The beguiling villages here benefit from the bounty of the Ligurian Sea and all its biodiversity, as well as being a sanctuary for sperm whales, rorqual whales and dolphins. On land, vineyards, olive groves and citrus orchards present visitors will a plethora of nature's richness to savour and explore. Luxury mega yacht charter guests to this region are privvy to the complete 'ocean and earth' experience, and many hidden marvels only accessible by yacht.
A famous seaside resort on the Italian Riviera and the perfect place to start your Cinque Terre experience Levanto is a pleasant town with streets lined with fragrant orange trees, a long sandy beach, many interesting shops and restaurants. Surrounded by a valley of pine forests, olive groves, vineyards and small medieval villages, Levanto is the ideal base for day trips if your interests stretch to diving, hiking and sightseeing. A hiking trail starts in Levanto and leads along the cliff to the neighbouring village of Bonassola, which is a scenic and scintillating walk.
The centre of Levanto is alive with quality restaurants and bars for traditional local fare or an afternoon aperitifs. For sunset drinks, head to a beachfront venue, such as La Gritta, a waterfront restaurant we can personally recommend, offering succulent Ligurian seafood such as grilled octopus, sea bream, mussels, shrimp and more, as well as efficient, friendly service and a warm family ambience.
Livorno is a port city on the Ligurian Sea in Tuscany. It served as a fortress for Pisa for several hundred years. For visitors, the New Venice district retains much of its original architectural features such as bridges, narrow lanes, the noblemen's villas and a dense network of canals once linking the warehouses to the port. Fortezza Nuova was built during the Medici years to defend the city from pirate attacks.
Each of the five towns that comprise the Cinque Terre is worth a visit, but Vernazza is our pick as the most picturesque of the five. With picture-postcard views, Vernazza is a beauitful cliffside town, home to Cinque Terre's only harbour. It has a long history as a fishing village and some points of interest include the 16th-century Belforte Tower which offers incredible views of the area and the 14th-century Santa Margherita d'Antiochia church. Ascending involves a steep hike, but the shrine at Nostra Signora Di Reggio (Our Lady of Reggio) is ample reward for your exertion.
If walking takes your fancy, there is an easy hiking trail from one village to the next for stunning views over the pastel colored houses. In Vernazza, the clifftop restaurant of Belforte provides 360° views of the bay and the town, and excellent food and service. You will enjoy a satisfying choice of antipasti, fresh seafood, salads and pastas, or try our personal favourite: Michela's (the Owner) tomato soup with prawns, mussels and fresh fish, followed by her fresh caprese salad of juicy tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.
4. La Spezia
Renowned as a yacht building hub with manufacturers such as Ferretti, Fincantieri and Sanlorenzo, to name a few, La Spezia is also famous for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear sea, spectacular views, local artisans, and villages that maintain their customs and traditions.
5. Porto Venere
Porto Venere is another UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, abounding in waterfront cafes, best accessed by yacht, berthed at the historic marina, or tender if you prefer. Porto Venere is famous for its castle, villas, churches and offshore islands with their caverns and dive sites.
6. Palmaria Island
The island of Palmaria is worth a visit while on your luxury charter yacht, especially for its remote western side where you can visit the Blue Cave, only accessible by boat, and the Cave of Pigeons, which can be reached by climbing down ropes! There are several military ruins and in the south, at Pozzale, an abandoned quarry where precious black marble with streaks of gold were once mined.
7. Santa Margherita
A popular tourist resort since the end of World War II, Santa Margherita has a checkered history of rulers and conquerors. The evidence of the Genoese Republic exists in its Castle, built in 1550 as defense against North African pirates. Life here is centred around the pretty palm-lined harbour, where there are boutiques, cafes and interesting sights such as the Basilica of St Margarita of Antiocha, built in 1658 on the remains of an even older Church.
Portofino is a cosmopolitan fishing and resort town famous for its harbour and for being a magnet for celebrities and artists over the generations. Sitting on a peninsula in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera, the town rises vertically in colouful profusion above its harbour, its cluster of villas and hotels clinging to the mountain side, hemmed by pocket-sized beaches such as Paraggi, Camogli, Chiavari, Lavagna and Sestri Levante.
Genoa is the capital of Liguria. Today, it is just as much medieval labyrinth with many sights worth seeing. At its heart lies the Piazza de Ferrari, a main square lined with historic building and a beautiful fountain, while Genoa's Porto Antico has been transformed into a busy tourist centre with attractions such as the Aquarium, Galeone Neptune (pirate ship) and Grande Bigo aerial ride, designed by Renzo Piano and offering stunning views over the city.
Further information about the charter destination Italy
For details about the luxury sailing and motor yachts available for charter in this area please contact one of the specialists at the Luxury Charter Group.