Touch down into Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport and take a private transfer directly to your centrally located hotel, the Melia Genoa. For your first afternoon and evening head to Piazza de Ferrari, where a magnificent fountain stands tall in the middle of the main square and plenty of restaurants can be found.
Admiring the 16th and 17th century palaces is the perfect way to discover the city’s vibrant past, the Palazzo dei Rolli are a group of magnificent palaces and have been recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. Following the city’s recent regeneration, the medieval port has the perfect combination of rich history and modern attractions. We recommend a visit to the city’s aquarium, it is one of the largest in Europe and home to over 5,000 species of marine life.
After a full day exploring, the Melia Genoa’s wellness centre and spa is the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Today you will embark on the next leg of the holiday, collect your hire car and head to the North West region of Liguria to check in to your hotel. The Grand Hotel Portovenere has stunning views of the picture-perfect harbour and is in a prime location to explore the famed Cinque Terre. Portovenere’s waterside has a number of traditional restaurants to enjoy an evening meal.
Drive to the biggest of the five towns of Cinque Terre, Monterosso. Here you can find sandy beaches to relax on and quaint cafes to enjoy an Italian coffee. Take a break from the sun and meander into the old town to pick up a souvenir.
Located on the clifftop, Corniglia is the smallest town in the Cinque Terre region and thanks to its location provides unforgettable views of the rocky coves below. Unlike the other Cinque Terre towns it has no direct access to the sea but is full of character with quiet streets and colourfully painted buildings. Spend the rest of the afternoon in Vernazza, famed for being the most picturesque town in the area. Wander down the cobbled streets before stopping at Ristorante Bel Forte to try Liguria’s famed pesto.
If you have time we recommend hiking between the different towns. The view of Vernazza as you walk along the Blue Path from Monterosso is particularly breath-taking. The routes are popular for experienced hikers so don’t forget your walking shoes.
Make the most of your hire car and take the drive to Portofino (approx. 1hour 45mins). Popular with the rich and famous, this renowned seaside village is lined with designer shops, upscale restaurants and cafes. A visit to Castello Brown is not to be missed; located high above the harbour of Portofino this dramatic castle overlooks the bay below and is popular with tourists and locals alike.