Located on the coast North-West of Italy, bordering the Cote D’Azur, Liguria is the perfect autumnal yachting region for any day off. From adventure and activity, relaxing beach days to immersing yourself in the Italian lifestyle and food scene, Liguria has something to offer any yacht crew. A popular region for winter berths, from the renovated marina in Ventimiliga, the large marinas of San Remo and Imperia, to the shipyards in Loano and Genoa, if you find yourself settled here, you won’t be disappointed. No matter where you are berthed, a convenient and well-connected train line stops off at most hotspots.
Coastal strolls in San Remo
There is an easy and scenic bike and footpath trail, which hugs the coastline for 24km, running from San Lorenzo al Mare, ending in Ospedaletti. This stretch of Liguria is known as the Riviera of flowers, easily spotted as why on this pathway. A perfect location for a day off stroll, or if you feel more adventure hire a bike in one of the many hire shops along the way. Take your time and pause en route in the many cafes for a refreshing Aperol and a fresh seafood lunch. Outside the summer, you will be free of the tourists and join the locals in their weekend walks. If you are looking for a more taxing walk, there are plenty of hiking trails up in the mountains in the Ligurian Alps, well marked for ease.
Explore Bussana Vecchia
Liguria isn’t short of a few old towns or two, but when it comes to the best, visit the impressive Bussana Vecchia. Located just a few kilometres northeast of the city of San Remo. You can easily spend an afternoon exploring this abandoned village, with art galleries, cafes and shops in between. The town holds a great deal of charm and character after its fate of earthquakes has been taken over by a thriving artistic community.
A beachside relax
There are plenty of beaches to choose from within this Italian Riveria. After a busy summer watching guests have relaxing beach days, why not now enjoy yourself? Once the heat and crowds of the summer have dissipated, autumn is a temperate time to spend a day or two at the beaches. Alassio is probably the best for a beach day, close to marinas but far enough to make you feel truly on holiday. This popular seaside resort is the perfect day off destination, known for having one of the longest beaches in the eastern Liguria regions. Alassio also hosts a picturesque town with plenty of lovely seafood restaurants, cocktail bars and gelaterias. If you continue to explore, head down the coast just a few kilometres to Cervo, a picturesque fishing village.
Indulge in Imperia
Liguria doesn’t fall short in its cuisine. From the famous focaccia, the trofie pasta, to the purple asparagus of Albenga and the Genoese pesto. Book a table at Sarri in Imperia if you want to indulge truly. This Michelin-starred restaurant situated on the seafront is the perfect spot for an alfresco lunch. The chef uses restaurants directly from the family-owned farm. You will enjoy fresh and seasonal ingredients washed down with a prestigious Ligurian Vermentino, white wine.
Adrenaline hit in Finale Ligure
Some days off may require something more adventurous than a long relaxing lunch. For the adventure junkies, there is plenty to do in Liguria, specifically lots of mountain biking trails. Head to Finale Ligure for over 200 km of quality natural trails perfect for all abilities. The year-round biking here is complete with fantastic sea views. If you only have one day, get a guide to be sure to get on the best trails with limited time.
Plenty of hidden gems can be found further inland, away from the coast. Hire a car and take a scenic drive. Make your way between the old towns and enchanting villages perched high up on the hills. One, in particular, is the perfectly preserved medieval town of Apricale. Wind your way through the labyrinth of old cobbled, stone streets. If you happen to be here on the second Sunday of September in the heart of the village is the Pansarola festival – think sweet pancakes, cream, and plenty of them.
Scramble around the canyons
Canyoning is a perfect day off activity. If you are in Liguria for winter, be sure to book in quick as the canyoning season ends at the end of October. An exhilarating experience where you will travel down the canyons by rappelling, climbing, jumping, slipping and swimming. It is a great way to immerse yourself in Liguria’s beautiful nature, particularly the canyons of Santa Lucia, between Albenga and Diano Marina. A guided tour will ensure you are safe and get to all the best spots.
Hiking in Cinque Terre
Possibly the most popular and famous destination within Liguria is Cinque Terre. This collection of “5 lands” is on many must-see lists, and rightly so. Dependent upon your location, you may need more than one day to visit. Especially if you want to make it to all 5 villages; Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. If you are based in La Spezia, this is the perfect spot to explore the villages. The surrounding national park has plenty of hiking trails, well marked, connecting the villages. The current coastal trails are closed due to reconstruction from a previous landslide. However, there is plenty of hiking higher up within the vineyards. Arguably better, albeit more strenuous trails, wind up and down, giving excellent views back into the villages. If time allows, be sure to visit each as each is unique in its own right.
Splash out in Portofino
A popular postcard-perfect spot for yachts to take guests. This small and tranquil harbour is lined with luxury boutiques and high-end stores. However, this pretty fishing village is best out of the summer months and when you can truly see its lure. If you don’t want to spend all your latest charter tips, Portofino is still a great destination in the autumn, where you can enjoy its quieter streets and views. If you like walking, take the coastal route to Portofino from Santa Margherita.
Soak up the historical Genoa
Genoa is full of cultural and historical significance worth finding out about. It was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and the biggest Italian port city. Exploring the waterfront at Porto Antico will enable you to discover more, visiting the maritime museum and the historic lighthouse, the third oldest in the world.
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