The one thing that won’t break the bank in Portofino is the spectacular scenery. Begin with a stroll around the stunning harbor, lined with expensive boutiques, eateries, and colorful houses set along the quay and steep green hills rising behind them. One of the most scenic walks takes you uphill for about 10 minutes along a well-signposted path from the west side of town just behind the harbor to the Chiesa di San Giorgio ((tel) 0185-269-337), built on the site of a sanctuary Roman soldiers dedicated to the Persian god Mithras. It’s open daily 9am to 7pm.
From there, continue uphill for a few minutes more to Portofino’s 15th-century Castello Brown (www.castellobrown.it; (tel) 0185-267-101), which has a lush garden and offers great views of the town and harbor below. It costs 5€ (includes access to special exhibitions when they are going on) and is open daily 10am to 7pm from March to October, and the rest of the year on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
For more lovely views on this stretch of coast and plenty of open sea, go even higher up through lovely pine forests to the faro (lighthouse).
From Portofino, you can also set out for a longer hike on the paths that cross the Monte Portofino Promontory to the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso, a walk of about 2 1/2 hours from Portofino. The tourist office provides maps.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.