By Vicky · Published Nov. 9th, 2022 · Updated Aug. 13th, 2023
The hike from San Fruttuoso to Portofino is a wonderful, half-day hike to explore the peninsula that’s fairly easy yet has amazing views.
San Fruttuoso to Portofino Hike Route Map
Get the route by downloading the .gpx or .kml file below. For navigation with Maps.me on your mobile phone, simply download the .kml file and open to add it to the Maps.me bookmarks.
At the end of the hike, you can take a bus from Portofino to Santa Margherita train station. From there you can take a quick train to Camogli or elsewhere.
We spent the day hiking from Camogli to San Fruttuoso cove where we had lunch and a swim, before continuing the hike on to Portofino. We then took a bus to Santa Margherita and a train back to Camogli where our car was parked.
- This hike can be done in any weather since there’s enough shade on the climb if it’s sunny, and the route is easy so also ok in poor weather.
- There are a few water points on this hike, but make sure to have enough water with you, as well as a sun hat.
- For a full day, start by hiking from Camogli to San Frutuosso.
- Ferries only travel from Portofino to San Frutuosso in the summer season, but leave from Camogli all year round.
- Offline maps app Maps.me works well for this walk.
- Find other nearby hikes on our Italy Hiking Page.
Leaving San Frutuosso
From San Fruttuoso beach, head out the back to the monastery and follow the path left as it bends slightly upward around the cove. Continue along this trail, passing beneath the Torre Doria (the fortified tower). The path heads onwards and into a shady woodland. The climb begins and there are a couple of little viewpoints through the trees.
At the top of the climb, there’s a path junction and a viewpoint over the dazzling ocean below a short distance to your right. Continue onwards along the flat path, and it’s a lovely easy walk along a nice path with great views.
Eventually, the wild coastline walk along Portofino Peninsula will end. You’ll now enter a cultivated area with cute little houses, olive terraces and cypress trees.
Walking down to Portofino
As you walk on the way down, you’ll be able to see the little harbour of Portofino, with a church and castle further on to the right. The route leads downwards, sometimes on little cobbled roads and past old cottages.
Eventually, you approach the town and wiggle still downwards. The path meets the road opposite a church. Cross over, and peek inside the church if you want. Head down the steps at the back of the plaza and keep on heading downwards and towards the harbour. Soon you’ll be in the main plaza of Portofino, on the edge of the water surrounded by lots of cafes and restaurants. This is the end of the hike from San Fruttuoso to Portofino, but take a while to explore the rest of Portofino.
Portofino is a rather fancy town, which unfortunately makes it quite expensive (ice cream at least €5!). There are many boutique shops and sometimes large yachts in the harbour.
For the best views of town, head up the narrow street in the far corner of the plaza leading between two buildings. Continue walking upwards and take the righthand fork at the junction. You’ll soon reach the Chiesa di San Giorgio (Church of St George). From the plaza in front of the church, you can look down on the town of Portofino and see all the colourful houses lined up along the water’s edge. You can also admire the views from the other side of the square.
After Chiesa di San Giorgio, head back down the way you came for a short distance until the junction. Now take the lower fork leading onwards to the end of the promontory. Along the way you’ll have great views, and pass the entrance to Castle Brown.
Castle Brown is named for the English Consul in Genoa who owned the castle between 1867 and 1949. Tickets are €5 (under 12 free) and it opens at 10 am every day, closing when it gets dark. The grounds are lovely, with great views and many flowers, and inside you can visit the castle rooms and learn about the history.
Walking to Portofino Lighthouse
Past the castle, the path continues all the way to the lighthouse at the end (Faro di Portofino). It’s a scenic spot and there’s a lounge bar on the terrace serving cocktails and more with panoramic ocean views.
Return along the same path from the lighthouse but this time, when you’ve just past the church, head downwards on some steps to the harbourside. Turn left to stroll along the edge of the water and back to the main square. Once back, walk up and down a couple of the streets in the town, cute walkways lined by boutique shops. When you’re ready, head to the bus stop for a scenic bus ride back to Santa Margherita.
How to get from Portofino to Camogli
From Portofino, you can quickly return to Camogli. Take a bus to Santa Margherita train station followed by a short train ride to Camogli. Buses leave Portofino every 15 minutes, but the train leaves Santa Margherita only every hour. I’d recommend taking the bus 15 minutes earlier than the one google suggests. This will allow you plenty of time to allow for bus delays and buying tickets at the train station. In busy times, it’s best to get on the bus at the bus station in Portofino car park. This is the start of the route and you might be able to get a seat here, while the bus quickly fills up later.
Guidebooks to explore more of Liguria & Cinque Terre
If you want to get a guidebook to the region, the Bradt Liguria Guide and Lonely Planet Pocket Guide both include sections on Portofino Peninsula. The Cicerone Walking in Cinque Terre Guide doesn’t include Portofino Peninsula but does describe many hikes further south along the coast.