Bordighera is the perfect city for both a weekend getaway and a slonger stay, even two or more weeks: here every day, with the right information, you can always do something new and stimulating.
From here you can easily visit the medieval villages of the hinterland, the Côte d’Azur and have a larger and more lively center such as Sanremo within walking distance.
Bordighera is a city on a human scale, alive but not chaotic, where easily make friends at the beach, park or cafés of the old town.
It’s a great place to play sports, train and get fit. You can organize excursions, cultural visits or just relax on the sea shore.
Villas with large parks, beautiful gardens, stately buildings: the English colony of Bordighera is no longer that of the late nineteenth century, but its mark has remained intact.
Bordighera is different from the other centers of the Ponente and has managed to maintain an elegant appearance.
Bordighera is not just beach and sea, behind the promenade there is a world to discover. Or rather, more than one: the medieval charm of Bordighera Alta, enclosed within its pentagonal walls; the charm of Capo Sant’Ampelio (the southernmost point of Liguria) and its small church; the little secrets that are hidden in the Arziglia and – further on – on the slopes of Monte Nero.
Where is Bordighera
A pearl in an extraordinary territory
Bordighera is located in the mildest area in all of Liguria , probably from all over northern Italy. The extreme western Liguria, in fact, is known for having a wonderful climate all year round: pleasant even in the coldest months and breezy even in the hottest summers.
This beautiful tourist resort is nestled between the famous city of Sanremo, where the Italian song festival takes place, and the French Riviera. Bordighera is almost on the border between Italy and France.
This location makes the city a truly strategic base for those who want to experience a holiday full of beauty, things to see and points of interest.
In just 10 minutes, in fact, you can arrive in France, in the nearby Menton, in the Principality of Monaco or you can reach the other towns of Western Liguria and explore the extraordinary villages of the Ligurian hinterland .
Bordighera Suite Apartments
Quality Holiday Apartments in Bordighera
When to go to Bordighera
A wonderful destination 365 days a year.
Compared to other major tourist resorts Bordighera is a destination that has a limited choice of hotels and the best holiday homes must be booked well in advance.
L’ high season it starts from mid-June until the end of August: this is the period of greatest tourist influx. Very beautifull , but the prices rise slightly.
During the year the period of is also very popular Easter , the period of Christmas and there is a great influx also during the important events around: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Monaco Grand Prix, Sanremo Festival to name a few.
If you can choose when to go on vacation, the best times to visit Bordighera are spring , from April to early June, e the autumn .
In these periods the temperatures are wonderful, the city is quieter and it is possible to swim in clear water.
If you love the sea in winter and you want to relax a week Bordighera is definitely a suitable destination for you. During the day the temperature is often around 15-20 degrees and you can visit the surroundings without traffic, you can do sports in the open air and you can taste the specialties of the area without booking the restaurants.
The beach is definitely the protagonist of the days of those who choose Bordighera to spend your holidays.
On beautiful and sunny winter days, strolling along the Argentine seafront is relaxing and regenerating.
But, of course, it is in the summer that the beaches of Bordighera give their best: here a long series of equipped bathing establishments of umbrellas, sunbeds and deck chairs, cocktail bars and inviting restaurants, enliven the lives of travelers.
For those looking for simply the tranquility of the beach there are numerous free beaches where to lie down in freedom and work on your tan.
To find your way around the beaches, here is a small list from West to East:
- Rattaconigli beach : the largest beach in Bordighera. Almost completely free but served by several bars that organize parties with music in the summer. Behind it has a beautiful bike path.
- Beaches west of the station : from this side of Bordighera the beaches can be reached by car and are served by many parking lots. Here too the establishments often organize beautiful evenings and offer many services.
- Beaches east of the station : from this side the promenade is pedestrianized and the beach is easily reached with convenient underpasses from the center.
- Rocks of Sant’Ampelio : This corner of the city, just below the homonymous church, is sacred to the Bordigotti. Here the water is very clean and it is very fun to dive from the rocks and explore the seabed with the mask.
- Arziglia : quiet and more isolated, this is the ancient fishermen’s beach.
In Bordighera there are no golden sandy beaches. The bottom is made up of round gravel and, in some places, of more or less coarse sand.
What to visit in Bordighera
Bordighera is a city that you must enjoy calmly and appreciate the quiet everyday life among the beautiful beaches, its gardens and beautiful architecture.
In this beautiful setting there are several points of interest to visit and discover.
Church of St. Ampelio
Nel punto più meridionale della Liguria e dell’intera Italia settentrionale sorge la piccola e suggestiva chiesetta di sant’Ampelio costruita nel XI secolo.
Sopra l’altare si trova una statua seicentesca che raffigura sant’ampelio, titolare della chiesa e patrono di Bordighera. Spesso è possibile visitare la cripta sotto la chiesa dove il Santo visse per 17 anni.
Dalla chiesa di Sant’Ampelio si può percorrere il lungo e piacevole lungomare Argentina, così chiamato in onore di Evita Perón che visitò Bordighera nel 1947.
The old town has kept intact its charm of a small fortified village, closed by late medieval walls reinforced in the mid-sixteenth century.
Leave the car in the large Piazza del Capo, enter through Porta Sant’Ampelio, and then get lost in the maze of squares and alleys, between tall and colorful houses, connected by characteristic support arches.
Inside the village, which has a more or less pentagonal shape, is the church of Santa Maria Maddalena, built at the beginning of the seventeenth century and renovated in 1866.
Just above the village is the Villa Mariani: once the residence of the nineteenth-century painter Pompeo Mariani, today it houses the foundation dedicated to him.
Born as a cottage and designed by the architect Garnier, the villa (with its beautiful park) was further enlarged by Mariani, who also had the Specola built, the large atelier-museum that can still be visited today.
Villa etelinda was built in Bordighera on the via Romana by Raphaël Bischoffsheim, a German banker who lived in Paris.
The villa was designed by the French architect Charles Garnier who took up some elements of his villa in Bordighera, such as the beautiful turret, fine and slender and the polychrome mosaics on the facade.
The gardens were designed by Ludwig Winter.
The villa was then sold to members of the English nobility finally in 1914 The villa and the immense garden were sold to Queen Margherita.
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The bicknell museum was built in 1888 and is considered the oldest museum in western Liguria. It houses books, drawings, naturalistic and geological finds resulting from the intense research activity of Clarence Bicknell: an English mathematician, botanist, archaeologist, Esperantist who lived in Bordighera in the late 1800s and studied the rock paintings of Monte Bego.
Whether it is open or closed, it is always worth visiting the Bicknell museum if only for the extraordinary monumental plants found near its entrance: a gigantic Ficus Macrophylla and a wonderful Wisteria that covers the facade of the villa.
The famous French architect Charles Garnier decided to build a Bordighera villa in 1871.
A few meters from high Bordighera there is Villa Garnier, a majestic building on the sea that is spread over three floors, characterized by the delightful little tower that the architect called “Mon Mirador”.
The rich garden surrounding the Villa was designed by the landscape architect Ludwig Wqinter, the same who also designed the Hanbury gardens in Ventimiglia.
Today Villa Garnier is a holiday home run by the nuns who, by appointment, will be happy to let you visit the property.
The Pallanca Exotic Garden
The Pallanca Exotic Garden is a must in Bordighera: it is the botanical garden with the largest variety of succulents in Italy, one of the first in the world.
The Garden develops on the slopes of the ancient Monte Nero volcano, on 10,000 square meters of rocks overlooking the sea, with a splendid view of the bay.
An evocative scenery accompanies you to discover the 3000 succulent and cactaceae varieties collected and preserved here for four generations.
Where to sleep in Bordighera
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What to eat in Bordighera
In Bordighera the restaurants where you eat well are many and each of them proposes very different specialties. Get advice from locals you’ll meet on the waterfront, but in the meantime let me give you some advice:
Every day from the marina of Bordighera the fishermen supply the best restaurants of the city: it is very easy then to find fresh fish and of excellent quality.
To order something really typical my advice is to ask for the “Cappon Magro” or the “Brandacujùn” . Other typical dishes are instead the Sardenaira , which would be “Ligurian pizza” (but don’t say I told you!), i Barbagiuai , the rabbit and borage ravioli .
Wines to order in Bordighera
As for many other cities in Liguria, the most popular wines are pigato, Vermentino and the Rossese di Dolceacqua. A real gem is the biodynamic wine of Tenuta Selvadolce produced in Bordighera.
The most furnished winery in the city is, without doubt, that of the Magiargè restaurant in Bordighera Alta.
Restaurants in Bordighera
In Bordighera the restaurants where eating well are very numerous.
They range from the finest seaside restaurants such as Romolo Mare , Alice Felice or Marina Beach (during the summer), to the most characteristic restaurants of the historic center such as Magiargè and the Scibretta or choose a restaurant for quicker lunches like the Café Monet .
How to get to Bordighera
The easiest way to reach Bordighera is by car with the A10 Genoa-Ventimiglia motorway . After the exit, at the Bordighera tollbooth, there is a beautiful panoramic road that takes you to the center in a few minutes.
It is also very simple to get to Bordighera by train : many trains from Milan, Genoa and France stop right at the city station.
For some trains you have to change in Ventimiglia. In this case it is advisable to take a Taxi , right outside the station: with a few euros more you will avoid waiting and you will be brought to your hotel.
The airport the closest is Nice and, by car, without traffic, it is just 40 minutes away. To reach the airport, city taxis (cheaper than French ones) and taxi services are recommended car rental with driver , extremely professional.