Portofino on the Italian Riviera – Image courtesy of charterworld.com
Introducing the Italian Riviera
The Italian Riviera offers a stunning 340km-long coastline indented with glamorous resorts, picturesque fishing villages, historic towns and belle époque villas framed by soaring pine trees and rugged cliffs overlooking aquamarine bays.
Here, you can find all the ingredients you need for the perfect European beach honeymoon or romantic getaway.
Commonly known as the Italian Riviera, this continuous strip of beaches and rugged cliffs sits on a narrow coastal plain beneath the towering mountains of the Maritime Alps and the Apennines in the northern Italian province of Liguria.
What to do and see on the Italian Riviera
Centred on the port of Genoa, the Riviera is divided into two sections. The first is the Riviera di Ponente, stretching from the French Riviera (or Côte d'Azur) at Ventimiglia to Genoa, and the best-known section for shopping.
The second section lies to the east – the Riviera di Levante, which stretches to the border of Tuscany and is best known for pristine coves framed by rocky promontories and soaring pine trees.
Rub shoulders with the rich and famous on the palm-fringed promenades of glamorous San Remo and Portofino. Stroll picture-perfect harbours lined with million-dollar motor yachts. Browse chic boutiques and savour gourmet meals in fine dining restaurants.
Explore the stone-paved alleyways of historic Genoa. Hike ancient coastal trails between scenic hilltop villages in the Cinque Terre and discover secluded golden-sand beaches in the shimmering Golfo dei Poeti (Gulf of Poets), famous for its links to writers and poets such as Petrarch, D.H. Lawrence, Byron and Shelley, who all lived (and in Shelley's case, died) here.
Away from the coast, Liguria offers dramatic mountains, rolling countryside and medieval hilltop villages to explore on foot, by bicycle and in a four-wheel drive. Roam narrow alleyways in the picturesque village of Dolceacqua (above Ventimiglia), visit the hilltop remains of Doria Castle and admire 15th century frescoes in the Chapel of San Bernardo.
The Italian Riviera boasts an enormous range of accommodation options to suit all honeymoon budgets. However, if you want to really splurge on deluxe lodging, try the legendary Hotel Splendido in Portofino. This former Benedictine monastery sits on a steep terraced hillside amid colourful gardens overlooking the stunning bay of Portofino.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about hotels on the Italian Riviera at TripAdvisor.
Best time to honeymoon on the Italian Riviera
The best months to honeymoon on the Italian Riviera are May, June, September and October, when the temperature averages around 22˚C. It’s best to avoid the summer high season of July and August, when temperatures reach 30˚C and beyond, crowds are at their peak and hotel prices are generally the most expensive.
Getting there – The Italian Riviera is easily accessed by road, rail and air. How to get to the Italian Riviera . . .