What to see in Liguria: the complete guide

Do you want to find out what are the beauties to see in Liguria? With this guide you will know exactly what to see during your stay on the Riviera.

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Among all the Italian regions, Liguria , due to its strategic position and its limited but varied territory, offers its visitors a lot to see between coastal beauties and inland gems.

Visiting Liguria is therefore an experience that satisfies different types of travelers, from those looking for relaxation, to those who are more enthusiastic for outdoor adventures but also for lovers of art, history and culture.

Let’s see together everything that the beautiful Liguria has to offer discovering, between seas and mountains, all its attractions, from the most famous and iconic to the less known and most authentic ones.

Ventimiglia

Ventimiglia

Ventimiglia is the last city on the Ligurian Riviera right next to the Côte d’Azur.

Famous for its beaches and its crystalline sea, it is in its historic center that reserves many surprises such as the Cathedral of the Assumption, a beautiful example of Romanesque art.

Due to its position, it too is the perfect starting point for wider itineraries between the Ligurian Riviera and the Cote d’Azur.

Bordighera

Bordighera

Near the border with France we find Bordighera . Perfectly connected with the main Ligurian cities but also with the French ones, it has much to offer in addition to its beautiful sea and its beaches also architectural beauties such as the Church of Sant’Ampelio and the Church of the Maddalena.

Its strategic position makes it the perfect base for exploring both the Ligurian Riviera but also the French Riviera.

Sanremo

Sanremo

Famous for the Italian song festival, Sanremo is much more than that.

If the coastal area is the most VIP and where there are also luxury pastimes and attractions, its historic center is definitely worth visiting to get a different perspective of the city as it once was.

An evening at the casino and an aperitif with a view, however, should not be missing to spend a few hours of relaxation in the Riviera dei Fiori style!

Apricale

apricale

apricale , with its medieval soul, offers ideas for itineraries rich in history but also many nature trails for trekking lovers.

Bussana Vecchia

bussana-vecchia

Close to Sanremo we find Bussana Vecchia, a village not to be missed during your exploration of the western coast .

The village exudes art, history and creativity with murals, ruins, and much more to be discovered while walking through its streets.

It is a place that seems out of time to spend hours of lightheartedness and tranquility. Cars are not allowed as the whole village is pedestrianized.

Triora

triora

Mystery lovers cannot miss a trip to Triora, a village of witches full of stories and legends related to the witches that are said to populate Triora and, in the surrounding woods, carried out their own magical rituals.

The Ethnographic and Witchcraft Museum is undoubtedly an interesting addition to a walk in the quiet center to discover something more about the history and origins of the village and its many legends.

Dolceacqua

dolceacqua

Dolceacqua is a small hidden gem not well known to most but deeply characteristic thanks to its castle, its stones and its bridge.

The closest railway station to reach it is that of Ventimiglia.

If you travel by car it will be very easy to reach it as it is perfectly connected.

Imperia

Imperia

After Diano Marina we find Imperia and its two centers Oneglia and Porto Maurizio where life unfolds in a relaxed pace but full of events and activities perfectly combined to satisfy lovers of the sea and the mountains.

Imperia is certainly a good starting point to visit some other Ligurian cities nearby without giving up a stay made of tranquility.

Diano Marina

diano-marina

In Diano Marina you can find everything you need for a family holiday with children thanks to the many super-equipped bathing establishments and long stretches of sand .

Cervo

Cervo

Perched on the sea, this medieval village is a real Ligurian pearl that must be experienced.

The village of Cervo is a feast for the eyes with its baroque church, its sixteenth-century buildings, the many cafes where you can taste the typical cuisine of the place but also the craft shops.

Ideal for a romantic weekend.

Alassio

alassio

Famous for its wall autographed by big names in culture and entertainment, Alassio is much loved for its beaches, for its food and wine culture but also for being the perfect place for relaxing holidays.

The beach holiday par excellence is right in Alassio!

Albenga and Toirano

toirano

There are many places still to be explored to discover the west coast.

Albenga, for example, is known for its ancient medieval towers and the suggestive Church of San Michele, enclosed in its small but interesting historic center.

Inland instead we find Toirano, famous for its caves and its natural landscapes.

If you are in these parts or are based in one of the nearby cities and you are looking for something to see and do in the surrounding area, add them to your itinerary and you will not regret it!

Loano

Loano

For lovers of nature and animals not to be missed is to stop in Loano where it is possible to participate in whale watching tours to be able to admire the whales that swim in the Ligurian waters every year.

Finale Ligure

If the coast of Finale Ligure offers everything you need for a beach holiday, its historic center keeps its medieval and Renaissance soul almost intact with numerous ideas for complete and versatile itineraries.

Ideal place for holidays for the whole family.

Varigotti

Varigotti

Varigotti , with its beautiful beaches such as the Baia dei Saraceni and the Malpasso Beach, is also nature and history with suggestive paths surrounded by olive trees that lead to the remains of the ancient tower and the church of San Lorenzo.

The view from here is breathtaking.

Noli

Noli

Perfect destination for a weekend of sea and relaxation, Noli offers the embarrassment of choice in terms of bathing facilities and places to stay.

In addition to being a good base for exploring the Riviera and taking a few day trips to nearby cities and beaches, Noli is also a lot of history with noteworthy ruins and archaeological remains that can be admired thanks to the beautiful pilgrim’s path.

A walk that truly mixes nature and history.

Bergeggi

Bergeggi

Bergeggi is rich in nature and protected areas for adventurous holidays and in the name of naturalistic exploration.

The main archaeological site of Bergeggi is certainly Castellaro di Monte S. Elena.

Savona

Savona

Continuing on the Riviera di Ponente you reach Savona which, with its port, also becomes a docking point for cruise ships from many parts of Europe.

Savona is a real city and an ideal starting point for visiting and exploring the Riviera di Ponente.

Varazze

varazze

Perfect combination between a seaside holiday and a cultural holiday, Varazze has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag and, thanks to its newly built port, makes it a new tourist hub for mooring boats and large boats.

Its churches such as that of S. Ambrogio and that of S. Domenico are instead a real joy for lovers of art history and local culture.

Arenzano

Varazze

Arenzano, with its historic villas is the starting point for exploring the Riviera di Ponente.

So let’s see what the Riviera di Ponente has to offer its visitors

Genoa

genova

Genoa is the Ligurian city that has always attracted for its culture and its history linked to sacred music monsters such as De André and historical figures such as Christopher Columbus.

It is certainly an interesting city for those wishing to visit the entire Ligurian Riviera and an ideal starting point from which to start a wider-ranging on the road itinerary.

Palazzi dei Rolli, Genoa

Genoa is rich in history and offers an architectural heritage not to be missed with the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, the magnificent Palazzo Ducale and the beautiful Palazzi dei Rolli, about a hundred buildings now used as museums, to host exhibitions and events and which every year, during the Rolli Days, they open their doors to the public to be able to appreciate all the treasures and their history.

As for the Cathedral, admission is free with the possibility of visiting the Diocesan Museum and the Treasury Museum at a cost of 6 euros.

The alleys of De Andrè

caruggi-genova

Genoa embodies a new soul and an older soul linked to local traditions and history.

If you are passionate about Fabrizi De André’s music, a walk through the streets of Genoa will help you understand even more deeply the meaning of many of his songs while you will be able to discover the most hidden sides of the Ligurian capital.

Ancient port and aquarium of Genoa

The port of Genoa is the largest port in Italy and is the main hub for many tourist tours to explore the Ligurian coast and be able to admire it from the sea.

There are also many connections with other coastal villages, some of which can only be reached by sea.

The aquarium of Genoa , on the other hand, is really perfect for those who love nature and those with children in tow. The aquarium is open every day from 9:30 to 20.00 although the last entry is scheduled for 18.00.

Other useful information for the purposes of your trip and the inclusion or not of the attraction in your travel itinerary is that regarding the average duration of the visit, which is approximately 2-3 hours.

Genoa Nervi

Genova Nervi

Nervi is one of the districts of Genoa and which best represents the various faces of the Ligurian city.

In fact, in this area it is possible to spend a few relaxing hours in a quieter and less chaotic atmosphere of the city center.

What characterizes Nervi is the presence of luxurious villas and parks ideal for a few hours of coolness during the hot summer season.

Recco

recco

Recco is a fishing village located immediately after Genoa and starts our journey to discover the Riviera di Levante.

Recco is perfect for those who love food and wine tourism and for those who spend a few days in Genoa, do not want to go too far but, at the same time, also want to discover the more typically coastal side of the Riviera.

Camogli

camogli

Just 23 km from Genoa stands the beautiful Camogli with its small but particular harbor surrounded by the typical colored houses symbol of the Riviera.

Camogli is the ideal destination for a day on the beach and to discover its small town but also as a starting point to explore the surrounding mountains thanks to the paths until reaching other interesting destinations reachable only by sea and, precisely, via Earth.

Abbey of San Fruttuoso

Abbey-of-San-Fruttuoso

The Abbey of San Fruttuoso is certainly one of the main attractions not to be missed.

It is, in fact, a Romanesque monastery dating back to the year 1000, built close to the sea. There are only two ways to reach it: a walk on a nature trail or arriving by boat by sea

The latter option is certainly the most suggestive and ideal for those who travel with the family and do not feel like venturing on the trekking path.

Portofino

portofino

Portofino is a place not to be missed to be able to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of luxury and luster thanks to the presence of numerous celebrities who flock to the small port of the village every year.

Although very fascinating and worth seeing, Portofino is an ideal place for an aperitif or for a few hours of relaxation but not suitable for long stays.

Santa Margherita Ligure

Santa-Margherita-Ligure

Santa Margherita Ligure is located between Portofino and Camogli and represents the typical Ligurian seaside town.

Its port is the nerve center of tourism on the Ligurian Riviera as its port, like that of Genoa, is also a docking place for cruise ships, while its dense vegetation made up of olive groves and pine trees frames numerous bathing establishments and hotels. .

A perfect place for family vacations.

Rapallo

Rapallo

Thanks to its strategic position between Portofino and Santa Margherita, Rapallo becomes an interesting destination for those who want to relax and enjoy both the sea and the hinterland.

Among its highlights we find the castle and its sanctuary which also embellish it as a historical-cultural destination.

Although it is a small hidden gem, Rapallo is well connected both by train, by sea and by car.

Chiavari

Chiavari

Along the entire coast of the Ligurian Riviera, you will discover many places to visit with attractions that are very different from the idea of Liguria as a region dedicated only to the sea.

Some of these places are truly gems not to be missed such as Chiavari with its Gothic-style Palazzo dei Portici Neri and the suggestive Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Garden, built in imitation of the Pantheon in Rome.

Once you reach the city, the advice is to get lost in the alleys, the typical Ligurian alleys, to immerse yourself in the true soul of the place among its arcades and its beauties.

Blackboard

Lavagna

The right compromise between sea and history is embodied by Lavagna.

It is a destination usually passing through but which, in addition to its beautiful beach and its crystal clear waters, offers medieval villages to be discovered.

During an excursion on the road, making a stop in Lavagna is definitely worth it!

Lavagna is also perfectly served by train from the Genoa-La Spezia route.

Sestri Levante

Sestri-levante

Sestri Levante is the ideal destination for lovers of adventure, nature and water activities.

Thanks to its favorable winds and its crystal clear waters it is perfect for windsurfing but also for beautiful dives to discover the Ligurian seabed.

Bay of Silence and fairytale bay

Baia delle favole

Sestri Levante offers two of the most famous bays in Italy. The Bay of Silence and the Bay of Fables.

The first is a small and intimate bay perfect for a few hours of relaxation and from where you can admire beautiful sunsets for breathtaking romantic scenarios.

The second, on the other hand, is a large and well-equipped beach perfect for those looking for entertainment and services suitable for the whole family.

Moneglia

The village of Moneglia is a family-sized destination thanks to its sea, its relaxed pace but also for its small and almost all pedestrian center.

Rich in nature for beautiful walks in the green, its waters are among the most popular for diving.

Deiva Marina

Deiva-marina

Deiva Marina offers sea, beaches, campsites and many bathing facilities where you can spend your holidays in the name of relaxation and fun.

It is so close to the Cinque Terre that it can easily be used as a strategic point where to find accommodation and then leave for trips aimed at discovering the most famous part of the Ligurian Riviera in Italy: just think that it is only a few minutes by train from the Cinque Terre. !

Framura

Framura

Between Portofino and the Cinque Terre, Framura encompasses five villages and many things to offer to its visitors.

It is an ideal location for lovers of trekking, mountain biking but obviously also of the sea with a magical landscape made of greenery and cliffs overlooking the sea.

Due to its strategic position and its tranquility, it can also be an excellent base for exploring the surrounding areas.

Cinque Terre Park

Riviera di Levante

Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore make up the famous Cinque Terre Park, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy and now famous all over the world.

In order to visit the Cinque Terre the ideal solution is to use one of the nearby towns as a base for your stay and explore them gradually in an on the road itinerary of a few hours each.

In fact, each of the Cinque Terre is perfect for short stays.

It is possible to leave by train from a nearby city such as Levanto, and choose the destinations that interest you most but also, when the paths allow it, venture up the paths that connect the lands to do some movement while getting lost among its fantastic views.

Monterosso

Monterosso-spiaggia

Monterosso is the largest of the Cinque Terre and unmissable for its tourist vein mixed with its still strong authenticity present both in gastronomy and in the local artisan culture.

Its promenade and its church of San Francesco make the landscape even more magical.

Vernazza

Vernazza

Although it is certainly its marina that captures the attention of visitors, Vernazza also offers small historical and architectural gems to be absolutely included in the itinerary.

Among all we point out the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna which, once reached, offers an unmissable view of Vernazza.

Great place for unforgettable photos.

Corniglia

Corniglia

Corniglia represents the heart of the Cinque Terre and is an enchantment for walks through its lanes.

Rich in trails, it has many goodies to offer its visitors.

The first gem is the piazzetta del Fosso, reachable from a road that starts from Largo Tarugio and the Terrazza di Santa Maria.

These are unusual and unmissable viewpoints for lovers of nature, but also of photography!

Manarola

Manarola

Manarola is the one that, among the Cinque Terre, most embodies the perfect synthesis between sea and land and between new and old.

Its terraces overlooking the sea are the most famous of the Riviera and, among the most interesting points for unforgettable views we find Piazza Castello and Piazza De André.

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is the last of the Cinque Terre, as well as the most famous of all and the most viewed on social networks and travel guides.

The best moments to appreciate the view of Riomaggiore is certainly the sunset. The marina offers numerous possibilities for excursions and diving.

The Way of Love

Via dell'amore

The via dell’Amore is a beautiful walk that connects Riomaggiore and Manarola.

It is a very short (1 kilometer) and very easy route, really suitable for everyone! An alternative way to see two of the Cinque Terre without missing a single view!

Porto Venere

porto venere

Porto Venere is particularly close to Riomaggiore and so easy to reach that it should definitely be included in your itinerary.

Porto Venere can be reached by ferry and, in addition to its sea and its landscapes, it is known for the Doria Castle and the Church of San Pietro.

If you find yourself in Riomaggiore, a stop here is really a must!

Spice

museo navale spezia

Art lovers will find bread for their teeth in La Spezia, a city full of museums and cultural initiatives.

Among the most interesting museums we point out the Castle Museum, the Civic Museum but above all the Naval Technical Museum, rich in testimonies and finds related to the centuries-old maritime culture of the Ligurian Riviera.

The museum is open every day from 8:30 to 19:30. Entrance to the museum is free.

Lerici

Lerici is a renowned tourist resort and much loved by travelers, known for its wonderful views and its beaches.

If you are looking for a destination to spend a tanning beach holiday, Lerici is the destination for you. Every day there is a new beach waiting for you, but always the same clean water of the Ligurian sea.

Here you will also find yourself in a strategic position to explore other wonders of the surroundings. Boat trips to Portovenere and the Cinque Terre or a ride to the worldly places of Tuscany.

Lerici is also a strategic position to discover all the best of Levante Ligure: Portovenere, the Cinque Terre or even push you towards Portofino and the Gulf of Tigullio.

For centuries, illustrious guests have frequented Lerici, including writers and poets. The inlet in which Lerici is set is called, in fact, the Gulf of Poets.

Sarzana

Sarzana

On the border with Tuscany, Sarzana has a medieval and Renaissance soul that opens up in the Ligurian hinterland but still a few steps from the sea.

A real pearl, Sarzana with its castles, churches and suggestive views of the river is a place not to be missed to dive into unusual atmospheres for the Ligurian Riviera.

Conclusion

As it was possible to notice from this guide, Liguria is not only sea, but it is also a lot of history and tradition.

Whatever the type of trip you intend to do, there are many options to be launched in order to explore and experience Liguria and its beauties in an authentic, practical and stimulating way.

I really hope this guide was useful to help you create your Ligurian itinerary between seas and mountains.

Did you like the guide? Did I miss something? Write it in the comments and share with us your travel experiences!



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