About Portofino

"After Portofino, anything would be an anticlimax." So wrote the American gourmettraveller Samuel Chamberlain in his un-improvable 1958 description. For decades Portofino has attracted the rich and famous like a magnet, drawn by its irresistible combination of picture-perfect prettiness, and exclusive hostelries such as the modestly named Hotel Splendido.

Crisp white wines and Ligurian favourite pesto dominate the menus, proving the perfect accompaniment to the fresh fish, in what is the quintessential "pretty little fishing village". Albeit one where the fishermen all appear to be billionaires. A quick perusal of any restaurant menu may give an indication as to why!


Shore excursions in Portofino

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Chiavari and Sestri Levante

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4¾ hours

Enjoy serene coastal views and stroll around the charming towns of Chiavari and Sestri Levante.

You’ll be transferred by boat from Portofino to the charming seaside town of Chiavari. Upon arrival, follow your guide for a walking tour of the historic centre. This colourful town on the Riviera is home to many well-preserved buildings that typify features of an antique fortress. Your guided walk will take you to the main street ‘Carrugio’ where you’ll enjoy some free time to explore independently.

Afterwards, you’ll rejoin your boat and continue along the Tigullio Bay to Sestri Levante. Facing two beautiful bays, this idyllic town has been a well-known beauty spot for hundreds of years and was praised by the early Renaissance poets. Although the town has grown considerably since these early times, it has lost none of its original charm. Your guide will take you through the delightful streets of the town and you’ll be given some free time to browse the shops or simply relax in one of the local cafés.

You’ll then return to Portofino, back along the coast of Tigullio Bay.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by boat and on foot. This tour involves approximately 1½ hours of walking, which includes some uneven and cobblestoned ground. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. The boat transfer from Portofino to Chiavari is approximately 45 minutes and from Chiavari to Sestri Levante is around 20 minutes. There is approximately a 15 minute walk from the boat to the town centre in Chiavari.

Leisurely Ligurian Sailaway

Activity low

Duration: 4 hours

Soak up the scenery as you cruise along the colourful Ligurian coast.

Embark on a beautiful panoramic cruise along the Tigullio Gulf. Whether you take a seat and relax on the upper deck or enjoy some shade inside the boat, you will experience stunning views of this stretch of Liguria where picturesque resorts hug the coastline.

As you sail away from Portofino you will experience the captivating views of Paraggi and the medieval Cervara Abbey as well as the seaside towns of Santa Margherita and Rapallo. Throughout your cruise, your guide will share the history, hidden secrets and the stories of the international jet setters, legendary playboys and stars of Hollywood, who were all captivated by this beautiful gulf. Your cruise will continue to the charming and colourful seaside town of Chiavari and the well known beauty spot, Sestri Levante, for a photo stop from the water.

On your way back to Portofino, take the opportunity to step ashore in the pretty town of Santa Margherita where you will be able to enjoy some free time for shopping. Or you might like to try an Italian coffee or gelato in one of the many colourful harbour-front cafés.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by boat. This tour is dependent on favourable sea conditions. This tour is exclusive to P&O Cruises passengers. There is minimal walking on this tour.

Paradise Gulf

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

Discover the delights of the Ligurian coast with its sparkling waters, quaint fishing villages and hidden bays.

As you cruise along the Ligurian coast, marvel at the picturesque scenery of rugged cliffs and secluded coves. Pause for photos in the bay in front of the village of San Fruttuoso. The imposing Benedictine Monastery and Doria Tower are said to date back to the 13th century.

Rounding the huge rocky spur known as Punta Chiappa, you’ll reach Camogli. This small fishing village is famed for its pastel-coloured houses, some of which are adorned with seashells. Stroll through the small historical centre and visit the wonderful baroque Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta. Enjoy some free time in Camogli to soak up the atmosphere and perhaps try some of the local ice-cream.

During your return boat ride, you’ll be offered local white wine and focaccia bread as you cruise along the coastline taking in the scenery.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by boat. This tour is dependent on favourable sea conditions. Please be advised that there will be approximately 1 hour’s optional walking on slightly inclined surfaces; there are also steps to negotiate at the Basilica. Those not wishing to participate in the guided walks can opt to have more free time. Please dress appropriately if entering the church.

Santa Margherita and Rapallo

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Visit 2 fine examples of traditional Italian Riviera resort towns on this scenic excursion.

Enjoy the scenery during your leisurely cruise along the Ligurian coast towards Rapallo. Admire the rugged picturesque shoreline and small villages which are tucked into tiny bays.

After your boat ride, you’ll discover the delights of the small town of Rapallo. As you stroll along its famed promenade lined with palm and olive trees, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the bay on one side and the quaint coloured buildings housing cafés, hotels and restaurants on the other. Enjoy some free time before re boarding the boat to visit picturesque Santa Margherita.

This wonderfully old-fashioned Riviera resort is adorned with palm lines esplanades, attractive views and long-established hotels. Your guide will introduce you to the highlights of this resort town including the Basilica di Signora della Rosa Margherita di Antiochia or 'La Madonna della Rosa'. Located in the heart of the town centre the cathedral is steeped in history and legends. It is said that the statue of the Virgin Mary was found here by a sailor in the Middle Ages.

You‘ll have some free time here to explore, before the cruising back to Portofino.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by boat and on foot. Passengers are advised that there will be approximately 1 hour of walking during the tour and may include some steps up to the Cathedral.

Tagliolo Castle and Wine Tasting

Activity highRefreshments includedShoppingFamily

Duration: 6¾ hours

Visit the enchanting 9th Century Castle of Tagliolo, surrounded by a medieval village and rolling vineyards, a perfect setting for a wine tasting experience.

After a short ferry ride from Portofino to Santa Margherita , you’ll board the coach and drive along the highway to Tagliolo Monferrato. You’ll have an opportunity to appreciate the picturesque surroundings of the Ovada area in the Alto Monferrato, a region, which is very well-known for its production of Dolcetto and Barbera wines.

After being under the Duchy of Milan and the Republic of Genoa in 1498 Tagliolo Castle became a possession of Pinelli Gentile Marquis. Since then the family have carried out the wine production with a great passion ensuring the high quality of their wines.

The Castle of Tagliolo is exceptional not only for its fine wines but it also in their production. Tagliolo owns its vineyards and all the stages of the wine-making process, from the pressing of the grapes, bottling of the wine and ageing in the centuries-old cellars takes place within the estate.

You’ll visit this impressive Castle and experience the welcoming atmosphere of this family-run business. You’ll have a guided tour of the Castle courtyard, medieval tower, grand hall and ancient cellars, although the highlight of your visit will no doubt be the wine tasting. You’ll sample a variety of wines including the Dolcetto d’Ovada and Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato.

Essential information

by boat,coach and on foot.Passengers are advised that there will be walking involved around the Castle and the grounds. There will be a number of steps to negotiate within the Castle and surfaces my be uneven. The transfer time is approximately 1½ hours each way via motorways and through tunnels.

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