Portofino is one of the jewels in Italy’s crown. It’s on everyones list of places to visit…and rightly so!
The first time we visited Portofino, I was surprised at how tiny this famous town was. We had made the mistake of driving there, not realising that the road ended in a car park and once it was full, there was no where to go. Cars were backed up for miles! Portofino, tourists and cars do not go together!
We were a bit smarter on our next visit, taking the boat from Santa Marherita Ligure to Portofino! It was far more relaxing to sit back and enjoy the views of this beautiful part of the Ligurian coast.
Staying in Santa Margherita Ligure offers you another option…walking! This walk to Portofino is one of my favourite walks in Italy.
It’s not long….an hour at the most and very easy except for a small section where you are have to walk on the road.
From Santa Margherita, the walk takes you along the waterfront, past the small fishing and pleasure boats moored at the water’s edge, past the town’s bustling fish markets and on towards the busy marina where yachties congregate.

Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy
The view from our hotel in Santa Margherita Ligure!

The marina jetty offers beautiful views back over  Santa Margherita Ligure.  There’s also some fabulous little bars here to return to after your walk.
Looking back to Santa Margherita Ligure
Santa Margherita Ligure

A decision needs to be made here. You can either follow the road around to Portofino or  you can take the path through the trees. I find the best solution is to walk one way and return the other!
If you want to take the path through the trees, look for the sign ‘Pedonale per Portofino‘ which will show you the way.
'Pedonale per Portofino' marks the way
Let’s head along the road! The views are fabulous…..
Beach Cabanas at Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy
Beach cabanas near the Hotel Miramare

Portofino, Italy
The beach club at Paraggi

Villa near Portofino
A private villa!

Portofino villa
Yet another villa with stunning views

Look up and you will see the Hotel Splendido looking out over the bay. This is the place to stay in Portofino. The Hotel Splendido Mare offers rooms on the piazza in the centre of Portofino but for me, the views from the Hotel Splendido can’t be beaten. On your return trip, this is the place to stop and enjoy the million dollar view from the balcony whilst sipping a peach bellini
The Hotel Splendido in Portofino
The Hotel Splendido overlooks the bay.

Just around the corner, Positano comes into view. Ochre toned houses line the water’s edge hiding the main piazza and small boats lay idly waiting for some one to take them out for a sail.

Portofino is all about lifestyle! Shop till you drop at any number of beautiful shops that line the piazza and then pull up a chair in one of the many bars or restaurants and watch the people coming and going from the myriad of boats moored in the harbour. On any given day they range from the smallest row boat to the largest mega yacht. This is, after all, the playground of the rich and famous!

After lunch, don’t miss walking out to Castello Brown, the 16th century castle built to defend the town. Now a museum, it is the gardens that you’re interested in, for here you will be rewarded with that fabulous picture perfect, postcard view of Portofino that you have dreamt of taking since you saw your first photos of Portofino!
Do you visit a place for the walks they offer?
This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Don’t forget to pop over and see the other contributions.