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The Perfect Italian Riviera Escape
time 8 Days / 7 Nights

Santa Margherita Ligure (7 nights)

Indulge in a week-long vacation on the enchanting Italian Riviera, famous for its rugged cliffs, turquoise coves and pastel seaside towns, including the colorful Cinque Terre fishing villages and the stylish resort areas of Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure.

From your base in the lovely seaside town of Santa Margherita Ligure, you will explore surrounding gems: splendid Portofino, the medieval San Fruttuoso Abbey and fascinating Genoa. Your day in the Cinque Terre will be a sensory feast of breathtaking views and sea-scented air mixed with fragrant hillside gardens.
Top your stay with some culinary and artisan experiences: taste the most delicious olive oil, learn how to make the greenest pesto sauce and shop at the artisan studios in Chiavari.

The Italian Riviera and its region, Liguria, are perfect for marvelous outdoor activities, ranging from hiking to sailing to visiting tiny villages. It’s a territory that offers authentic experiences that are far from the more crowded and popular destinations in Italy.
 

inclusionAt a Glance
  • Arrival in Genoa and Transfer to Santa Margherita!
  • Best of the Italian Riviera
  • A Taste of Olive Oil on Mt Portofino
  • Best of Genoa
  • Cooking Class at an Old Mill in Portofino
  • Cinque Terre Discovery
  • Chiavari Artisans and Flavors
  • Depart Genoa to USA
dates Itinerary
Click on the plus sign for full day description.

Arrive in Genoa at Cristoforo Colombo Airport.  Your private driver will bring you to your hotel in Santa Margherita Ligure on the echanting Italian Riviera.  Settle in and get ready - tomorrow begins your exploration of Liguria’s highlights!

Have the day to live “La Dolce Vita” on this full day tour of the quaint villages of the Italian Riviera: Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, and San Fruttuoso.

You will have the chance to walk among elegant villas with their exquisite gardens and parks. While strolling through this charming town, take a closer look at the gorgeous “Trompe D’Oeil” painted palaces. These fascinating, vivid paintings trick the eye into believing what you’re seeing is real.

Next stop on your journey is the historical fishing village, Portofino, the center of elite tourism. While traveling by public boat or by public bus (depending on the weather condition), enjoy the incredible views of this tiny, colorful village. Once you arrive, you will have the pleasure of discovering the spectacular Brown Castle, San Giorgio Church, and luxury boutiques.

Moving down the coast, you will travel by public boat to San Fruttuoso, an amazing cove, to admire the medieval abbey built directly on the pebble beach. This stunning abbey was restored and protected by FAI, the Italian National Trust. Once discovering these stunning villages, you will never want to leave! If the public boat to San Fruttuoso gets canceled due to the weather and sea conditions, you will visit the picturesque fishing village of Camogli.

This is a full day tour lasting about 7 hours.

Visit a family-owned olive farm, taste the flavorful oil, and dine with your local host.
 
After a short car ride, arrive at a private garden terrace overlooking the amazing fishing village of Portofino and meet a local producer that will introduce you to his production of olive oil. Taste the precious extra-virgin olive oil no house should be without and discover how to prepare the delicious pesto sauce. Then savor some local specialties paired with local wine.

Your private driver will pick you up at your hotel in Santa Margherita and take you to Genoa.

Walking through the maze-like alleyways of Genoa, you will get lost in the ancient history of this amazing medieval town.

Your private guide will transport you back in time through the renaissance streets, squares, monuments, and food shops that are over 100 years old. You will have the chance to admire the beautiful painted facades of the grand Palazzi Dei Rolli (built in XV century by a local aristocracy) that are now protected by UNESCO and other famous monuments in the historical city center.
 

Enjoy a private cooking class at an old mill immersed in the Portofino National Park and visit one of the few hop plantations on the Italian Riviera.

Venture into the stunning natural park of Portofino to master the art of traditional Ligurian cooking. After exploring the Old Mill and its surrounding area, including a hop plantation from where the area’s famed beer is derived, you will take part in an immersive cooking class.

You will learn to perfect several traditional recipes from the Corzetti hand-made pasta to pesto and local desserts. Finish the experience by indulging on what you’ve made accompanied by selected wines and beers before being transported back to Portofino.
 

Today you will discover “a paradise on Earth”, that has been cherished by famous writers and poets throughout history - Cinque Terre. These ancient villages are known as the best nature preserved areas in all of the Mediterranean, and they have been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1997.

Pick up in Santa Margherita by your private driver and transfer to Levanto (about 1 hour) where you will meet your private guide. Then, together with guide, reach Riomaggiore and discover the castle built in 1260 to strengthen the villages’ defense and San Giovanni Battista Church. Following the coast up to one of the smallest towns, Manarola (known for their fishing and wine making) to admire the gorgeous vineyards above the town. Continue onto Vernazza, the gem of Cinque Terre. Dating back to 1080, Vernazza is known for the beauty that surrounds this historical village. It is one of the truest fishing villages that remains one of the few no car traffic towns in Italy. You will visit this charming town while on a romantic walk to discover the Capuchin Cloister. Lastly, you will arrive in Monterosso - the largest of the villages in Cinque Terre, known for its sandy beaches, ancient castle, and giant sculpture of Neptune. At the end of the tour, sit back and relax while your private driver takes you back to Santa Margherita.

This is a full day tour lasting about 9 hours.

*The order the towns are visited may change and depending on the pace kept throughout the tour not all of the five towns may be visited.
 

Take an adventure to the authentic village of Chiavari. After a quick train ride from Santa Margherita Ligure (about 15 minutes), walk through the maze-like alleyways in Chiavari and discover the old city center exclusive shops, and the bustling open air food market of this medieval town.

Have the chance to visit some artisan workshops who continue to honor the village's ancient traditions including an artisan that creates handmade wooden stamps that are used to produce the shape of this regions famous Corzetti Pasta and a candle shop that has been making candles for the last five hundred years.

Enjoy a relaxing break at a bakery to taste local cookies and a stop at a traditional "Trattoria" to try the delicious Farinata, a sort of chickpea flour pancake that will delight your taste buds!
 

Your Italy Vacation has come to an end as you transfer from your hotel to the Genoa Airport and head back home.