Santa Margherita, Italy

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As well as the inviting cafes, 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.