Portofino and Tigullio Gulf self-guided walk itinerary
This wonderful walk picks up ancient pilgrim trails that wind behind the Tigullio Gulf, with a detour to the Portofino National Park.
You start the tour in Camogli, which is on the main La Spezia/Genoa railway line, where you’ll spend your first night in a lovely hotel set in the centre of the town overlooking the sea. Dickens described Camogli as 'the saltiest, roughest, most piratical little place'. The rough edges have long gone but it remains one of the most attractive resorts on the coast.
The first walk takes you along the spectacular coastline on the western edge of the Portofino National Park with vast views across the Gulf of Genoa (from here there is an extension to the tip of the point and back, 5 kms, 1.5 hrs) before climbing up into forest and then descending to Portofino. Your accommodation is in a beautiful hotel (which has been in the same family for three generations) on the main square of this celebrated village, a short walk from the port. (8 kms, 3 hrs)
Portofino optional extra day: The extra walk starts with a short ferry ride around the Portofino promontory to a beautifully restored 1000-year-old abbey tucked in a tiny bay that is only accessible by water or on foot. Medieval stone stairs (used by the monks since the Middle Ages) take up through forest to the top of the national park then down through olive groves into the busy port of Santa Margherita. From where you can get a bus, ferry or walk back to Portofino (1 hr). (6 kms, 3 hrs)
This morning you head out of Portofino along a lovely path that winds above the coast passing through olive groves with views over bays and hidden villas to the elegant resort town of Santa Margherita Ligure. You then follow a well-marked path to a busy neighbouring port, entering the town over a Roman bridge that Hannibal himself (reputedly) crossed. 11 kms, 3.5 hrs
Today’s gorgeous walk starts with a 15-minute funicular ride from the port up to one of the holiest religious sanctuaries in the area, founded in the 16th century, which is 600 mts above the coast (it has a bar and a couple of good restaurants). From here, you follow an ancient and well-marked trail that takes you along a descending ridge line through beautiful oak and chestnut forests to the bustling seaside hometown Giuseppe Garibaldi, whose origins date from pre-Roman times. 10 kms, 3 hours
Today, the trail takes you along the sea front to a neighbouring town before picking up the pilgrim trail again, climbing up into the hills along an old paved trail to a ruined church with breath-taking views and then coming down to Sestri Levante and the Bay of Silences, an attracitve town built at the base of the Isola Peninsula. 10 kms, 3 hours
Sestri Levante is on the Genoa/La Spezia line well serviced by regular trains in either direction (including to the Cinque Terre, three stops away to the east).
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This 6 day/5 night walk can be personalised to suit your interests and dates.
- Five nights’ accommodation
- All breakfasts
- Reading lists and historical and cultural notes
- Maps and detailed walking instructions
- Daily transfers of baggage between hotels
- 24 hour back-up from local operations manager
$2050 B&B only p/p
$2310 with dinners included p/p
Single supplement: $600
5% discount applies when booking for a group 4 or more
"The walk notes, hotels, restaurants, and maps were all excellent. I think you've got a wonderful product... Lots of good little surprises along the way; tucked away restaurants, misty views through pine forests, and friendly locals."
– Norma D, PortofinoView all Testimonials ›
1. Northern Italy: walking Portofino and the Tigullio Gulf FAQs
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