Portofino, the picturesque fishing village situated in Italy’s Ligurian Sea, is a popular getaway for travellers. Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation or a romantic weekend escape, this paradise has something to offer everyone.
As someone who lived in Italy for a few years and spent a lot of time travelling around, I feel confident in recommending a place to stay in Portofino that will provide you with an incredible experience.
When it comes to accommodations, there is no shortage of options available. My personal favourite is La Piccola Casa di Portofino, which provides guests with luxurious suites and amenities just steps away from the beach.
All of the rooms have modern decor and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. And if you’re looking for some extra pampering during your stay, they offer spa treatments as well!
For those who prefer more budget-friendly options, Albergo dei Pescatori offers basic rooms at reasonable prices and it’s right by the harbor—perfect for watching the sunset or strolling along the docks.
No matter where you decide to stay during your visit to Portofino, make sure it’s somewhere with authority and trustworthiness that will ensure your safety and comfort while still providing an unforgettable experience.
Portofino is a village on the Italian Riviera in the Ligurian reason that has been a favourite holiday hotspot for over 80 years. During the 1950s, the tourism industry in Portofino boomed when the wealthy elite from colder climates like the UK decided it was a lovely spot to buy houses and spend their summers here.
Who could blame them?! But if you’re looking for where to stay in and near Portofino today, chances are that you don’t own your own villa in the Portofino region.
This guide will cover where to stay in Portofino for every type of traveller from those on a budget to those with the cash to splash.
It will also dive into the best area to stay in Portofino or nearby towns and neighbourhoods whether you are travelling with family, as a couple, or what your interests are. It will ensure you have an amazing trip you will never forget!
Below are 6 of the best places to stay in Portofino Italy to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best ares to stay in Portofino for you and the different options for accommodation in Portofino. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible.
We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Portofino so you can use this as a go to guide.
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Village of Portofino – Where to stay in Portofino for First Timers
Let’s start with Portofino village itself, the entire reason you are visiting this area! Portofino is at least 1,000 years old and has connections to the nearby San Fruttuoso Abbey. For most of its existence, like the other towns on this coastline, it was a humble fishing village.
But there are still plenty of impressive and historic buildings in Portofino, for example, Castello Brown. It dates back to 1557 and it received its rather dull name when an Englishman bought and renamed it. The building sits on a hill at the edge of the village and is now an exhibition and events space.
Though there are many other picturesque coastal villages in the Mediterranean that would attract the wealthy jet set in the middle of the 20th century, it’s not surprising that some chose Portofino.
Despite the fact that most of the coastline is rather rocky, Paraggi Beach is an exception where the waters are calm and shielded enough from the elements to make a relaxing beach and many of the most luxurious villas in Portofino have their own private rocky beach.
It’s difficult to understand why Portofino didn’t grow in size, but then when you look at just how mountainous and lush the area surrounding the village is then it suddenly makes sense! Nevertheless, Portofino has done its best to continue to attract tourists.
Several upmarket restaurants and bars line its waterfront and often with high prices to match. Chiesa del Divo Martino is a striking building and there are lots of short hiking trails too.
But where to stay in Portofino? Because it’s an expensive village, most of the hotels have a price tag to match. Expect luxurious and comfortable four or five-star hotels but there are more budget-friendly guesthouses too.
Best places to stay in Portofino village
Mid range accommodation in Portofino village
Wanderlust by PortofinoHomes
B&B Tre Mari Portofino -Nestled in Nature-
ALTIDO Apt on the Coast of Portofino with Lovely View
Santa Margherita Ligure – Where to stay near Portofino for Couples
As previously stated, Portofino doesn’t have a train station. You can either reach it by car, bus, or boat. The nearest train station, S. Margherita Ligure-Portofino, is in the town of Santa Margherita Ligure.
This is a far larger town than Portofino with a much bigger waterfront and harbour. If you are travelling with a partner and are looking for places to stay in Portofino, Italy which has a few more amenities but is just as beautiful, Santa Margherita Ligure is a great choice.
First, travelling between the two towns is easier than you think. You could order a taxi for the 20-minute journey, or you can hop on the N.782 bus which leaves Santa Margherita Ligure every 15 minutes during the day.
Many tourists take this bus so you don’t have to worry about getting the side eye from the locals if you don’t know how to buy a ticket or when to get off. They might still give you the side eye, but you’ll be surrounded by so many other visitors it won’t matter!
Santa Margherita Ligure has everything you could want in a bustling Italian Riveria town. Just two of the beaches here include Spiaggia Libera and Bagni Rosa and there are also businesses where you can hire watersports equipment or charter a yacht.
Chiesa di Santa Margherita is an absolutely striking yellow church and there are also lots of places to go shopping. It’s also a little cheaper than Portofino so you don’t have to fork out €10 for a beer in your local bar!
There is more accommodation in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy so you have more options. This town has some beach resorts, B&Bs, small guesthouses as well as larger hotels to suit all budgets.
Best places to stay in Santa Margherita Ligure
Rapallo – Where to stay near Portofino on a Budget
You might think it’s impossible to visit this part of the Italian Riviera near Portofino on a budget. But that’s not true! It’s definitely doable, as long as you don’t actually stay in Portofino itself.
Rapallo is even bigger than Santa Margherita Ligure and it also has its own train station. It’s a much easier place to reach than some of the other towns because of its position in line with the coast of Italy.
To travel to Portofino from Rapallo, you can either take the train to Santa Margherita Ligure and then the bus or you can take two separate buses which can take 30-40 minutes.
If you are travelling on a budget, it’s unlikely that you’d make more than one day trip to Portofino from Rapallo anywhere and will spend more time in this beautiful and cheaper town!
Rapallo has a busy harbour (you could also research boat trips to Portofino!) and lots of small beaches like Stella Beach and Bagni Pagana.
One of the most popular attractions here is the Rapallo Montallegro Cable Car which is inexpensive and takes you to the top of a hill where there is a restaurant and a church. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montallegro dates back to the 1500s and it’s just a monumental, impressive building you should definitely visit.
This town has a mix of different accommodations that would suit a range of budgets. It has everything from campsites to small guesthouses and more lavish beach resorts.
It doesn’t have any hostels (very few Italian Riviera towns do) but you shouldn’t have any problems finding accommodation that only leaves you with a few euros in your pocket. And if that does happen, the food is often cheaper in Rapallo anyway!
Best places to stay in Rapallo
Affordable Luxury accommodation in Rapallo
Excelsior Palace Portofino Coast
Sestri Levante – Where to stay near Portofino for Beach Bums
This town is one of the furthest away from Portofino on this list. It’s about 30 km south of Portofino which is a 40-minute drive or an hour train ride. Again, you’d get the train to Santa Margherita Ligure-Portofino station then the bus.
Note that Portofino does have paid parking just outside of the village but it charges a premium and space is limited. So, Sestri Levante is totally doable as long as you are only planning a day trip to Portofino.
Like Rapallo, it’s a large coastal town with its own train station that is fairly busy due to its position on the main coastal train route. While many of the other Italian Riviera towns on this list are harbour towns with some beaches, Sestri Levante is very much a beach resort town with a couple of small harbours.
If you are a beach lover and like to spend a lot of time relaxing on soft sand or swimming in calm waters, you should stay in Sestri Levante.
The beaches are far less rocky than other towns in this region and there are lots of long, wide beaches with deck chairs and umbrellas to rent in summer like Bagni Baia Azzurra, Bagni La Lampara and Spiaggia Baia del Silenzio.
There are also lots of beachside amenities like gelaterias, restaurants, and places to buy water sports equipment.
Sestri Levante has lots of upmarket hotels dotted around the coastline so they can give their guests stunning views as well as seclusion. Some of the more mid-range and budget accommodations are within the old town, but they have the added bonus of being close to the restaurants and bars!
Best places to stay in Sestri Levante
Camogli – Where to stay near Portofino With Family
Camogli is truly a ‘hidden gem’ of the Italian Riviera. Often, tourists visit Camogli on a day trip sailing from Genoa where they call in at Camogli, San Fruttuoso and Portofino. But it’s well worth choosing as a place to base yourself to explore the rest of the area!
It is north of Portofino but south of Genoa. As mentioned, it is possible to visit Portofino by boat but you could also take a train from Camogli to Santa Margherita Ligure and then a bus and be in Portofino within half an hour. You could also travel by train to Genoa and be there within 15 minutes, so it’s really in a great location.
This is just one reason why Camogli is a fantastic place to visit with family. You don’t want the stress of staying somewhere difficult to get to or that’s far away from other places you want to explore. Children don’t love spending too long on public transport!
Camogli is also a great beach town with a long promenade packed with restaurants and gelaterias. There is a large pebble beach where children are safe to play and swim in the waters. There is a harbour in Camogli, but it faces in a different direction from the beach and only small boats dock here.
There is a range of hotels for all budgets including mid-range waterfront hotels and cheaper guesthouses. You’re sure to find something to fit your budget no matter how big your brood is!
Best places to stay in Camogli
Recco – Where to stay near Portofino for Foodies
Recco sits just one km or two north of Camogli so it’s a great alternative if you prefer bustling coastal towns as opposed to quieter, family-friendly ones.
Recco also has a train station so it’s just a 40-minute journey to Portofino via Santa Margherita Ligure-Portofino station. Or, you could drive to Portofino from Recco and be there in 30 minutes.
Like all of the towns on this list, it’s an incredibly beautiful village with colourful waterfront houses carved into the edge of the rocky mountains.
There are lots of stunning churches like Santuario Nostra Signora del Suffragio, pebbled beaches like Bagni Marina, and museums like the Villa delle Palme. Because it’s a larger town, there are naturally more things to do here.
But Recco is most famous for its restaurant scene. It’s known all over Italy for being the birthplace of Focaccia con il Formaggio, which is made with stracchino cheese.
Yes, this dish is simply a type of cheese accompanied by a type of bread. But it’s delicious cheese and delicious bread and lots of great eateries around Recco do it so well! There are also lots of fantastic delis and seafood restaurants too.
Surprisingly, even though Recco is a larger place than Camogli, there are fewer accommodation options. But it is generally cheaper and there are lots of mid-range hotels and guesthouses with waterfront views which would cost you a lot more money in Portofino.
Best places to stay in Recco
Family Friendly accommodation in
A Dream codice CITRA 010047-LT-0161
Il Cuoco Pescatore, Ittiturismo Lecardònaie du Pescòu
Liguria Home 4
Villa Giulia by Holiday World
Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in and Near Portofino
As Portofino attracts wealthy people and the surrounding towns are holiday hotspots with few locals, there isn’t a lot of crime or dangerous activity in this region. Just be sure to use your common sense and you are unlikely to have any problems.
If you are enticed to book a remote agriturismo or mountainside villa situated in-land in a village like San Lorenzo Della Costa, San Massimo, or San Martino di Noceto.
These are all perfectly charming places but they are not on any busy bus routes nor do they have train stations. Unless you are hiring a car, they will be impossible to reach!
Plus, because they are inland you won’t get a gorgeous sea view which is likely one of the main reasons why you wanted to visit Portofino in the first place.
Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Portofino
|❤️ Best Area first timers
|Village of Portofino
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel
|LHP Hotel Santa Margherita Palace & SPA
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families
|Porta del Parco
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel
|Wanderlust by PortofinoHomes
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel
|Hotel Giulio Cesare
FAQ for where to stay in and Near Portofino
How many days do you need for Portofino?
As Portofino is fairly small, most people only stay for one or two day while they continue to travel along the coast to Clinque Terre.
Where to stay to visit Cinque Terre and Portofino?
You could stay in the small towns of Rapallo and Sestri Levante, so that you’re able to visit both Clinque Terre and Portofino. Most people will tour the coast of Italy, staying and passing through both Clinque Terre and Portofino.
Can you walk from Santa Margherita to Portofino
The south side of Portofino may be seen beautifully during a short, enjoyable hike from Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino. It takes around an hour to an hour and a half dependning how quickly you walk; to complete the 4-5 kilometre walk.
Start off at Santa Margherita Ligure and travel along the promenade to Paraggi. From Paraggi, you can travel to Portofino for about 30 minutes by taking the route that runs parallel.
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