Portofino has got to be one of my favorite cities. Although small without much to do, it’s the most beautiful city to relax in. It’s just what I needed after weeks of traveling for work across three different continents!
Located in northern Italy along the Italian Riviera, Portofino is most often recognized for its quaint, color-tinted buildings and bustling harbors. Its picturesque surroundings and laid back style is what gives this city the ultimate sweet life vibe. I have visited many cities in Italy, but Portofino definitely has its own unique element. It’s relaxing, peaceful, and stops time. If you’re looking to escape the routine city life or are in dire need of tranquility, I highly recommend you start planning a trip here ASAP. Here’s my Portofino travel guide and a recap of my trip.
Where to Stay
Belmond Hotel Splendido - I'm confident that anyone who has ever visited Portofino would agree that the experience isn't complete without a magical stay at the Splendido! It's one of the few hotels in the fishing village and is renowned for its amazing rooftop terrace overlooking overlooking the Mediterranean. The bright blue pool and streams of immaculate gardens is like a walk in wonderland.
The entire aura is tranquil and serene - it puts me at peace and allows me to appreciate a different side of life.
Now for the interiors, it's so airy, and restful! I love how the rooms just flood with natural light, which is not only great for photos but calming throughout the day. Most of us associate Italy with opulence and grand, but Belmond Hotel Splendido's interiors do an excellent job highlighting the Mediterranean-infused vibe of Portofino. As for the service - it was nothing short of spectacular!
Where to Eat
The truth about Portofino is that there aren't tons of options when it comes to eateries - especially on the water - like you'll find in other cities; however, you really can't go wrong. Here are my recommendations:
La Terrazza (image right) - If you don't get to stay at Belmond Hotel Splendido, I highly recommend dining at the La Terrazza so you at least get to experience the romantic sea views. It's like out of this world beautiful! And if you're lucky, you might catch some spontaneous live music action.
Overall, I really enjoyed the light and fresh flavors as well as the seafood! Delizioso!
Chuflay Restaurant (image left) - This restaurant is located in Belmond Splendido Mare and is pricey, but will give you an exclusive experience as well as a gorgeous view of the harbor. The service is flawless and the food exquisite. If you get to visit, you'll see that wine list is impeccable!
Taverna del Marinaio - This spot seems to be a local hotspot, which I always translate into "must be good"! You can expect a relaxing setting on the waterfront and decent sized menu with lots of options. Of course I went for the seafood - and pasta! I was very impressed with the fresh, quality ingredients and extremely generous service.
If you're too exhausted to go out, there's always room service. The image of Dan and I in our robes (left) were taken on the balcony of our room. This was the morning after we arrived and needed fuel quick. If you're into rooms with gorgeous views and delicious breakfast in bed (or in room), Belmond Hotel Splendido is the spot for you!
What to Do
As I mentioned earlier, Portofino is quite small and therefore more of a city to wander and enjoy for the views unlike Venice and Rome with lots of tourist attractions. If you're wondering exactly what to do while you're here, try any of the following:
La Piazzetta di Portofino - Visit the city's main square which will give you a stunning view of the harbor and glimpse of the boats on the ports. This is probably one of the few busy tourist attractions for the boutiques and insane view! It's stunning in the morning, late afternoons, and at night, the whole thing just lights up!
Exotic yet timeless!
Hiking - Try walking up to the top of Mount Portofino or to St. Margherita Ligure to blaze through Portofino's stunning natural beauty!
Visit the Church of San Giorgio - Just about every city in Italy has its iconic church - and this one is it for Portofino. It's simple but charming - especially the details in the door. It also overlooks the Portofino harbor giving you two gorgeous vantage points - really worth seeing IMO.
Hit the beach – There’s no beach on Portofino but plenty nearby like Beach of Camogli – the pebbles and crystal clear water make it unique. I skipped the beach this time because I really just wanted to relax and not venture off too far from the harbor.
And that’s it for my mini Portofino travel guide. Let me know if you’ve been there and what other recs you have!portofinotravel guide