Portofino is a town in Liguria, located in the province of Genoa, with about 400 inhabitants. For this reason, it is the smallest municipality in Italy.
Although it is only a fishing village, it is renowned for its picturesque landscapes consisting of pastel-coloured houses, typical restaurants and high fashion shops.
To enjoy it to the fullest I recommend that you visit it in low season periods such as May or mid-September/October, when the climate is mild and the village is not yet swarming with tourists or paparazzi hunting VIPs.
Continue reading to discover all the useful information needed to reach Portofino from Rapallo, Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure, Genoa or Milan.
How to get to Portofino by car, train or ferry: The Ultimate Guide
Getting to Portofino from Genoa
Genoa and Portofino are 33.2 km apart, and the latter can be reached in the following ways.
To get to Portofino from Genoa you have to take the A12/E80 motorway and exit in Rapallo, then follow the directions to Portofino.
If you want to reach Portofino by train, you have to take one from Genova Brignole station (Regional, Regional Veloce or Inter City) and get off at Santa Margherita Ligure.
From here you can take a taxi or bus 82.
To reach Portofino by bus, I recommend taking the open top bus that allows you to arrive in Portofino in the morning and return in the afternoon. It is also ideal for admiring, from the bus, all the coastal resorts between Genoa and Portofino.
From Genova: Portofino Return Transfer by Open-Top Bus
Ferry from Genoa to Portofino
Thanks to the plentiful boats, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery that only Liguria can offer. The service is offered by the Golfo Paradiso company, the boats are in service from March to October and the cost depends on the type of itinerary you choose. The boat is definitely a good way to plan a beautiful trip out of town in the name of relaxation and good food.
If you wish to rely on an organized tour instead, you can opt for the round-trip boat tour from Genoa. The tour lasts 4.5 hours, departing from Genoa’s Porto Antico, arriving in Portofino, and after a stop for a few hours, you will be driven back to Genoa.
From Genoa: Roundtrip Boat Tour to Portofino
From Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino
The two cities are very close together, so much so that they can be reached on foot with a nice walk. If you want to get there faster and more comfortably, all you have to do is choose between a car, bus or ferry.
If you move by car, you’ll be in Portofino in about 13 minutes. The road to follow is the Provincial Road 227 of Portofino.
The bus that takes you to Portofino is number 82 and passes every thirty minutes (check the Portofino 82 bus timetable).
The duration of the ferry trip is 15 minutes, has a cost ranging from 6 to 10 euros and is managed by the shipping company Tigullio-Marine Lines.
From Rapallo to Portofino
Rapallo is not far from Portofino and can be reached in multiple ways, as I will show you in the paragraphs below.
If you want to reach Portofino by car from Rapallo, I have good news for you because in just twenty minutes you will be there.
The road to follow is the Provincial Road 227 of Portofino.
Please note: the municipality of Portofino is a pedestrian zone and motor vehicle access/transit is only allowed if authorised.
You can leave your car in the covered pay car park located in Piazza Martiri della Libertà, open 24 hours a day.
There is also free parking on Santa Margherita street, just in front of the disco Covo Nord Est.
From here you can reach the center on foot or by bus, it’s up to you to choose.
Have you decided to take a nice walk and get up to Rapallo, without spending any money?
You will reach this beautiful city with postcard-perfect scenery in about an hour and a half/two.
I recommend this excursion to those who have a passion for trekking because you can truly soak up the magnificent landscapes.
The travel itinerary includes the passage to Santa Margherita, where of course you can make a stop to recover from the long trek.
As far as the level of difficulty is concerned, this is not a particularly complex route, but it requires a minimum of training to face these eight kilometres with peace of mind.
In Rapallo, there are several bus routes that will allow you to easily reach Portofino, with the most common being number 7 and 82 (check the Portofino 82 bus timetable).
The duration of the trip is about 35-40 minutes and is very cheap.
You also have the possibility to take only the latter if you arrive at Santa Margherita Ligure FS by train.
The trip takes only three minutes and costs a maximum of 5€, depending on whether you are on a Regional, Regional Fast or Inter City. At this station, you can then take bus 82, which runs every thirty minutes.
You can, of course, reach Portofino by sea by taking a ferry from Tigullio-Marine Lines.
To find more information about the timetables, I recommend you consult the cruise company through their website, or call 0185-284670.
The duration of the trip is about thirty minutes, and the price of the ticket is between 7 and 10€.
Taking the ferry is an excellent solution to avoid the stress of driving and looking for parking, especially during the period of July and August when Portofino is full of visitors.
How to get to Portofino from Camogli
If you are in Camogli and want to organize a small excursion to Portofino, I will show you all the best options below.
From Camogli you can take two roads: Via Romana, SS1 Via Aurelia and Provincial Road 227 of Portofino or Via Aurelia and Provincial Road 227 of Portofino. The routes differ only by a few kilometers, but I suggest you consult your satellite navigator to reach your destination in a shorter time, as it will be able to indicate the fastest route at the moment and will help you avoid any traffic jams.
To reach Portofino from Camogli, you have to go to the station of Camogli S. Fruttuoso, get off at the stop Santa Margherita Ligure Portofino, make a change to Santa Margherita Ligure FS and take the bus number 82.
From Camogli you can take the bus number 71-73 or 73C to Santa Margherita Ligure and from there take the number 82. The journey will take about fifty minutes and costs less than five euros (check the Portofino 82 bus timetable).
The ferry trip between Camogli and Portofino is organized by the Golfo Paradiso shipping company at a cost of 13€ per person, one-way. Reservation is required.
From Milan to Portofino
Over 150km separate Milan and this town in Liguria. For this reason, the only two ways to reach it are by car and train.
From Milan to Portofino by car
If you depart from Milan you can reach Portofino via the A7 (the shortest road), the E25 and A7 or the A26 motorway, the latter being the longest route, as it requires more than three hours of driving time.
The bad news is that there are no direct trains between Milan Centrale and Portofino – it is necessary to make at least one change in Genoa Piazza Principe and from here take the train to Santa Margherita Ligure-Portofino. The duration of the trip, including the change, is about two and a half hours.
If you are looking for a memorable experience, you can opt for the organized day tour from Milan to Portofino. This is a 10-hour excursion, departing at 7 a.m. from Milan, stopping in Genoa for a guided tour, after which you depart in the direction of Portofino, where you arrive by sea from Santa Margherita. At the end of the day, you return to Milan. In short, a unique and unforgettable day, ideal if you only have one day to spare and want to visit the two beautiful coastal resorts.
Tickets for Genoa & Portofino: Daytrip from Milan
Portofino 82 bus timetable
Check the Portofino 82 bus timetable.
Click on the image to download it.
Which airport is closest to Portofino?
The nearest airport to Portofino is Genoa, which is 45 km from the town.
The route to take by car is the A12 motorway, exit at Rapallo. From here, follow the signs for Santa Margherita.
In order to meet the needs of our guests, many hotels offer a transfer service to/from the airport.
If the hotel where you have decided to stay does not provide such a facility, don’t worry, because a new shuttle has just been inaugurated that leaves from the Genoese airport.
Where to eat in Portofino: the best restaurants
If you happen to be in Liguria, you can’t miss out on focaccia, because it’s a real delicacy here. You will find focaccerie almost everywhere and before leaving I suggest you stock up so that this treat can be tasted by your loved ones back home because it will certainly be a very welcome gift. As for the best restaurants in Portofino, I recommend the following:
Puny Restaurant: located in Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta 4-5, its cuisine is renowned throughout the world. Its courses are simple but definitely rich in taste, for example, spaghetti with whitebait, pappardelle with tomato and pesto or octopus with artichokes.
Taverna del Marinaio: also located in Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta (but at number 36), this restaurant offers the opportunity to taste both seafood specialties and delicious meats – just think of a mixed appetizer platter and much more.
Ö Magazín: This restaurant, housed in an old fishing equipment warehouse, offers an impressive view of the port, located in Calata Marconi. Thanks to its location, you can enjoy your meal in absolute peace and privacy. Try the house starter, fish skewer or spaghetti with squid.
Where to sleep in Portofino: the best hotels
There are not many hotels in Portofino, but here are a few examples.
Belmond Splendido Mare: 4 star hotel located in Via Roma 2, offers visitors finely furnished rooms or suites. If you’re travelling with children, you can entrust them to the Smile Club, where they’ll have the chance to do a number of fun activities such as creating mosaics, cooking or taking part in exciting treasure hunts.
Hotel Nazionale: three star hotel located right in the square of Portofino, from which you can admire the port and all the characteristic corners of the city. Being family-run, it offers a very simple and friendly welcome. It is also connected with the restaurant da Nicola, where you can enjoy excellent fish dishes.
Hotel Piccolo Portofino: this hotel has been created from a period villa and its interiors have a modern design. Rooms are divided into three categories: classic, superior or deluxe. Pets are allowed, as long as they are small. The price includes: breakfast, WiFi connection, access to the private beach and a courtesy set of cosmetics.
Well, we’ve come to the end of this long article on how to get to Portofino.
Whether you have chosen to travel by car, train or boat, know that the view that awaits you at your arrival will be breathtaking, and will leave you truly speechless.
If you need more information, read the guide on what to do in Portofino, or leave a comment below.