking a lesson or joining a guided tour for a more safe and enjoyable experience.

In conclusion, renting a kayak or paddleboard is an exciting way to experience the beautiful coastline of Portofino, Italy. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-timer, exploring the natural beauty on the water is sure to be a memorable experience. Don't hesitate to rent equipment from one of the many local providers and start your exploration today!


Snorkel in the clear waters

Source: Outdoor Portofino

Located on the beautiful coast of Liguria, Italy, Portofino is a picturesque fishing village that is widely known for its breathtaking scenery and clear waters. Apart from being a popular destination among tourists, Portofino is also one of the top spots for snorkeling enthusiasts.

Snorkeling in Portofino allows visitors to experience the beauty of its underwater world. The clear, blue waters of the Ligurian Sea offer an incredible opportunity to observe the diverse marine life that thrives there. The most popular places in Portofino for snorkeling are Paraggi Bay and the Marine Protected Area of Portofino.

Paraggi Bay is a small, yet incredible beach that is ideal for snorkeling. Its crystal-clear waters offer excellent visibility, enabling visitors to see schools of colorful fish swimming around them. Additionally, there are also numerous rock formations and caves which serve as great spots for exploring.

The Marine Protected Area of Portofino is a beautiful natural reserve that spans over 3862 hectares of land and sea. The reserve teems with marine life such as red corals, sponges, and a variety of fish species such as-groupers. The area is also home to multiple shipwrecks and has an amazing reef structure which serves as the perfect habitat for schools of fish.

For those who are new to snorkeling, there are various local snorkeling tours that offer expert guidance. Instructors are available to provide lessons on the right ways to snorkel and ensure your safety.

In conclusion, Portofino is undoubtedly one of the best destinations for snorkeling in Italy. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned snorkeler, the clear waters of this beautiful town offer an unforgettable experience. From observing dazzling marine life to exploring fascinating rock formations, there is so much for visitors to explore. So come and discover the astonishing underwater world of Portofino now!


Visit the San Giorgio church

Source: TripAdvisor
Characteristic Description
NameÉglise Saint Georges
TypeCatholic church in Italy
Rating / Review count4.5 / 322
AddressSalita S. Giorgio, 16034 Portofino GE, Italy

Portofino, Italy is a picturesque fishing village located on the Italian Riviera. It is known for its colorful houses, scenic waterfront, and luxurious yachts. Visitors to Portofino can enjoy a wide range of activities, including hiking, sunbathing, and shopping. However, one of the best things to do in Portofino is to visit the San Giorgio church.

The San Giorgio church is an iconic landmark in Portofino and is situated in the heart of the village. It is a Romanesque-style church that dates back to the 12th century. The church is dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of Portofino. Its bell tower is visible from almost everywhere in the village, and it adds to the charm of the area.

One of the most impressive features of the San Giorgio church is its interior. The church is decorated with beautiful frescoes that tell the story of St. George. The frescoes were painted in the 14th century by an artist named Giovanni da Murano. The church also has an impressive collection of religious artifacts, including a silver-plated statue of St. George on horseback.

Visitors to the San Giorgio church can also enjoy stunning views of the village and the Mediterranean Sea from its outdoor terrace. The terrace provides a great vantage point for taking pictures and enjoying the fresh sea breeze. It is also a popular spot for weddings and other special events.

In addition to its beauty and historical significance, the San Giorgio church also has a spiritual significance. It is a place of worship for the local community, and visitors are welcomed to attend mass on Sundays. It is a peaceful and serene space that provides a respite from the hustle and bustle of the village.

In conclusion, visiting the San Giorgio church is a must-do when in Portofino, Italy. It is a beautiful and historic landmark that provides visitors with a glimpse into the rich cultural history of the area. From its stunning frescoes to its beautiful outdoor terrace, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this iconic church. So, if you are planning a trip to Portofino, make sure to put the San Giorgio church on your itinerary.


Explore the lighthouse and lighthouse museum

Source: Trip101

Located in the Italian Riviera, Portofino is an enchanting coastal town that is a popular destination for tourists. Its stunning views, picturesque harbor, and colorful buildings are just a few of the things that draw visitors every year. Among the things to do in Portofino is exploring the lighthouse and lighthouse museum, which offers breathtaking views of the harbor and its surroundings.

The lighthouse in Portofino was built in 1874 and is perched on top of a rocky outcrop at the western end of the harbor. It stands at a height of 40 meters and is still in use today to guide ships and boats to safety. It's one of the most impressive landmarks in the town and is visible from practically every place in Portofino.

The lighthouse museum, which is situated just next to the lighthouse, is dedicated to the history of navigation and the maritime culture of Portofino. It displays various artifacts, documents, and photographs that depict the life of the local fishermen and sailors. Visitors can learn more about the traditions and customs that have shaped this town over the years, and get a glimpse of what life was like in the past.

One of the main reasons people visit the lighthouse in Portofino is for the panoramic view it offers of the town and the sea. The vista from the top of the lighthouse is spectacular, providing an unobstructed 360-degree view of the entire area. From this vantage point, visitors can see the colorful houses stacked together on the hillsides and the azure waters of the Mediterranean stretching endlessly into the horizon.

The lighthouse and lighthouse museum are open to the public every day, except during periods of bad weather. Admission fees are reasonable, and visitors can purchase tickets at the entrance. The tower can be reached on foot, up a winding path that begins from the piazza in the center of town. The climb is steep, but the rewards are worth the effort, especially for those interested in photography.

In conclusion, exploring the lighthouse and lighthouse museum in Portofino is a memorable experience that should not be missed. It offers visitors a chance to learn about the history of the town, witness the beauty of its natural surroundings, and enjoy breathtaking views of the sea. Whether you're a first-time visitor to Portofino or a seasoned traveler, visiting the lighthouse and museum is an essential part of the Portofino experience.


Swim at Paraggi Beach

Source: Wikipedia
Characteristic Description
NameBagni Fiore
TypeBeach pavillion in Paraggi, Italy
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count3.9 / 212
AddressVia Paraggi a mare, 1, 16038 Paraggi GE, Italy
Phone+39 0185 284831

Located on the Italian Riviera, Portofino is one of the best destinations in Italy. It is a small Italian fishing village that has gained a reputation for being a luxurious and chic vacation spot. There are many activities to do in Portofino that make it the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway. However, one of the main attractions in Portofino is swimming at the famous Paraggi Beach.

Paraggi Beach is a spectacular beach, located just 15 minutes from the heart of Portofino. It is a hidden gem and an extremely popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The beach is situated in a beautiful cove, surrounded by mountains covered by lush Mediterranean vegetation. While visiting Portofino, make it a point to spend a few hours here for an exquisite swimming experience.

Although this little cove is not very large, guests will enjoy the crystal-clear water with a soft sandy bottom and very little seaweed. The crystal-clear water allows for an excellent location for swimming, sunbathing, or simply lounging on the beach. Paraggi Beach has plenty of umbrellas and sunbeds, so it's suitable to relax and soak up the beautiful Italian sunshine.

The beach has several food stands serving delicious Italian food and plenty of cafes that offer refreshing drinks. This makes for the perfect spot for a light lunch or a refreshing beverage while watching the world go by.

Paraggi Beach is also an ideal location for snorkelling and diving expeditions. The water is so clear that snorkels will be able to observe beautiful marine flora and fauna, including different types of fish, or admire the underwater rock formations. You can rent equipment from the diving club on the beach, who will ensure you have a memorable experience.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a perfect day out in Portofino, Paraggi Beach is an ideal location. The beach is a beautiful spot, the water is crystal clear and refreshing, and there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied. Don’t forget to soak up the Italian sun and take a few memorable photos. It's undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Portofino and a must-visit during your stay.

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Frequently asked questions

Some of the best outdoor activities to do in Portofino include hiking the Portofino Regional Park trails, exploring the Mediterranean coastline on a boat tour, and sunbathing on the beautiful beaches such as Paraggi and San Fruttuoso.

The must-see attractions in Portofino include the historic Castle Brown, the famous Church of San Giorgio, Brown's Promenade, and the gorgeous harbor filled with luxurious yachts.

Some of the best restaurants in Portofino are Ristorante Da Puny, Taverna del Marinaio, and Chuflay.

The best time of year to visit Portofino is between April and June or September and October. During these months, the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller, making it easier to enjoy the attractions and outdoor activities.

Some of the best places to stay in Portofino are Belmond Hotel Splendido, Hotel Piccolo Portofino, and Eight Hotel Paraggi. These hotels offer luxurious amenities, beautiful views, and exceptional service.

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Daisy Gordon

Portofino, Italy is a hidden gem that stole my heart during my recent trip. One of the best things to do there is to hike along the stunning Portofino Promontory, a nature reserve that offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. There are several trails to choose from, ranging from easy to more challenging, so you can find one that suits your fitness level. Another must-see is the Chiesa di San Giorgio, a picturesque church perched on a hilltop overlooking the town. And of course, you can't leave Portofino without enjoying a refreshing Aperol Spritz and an authentic Italian pizza at one of the local bars or trattorias.

Ruqayyah Bright

I had the pleasure of visiting Portofino last summer and it quickly became one of my favorite places in Italy. One of the best things to do there is to go snorkeling or scuba diving in the Portofino Marine Reserve. The underwater world is filled with colorful fish and vibrant coral reefs, making it a paradise for underwater enthusiasts. Another highlight for me was exploring the narrow streets of the town and discovering boutique shops and artisanal gelato parlors. Don't forget to take a leisurely stroll along the iconic Portofino Harbor, lined with colorful buildings and luxurious yachts.

Lance Armstrong

I recently visited Portofino, Italy and can't recommend it enough as a travel destination! One of the best things to do is to take a boat tour around the beautiful coastline. The crystal clear waters and charming seaside villages make for a picture-perfect experience. Another must-do is to hike up to Castello Brown for incredible panoramic views of the harbor. And of course, you can't miss indulging in the local cuisine - the seafood pasta at any of the waterfront restaurants is just divine!

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