Things to do in Liguria, Italy
Liguria region is the Italian Riviera. It is as glamorous and beautiful as the French Riviera. The food, the coffee, the beaches, the mountains. You name it, you will find it here.
This summer(2016), I took a trip down this region. Absolutely loved it. This article describes all the places that you can visit to have an amazing feel good time. There is absolutely NO criteria set to describe the place but one. That is, at the end of the trip, you and your family should just feel “What a holiday!”.
I took the trip with my family. Thats my daughter, wife and me!
Here is trip route:
Liguria is a region best explored by car. You can rent a car from France or Italy. All the routes are very scenic. Mountains on one side and beach on the other. You will find breath taking sceneries amidst all the tunnels you will cross.
The trip depends on the number of days you are staying. I would recommend at-least spending 3 nights. We spent 7 nights. So lazed around a bit.
To enjoy the trip, here is the mantra:
- Spend the whole day by the sea or on the sea beach
- In the evening, laze around the medieval towns
- Nights are up-to you. If you like partying go for it. We liked fine dining and so we did. Again its up-to you how you retreat.
- Do try cafe creme. Its Delicious.
Few things to note while travelling this region:
- If you are driving, get a Easy Parking account. As this will help you modify the time of parking if you plan to stay more or less.
- Take private beds on the beach. The facilities are good and almost all the good sections of the beach are private area.
- If you get white parking bay, take it as it is free. Blue lines are paid. Yellow lines are for disabled and loading only purpose.
We reached Nice in France and took a rental car to start our journey. Airport rental are open 24 hours. So it is convenient if you are starting or ending on a weekend. Most rental companies are closed on Sundays in the city except the ones in the airport.
We based our location in Genoa, Italy. Genoa is conveniently located in the middle of Liguria region. It is a city and you get wide range of good hotels in relatively cheap price. From Genoa, you can reach any parts of Liguria within 1:30 hours.
If you get rooms in Hotel Melia, go for it. It is located in a residential location and offers luxury at a very reasonable price. Use the offsite parking instead of the hotel one and save 30 euros a day. You can use Easy Park as it is very convenient. Easy Park is available throughout all the parking location in the Liguria region. You will use them a lot if you are driving.
Below are the list of the places that are worth a visit. They are listed in order of being the best. Depending on your duration, pick the one you can cover.
1. Cinque Terre
Drive to La Spezia train station and take a train to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre has 5 villages and they can all be covered by train. Take a daily pass and you can visit all the 5 villages. Monterosso has a good beach. You can either visit all the villages before and then end up in Monterosso and enjoy the beach or do the other way. We did the other way and it was very refreshing.
Noli is a gem. It is a beautiful medieval town with a wonderful private beaches with crystal clean water. The beach has a long stretch. So even on peak seasons, you can find some place quite. After spending time on the beach, you can explore the town. It has some niche small shops and cafeteria. Your whole day will finish in no time.
After spending loads of time on the beach, time for some site seeing. What better way to start than exploring the wonder the Leaning tower of Pisa. While you drive to Pisa, you will see how the landscape changes from hills to beautiful land of Tuscany. There is a Mc Donald on the way, if you want a break on your taste buds.
4. Finale Ligure
Finale Ligure has the longest stretch of sandy beach in the region. All the section are more or less the same. There are lots of activities for kids. Your kids will love it.
5. Diano Marina
Diano Marina has a wonderful night life suitable for family. Loads of restaurants and cafeteria to choose from. I would recommend to stay here overnight to enjoy the evening. If you plan to stay here, Hotel Metropole is a good option. Parking is free inside the hotel. Private beach is also included. The beach facility is very good. You can get all the beach accessories like tubes, floating beds etc. for free.
I hope you will have good time in Liguria. Have a safe trip.
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