Unveiling the must-see wonders of the Italian Riviera

The Italian Riviera, a picturesque stretch of coastline in the Liguria region, is a paradise for travelers seeking stunning landscapes, charming villages, and a taste of “La Dolce Vita”. From quaint fishing hamlets to glamorous resorts, each village along this Mediterranean jewel has its unique allure.

From the glamorous harbor of Portofino, with its pastel-colored houses and luxurious yachts, to the elegant charm of Santa Margherita Ligure, where historic villas meet crystal-clear waters, the Riviera promises an unforgettable journey. Discover the hidden gem of Camogli, renowned for its maritime traditions and breathtaking sunsets, and the secluded beauty of San Fruttuoso, home to a mystical abbey and the iconic Christ of the Abyss statue submerged in its turquoise bay. Venture further to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Portovenere, a town that seamlessly blends history and natural beauty with its ancient castle and dramatic cliffs. The famed Cinque Terre, a collection of five enchanting villages clinging to rugged cliffs, offers a hiking experience like no other, where each step reveals panoramic views of the azure sea. Lastly, the vibrant city of Sanremo, known as the City of Flowers, dazzles with its elegant gardens, bustling markets, and the prestigious Sanremo Music Festival.

Let’s have a deeper look into these must-see destinations of the Italian Riviera!


Nestled in a secluded bay, the tiny village of Portofino is synonymous with luxury and elegance. This chic village, with its pastel-colored houses and upscale boutiques, has long been a favorite haunt for celebrities and the jet set since the 1950′. With its dramatic tree-lined cliffs, the secluded coves, the warm weather and delicious food, Portofino  is the perfect place where to enjoy La Dolce Vita. The harbor, filled with gleaming yachts, is framed by the lush greenery of the surrounding hills. Take a leisurely stroll into the Portofino Park and reach the Lighthouse, passing by San Giorgio Church and Castle Brown for a panoramic view of the Bay at 360°. At the end of the day take a seat in the famous bustling Piazzetta to enjoy an Italian aperitiv and feel all the glamour of Portofino at night. For a romantic candlelight dinner experience with the best view, La Terrazza Restaurant at the Splendido Hotel is a must!

santa margherita ligure

Just a stone’s throw from Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure exudes a more relaxed yet equally captivating charm. Its palm-lined promenade, adorned with grand villas invites visitors to bask in the sun and enjoy the serene coastal views. The vibrant marina and lively piazzas reflect the town’s welcoming spirit, making it a delightful destination for both day-trippers and extended stays. The historic center is definitely a starting point for your visit to Santa Margherita Ligure: immerse in the narrow streets that adorn the city, admire the Central Cathedral and its sixteenth-century Castle. As the sun goes down Santa Margherita offers a vibrant nightlife with plenty of cafès where to enjoy a cocktail with music.

camogli & san fruttuoso

Camogli is a charming fisherman village located on the west side of the peninsula of Portofino, on the Golfo Paradiso in the Riviera di Levante. Camogli’s name is derived from a contraction of “Casa Dei Moglie” that means “House of the Wives”, which is a testament to its long and distinguished maritime tradition that watched its men take to the seas while the women remained in the village. With its colorful houses piled on top of each other, framed by the greenery of the mountains and by the blue of the sea, Camogli offers a slice of authentic Ligurian life.

A short boat ride away from Camogli lies San Fruttuoso, a secluded bay only reachable by boat or with a scenic 2-hour hiking through the Mount of Portofino. San Fruttuoso is home to the stunning Abbey of San Fruttuoso, a medieval monastery that dates back to the 10th century, and the underwater statue of Christ of the Abyss, a heaven for divers and history enthusiasts alike!


Known as the “Gateway to the Cinque Terre”, Porto Venere is a charming coastal town in the province of La Spezia located on the extreme western end of the Gulf of Poets. It comprises the three villages of Fezzano, Le Grazie and Porto Venere, and the three islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. The village’s narrow streets lead to the imposing Doria Castle and the enchanting Church of St. Peter, dating back from the 6th century, perched on a rocky promontory. Portovenere is a UNESCO World Heritage site that captivates with its medieval charm, the pristine nature and hidden beaches.

5 terre

The Cinque Terre, or “Five Lands,” is a picturesque coastal region of Liguria, comprised of five charming villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its rugged coastline, colorful houses, and terraced vineyards. Each village has its unique character: Monterosso is known for its beaches, Vernazza for its historic harbuor, Corniglia for its cliffside views, Manarola for its picturesque streets, and Riomaggiore for its vibrant waterfront. The area offers stunning hiking trails with breathtaking views, fresh seafood, and a taste of authentic Italian culture. Visitors can explore the Cinque Terre by train, boat, or on foot, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking natural beauty and cultural richness. Be sure to stop for an aperitif at “Nessun Dorma” in Manarola while there to enjoy the breathtaking view of the coast!


Famous for its annual Music Festival and vibrant casino, Sanremo is a lively resort town with a rich cultural heritage located on the western side of Liguria, also known as “Riviera of Flowers“. Its elegant promenades, ornate villas, and lush gardens evoke the glamour of a bygone era. The old town, known as La Pigna, offers a labyrinth of narrow alleys and historic buildings, providing a delightful contrast to the modern bustle of the coastal area. Worth a visit the Russian Church and the famous Ariston Theatre, home to the Sanremo Music Festival. At sunset time enjoy a stroll on the iconic promenade “Corso Imperatrice” dotted with palm trees, and end the day in Piazza Bresca to hit the night.

In conclusion, the Italian Riviera offers an unparalleled blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and vibrant culture, making it a must-visit destination during your cruise along the Med. From the luxurious allure of Portofino and the relaxed elegance of Santa Margherita Ligure to the authentic maritime traditions of Camogli and the secluded beauty of San Fruttuoso, each village provides a unique experience. Portovenere’s historical depth and the breathtaking landscapes of the Cinque Terre highlight the region’s diverse attractions, while Sanremo’s lively cultural scene adds a modern touch. Exploring the Italian Riviera promises unforgettable memories and a true taste of “La Dolce Vita.”

Are you planning to visit the Italian Riviera during your cruise along the Med? Contact us and let’s create together the best bespoke itinerary!

Don’t forget to follow us on our social channels to keep you updated with the latest itineraries and travel inspiration!

Warm regards,