Cheap Hotels in Portofino
Just 100 metres from the port, Eden is in the heart of the beautiful fishing village of Portofino along the Italian Riviera. It features a small garden, restaurant and free Wi-Fi throughout. All air-conditioned, rooms at the Eden have a flat-screen satellite TV and en suite bathroom with hairdryer. Each features a country-style décor and parquet floors. Breakfast is buffet style and Eden's restaurant serves traditional Italian meals at reasonable prices. Staff are helpful and friendly at this family-run hotel. They can share useful local knowledge and tourist information. Paraggi Beach is less than 5 minutes away by car. Castello Brown museum is 10 minutes' walk away and offers panoramic views across the town.
Eight Hotel Paraggi Hotel
Belmond Hotel Splendido Mare Hotel
Hotels in Portofino
The famous fishing village of Portofino is clustered around a tiny harbour in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. Much-loved for its dense jumble of brightly painted shoreline buildings, it has evocative historical, artistic and celebrity associations and some extraordinary landmarks.
The ancient historian Pliny the Elder stated that Portofino was founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini or ‘Port of the Dolphins'. The name was apparently inspired by the large dolphin population that inhabited the Tigulian Gulf. In the ensuing centuries the village passed between numerous communes, republics and fiefdoms, each making use of the sheltered natural harbour. By the 19th century, the first tourists began to arrive in the shape of aristocrats from Britain and then other Northern European countries. Wealthy expatriates began to build grand vacation houses and by the mid-20th century, tourism had overtaken fishing as the main industry.
Strolling up from the stunning harbour side, a flight of stone steps takes you to Castello Brown. This Genoese-built castle has seen action against various invaders over the centuries, including the Venetians, Savoyards, Sardinians and Austrians. In 1867 it was turned into a fabulous private residence by the British diplomat Montague Yeats Brown, complete with breathtaking Neogothic interior and extraordinary garden views. One of the most amazing sights at Portofino is actually 56 feet under the green blue waters of the bay. The statue of Christ of the Abyss was placed underwater in August 1954 to protect fishermen and divers and was sculpted by Guido Galletti. The figure of Christ is looking upwards towards the sky with open arms as a sign of peace.
Beaches and Landscape
As well as the bustling and smart harbourside with its glamorous yachts and sun-kissed cafés, Portofino offers easy access to a beautiful nearby beach. At Paraggi you can enjoy crystalline waters and warm sand, framed by the dense verdant woods behind. Most bays are quite rocky, so this is a rare treasure! Almost hidden from motorists cruising between the chic harbour villages is the Parco Naturale Regionale di Portofino. Miles of quiet trails twist and turn across the Portofino peninsula allowing you to discover the lovely interior on foot, free from traffic. You can get a good map from the tourist office.
Restaurants and Cafés
From Portofino hotels, experience a treasure trove of culinary delights, with sublime views thrown in. At Ristorante Puny you can experience totally authentic Ligurian cuisine, a superb harbourside location and a very warm welcome. At Caffe Excelsior you can look out over the port with your fresh seafood, in the very spot where Greta Garbo used to sit, ‘disguised' behind her dark glasses…If Burton and Taylor are more to your taste, then sample their former favourite Bar Colombo. This elegant art nouveau establishment is a perfect seafront coffee bar.
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