The Italian Riviera, best known for the pastel cliff-top villages of the Cinque Terre and desperately pretty Portofino, is a superb cruising ground for your next Mediterranean yacht charter vacation.
The Italian Riviera stretches along the dramatic coastline of Liguria in north western Italy, a region of sheer cliffs and pretty fishing villages perched high above the cobalt-blue Mediterranean. Famous for its delicious local cuisine and coastal walks by the sparkling sea, the Italian Riviera is a spectacular region perfectly suited to exploration by luxury yacht charter.
Your Italian Riviera yacht charter might begin in the Italian seaside town of San Remo, the ancient city of Genoa, or across the French border in nearby Monaco. Float along the vertiginous coastline of Liguria, where the Alps Maritimes crowd down to the sea and the beaches are lined with restaurants and waving palm trees. The sea here is deep and shimmering azure- the perfect contrast to the towering grey cliffs, distant forests, and endless Mediterranean sunshine.
You’ll soon come to the Cinque Terre, where five picturesque fishing villages are strung along the steep coast like jewels, the brightly-painted houses clinging to mountainsides and cliffs in extraordinary feats of medieval engineering. Colourful fishing boats dot the harbours, rocky bathing platforms step away into the emerald sea, and narrow terraces of olives, grapes, and deep red tomatoes line the hills.
The Cinque Terre is the very definition of picture-postcard pretty, and on your Italian Riviera yacht charter you can walk between the five towns on the high coastal path, or find a restaurant with a flowery terrace high above the sea, to dine on fresh-caught seafood washed down with some local Cinque Terre wine. The food simply tastes better here, in gorgeous Liguria.
Once you’ve explored the five Cinque Terre towns of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore at your leisure, it’s time to head further east, to the lovely towns of Camogli, San Rocco and Lavagna. Visit the beautiful monastery of Camogli, and perhaps hike to the stunning village of San Rocca- another one perched so precariously on the cliff-side it looks as if it may fall into the sea. We recommend stopping for a sunset drink here for amazing views back along the coast towards France. Nearby Lavagna has a beach that stretches for miles, and the town is very pretty indeed.
The final stop on your Italian Riviera yacht charter is Portofino. Perhaps the most beautiful marina in the world, the first sight of Portofino takes the breath away. Nestled in a little waterway in a bay surrounded by rolling hills and deep forest, the translucent blue-green waters of the port are surrounded by a pretty square of pastel buildings, whose awnings shade pavement cafes, ice cream parlours, and designer boutiques.
Only a few yachts can fit in the marina at once, with the rest consigned to anchor in the bay. No matter though, for dolphins frolic out in the crystal-clear waters, and incredible Italianate villas look out over the bay from the shade of cypress and pine trees. No matter where you end up on your yacht charter in Portofino, the view will be amazing. Top off your Italian Riviera yacht charter with some boutique shopping, a swim at the Captain’s cove beneath the cliffs, and dine at one of Europe’s finest hotels, the incredibly famous Hotel Splendido.