There are a lot of reasons to organize a tour in Liguria and the French Riviera: the mild climate, the wonderful botanical gardens and flowers as well as the stunning views of the Riviera, the gastronomic treasures and the scents of the peaceful Ligurian hinterland, as well as its beautiful coastline, brightly-coloured houses, chic ports and charming fishing villages, and more.
Join us for a journey from Portovenere to the French Riviera, between hiking trails, breathtaking views, caves and beautiful villages, a journey among charming towns, legends, caves and exotic gardens. You will enjoy walking tours of Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino, the old town of Monaco and Monte Carlo, as well as additional free time for independent discoveries in several cities including the charming Rapallo. The cliff-top villages of the Cinque Terre and the historic maritime city of Genoa are also on the itinerary.
Arrival in Genova Airport and private transfer towards Liguria. Arrival in Rapallo and time for individual visits. Visit of the Sanctuary of Montallegro reachlable by cablecar from Rapallo centre. Possibility of moving to the hamlet of Zoagli and visit the Cordani silk factory. Check in and overnight in Rapallo in Hotel 4*.
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Departure by private coach for a relaxing an interesting full day guided tour of Monaco Monte Carlo. Meeting with the local guide and visit of the city’s landmarks. Visit to the Rose Garden Grace Kelly. In the afternoon visit to the famous perfume factory and laboratory in Eze Village. Overnight in Rapallo in Hotel 4*.
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Departure by coach towards a full day excursion to one of the most elegant and famous places of Liguria. Visit of Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino. From Portofino pick up of the public ferry boat towards San Fruttuoso, to discover this little bay between Camogli and Portofino. Return to Rapallo by public boat. Overnight in Rapallo in Hotel 4*.
After breakfast transfer towards Genoa, a large sea port, an architectural wonder, a fascinating city of art. Guided tour of the historical city center. A walk through the narrow streets of the city, called “caruggi”, fascinating tales reveal the official history with special anecdotes and curiosities, myths and legends, which reveal the charm and beauty of the city. In the afternoon entrance in the famous Acquario. Overnight in Rapallo in Hotel 4*.
After breakfast transfer towards Cinque Terre, which is the name of a beautiful stretch of coast, with 5 authentic fishing villages. Head towards Portovenere, visit of this charming village and of the 3 beautiful small islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto (reacheable by public boat). Pick up of the public boat for the excursion along the coast. Stop in Vernazza and Manarola. Pick up of the coach in Vernazza and return to Rapallo. Overnight in Rapallo in Hotel 4*.
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Private transfer to the Nervia Valley. Visit of Dolceacqua and Apricale, the most beautiful villages of western Liguria. In the afternoon transfer to Ventimiglia. Guided tour of the Villa Hanbury’s Botanical Gardens. Return to Rapallo. Overnight in Rapallo in Hotel 4*.
Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Private transfer towards Genova Airport. Arrival at the airport and end of our services.
Rapallo is the oldest town in the area. Visit of the seafront fortress built in the 16th century against Saracen invasions, the Medieval bridge presumably crossed by Hannibal during the 2nd Punic War, and the several Baroque buildings reaching up to the sky. Stop at a local delicious shop where you will enjoy a tasting of local wines and products. Visit of the Sanctuary of Montallegro reacheable by cablecar from Rapallo centre. Situated in a splendid panoramic position, about 600 meters above sea level, on the crest of the mountain at the center of a dense holm oak. From the square in front you enjoy an extraordinary view of the west coast of the Gulf of Tigullio, with the towns of Rapallo and Santa Margherita interspersed with coves of San Michele and Paraggi, until the unmistakable shape of the promontory of Portofino. Possibility of moving to the hamlet of Zoagli and visit the Cordani silk factory. Closed on Tuesdays and Sundays, its handcrafted products include Jacquard velvet woven on Jacquard looms built back in 1849, as well as the fabulous plain silk velvet that was already being worn in the 1500s by Genoese aristocrats.
Enjoy your full day guided tour of Monaco Monte-Carlo. Meeting with the local guide and visit of Place d’Armes, Port Hercule, the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit, Monte-Carlo and Casino Square with its luxury hotels, the City Centre, the Old Town with the Ministery of State, the Princely Palace and the Cathedral. Visit to the Rose Garden Grace Kelly, a small lake bordered by palms and olive trees, laid out over an area of almost four hectares, presents a charming space full of serenity in the Fontvieille area, where following a footpath, you will discover many contemporary sculptures.
Visit to the famous charming perfume factory and laboratory in Eze Village, a picturesque medieval city situated on top of the hill between Nice and Monaco. It reflects the nostalgia of the past with its magnificent antique perfume bottles, as well as the realistic or present state of the industry. This includes the demonstration of the soap production which supplies all of the shops.
Visit Santa Margherita Ligure, a Roman town which has been transformed from an old fishing village into an international resort. Precious artistic artefacts are preserved in its Romanic and Baroque churches, in Villa Durazzo, set in the middle of a splendid park by the sea, and in the enchanting Cervara Abbey.
Visit Portofino, very popular with VIP’s of any kind and known all over the world because of its small square, the famous “piazzetta”, surrounded by little pastel-coloured houses, pointed-arched porticos, and elegant boutiques. Visit the Divo Martino’s Church, originally built in the X century, the St. George’s Church and the Brown Castle, surrounded by a Mediterranean garden. Final walk up to the Lighthouse to enjoy a breathtaking view of the coast.
From Portofino pick up of the public ferry boat towards San Fruttuoso. A little bay between Camogli and Portofino, S. Fruttuoso is reachable only by sea by boats or on foot along the path of the Portofino Natural Park. The set is dominated by the Abbey that dates back to the 11th century, by the prominent beach, the Church, the Doria tower, a few fishermen houses. Return to Rapallo by public boat.
A large sea port, an architectural wonder, a fascinating city of art, Genoa is one of Italy’s best kept secrets. With its alluring charm and a great artistic heritage, Genoa’s medieval center – the largest in Europe and partly a UNESCO site – is an intricate maze of alleys. Here, among traditional shops and little restaurants, you can breathe the noble past of the city. Strolling around, you will marvel at remains of medieval buildings, XVI century frescoed Palaces, Baroque votive chapels and beautiful churches overlooking picturesque squares.
Meeting with local English speaking guide for a guided tour of the historical city center. A walk through the narrow streets of the city, called “caruggi” fascinating tales reveal the official history with special anecdotes and curiosities, myths and legends, which reveal the charm and beauty of this magnificent city. Visit of Piazza De Ferrari, Doge’s Palace, Christopher Columbus’s House, San Lorenzo’s Cathedral, Piazza Banchi, “Museums of Strada Nuova”, Palazzo San Giorgio and the Old Port area. Entrance in the famous Acquario, the largest exhibition of aquatic biodiversity in Europe, with 71 tanks housing over 15,000 animals belonging to 400 species against the incomparable backdrop of the Gulf of Genoa.
Cinque Terre is the name of a beautiful stretch of coast, with 5 authentic fishing villages (from west to east Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore). The charm of this area is due to the fact that it has always been almost isolated from the rest of Liguria because of the steep mountains dropping into the sea without leaving room for many communication routes. In this way it maintained its authenticity.
Portovenere shows all the charm of a cozy fishing village, mixed with an amazing cultural heritage such as the church of San Peter, perched on the rocks or the ancient walls, and with a stunning nature. Just in front of the village, there are 3 beautiful small islands: Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. They are easy to reach by public boat and the view of Portovenere from the Palmaria island is really worth the trip. But Portovenere is also facing the famous Poet’s Gulf. Pick up of the public boat for the excursion along the coast. Stop in Vernazza and Manarola. Pick up of the coach in Vernazza and return to Rapallo.
In the Nervia valley there are the most beautiful villages of western Liguria as Dolceacqua, certainly the most picturesque, with the Doria Castle, a dense network of narrow streets and stone houses and the famous bridge.
Apricale is a medieval village perched on a hill that has one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, with the parish church, oratory and a lot of palaces that are all different from each other, filled with murals, sculptures and paintings of many artists who have left their works in this place, even in recent times.
VENTIMIGLIA EXOTIC GARDENS
Departure to Ventimiglia for a guided tour of the Villa Hanbury’s Botanical Gardens. Designed by Sir Thomas Hanbury in 1867 it is considered one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Italy. It is filled with rare and unusual plants: cacti, agaves, Eucalyptus trees and all kinds of palm trees.