Candy-coloured towns along a rugged, sandy coastline
This crescent-shaped coast in north-west Italy is known for seaside sophistication and having the highest concentration of Blue Flag beaches in the country. Also known as the Italian Riviera, Liguria's spectacularly clear waters and colourful seaside towns make it one of Italy's most popular coastal destinations.
Highlights include the Cinque Terre, the five famously photogenic villages speckling the Levante, and Portofino, with its pastel-hued houses spilling along a pretty waterfront.The beaches themselves are brilliant - all golden sands and lovely little hidden coves, with some of the clearest waters in the Med.
Liguria is also a fabulous foodie destination, boasting a mouth-watering line-up of classic Italian ingredients; think lemons, focaccia bread and, most famously, pesto.
Portofino is synonymous with luxury, balancing elegant hotels, a designer shopping scene and colourful townhouses around a hill-hugged harbour on the Ligurian coastline.
Rapallo is a coastal town with spades of old-world charm. It’s also a great base for exploring the Italian Riviera, thanks to the harbour and mountain cable car.
Direct flights from the UK to Genoa (usually the best airport for Liguria) take approximately two hours.
Summer is a fantastic time to visit Liguria – temperatures can reach 30 degrees, and the coastline (particularly the colourful villages of the Cinque Terre) looks particularly lovely when the sun is shining. May, September and October are also great times to visit, with temperatures in the early 20s – ideal for walks along the coastal paths. From April to October, while the weather is pleasant, boats run up and down the coast stopping off various towns and villages along the way.
British citizens do not currently require a visa to visit Italy.
When you dine out in Italy, you will generally be charged a coperto (cover charge), which is for the bread, tablecloth, cutlery, etc. Tipping in Italy is not customary, but is always appreciated.
The official language of Italy is Italian. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.