Portofino is simply lovely, with its stone-walled waterfront and surrounded by lush cypresses and olive groves. Its snob appeal is legendary, dating back to the dolce vita days of Bogart and Bacall, Burton and Taylor, Sophia Loren and Princess Grace.
The village lies at the end of a narrow and winding road from Santa Margherita.
To get a sense of Portofino's idyllic setting, it’s best to take a walk and look around. Follow the footpath south from the harbor up onto the headland to see the church of San Giorgio, said to contain relics of St. George.
A further ten minutes up is the Castello Brown, where you can look down on Portofino from the terrace.
The scenic path continues south for a quarter-hour to the lighthouse on the tip of the promontory. The only way back is up the same path. Northwest from the village, steeply stepped paths head through vineyards and orchards to Olmi and on to San Fruttuoso.
The best sandy beach is the sparkling cove at Paraggi. It’s less formal than Portofino, and has a couple of small bars set back from the water.