Yacht Destination

Portofino Yacht Charter

The Italian Riviera is north-western Italy’s coastal showcase, a place where the Ligurian Alps meet the Apennines with a dash of la dolce vita and a well-deserved reputation alluring yachts to one of the most popular yachting hotspots in the Mediterranean, Portofino.

Yachts in Portofino, Italy
Hillside view of Hotel Splendido Portofino
Shopping area of Portofino with colourful paved walkway
Panoramic view of Portofino Italy

Secret Portofino : Superyacht chic & slow travel on the Italian Riviera

Decades of tourism have ensured that the beauty of the Cinque Terre and Portofino rank highly on places you need to visit and the entire coastline has bewitched royalty, writers and celebrities who have been drawn to the Mediterranean climate, beautiful towns and the blend of old and new.

There’s no denying the appeal of Portofino, tucked into a sheltered inlet surrounded by colourful buildings and olive-clad terraces it has been grabbing headlines and attracting the international jet set for decades.

In the height of peak season, the town morphs into Italy’s version of Saint-Tropez, however if you’re looking for Champagne-spraying nightclubs and hedonistic beach clubs you’ve come to the wrong place.

The Harbour

Many visitors to Portofino don’t venture beyond the harbour and Piazzetta (small square), but renting a yacht on the Italian Riviera will introduce you to places of quiet beauty – especially in spring or autumn, ornate villas hidden amongst the trees and gorgeous scenery with romantic restaurants sandwiched between the mountains and sea.

Portofino is not off-the-beaten path, however it’s possible to escape the crowds of day trippers and celebrities who visit Portofino for one day.

Read our guide to discover the best things to see and do while on a Portofino yacht charter, where you can discover some of the celebrated highlights and the charter spots less visited amidst the surrounding attractions of the Gulf of Tigullio.

Recommended in Portofino

We’ve compiled a list of activities to enjoy in Portofino which you can view on the sections below.

Colourful buildings of Cinque Terre, Italy

Beyond Portofino

Black and white image buildings in GenoaThere is more to visiting Portofino than simply soaking up the view from the sun deck on your luxury yacht! Portofino is a good base to visit other areas and having your own private charter yacht is advantageous because you are not bound by local boat excursion times or staying in one location.

Bespoke Yacht Charter can arrange extended yacht charters that enhance your time along the Ligurian coastline and show you the best of Italy’s culture, architecture, cuisine and scenery.

Some of our Italian Riviera yacht charter suggestions include:

  • Adding Genoa to your itinerary. It’s a feisty city with a vast maritime heritage, lots of historical buildings and age-old caféterias that bristle with life.
  • Visiting charming Camogli, a fishing town sprinkled with brightly coloured houses and a few attractions such as Castello Della Dragonara. Foodies will no doubt head ashore to Revello Focacceria for the best foccacia in town! Camogli also hosts two famous traditional festivals – Sagra del Pesce is a fish festival that celebrates the bounty of the sea and is held on the second Sunday every May, and the Festa della Stella Maris takes place in August giving yacht charter guests a visual spectacle with parades, boat processions and candles floating in the sea.
  • Drop anchor at San Fruttuoso, located between Camogli and Portofino. It’s best reached by sea (though a visit is also possible on foot; we suggest you follow the 1.5-hour Portofino Mare trail which is less challenging than the trail starting at Portofino Vetta). The bay is dominated by San Fruttuoso Abbey and the Torre dei Doria. The clear, greenish-blue sea holds the Christ of the Abyss statue 12-metres down on the sea bed, popular for diving excursions. San Fruttuoso is a lovely place at twilight when the tourist boat shuttles have returned to the coastal resorts and it’s much quieter to enjoy the scenery from the comfort of your private charter yacht.
  • Go to Rapallo when on a Italian Riviera yacht charter. You can stroll along the seafront promenade that was frequented by creatives Ernest Hemingway, D.H Lawrence and Ezra Pound, admire the frescoes on the town buildings, ride on the funivia (funicular) to the 16th century Sanctuary of Our Lady Montallegro or swim in the bays at pretty San Michele di Pagana.
  • Centred on a peninsula split by two bays, Sestri Levante has all the charm and natural beauty of Portofino, yet outside of summer you’ll barely hear an accent other than Italian. Shops on Via XXV Aprile range from pasticceria selling creamy pastries to pint-sized souvenir stores devoted to lemon soaps and ceramics. The town  remains an understated attraction for luxury yacht charters to northern Italy, with particular mention to a yearly festival dedicated to Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and the sandy beach at Baia del Silenzio (Bay of Silence) giving an unsung gem for families on yacht charters.
  • Explore Moneglia which is a small seaside town that’s ideal if you have an aversion to yacht charter hotspots. Moneglia is not a ‘bells-and-whistles’ yacht charter destination – you may be surprised to find any information on it other than its proximity to the Cinque Terre. If you prefer the authenticity of local culture and a place the Italians have kept to themselves, Moneglia is for you. Visit the Santa Croce church, swim in the clear sea then finish with a meal at Assirto which is worth the visit alone.
  • Discovering the five villages of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cinque Terre by boat. Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore have distinct charm and are surrounded by postcard perfect coastline, pretty churches, citrus orchards and walking trails. Our top pick is booking a sea view table at Ristorante Belforte in Vernazza, a stunning location for a hearty plate of squid ink tagliatelle in between town-hopping on your yacht charter.
  • Portovenere is popular for day trips from La Spezia and is eye-catching when arriving by boat as you approach the colourful waterside Palazzata case-fortezza (fortress houses). Located on the Gulf of the Poets, the town got its name from the Latin ‘Portus Veneris‘ – don’t miss visiting the Church of San Pietro located at the site of a former church dedicated to the Temple to Venus. Yacht charter guests can ocean gaze from Byron’s Grotto, follow the caruggi up to the medieval Castello Doria for panoramic views or cruise to Isola Palmária to go hiking or admire the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Cave).
  • Lerici and Tellaro are picturesque towns on the eastern side of the Gulf of Poets, opposite to Portovenere. They have many of the same attractions as the villages of the Cinque Terre with less crowds – colourful buildings, quaint fishing boats, medieval castles and pleasant walking trails.

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Book a Portofino Yacht Charter

Portofino and the Riviera di Levante towns are easily reachable by day cruise from Monaco, Cannes or other Cote d’Azur yacht charter destinations. As well, they offer a wonderful gateway for yacht charters to Corsica and Sardinia.

Bespoke Yacht Charter is available to advise you on a yacht to suit your needs for your next Italian Riviera luxury yacht charter.

To check availability and book a charter, please get in touch with Bespoke Yacht Charter today.