Liguria is a beautiful region with plenty of places to discover. It boasts stunning landscapes, charming towns, and a rich cultural heritage and is known for its picturesque coastal towns, colourful architecture, and delicious seafood. There are many places to visit in Liguria that are off the beaten path and offer a more authentic experience than the famous tourist attractions like Cinque Terre, Portofino and Genoa. Here are 15 of the best places to visit in Liguria off-the-beaten path to add to your Liguria itinerary:
Camogli is a charming fishing village on the Italian Riviera located in the province of Genoa. With its colourful houses, quaint harbour, and excellent seafood, Camogli offers a perfect blend of traditional and modern Italian culture. Its location also makes it an excellent base for exploring the surrounding coastal towns. It is surely one of the prettiest places to visit in Liguria and should not be missed while visiting the region.
How to get to Camogli
You can drive from Genoa along the scenic coastal road or take a train/bus to reach Camogli. The village is also well connected by boat to other towns along the Italian Riviera.
Top things to do in Camogli
While in Camogli, you can start by visiting the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta. Its distinctive black-and-white stripes and impressive interior make it a great example of the region’s Romanesque architecture. The village promenade is a great place to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the sea views. You’ll also find plenty of cafes and restaurants along the way where you can enjoy a coffee or a meal. Camogli is known for its delicious seafood, particularly its signature dish of fresh anchovies served with olive oil and lemon. Be sure to try it at one of the local restaurants. You can explore the town’s several beautiful beaches, including the pebbly Camogli Beach. You can also take a boat trip to nearby Portofino or Santa Margherita Ligure to experience the beauty of the Ligurian coast.
With its narrow streets, colourful houses, and stunning sea views, Tellaro is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful and authentic Italian experience. Located on the Italian Riviera in the province of La Spezia, it is one of the best places to visit in Liguria if you’re seeking relaxation and natural beauty.
How to get to Tellaro
The nearest airport is Pisa, and from there, you can take a train or bus to La Spezia and then a local bus to Tellaro. The town is also accessible by boat from other neighbouring towns.
Top things to do in Tellaro
Tellaro is a pedestrian-only village, making it a perfect place for a leisurely walk. The narrow streets, colourful houses, and stunning sea views are sure to charm you. Visit the Church of San Giorgio and admire its distinctive bell tower and beautiful interior, a living example of the religious form of architecture prevalent in the region. You can go exploring the small beaches and rocky coves that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkelling.
There are plenty of local restaurants where you can sample the delicious seafood that Tellaro is known for. If you feel a bit more adventurous, you can go hiking across the beautiful countryside that surrounds Tellaro. There are several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the Ligurian coast and take you through olive groves and vineyards.
Apricale is a beautiful medieval village located in the Ligurian heartland, near the border with France. With its winding streets, ancient architecture, and stunning views, Apricale is a hidden gem that offers the perfect mixture of history and natural beauty. It is one of the places to visit in Liguria for an authentic Italian experience off the beaten path.
How to get to Apricale
The easiest way to reach Apricale is by car. The village is located about 10 km from the coast and is easily accessible from the A10 highway. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus to Ventimiglia and then take a local bus or taxi to Apricale.
Top things to do in Apricale
The heart of Apricale is its beautiful medieval centre, with its narrow streets, ancient stone houses, and charming squares, making it perfect for you to stroll around and explore the town’s many hidden corners and alleys. Apricale is home to the ruins of an ancient castle, which offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a great place to visit at sunset and get some amazing photographs.
Apricale is known for its delicious Ligurian cuisine, with a focus on fresh seafood, olive oil, and herbs. Be sure to try the local speciality of “torta verde”, a savoury pie made with herbs and vegetables, and the rabbit with olives and pine nuts. You can also visit the galleries and exhibitions around town that showcase the work of local artists.
Noli is a charming coastal town and an excellent destination if you are seeking a relaxing seaside vacation in a medieval old town with a beautiful beach and crystal clear waters. It is surely one of the prettiest places to visit in Liguria for a relaxing beach holiday.
How to get to Noli
The town is located on the A10 highway, and there are several exits that lead directly to Noli, so getting there by car is the best option. You can also take a train to Spotorno and then take a local bus or taxi to Noli.
Top things to do in Noli
The historic centre of Noli is a maze of narrow streets and alleys that open up onto small squares, churches, and shops. It’s a perfect place to explore on foot and get lost in the authentic Italian atmosphere. Dating back to the 11th century, the Noli Castle offers a stunning view of the town and the sea. The castle has a museum with exhibitions on the history of Noli and the surrounding area. Noli boasts a range of beaches, from sandy to pebbly, including Spiaggia dei Mulini and Spiaggia del Saraceno, both of which offer crystal clear waters and stunning scenery, and there are several small coves that offer privacy and tranquillity.
The local cuisine of Noli is very sought after, with fresh seafood being a highlight. Try the local speciality of Nolita, a type of flatbread filled with fresh cheese and vegetables and farinata, a savoury pancake made from chickpea flour. You can also hike through the stunning countryside that surrounds Noli.
Often referred to as the “village of witches,” Triora is a unique destination which is a picturesque hilltop village. A perfect destination when exploring the hidden gems of Liguria and enjoying a peaceful retreat in a beautiful setting. It is surely one of the coolest places to visit in Liguria for those interested in witchcraft and history.
How to get to Triora
The town is located about 1.5 hours from Genoa and 2 hours from Nice. You can take a train to nearby stations such as Imperia or Taggia, and then take a local bus or taxi to Triora.
Top things to do in Triora
Triora is known for its association with the witchcraft trials that took place in the area during the 16th century, and the Witchcraft Museum is a must-visit attraction. The museum features exhibits on the history of witchcraft and the persecution of witches in the region. Triora’s historic centre is a great place to explore and get a sense of the town’s rich history. You can visit the Church of San Bernardino, which is a beautiful example of the region’s religious architecture, with stunning frescoes and intricate stonework. Triora is known for its delicious local cuisine, including pasta dishes made with locally grown mushrooms and hearty meat dishes.
Lerici is a charming coastal town known for its beautiful beaches, colourful buildings, and rich history. With stunning views of the Gulf of Poets, Lerici is the place to be if you feel like just being by the sea, soaking up the Mediterranean sun and relaxing. It is surely one of the prettiest places to visit in Liguria off-the-beaten path.
How to get to Lerici
The easiest way to get to Lerici is by car. The town is located about 2 hours from Genoa and 1 hour from Pisa. Alternatively, you can take a train to La Spezia station and then take a local bus or taxi to Lerici. There are also ferry services available from nearby towns such as Portovenere and Cinque Terre.
Top things to do in Lerici
Lerici has several beautiful beaches, including San Terenzo Beach, Lerici Beach, and Fiascherino Beach. These beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. Lerici’s castle is a beautiful medieval fortress that offers stunning views of the town and the Gulf of Poets. The castle also houses a small museum that features exhibits on the town’s history. Be sure to visit the town’s main square, Piazza Garibaldi, which is lined with beautiful palaces and churches. There are several boat tours available that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape, which is a stunning stretch of coastline that is best explored by boat.
Lerici is known for its delicious seafood, including fresh mussels, clams, and squid. Be sure to try the local speciality, linguine alle vongole, a pasta dish made with clams and white wine, anchovy salad, and stuffed mussels.
Porto Venere is a picturesque fishing village surrounded by dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters. With its colourful houses, ancient churches, and beautiful views of the sea, it is one of the popular places to visit in Liguria for swimming, boating, and, all in all, chilling in the heart of Liguria.
How to get to Porto Venere
The best way to get to Porto Venere is by car or ferry. If you’re driving, take the A12 highway and exit at La Spezia-S. Stefano Magra, then follow the signs to Porto Venere. You can also take a ferry from La Spezia or the nearby towns of Lerici and Cinque Terre.
Top things to do in Porto Venere
Porto Venere has several beautiful beaches, including the small but charming Byron’s Grotto and the rocky beach at the foot of St. Peter’s Church, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. The Church of St. Peter is a beautiful Gothic church located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea. It offers amazing views of the Gulf of Poets and the surrounding hills. For an even better view, you can visit Doria Castle, located at the top of the hill, which offers stunning views of the town and the Gulf of Poets.
Porto Venere is famous for its delicious seafood dishes, including spaghetti alle vongole (pasta with clams), fritto misto (mixed fried seafood), and trofie al pesto (pasta with pesto sauce).
Bussana Vecchia is a unique hilltop village known for its fascinating history and vibrant arts community. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1887, the abandoned village was later repopulated by artists and craftsmen, creating a fascinating mix of history and creativity.
How to get to Bussana Vecchia
The easiest way to reach Bussana Vecchia is by car, as it is located just a short drive from the A10 motorway. Alternatively, you can take a train to Sanremo and then catch a bus to Bussana Vecchia.
Top things to do in Bussana Vecchia
Bussana Vecchia is a fascinating mix of old ruins, creative workshops, and colourful murals. You can wander through the narrow streets and alleys, stopping to admire the artwork and crafts on display. You can visit the Church of San Giuseppe, a beautiful 18th-century church that was partially destroyed in the earthquake. It has since been restored and now houses a small museum of contemporary art. You can also explore the Church of St. Peter, a beautiful Baroque church located in the heart of the village. You can admire the stunning frescoes and sculptures inside and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Bussana Vecchia has several restaurants and cafes serving delicious Ligurian cuisine, including fresh seafood, homemade pasta, and local wines. Be sure to try the local speciality, farinata, a savoury chickpea pancake.
Finalborgo is a charming medieval village situated just a few kilometres from the coast. With its well-preserved walls, ancient buildings, and narrow streets, Finalborgo offers visitors a glimpse into the region’s rich history, as well as a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere. It is surely one of the most charming places to visit in Liguria off-the-beaten path.
How to get to Finalborgo
The easiest way to get to Finalborgo is by car, as it is located just off the A10 motorway. You can also take a train to Finale Ligure station, which is just a short walk from the village.
Top things to do in Finalborgo
The Piazza Garibaldi is the main square of Finalborgo and a great place to relax and people-watch. Enjoy a coffee or a gelato and admire the ancient buildings that surround the square. The village is known for its unique shops and boutiques, selling everything from artisanal crafts to high-end fashion. You can go around just browsing or shopping for things to take back with you. You can rent bikes to explore the beautiful countryside and the nearby beaches.
The Castel Gavone is a well-preserved castle located just outside the village, with a history dating back to the 10th century. You can visit the castle to learn about the history of the region and enjoy the panoramic views from the tower. There are several interesting museums, including the Archaeological Museum and the Ethnographic Museum, that you can visit. These museums offer visitors a chance to learn more about the history and culture of the region. Lastly, you can unwind at the many restaurants and cafes offering delicious Ligurian cuisine, including the region’s famous pesto. Be sure to try the local speciality, trofie al pesto, a traditional pasta dish.
Dolceacqua is a beautiful medieval village located in the heart of the Nervia Valley in the western part of Liguria. Known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and beautiful landscapes, Dolceacqua is a charming and authentic destination that offers visitors a taste of traditional Italian life.
How to get to Dolceacqua
Dolceacqua can be reached by taking a train to Ventimiglia and then transferring to a local bus to Dolceacqua. There are also buses that run directly from Nice and Monaco to Dolceacqua. Driving is also an option, with the town located just off the A10 motorway near the French border.
Top things to do in Dolceacqua
The highlight of Dolceacqua is the stunning medieval castle and bridge, which is a 15th-century stone bridge that spans the Nervia River, connecting the two sides of Dolceacqua. It’s a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the picturesque views of the river and the village. Located just outside the town, the Doria Castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and is now home to a museum and cultural centre. You can explore the castle’s towers, ramparts, and dungeons, as well as the exhibits on display in the castle’s museum. You can then visit the Church of San Giovanni Battista, which dates back to the 12th century and features stunning Gothic architecture and a collection of Renaissance-era frescoes.
Dolceacqua is known for its Rossese di Dolceacqua wine, a fruity red wine that pairs well with local cuisine. Many local wineries offer tastings and tours of their vineyards, providing a great opportunity to sample some of the region’s best wines. You can taste the wine at one of the local wineries or enjoy it in a traditional osteria. You can also sample local specialities like focaccia, pesto, and traditional dishes, such as pansoti, a type of stuffed pasta, and cima alla Genovese, a stuffed meat dish with fresh seafood at one of the village’s many restaurants and cafes.
San Fruttuoso is a small, secluded village accessible only by boat or a hiking trail through the surrounding mountains. It is best known for its ancient abbey, crystal-clear waters, and scenic natural beauty, making it one of the popular places to visit in Liguria if you are seeking a peaceful retreat off the beaten path in Liguria.
How to get to San Fruttuoso
San Fruttuoso can only be reached by boat or on foot, as there are no roads leading to this picturesque village. You can take a ferry from the nearby towns of Camogli, Portofino, or Santa Margherita Ligure or hike along the scenic trails in the area to reach San Fruttuoso.
Top things to do in San Fruttuoso
The main attraction of San Fruttuoso is its historic abbey, which dates back to the 10th century and features a unique blend of architectural styles, including Romanesque and Gothic elements. You can tour the abbey and admire its impressive artwork and decorations, including the intricate mosaic floor. Another must-see attraction is the famous Christ of the Abyss statue, which stands underwater in the bay just off the shore of San Fruttuoso. The statue was placed here in 1954 to honour the memory of a diver who died in the area and has since become a popular site for divers and snorkelers.
You can explore the underwater world and discover the diverse marine life that inhabits the area. You can relax on the beach or take a swim in the sea. There are also several water sports activities available, such as kayaking and snorkelling. You can also enjoy the scenic natural beauty, take long walks along the beach, or simply sit back and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Bordighera and Seborga
Bordighera and Seborga are two charming towns located in the Italian region of Liguria, just a short distance from the French border. Bordighera is known for its beautiful beaches and historic architecture, while Seborga is a small principality with its own unique culture and traditions.
How to get to Bordighera and Seborga
The easiest way to get there is by car, taking the A10 motorway and exiting Bordighera. Alternatively, you can take the train to Bordighera from Genoa or Ventimiglia, and from there, take a bus or taxi to Seborga.
Top things to do in Bordighera and Seborga
Bordighera and Seborga offer a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. In Bordighera, one can relax on the town’s sandy beaches, stroll through the picturesque old town, and visit the 19th-century Villa Garnier, a beautiful mansion built in the Art Nouveau style. Other notable attractions include the 16th-century Church of Sant’Ampelio and the beautiful Giardini Esotici Pallanca, a botanical garden featuring a wide variety of exotic plants. In Seborga, you can explore the town’s historic centre and learn about its fascinating history as a self-proclaimed principality. Highlights include the beautiful Piazza dei Martiri, the 12th-century Church of San Martino, and the charming streets lined with traditional houses and shops selling local crafts and products.
Seborga is also known for its annual festivals, such as the Feast of the Patron Saint, which features parades, concerts, and traditional food and drink. Seborga is also known for its delicious cuisine, with a number of traditional dishes such as ravioli alla borragine and focaccia di Recco.
Sanremo is a picturesque coastal town known for its beaches, casino, scenic beauty, cultural events, and luxurious lifestyle. A popular places to visit in Liguria if you are seeking a mix of relaxation and entertainment.
How to get to Sanremo
Sanremo can be reached by train, with frequent services connecting it to other cities in Liguria and beyond. The closest airport is in Nice, France, which is approximately 60 kilometres away. Alassio can be reached by train or car from Sanremo, with a travel time of approximately one hour.
Top things to do in Sanremo
Sanremo is a beautiful city with plenty to do. Start by exploring the historic centre and visiting the San Siro Cathedral, a stunning example of Baroque architecture. Next, you can head to the famous Ariston Theatre, home of the annual Sanremo Music Festival. Then, take a stroll down the seaside promenade, which offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the city. The Bagni Paradiso beach club is a must-visit spot. It offers a beautiful sandy beach, crystal-clear water, and excellent facilities, including beach chairs and umbrellas. If you’re interested in nature, the Villa Nobel park is a peaceful oasis in the heart of Sanremo with stunning gardens and views over the sea.
To satisfy the foodie inside you, head to the Mercato dei Fiori, the city’s famous open-air market, where you can find local specialities like olive oil, fresh produce, and seafood. Be sure to also try the local pasta dish, Trenette al pesto, which is a regional speciality. Finally, end your day at the Sanremo Casino, which has a rich history and elegant decor, making it a perfect spot to unwind and try your luck at the gaming tables.
Just a short drive away from Sanremo, Alassio is a charming coastal town with beautiful beaches and a medieval old town. Wander through the winding streets of the old town and discover its history, including the famous Saracen Tower, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade. Alassio also offers plenty of restaurants, shops, and bars, making it a great destination for a day trip from Sanremo.
Sestri Levante is a charming town located between Genoa and La Spezia. With its picturesque bay, colourful buildings, and palm-lined promenade, it is a popular destination for beachgoers, foodies, and nature lovers alike.
How to get to Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante can be easily reached by train from major cities in Italy, such as Genoa and Milan. The train station is conveniently located in the centre of the town, making it easy to explore the beautiful beaches, historic centre, and other attractions. It’s also easily accessible by car via the A12 motorway.
Top things to do in Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante offers a mix of sun, sand, and culture. One of the top things to do is to explore the historic centre with its colourful houses, narrow streets, and lively piazzas. You can also relax on the beach or take a boat ride to the nearby islands of Palmaria and Tino. A must-see attraction in Sestri Levante is Baia del Silenzio, a beautiful crescent-shaped beach that is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and people-watching. Sestri Levante is also known for its delicious cuisine, particularly its fresh seafood dishes and local wines.
For a cultural experience, visit the Bay of Silence and the Bay of Fairy Tales. The Bay of Fairy Tales, also known as Baia del Silenzio, is a picturesque crescent-shaped bay that has been the subject of many poems and paintings. The Bay of Fairy Tales, or Baia delle Favole, is another beautiful bay with crystal clear waters that are said to have inspired the writer Hans Christian Andersen. You can also visit the 16th-century Villa Durazzo, which has a beautiful garden and hosts cultural events throughout the year.
Santa Margherita Ligure
Santa Margherita Ligure is a charming seaside town famous for its beautiful beaches, historic architecture, and picturesque harbour. Surrounded by lush hills and crystal-clear waters, this town is the perfect destination for taking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is surely one of the prettiest places to visit in Liguria off-the-beaten path.
How to get to Santa Margherita Ligure
You can get to Santa Margherita Ligure by bus from all of the main towns across Liguria. You can also get there by boat from Genoa and Camogli.
Top things to do in Santa Margherita Ligure
One of the top things to do in Santa Margherita Ligure is to take a stroll along the town’s waterfront promenade. Here, you can soak in the stunning sea views and enjoy the fresh sea air. Another popular attraction is the town’s historic centre, where you can wander along cobblestone streets and admire colourful buildings. You can also visit the Villa Durazzo. This 17th-century villa and its gardens offer a beautiful view of the Gulf of Tigullio and a glimpse into the life of the Genoese aristocracy. A visit to the Regional Natural Park of Portofino is a must. This protected area is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, and you can enjoy scenic hikes and stunning views of the Ligurian coastline.
You will for sure appreciate the local cuisine, which is centred around fresh seafood and regional specialities like pesto and focaccia. Santa Margherita Ligure also has a lively nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from where you can relax and unwind with great music.
Additional Resources for Your Trip to Italy:
Rome Resources: https://merrylstravelandtricks.com/?s=rome
Florence Resources: https://merrylstravelandtricks.com/?s=florence
Venice Resources: https://merrylstravelandtricks.com/?s=venice
Cinque Terre Guide: https://merrylstravelandtricks.com/best-things-to-do-in-cinque-terre/
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