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from just £1,499 per person.

About Santa Margherita

Once a quiet fishing village in the shadow of its flashier near neighbour Portofino, Santa Margherita has developed into a charming resort with its own distinct appeal.

As well as the inviting cafés, restaurants and bars around the harbour, Santa Margherita is unusual for this part of the Italian coastline in having some fine, sandy beaches.  You can even hire changing cabins from the beach bars.

There are some fancy boutiques around the harbour and along the narrow lanes that lead from there into the pretty town. Well worth a visit are the ruins of its 15th century castle, several Baroque-style churches, and of course, Portofino, which is just a short bus ride (or cruise) along the coast.

 

Shore excursions in Santa Margherita

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

A Walk in Portofino

Activity high

Duration: 3 hours

Imagine luxury yachts, a sun-soaked harbour, pastel-washed houses, chic cafés and incomparable views - that’s Portofino.

Idyllically set along the beautiful Riviera coastline, Portofino is an exclusive resort favoured by the international jet set. Enjoy a scenic coastal cruise from Santa Margherita to Portofino, where your walking tour of this tiny, picture-perfect village will begin.

Your guide will show you the famous Piazzetta, meeting place of the elite. Take a stroll uphill to the little Church of St George, where the remains of St George the dragon-slayer are said to be. The climb is well worth the effort for the panoramic views over the bay and Tigullian Gulf. Your route takes you up past the Brown Castle an ancient fortress, which once protected the village.

From here, a 20-minute walk along a path dotted with towering trees takes you to Punta del Capo, where the lighthouse dominates the cliff. The view of the promontory, the gulf and the coastal villages is simply stunning.

Returning to the Piazzetta, you’ll have some free time to take a stroll, pick up a souvenir of your visit or enjoy a delicious Italian ice-cream.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by boat and on foot. From Santa Margherita, you’ll take a short boat ride to Portofino, where your guide will give commentary on the scenery. Passengers are advised that the walking tour involves considerable uphill walking and many steps. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Cinque Terra

Activity highShopping

Duration: 8½ hours

Discover the breathtaking Cinque Terre, a National Park comprising of 5 dramatically situated villages clinging to the cliffs.

The name Cinque Terre, ‘Five Lands’ was once only accessible by sea and even today there are no proper roads linking the villages you visit on this unique tour.

Departing the pier you’ll journey along on the coastal road to Manarola, you’ll capture the delightful coastal landscape along the way, and see the steep rugged and often vertical cliffs down to the sea below. Upon arrival, enjoy a brief introduction to the village and some free time.

Enjoy the beautiful surroundings before boarding a boat for a 45-minute Mediterranean coastal cruise along the Cinque Terre. The breath-taking scenic beauty, charm and romance of this area is so intense, it's almost unfair. Gratefully, the National Park status helps protect the way of life, as well as the environment.

Your cruise will lead you to Monterosso al Mare, probably the most famous of the 5 lands for the characteristic historical center. After a guided introduction and a tasty snack with local wine, you will have free time to explore the tiny shops and nice restaurants.

You’ll rejoin your guide for a short walk to the train station, where you will take a local train to re-join your coach for the journey back to Santa Margherita.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach, boat, train and on foot. This tour involves approximately 2 hours of walking, which includes some uneven ground. There are around 80 steps to negotiate throughout the tour. Flat, non-slip walking shoes are essential. Passengers are advised to take sun protection, a bottle of water and Euros for purchases. The boat ride to will be replaced by train in the event of poor sea conditions. The train is a local service and is not exclusive to P&O Cruises.

Ligurian Flavours

Activity lowMeal included

Duration: 3½ hours

A wonderful opportunity to learn some of the secrets of Ligurian cuisine, from pasta to pesto.

Setting off from Santa Margherita, your journey will take you to the delightful town of Recco. You’ll travel along the Via Aurelia, the ancient Roman ‘Golden Sun’ Road, which offers panoramic views over the Tigullio Gulf.

Upon arrival at a local restaurant, a demonstration will be given on how to make pesto sauce – ingredients of which include fresh basil, garlic, cheese and walnuts. You’ll also see how to make ‘troffie’, the typical Ligurian hand-made pasta, and discover specialties such as focaccia, delicious bread made with olive oil.

Afterwards, enjoy a leisurely lunch of wonderful Italian dishes. Locally produced wine will be served with lunch and your meal will be rounded off with dessert and coffee.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves limited walking; however there is some standing during the demonstration. Passengers must be able to negotiate steps onto and off the coach, at the pier and a few steps at the restaurant.

Paradise Gulf

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 5 hours

Discover the delights of the Ligurian Coast with its sparkling waters, quaint fishing villages and hidden bays.

As you cruise along the Ligurian coast, marvel at the picturesque scenery of rugged cliffs and secluded coves. Pause for photos in the bay in front of the village of San Fruttuoso. The imposing Benedictine Monastery and Doria Tower are said to date back to the 13th century.

Rounding the huge rocky spur known as Punta Chiappa, you’ll reach Camogli. This small fishing village is famed for its pastel-coloured houses, some of which are adorned with seashells. Stroll through the small historical centre and visit the wonderful baroque Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta. Enjoy some free time in Camogli to soak up the atmosphere and perhaps try some of the local ice-cream.

Your next stop will be at the beautiful little village of Portofino. Here, your guide will show you the small Piazzetta and narrow streets hosting some of Italy’s most exclusive boutiques. The brightly-painted houses and idyllic setting make this tiny fishing village picture-perfect, so remember to take your camera.

Re-board your boat for a cruise back to Santa Margherita.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by boat and on foot. This tour is dependent of favourable sea conditions. Please be advised that there will be approximately 1 hour’s optional walking on slightly inclined surfaces; there are also steps to negotiate at the Basilica. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Those not wishing to participate in the guided walks can opt to have more free time. Please dress appropriately if entering the church.

Sestri Levante

Activity lowShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

An opportunity to discover Sestri Levante, a charming and delightful town on the Italian Riviera.

Setting off from the pier, you’ll take a drive along the highway and on to Sestri Levante. Facing two beautiful bays, this idyllic town has been a well known beauty spot for hundreds of years and was praised by the early Renaissance poets. Although the town has grown considerably since these early times, it has lost none of its original charm.

Upon arrival, your guide will offer a brief introduction of the town, before you head off for independent exploration. You will have around 1½ hours to enjoy Sestri Levante at your own pace. Stroll the delightful streets and browse the shops, or simply relax in one of the many local cafés. You may wish to enjoy the sparkling Fable Bay or take a walk to Silent Bay, a tiny protected inlet.

Afterwards, you’ll meet with your guide at the designated meeting point and time for the return drive to Santa Margherita. Your route will take you along the beautiful Roman Aurelia road, passing by the villages of Lavagna, Chiavari and Rapallo and offering panoramic views across the Tigullio Gulf.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The level of walking undertaken on this tour is at passengers’ discretion. Passengers must be able to negotiate steps on to and off the coach. There may be a short walk from the coach parking area to the main town. Sestri Levante consists of some cobblestone streets. Flat, comfortable shoes are advised. Euros and credit or debit cards are accepted for purchases. Some shops may be closed on Sundays.

 

A selection of cruises to Santa Margherita

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