A walk for the whole family: from Portofino Vetta to Portofino Mare
Mount Portofino is one of the favourite destinations in Liguria to go for a walk with the whole family, not only because here you can enjoy unforgettable glimpses and breath-taking panoramas, but also because you can choose among many paths of different length and difficulty.
The one we propose to you today is one of our favourite: the walk from Portofino Vetta to Portofino Mare.
This route is particularly recommended to families because it is not too difficult (a couple of hours of level and downhill way), there are many resting areas with banks and small fountains and you can enjoy really incredible glimpses. In really sunny and clear days, you can also see Corsica and the islands of the Tuscan archipelago.
Prepare packed lunch, a blanket, binoculars and camera, put on your boots or a pair of comfortable sneakers and don’t forget that Mount Portofino is a protected area.
Octopus and potatoes Genoese-style
Ingredients for 6 people:
- 1 kg octopus
- 2 garlic cloves (optional)
- a lot of parsley
- Taggiasca olives
- lemon juice
- 4 or 5 potatoes
First of all we give you an advice: to make the octopus tenderer, put it some hours in the freezer or buy it already frozen. Defrost it before cooking.
Wash the octopus and put it in a pressure cooker for 30-40 minutes with few water: the octopus releases a lot of water and cooks in its own liquid. It has to cool down in its own water, too.
As it is cold, clean it (as you like: some children love suckers, others hate them) and cut it into pieces.
In the meanwhile boil the potatoes and then let them cool down and cut them into pieces, too. Do not cook them too long: they must not become a mush!
Then mix octopus, potatoes, minced garlic and parsley, Taggiasca olives and a dressing made by oil, salt and lemon juice. Let the salad stay for 30 minutes before serving, so that the flavours mix and blend.
It is a perfect dish also for the beach: it is perfect, light and fresh! It is also our ideal packed lunch at work, when we want to take a bit of Ligurian Sea on our desks!
The starting point is Portofino Vetta. You can drive till the top because there are many car parks. The park entry, and so the beginning of the path, is behind the Hotel.
Take the path and follow the signs to Portofino Mare. The path is flat, sometimes a bit downhill. This first stretch of route is shady thanks to the trees. On your left through the trees you can glimpse the sea and the coast: Rapallo, Zoagli…
Don’t forget to keep on following the signs to Portofino Mare at any crossroads.
The path goes on downhill until the road, which is more a mule track, opens to vehicles (actually the only vehicle you can meet here is a motor scooter: the locals move that way).
Shortly you get to one of the most suggestive places of the whole path: Olmi (Elms).
Through well looked after terracings, villas and olive trees you can glimpse from here amazing sights. We suggest a rest in this area to have lunch: there are wooden tables as well as a beautiful meadow, from which you can enjoy a breath-taking panorama. Spread your blanket, take your focaccia, sandwiches and tarts and enjoy your picnic! Wonderful, isn’t it? But now it is time to continue on your way: don’t forget that the final destination is Portofino! Fortunately the path goes straight and downhill and in 45 minutes following the signs you get to the famous Piazzetta.
This last part is rich in very suggestive glimpses. From here, looking at the deep blue sea, thanks to a very sunny day, you can see Corsica and the islands of the Tuscan archipelago. And suddenly you will glimpse Portofino: from here it is amazing! The temptation to take such a lot of pictures is hard to fight, but you have to keep yourselves from doing so: the surprises are not over!
If you do not know Portofino, it is time to visit it: you will discover the famous Piazzetta, you will go up until the little church and you will walk among the little colourful houses. Portofino is a real jewel!
But before visiting the village, you have to gear up for the return: we suggest to reach Santa Margherita Ligure and take bus 73 until the stop “Ruta – San Rocco” (after the tunnel).
Smart suggestion: ask about the timetable of bus 73 and organize the way from Portofino to Santa Margherita accordingly. Then keep in mind that after leaving the bus, you have to walk 2,5 km a bit uphill until the car park and it takes about 30-40 minutes following the paved street.
There are three possibilities to reach Santa Margherita Ligure:
– the first one is a bus that starts in Portofino. This is not our suggested option, unless you are too tired. The way between Portofino and Santa Margherita through Paraggi is wonderful and by bus you will not enjoy it at all. Moreover, the bus is often very crowded, above all in the weekends.
– the second option is to walk. Yeah, we know they are 4,5 km, but they are flat and above all breath-taking beautiful! Obviously, you have to evaluate the time according to the timetable of the bus that has to bring you from Santa Margherita to Ruta.
– finally, the most loved solution: the boat! From the little harbour of Portofino you will reach Santa Margherita in 15-20 minutes, just a few steps from the bus 73 stop.
The journey by boat is of course the funniest and everyone will be happy: if you are tired or you want to preserve your energies for the last walk, but at the same time you want to enjoy the landscape, that is your option!
Are you wandering, which option we have chosen? The walk, of course! Also because bus and boat were very crowded and we risked to miss the bus 73. But as we got in Santa Margherita, we repaid ourselves with a lot of just taken out focaccia that we bought in a bakery in town centre.
Out of the bus the surprises continue! From Ruta you can enjoy a sight from Camogli to the west Riviera. If you want to end with a bang, we recommend an aperitif or a snack in the café just before the beginning of the path to Portofino Vetta. Relax, a drink, something to eat and a breath-taking sunset are perfect before facing the last rise.
Unless children enter the car, they will collapse because of tiredness, but they will be happy at the same time. And we are sure that you will gladly remember this unforgettable journey all together!