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Portofino Cruise Port Guide

There are few towns more picturesque than Portofino, an Italy cruise destination that rivals Cinque Terre, Florence, and Rome. This small and intimate vacationer’s haven offers Portofino cruise passengers the quintessential Italian experience. You’ll be tendered via boat to a land of sunshine, beach umbrellas, and fresh seafood, where you can scuba dive to see a statue of Christ underwater, or enjoy a challenging hike up Monte de Portofino for the afternoon.

Portofino begs you to turn off the notifications on your phone, order a cold drink or sip a cappuccino, and enjoy the finer things in life. The pastel homes and buildings against the glittering lure of the Ligurian Sea is a feast for the eyes. Sure, you could venture on to Genoa or spend a day in San Rocco, but Portofino has all the simple pleasures you could ask for. Portofino, oozing Italian charm and brimming with art and history, is proof that you don’t have to compete with Italy’s big cities for a great time.

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Top Sights & Attractions for Cruises to Portofino

Christ of the Abyss

Head to nearby San Fruttuoso via taxi or car to go diving to see Christ of the Abyss, a submerged statue of Jesus Christ at 55 feet below sea level. It’s a must-do experience for divers and adventurers on a Portofino cruise. 

Castello Brown

The Castello Brown, which dates back to the 16th century, is a great historical excursion for groups of all ages and interests. You’ll learn about the castle’s critical role in defense of the area throughout the centuries. From the top, there’s a breathtaking view of all of Portofino below. 

Portofino Lighthouse

Ever wanted to enjoy a cocktail at a lighthouse? Well, the Portofino Lighthouse is just the place. It offers yet another incredible view of the Ligurian Sea to one side and Portofino to the other. It’s a short hike to get to the lighthouse, so wear comfortable shoes.

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Top Things to Do in Portofino

Swim in the Ligurian Sea

There’s nothing like a swim on a hot day, and Portofino has no shortage of beautiful waters to take a dip in. Dive into the Ligurian Sea off the coast of Portofino or head to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, which is a popular spot for locals to swim in the impossibly blue waters.

Hike the Monte de Portofino

Hike up to an elevation of 2,000 feet for an incredible view of the Italian coast and countryside, where olive trees stretch out before you in an endlessly photogenic Italian vista. To make the most of your time here, bring a camera and pack a picnic. 

Take a Downtown Stroll

A Portofino cruise isn’t complete without a long, leisurely stroll through the piazzetta, where restaurants, cafes, bars, and vacationers flock together. There’s harborside views, plenty of window shopping, and bellinis waiting to be sipped solo or with good company.

Top Food and Drink Spots Near the Portofino Cruise Port

‘Da Puny

Address: Ristorante Puny, Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta, 5, Portofino GE, Italy

Handmade pesto and pappardelle are par for the course at ‘Da Puny. Enjoy a homemade, authentic pasta dish at this upscale and intimate spot frequented by the rich and famous. Fresh fish from the harbor is a must-have.

 

Caffè Excelsior

Address: Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta, 54, Portofino GE, Italy

Located on a quaint piazza in Portofino, Caffe Excelsior promises and delivers greatness. Sip on a bellini while taking in views of the water. Pasta, pizza, and light appetizers are standard fare.

 

Taverna del Marinaio

Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta 36, Portofino, GE, Italy

This is the spot for fresh seafood in Portofino, where you can sit outside with an aperitivo and enjoy pasta with scallops or mussels. It’s scenic and lively without getting too loud, making it an ideal lunch spot to visit during your cruise to Portofino, Italy.

Culture & History of the Portofino Cruise Port

The main reason people came and settled in Portofino as early as the 14th century was because of the town’s strategic marine position, making it an easy fishing harbor where the locals could both eat off their livelihood and make a living in town. Portofino existed in relative unknown to the outside world until the 1920s, when the Germans and the British began taking vacations here. Tourism is a staple of life in Portofino, which continues to attract visitors to this day. The locals remain friendly as ever, happy to share their slice of paradise with the world. 

Portofino Port Facilities & Location

You’ll be tendered ashore when you arrive on a Portofino cruise. There’s a pier and a stretch of shops, restaurants, and cafes not far from the port, so you won’t have to venture far if you prefer to hang close to the ship.

Transportation in Portofino

Your best bet for getting around Portofino is on two feet or taking a taxi to sites that are farther away. Part of the fun of a cruise to Portofino, Italy is ambling through town and along the riviera that promises views of boats in the harbor and tiny cafes along the waterfront. Hopping on a water taxi is also a great way to see the beauty of the town.

Shopping Near the Portofino Cruise Port

Check out the street markets in Cochin for spices, Indian fabrics, and vintage clothing items. A lot of the newer shopping, specifically for electronics and clothing, can be found in malls around Edappally, which has become known for its sheer variety of options for shoppers. The vendors near the terminal won’t typically sell high-end items, but they’ll hawk the standard trinkets and tourist fare.

Local Currency & Tipping Customs

Use the Euro when traveling in Italy. You’ll find ATMs readily available throughout Portofino, and many establishments will take credit cards like Visa and Mastercard. It’s always helpful to carry some cash, however, in the event you want to buy a coffee or a slice of pizza from a small neighborhood joint. Tipping tends to be included in most restaurant bills, so be sure to look and see if a servicio is already on your bill for dinner. When taking a taxi, leave behind a euro or round up.

 

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Stroll tiny Portofino, a perfectly poised pastel village taking refuge on its own secluded peninsula. Stop at a charming café to get a bite and watch the yachts bobbing in the harbor. Explore the seductive boutiques and art galleries that line the harbor and narrow streets. Discover historic sites like the Church of St. Martin and the Castello Brown fortress. Just down the Italian Rivera awaits Cinque Terre National Park, a seascape of fishing villages carved from the cliffs. Hike through the park on 15th-century footpaths winding through olive groves and vineyards, overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean.